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Old 05-13-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
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Drywall tools


I didn't want to hijack the other thread running about drywall tools because I'm interested in a slightly more advanced package of tools than than the other guy wants, because, among other reasons, I'll be doing a job more than three times the size of his.

I have a Panellift drywall lift, a Senco collated screwdriver, and a very basic vacuum sander. I plan on using No-Coat corner bead.

I'm interested in mud boxes, and anything else that might facilitate the job and produce professional results. I really would prefer to contract the job out, but the piecemeal nature of my work prevents this luxury.


Last edited by benjamincall; 05-14-2010 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:11 AM   #2
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You have some fancy tools already----lots of new stuff.

You will find a 'Banjo" taping box useful with practice-- Your Senco screw gun is kind of slow and a pain in awkward situations ,like removing a badly set screw.

Very good quality blades are your most important tools--6--10 and 12 inch.

Learn the right muds for the different phases of the job--and the consistency. Water must be added to the mud for use in the 'banjo' --some people like to thin the topping mud also.

Look for some old posts by WillieT and Oh'mike--on the different muds and their uses.---Mike---

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Old 05-14-2010, 07:57 AM   #3
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I don't really like to do drywall, I'm not good at taping and mudding to tell the truth, bit I recently did a small room for a repeat customer. One tool I discovered, actually recommended by a friend who works at the blue apron store, is a "shark blade" for my utility knife. Instead of having a straight sharp edge this blade has serrations on it and certainly seemed to cut the drywall better. It worked great for smoothing up the edges also. David
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
You have some fancy tools already----lots of new stuff.

You will find a 'Banjo" taping box useful with practice-- Your Senco screw gun is kind of slow and a pain in awkward situations ,like removing a badly set screw.

Very good quality blades are your most important tools--6--10 and 12 inch.

Learn the right muds for the different phases of the job--and the consistency. Water must be added to the mud for use in the 'banjo' --some people like to thin the topping mud also.

Look for some old posts by WillieT and Oh'mike--on the different muds and their uses.---Mike---
Would you buy both a banjo and a bazooka? Should I get the bazooka if I can find one for around $250?

I didn't realize the quality of the blades made much of a difference. Any specific recommendations?

Should I bother getting a box? Do I need more than one box? Should I just get a single corner box? I seem to recall seeing people use the corner style on both corners and flat joints. Is a pump a necessity if I end up getting a box.

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I don't really like to do drywall, I'm not good at taping and mudding to tell the truth, bit I recently did a small room for a repeat customer. One tool I discovered, actually recommended by a friend who works at the blue apron store, is a "shark blade" for my utility knife. Instead of having a straight sharp edge this blade has serrations on it and certainly seemed to cut the drywall better. It worked great for smoothing up the edges also. David
I'll try the shark blade. Speaking of cutting tools, I have a Fein multimaster, what is your perception of how the oscillating tools work on drywall?
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
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Remember the finishing tools you're talking about are just mud applicators and there is a big learning curve in running a bazooka (which you won't find for $250.00 unless it's HOT) and the boxes. There are various size boxes and you will need at least two for the flats, 8" & 10" or 10" & 12". A pump is a must for the bazooka and the boxes, the various handles, etc. are necessary. If you buy used, do you know how to do repairs which will likely be necessary?? Go to All-Wall.com or OnlineDrywall.com and check the price of a set of tools. I've been in the business for 35+ years doing some very large houses and commercial jobs and have yet to find one big enough to justify the expense of buying a set of tools. I've worked with guys who run tools from time to time and they're nice when you're working on a 1000 board job, but these are guys who are strictly "production" finishers. The investment for new tools is probably in the $2500.00 range depending on what you get with the set....
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:42 PM   #6
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Remember the finishing tools you're talking about are just mud applicators and there is a big learning curve in running a bazooka (which you won't find for $250.00 unless it's HOT) and the boxes. There are various size boxes and you will need at least two for the flats, 8" & 10" or 10" & 12". A pump is a must for the bazooka and the boxes, the various handles, etc. are necessary. If you buy used, do you know how to do repairs which will likely be necessary?? Go to All-Wall.com or OnlineDrywall.com and check the price of a set of tools. I've been in the business for 35+ years doing some very large houses and commercial jobs and have yet to find one big enough to justify the expense of buying a set of tools. I've worked with guys who run tools from time to time and they're nice when you're working on a 1000 board job, but these are guys who are strictly "production" finishers. The investment for new tools is probably in the $2500.00 range depending on what you get with the set....
Well, I have a knack for getting things cheap (my Panellift was $180, and it works like a dream). If you're saying that the bazooka (I found a fully rebuilt tool for $300) would be a pain to learn, I'll just stick with the banjo. I really liked the idea of using the boxes, but if they aren't user friendly, I'll scrap that idea too.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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Don't get me wrong, I love buying new toys (tools). $300.00 for a rebuilt bazooka is a great price (if it comes with a warranty of some sort). Again you DO need a pump and a "gooseneck" for the pump to fill the tool at least. I've never used a banjo either to be honest with you other than for "fire taping" walls on a commercial job or two where you just have to cover the joints/holes and it doesn't have to look pretty (above the ceiling). You may be a natural at running the tools, but I just don't see spending the money for a one time use. See if there's an AMES Taping Tools in your area. They rent (or at least used to) tools by the month. Go by and talk to them about running the tools before you spend the money, if possible. Best of luck however you decide to go....
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
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Benjamin----The tools DO NOT MAKE the craftsman.

