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Old 12-21-2011, 11:33 AM   #31
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Best Tools for Drywall Removal?


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Are you going to use Green Glue between the drywall boards?

It's good to be learning all of this. I'm going to be tearing drywall out of 2 rooms in my basement soon.

Instead of taking the drywall screws out of the studs, would it be alright to use a multi-tool or a Sawzall to cut them off?

Also, would it be alright to use a circular saw to cut a line in the drywall from one end to the other between the studs? Of course, with the blade set slightly deeper than the thickness of the drywall to avoid hitting electric wires. I'm sure there's a reason why that won't work, but thought I'd ask.
Funny you ask. I will be using green glue. Sawing off the screws sounds like a good idea if you have the tool. Sawing off the old drywall probably would be more trouble than what it's worth. Sounds risky and messy, but it could make things fast and easy I suppose.

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:38 AM   #32
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I hadn't thought about the dust. Hmmm. I don't know if I have the strength in my hands to pull down drywall. I guess I'll find out .

The Sawzall blades would probably be the cheaper of the two. Multi-tool blades are fairly 'spensive.
If you have the strength to hold up a saw, you can rip drywall out.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:46 AM   #33
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A claw hammer will make short work of drywall removal too.

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:31 PM   #34
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I like using a good garden hoe to pull it down. Doesn't pull through the board as quickly, so you get bigger chunks torn off.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:35 PM   #35
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Good idea!

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #36
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There is also always a neighborhood teenager.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #37
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Or two young men who would be more than happy (... ) to help their mother-in-law for a day or two.

I'm anxious to see what's on the other side of the drywall. Those two rooms stay right around 54 in the winter - with the heat vent open.

I like the idea of the garden hoe too.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:45 AM   #38
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So I'm starting a new project where I will be replacing the ceiling in a few rooms. Removal of the drywall ceiling seems simple enough, as is most demo.....But does anyone have any pointers/link to the best tool for the job? I have a drywall saw and dremel. I don't have a sledge, but for the ceiling I dunno if that would be the best tool for the job anyway. Is there any sort of must have drywall removal tool?

Also, for all the screws that will remain stuck in the joists....what is the easiest way to remove them? Simply unscrew them out if the screws aren't too mudded up, or is their a good tool I can use to just rip them out (if possible without causing too much damage).

Thanks for any tips.
Going through this thread for the past half hour, no one has mentioned it.

Get safety glasses, and get dust makes. The dust from drywall can damage your lungs. And the dust can injure/damage your eyes. When you break the layer of drywall, you will have insulation. Majority of homes use fiberglass insulation, which, can cut the crap out of your hands, and/or completely rip your lungs into shreaded beef. Wear a dust mask, wear safety glasses, and get mechanic gloves from an auto-parts store. I use Mechanix Nitrile gloves, they are thick and don't tear easily, and save my hands on almost everything I dow ith them. They are also resistant to oil, and other liquids and lubricants, and can be washed.

Taking apart a cieling, WILL drop this crap on your face and lungs. use PPE. $20 at a hardware store will save you $1,000 for an ambulance ride, (in know, I've had to ride in an ambulance before) and another $1,000-50,000 for medical bills to treat injuries. You only have one pair of lungs, one pair of eyes, and two hands. When they are ruined/destroyed, you will never get new ones.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment when doing this ^^^^^^^^^^^

Also, regarding tools, I prefer an Electricians Hammer, or a large Framing Hammer to punch in, make hand sized holes, and then use my hands to pull out what I can, and then once everything is out, I come back with my hammer, and pull out any nails or screws. What works best to remove screws, is going to be a cordless drill with a number 2 philips head. (Most drywall screws I've come across are philips heads).

But you need to wear PPE. Gravity comes downward, meaning in your face. wear PPE.

Drywall dust is toxic. So is the dust from jointing compound. It has a crystaline substance in it that sticks to your lungs and damages them. Less exposure you have, the better. Wear a dust mask.

If it's an older home, be aware of asbestos. If you come across anything "chaulky" or resemble anything like a cement like substance, or like a ceramic or porcelain substance that is relatively light, STOP WORK IMMEDIATLEY!!!!!!! Call the health department or a building inspector to take a look, and STOP DOING EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY until told otherwise.

If the asbestos is Fryable. I.e. it is in powder form, i.e. anything is flying around dust wise, GO out of that room!! with your clothes on, jump in the shower. soak yourself. and whoever was with you. Close your eyes, soak your entire body. take off clothes, put into clothes bin, and immediately place in washer machine, if not throw them away. Holding your breath as long as you can until you and your partner is soaked is best.

If you think I'm kidding, I'm not.

