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Old 06-30-2011, 08:56 AM   #1
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Easy way or hard way...or can hard way be easy way?


I'm getting ready to throw up some drywall on my walls/ceilings (it was nasty going down). The house is 172 years old so the walls aren't the smoothest (but close enough). The ceilings are 10ish feet high and the rooms are about 14x14 with several tall windows in each. I'll be covering about 1300sqft

I'm planning to buy a drywall lift as I'll be doing this solo for the most part. Just wondering if it's worth the investment to buy the flatbox finishers i've seen on youtube. I also plan to get a banjo for taping. I've done a lot of drywall/plaster repairs (not talking nail holes) but I'm still a little rusty. I imagine these tools take some getting used to as well and could be a pain in clean up; so is it worth it to buy the finish tools, or would you expect to get used to doing it the old fashion way pretty quick? Would it take much longer if you don't use the finish tools?


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Old 07-01-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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You seem in inner conflict. On the one hand you describe the walls as roughly this, not quite level, awfully old and on the other you seem almost overly anxious to rush out and get some rather expensive toys?

Obviously I will not try to talk you out of a ceiling jack but buying vs. renting? At least shop used? As for the other finishing tools? Up to you I guess. Why not put a little more energy into straightening out your walls and so forth.

Unless you are going into the business with your project as a launch? Why not start with conventional tools and see how things go?

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Old 07-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
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Hmmm...definitly the lift. Rent is probably the best option as you're only looking at a couple hundred sf of ceiling.

The banjo and such? I dont think I'd buy them. Seems to me, for one guy, it wouldnt save as much time as you think. Dont do as much drywall as I'd like so I could be wrong.

IMHO...when I walk into a house thats 172 years old I expect to see a wave hear and there. Sags are something else and need to be dealt with.
I think people make to much of the finshing process. I dont think I've ever walked up to a wall and said "Dude, I can see your butt joint". Point is nobody looks. Do your best, paint it and move on.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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Thanks sdsester. The jack I plan to buy and then sell on craigslist after i'm done. There was one local for $110 on there and it sold imediately. So i figured i'd buy a well reviewed on on amazon for $170 and sell it when i'm done for $120 or so. Because I wont be doing all the drywall in a few days, i'd like to be able to take my time and the rental costs would be more than just buying and reselling.

I've straighted out the wall that will hold my kitchen cabinets, but the rest really aren't too bad. I'll put furring strips where needed if i find some that are far out of line. I'd rather not buy the tools but if it would make the job that much easier and faster, it may be worth it to me and then just sell them when i'm done.

I am hoping to get into restoring old houses (just trying to figure out how to manage it without having a builders license) in the near future, but I need to get mine a little further along. The taper I'm looking to get is the homax which is about $35 on amazon i think. Maybe it's best to get proficient doing it by hand anyway, seems like a good skill to have.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by autx790 View Post
Thanks sdsester. The jack I plan to buy and then sell on craigslist after i'm done. There was one local for $110 on there and it sold imediately. So i figured i'd buy a well reviewed on on amazon for $170 and sell it when i'm done for $120 or so. Because I wont be doing all the drywall in a few days, i'd like to be able to take my time and the rental costs would be more than just buying and reselling.

I've straighted out the wall that will hold my kitchen cabinets, but the rest really aren't too bad. I'll put furring strips where needed if i find some that are far out of line. I'd rather not buy the tools but if it would make the job that much easier and faster, it may be worth it to me and then just sell them when i'm done.

I am hoping to get into restoring old houses (just trying to figure out how to manage it without having a builders license) in the near future, but I need to get mine a little further along. The taper I'm looking to get is the homax which is about $35 on amazon i think. Maybe it's best to get proficient doing it by hand anyway, seems like a good skill to have.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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Spend your money on good quality blades--Ames is a good place to look,if you have one locally.

6" 10" and 12"---a round bottom pan will pay for itself in time saved on cleaning.

A round head sanding stick with Velcro paper is another nice tool.