The learning curve on bazookas and taping /mud boxes will take more than one job to learn.

If you are doing this job in small phases --you will be faster and more efficient just using hand tools--
---fill your holes and gaps with a 6" blade--(durrabond)

---Set the paper with the same 6" blade(green bucket)
---Use the 10" and 12" for the final coats(blue bucket)

I fear that you will spend more time setting up and cleaning the fancy equipment than you will save by using it.


I buy all my taping knives at AAMES--a drywall supply house.--I hang 60 to 80 sheets a month--
I still can't justify the cost of a bazooka and box applicators.

Good luck--have fun----Mike---
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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My main concern is getting a professional finish. I'm not so good with any tool that resembles a trowel, so I was hoping one of these fancy tools would help me out. Apparently the boxes and the bazookas give more of a speed boost than an improvement to quality.

Based on your recommendation, I bought a banjo today:

http://www.amazon.com/Marshalltown-7...3963479&sr=8-1

I'll take a look at the knives. Unless you know of a drywall leprechaun slave I can buy, I guess we've just about covered everything.

I would really prefer to have a pro come in, but who wants to drive out for three panels at a time?
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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One more question: Have you ever used offset knives?

http://www.amazon.com/Advance-14-Off...3965856&sr=1-4

Last edited by benjamincall; 05-15-2010 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:12 PM   #11
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Benjamin--I have a banjo like that--it works well and does save time.
Use the green bucket mud---thin it with water--soft and sloppy--the consistency of a melted milk shake.

Get your self a mud whip and a 1/2 inch drill to run it. Whipped mud is much more consistent.

Do not over press the paper and squeeze out all the mud.

Beginners always try to put on to much mud. 6" in the corners is about right.

After the tape is set(and dried for at least 4 hours) add the next coat on the seams with a 10"--
--This could be green bucket or blue---Often experienced tapers will use Durrabond(Bag mix)


As the new guy I suggest that you use Durrabond only for filling gaps and the first coat on the corner bead.

Durrabond is nasty to sand--very hard--You will be happiest with the blue bucket--much easier to sand.

About your new knives---Marshaltown are O.K.--a little to stiff for my hand--I use Sheetrock brand.

Blue steel not stainless--a bit more flexible. I use my random orbit sander to clean off the rust.

Your longer blades will have a front and back--sight down the blade--the front should be a little concave. If the blade is straight --bend it a tiny bit to give it a slight concave working side.

I don't want to over whelm you with information.

Look for previous posts by willie-T and oh'mike on taping. There are many right ways to do this,we all develop techniques that work best for us---good luck--ask more questions if you have them.

---Mike---
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:21 PM   #12
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http://bestdrywall.com/files/ReduceCallbacks.pdf

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuild...tt-joints.aspx

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021174058.pdf

http://books.google.com/books?id=lO8...um=9#PPA159,M1

Be safe, Gary
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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Alright guys, currently finishing a basement and going to have quite a bit of muding and taping to do. Never really finished drywall before, but looking into picking up a drywall banjo to help out with the taping portion of the job since there will be a lot of seams.

Do you think this is something that could be used by a drywall newbie? I also have a good set of blades as well.

Thanks!

Andy
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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Alright guys, currently finishing a basement and going to have quite a bit of muding and taping to do. Never really finished drywall before, but looking into picking up a drywall banjo to help out with the taping portion of the job since there will be a lot of seams.

Do you think this is something that could be used by a drywall newbie? I also have a good set of blades as well.

Thanks!

Andy
Yes it certainly would be well worth the small investment and it is fairly easy to use.

One of the main factors to making this tool work smoothly is the mud consistancy.

If it is too thick the tape will pull quite hard and be a bad experience.

Banjo mud is the thinnest consistency of mud used in taping....other than spray texture...

Mix your mud thin enough so when you get a scoopful with a 6" knife and turn it... it will slowly and smoothly run off.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #15
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I picked up a banjo a while back (goldblatt) and have had great success with it....after the first time.
There is a learning curve to it but you can get the hang of it pretty quick.
THIN mud is the key. I use the mud that I have topped off one too many times and it's gotten to thin to use on the walls.

Saves a ton of time.

If I had the choice now I would have bought the Marshalltown. If the tape breaks (which it will) the Marshalltown feeds back in a lot nicer.

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