If it's non fryable, then in it's natural state, it is not harmful. As long as you are not cutting into it, breaking it, using power tools on it, etc. you should be relatively fine. However, if discovered, stop work immediately. Do the same as you would above for fryable asbestos. Shut the room off from the rest of the house, get air flowing, air rate your house, and throw away any open food containers. Including food in dog bowls, and wash dog water and dog food bowls if out. If back of dog food is open, throw it away. Same with any human food items if they are anywhere near the room asbestos was located. If you're in a NEWER house, than you shouldn't have to worry about it. If you're in an OLDER house, you do need to be aware of this.

Last edited by BigGuy01; 12-25-2011 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #39
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Forget the idea of using a saw, it's just going to make more dust, your left with the drywall still stuck to the studs, the dust will get in the bearings in the saw. There is no blade made that I've seen for an ossilating saw to cut nails. Far better to just use a drywall gun, impact screw driver or last a cordless drill and remove them.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #40
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There is no blade made that I've seen for an ossilating saw to cut nails.
???? really???? ANY bi-metal or metal cutting blade will cut nails....
"oscillating" is correct spelling, btw.

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Old 12-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #41
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If you use a bar and rip the screws out, they'll tear up the truss chords as they come out. Personally, I'd rip the drywall down, then unscrew. If they're plugged with mud, use some small vice-grips to remove them.

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I agree. Unscrew them!
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:06 PM   #42
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Try it and see how many screws or nail you can cut before distroying a $15.00 blade, not many. I own 3, of those saws and there great for most jobs but cutting nails is not one of them.
A sawsall would be a far better choise when it comes to nail cutting.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #43
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Try it and see how many screws or nail you can cut before distroying a $15.00 blade, not many. I own 3, of those saws and there great for most jobs but cutting nails is not one of them.
A sawsall would be a far better choise when it comes to nail cutting.
I do agree, he's better of using a screw gun, so he can unscrew4 or 5 screws before he cuts one screw.

But that said, the proper blade with proper speed setting, shouldn't have any problems cutting screws/nails. As long as the blade is rated to cut that specific type of metal, and as long as the operator cuts at a medium-slow speed, the operator could measure, cut, and place entire ducting systems with a sawzall and metal blade. To include cutting any metal plates or screws in the way of the ducting.

A man I've done work for, has had the same blade on his sawzall for almost a year now. And he uses it to cut iron pipe. As long as you use slower speeds to drill/cut into hard surfaces with the appropirate blade for the material, there shouldn't be any problem at all.

What dulls your metal cutting blade, is using it to cut wood or drywall. Softer materials dull blades more than harder materials. It's why taking a skillsaw through dirt will dull the wood blade out in a few minutes, while the wood blade could operate for hours cutting wood.

If the material was too hard for the blade, the blade would simply chip/break rather than dull and/or cut.

They make blades for specific materials for a reason. It's why you don't use copper blade on a pipe cutter to cut PVC, it'll dull it. while a PVC Blade to cut copper will break the PVC blade. You use the appropriate blade for the appropriate material, at the appropriate speeds as specified by the manufacturer, and that's the end of it.

The only reason your metal cutting blade would dull out, is if you were using it to cut wood and drywall. If it was breaking, than you are using your blade at either too high of an RPM, or you're cutting into material that is too hard for the blade to cut through. (such as using an blade rated to cut aluminum and copper, to cut steel when it's not rated to cut steel)

That said, the OP really should just use a drill, for the sake of speed and efficiency.

That said, to cut into, and shape drywall for installation purposes, I've found a drummel to be very, very effective. you can make clean cuts for outlets, switches, pipes, etc. without any issues. Sawzalls work grate for that as well, but they simply aren't as nimble. However, you cannot use a drummel to cut metal or anything, unless you put on the metal cutting attachment.

EDIT

Either case, if you're using powertools at all, wear safety glasses. If you're cutting into, or coming into contact with insulation, drywall, treated wood, etc. Wear a dust mask. And gloves.

Last edited by BigGuy01; 12-25-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:30 PM   #44
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If the floor is covered, just hit the screw with your hammer, swing away from your face, work alone. Swing and break with 1 hit, with the joist, not perpendicular or it will splinter. Use a grub-hoe with a 3' handle. you just pry off the joist to pull down in 1/3 sheets. Score them with knife (on one side only) in two inch wider rips (start at 6" wide) to fold-up on themselves like a carpet. 3-4 in a plastic trash bag. Unless you like to hear your drill noise......

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Old 12-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #45
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Is it too late to entertain more ideas on how to deal with the screws?

What if there are nails up there? Discuss amongst yourselves.

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