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Unread 05-22-2016, 07:12 PM   #1
Just In Tile LLC
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Steel trowel and resin float.

Since I'm in a small town wanted to see if there's any better products or fan favorites when it comes to these two hand tools. I've been using the same steel trowel and wood float for 6 years now and it's time to get another set.

Have a 16" x 3-1/2" laminated canvas resin float. (My wood float)
Wears extremely well doesn't warp with moisture has kept its sharp edges for years.

Use a 5"x12" xtralite marshalltown steel trowel.

Float mostly walls and a floor on occasion. Any feedback would be appreciated. I've seen some wide floats for floors and wonder if I should try one out or just stick to my setup?

Thanks in advance tile men and woman.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 06:27 AM   #2
Dave Gobis
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I think types of tools are like underwear, everyone has their preference.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 07:51 AM   #3
jerrymlr1
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Resin float would be my favorite underwear. Once discovered never looked back. Steel trowel has a different function. IMO.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 07:58 AM   #4
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Thats true Dave, I read somewhere CX said if they made a magnesium sharp edge float it would be the cats meow. That resin float is the closest I've found to something like that.

Guess you can't really get too "advanced" with a steel trowel and float hah!
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Unread 05-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #5
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Till this very day one of my most used tools is a wood handle wide blade linoleum hook knife. I use it often for a lot of different things and never have on vinyl which I haven't done in over 30 years. Had a hard time finding them last time so I ordered a whole box.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 03:02 PM   #6
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I'm a Marshalltown snob. I've tried a number of other manufacturers, and nothing quite compares. Like most they've offshored production and the steel isn't quite what it used to be, but still better than the rest.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 03:31 PM   #7
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Yeah hard to beat marshalltown, I was looking at kraft tools website, they have some nice looking trowels as well, that's where I got my resin float. Also saw a trowel sharpener, never heard or used that before? Grinder is my go-to for modifing, cleaning, sharpening most things in the toolbox.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 08:37 PM   #8
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I like going over my mud with a steel trowel when I'm finished with it, walls and floors. I wait an hour or so on walls, the steel trowel makes the surface very smooth and the corners sharp. On floors, I like to slick it down with a trowel as I back out. It brings a little water to the surface which kinda makes a hard crust on top, which keeps the mud from eroding so easily.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 09:02 PM   #9
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I concur with Davy. I have various mud tools,all Marshalltown. My derby too is a fiberglass resin float,which I'll use to cut mud where/when required.

I also use a mag/magnesium trowel,and 99% of the time I'm using it to pack the mud,and moving the mud where need be.

Dude who trained I,used mag for packing and rubbing up etc.
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Unread 05-23-2016, 09:27 PM   #10
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I do usually slick the deck mud at the end, get rid of the crumbles and like ya'll have said brings the "butter" up to the top.

I've never used the steel trowel on fat mud though, Davy. Guy who I apprenticed from always finished it with a wood float so as to not have to rub it the next day with a brick. The float gives a fairly smooth surface but I was told the steel trowel would "burn" the fat mud. Think he told me makes it too smooth or brings out too much water? don't have any facts to back that up, just was a good helper and only did what I was told.
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Unread 05-24-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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My next shower I'm going to hit it with the flat trowel when I'm done Davy, for some reason I've never thought to do it, just have never seen it done.
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Unread 05-24-2016, 07:40 PM   #12
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Try using a mag on it too. Thing with a mag,is you don't wanna overrub an area/s etc.

When doing walls,which was eons ago,I would use a mag to rub up. Deck mud I use steel trowel.
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Unread 05-24-2016, 07:56 PM   #13
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I HAD a mag float Rich, bought it on clearance at Lowes. I never used it, so one night had a couple beers with some friends and of course the great idea of throwing magnesium in the fire came up. I don't have a mag float now.
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Unread 05-24-2016, 08:09 PM   #14
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Back when I was a kid, I remember my dad using a wood float in a circular motion on fat mud. Not sure why he stopped using it. It does leave a rough texture but I don't see a problem with that. The steel trowel is used after a couple hours and the mud is plenty firm. If I don't have time to let it firm up, I leave it as is without doing anything else. Then the next day I go over it with a rub stone. The main reason I use the steel trowel on walls is to make the corners sharp.
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Unread 05-24-2016, 08:18 PM   #15
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Davy, with your mud experience dang near tripling mine, you could say to hose down the wall when I'm done floating and I'd try it on my next one. Haha
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