Hawk (plasterer's tool)

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A plasterer covering a wall, using a hawk (in his left hand, carrying some plaster) and finishing trowel (in his right hand, applying plaster to the wall)

A hawk or hod is a tool used to temporarily hold a portion of a viscous material, so that the user can repeatedly, quickly and easily get some of that material on the tool which then applies it to a surface. A hawk consists of a board about 25 cm (9 inches) square with a perpendicular handle fixed centrally on the reverse. The user holds the hawk horizontally with the non-dominant hand and applies the material on the hawk with a tool held in the dominant hand.

Hawks are most often used by plasterers along with a finishing trowel to apply a smooth finish of plaster to a wall. Brick pointers use a hawk to hold mortar while they work. Hawks are also used to hold joint compound for skim coating.

A plasterer's hawk set down after being used; note the remnants of a substance like mortar or plaster

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