Renting a power sander and vacuum should be considered,also.

Buy the big 3-M sanding sponges----big is best.

Learn the 3 types of mud and what they are for.-----Got to go---Mike----
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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thanks mr 12. You're right, people let a lot of things go when the house is so old. Especially around here...people will cram bathrooms into the smallest spaces. Funny thing is, when I bought this house, the majority of the house didn't have the original plaster, and they didn't fill it with drywall. They decided 1/4 plywood would be the material of choice. Couldn't really tell it wasn't drywall till you got into it a little. Maybe y'all are right and rent would be a better option for the lift. I have two rooms that are roughly 14x14 and one that is about 20x18 (including bathroom, bedroom, closet). One I'm going to leave the beams exposed in, so i'll just have to figure the best way to do that. Probably going to screw 2x2s along the beam and then the drywall to that (between the studs)

Thanks Mike, i'll get some good hand tools and do it the old fashioned way. I had thought about these tools cause I held out forever on buying a nail gun and boy was I glad after. Tools are fun, but theres something about doing things by hand thats got reward to it. I'll do some investigating on mud types. I have the type with green lid which I think i saw was good for taping but not so much as the finish (I think maybe i saw that in a post you did on another page).

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Old 07-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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I mention the mud types a lot----

Other good things to have--a drywall screw gun---and a mud mixer or a BIG drill---the bucket muds go on much better with a good whipping.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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1300 sq.ft........ you will be there for hours just setting the tape by hand;

Tips: http://bestdrywall.com/files/ReduceCallbacks.pdf

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

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

Fastener length, floating walls/ceilings, board orientation, thickness, etc.: http://gypsum.org/pdf/GA-216-2010.html

Minimum Code: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par010.htm

If using hot mud, I have a time-saver step, if interested....

Gary
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:30 AM   #10
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I'm interested...what dya have?
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info! I'll probably get the collated screw gun at Home Depot, and will pick up the mud mixers as well.

GBR, I do plan to buy the lift and that Homax taper, but i'm going to stick with the old fashion way to do the finishing. i'm not sure what the difference is with hot mud, but it's pretty hot here so I guess you can say it will be hot mud Whats your tip good sir?

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
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Sorry, 12penny, my e-mail gets to me two DAYS after posting......Earthlink.
When I use hot (chemical or setting type vs. air drying, regular) mud, I need to get as much coverage as possible for that smaller job visit. I use paper tape on everything, with both muds because it's stronger and will cover a crack underneath better than fiber mesh tape.http://www.usg.com/rc/technical-arti...e-en-J1190.pdf

http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal...ata-MH1178.pdf
So I wanted a time-saver in applying paper tape with hot mud rather than mix, apply mud, apply tape, apply more mud. I use a plastic tray combo by cutting this down the center: http://www.harborfreight.com/multipu...ray-92229.html
The two smaller leave joined, melt a slit with a soldering gun at the bottom sides of one and one end of the second. The paper tape roll sits in one, feeds through the slot below through both slots in the other. Add hot mud to the top already mixed loose pancake consistency in the empty tray, pull tape through; it wets the side that goes to the wall/ceiling before applying. I pull 25-35’ through, layering it on another box tray I attach to my belt at my side, on top of itself so no dry spots (wet to wet like wallpaper). Go to ceiling with 6” knife (trowel) in one hand, stick tape, pull tight with other hand at arms reach to snap-it on drywall, move another arms reach, snap again, etc, cut end with blade, do another joint, etc., then wipe with blade to seat tape-never air bubbles because of mud consistency and coverage from going through trough. The other long tray has a wooden block in the bottom (inverted “V” shaped like the corner bead, keeps the mud from under it) with slots melted for the angle of the outside papered bead. Pull the c.b. through, stick on corner, quick smooth, apply top coat of hot mud, second coat, then drying mud. The two-tray fits in a 5 gal. bucket to easily clean with a car wash brush, long stiff bristles to reach the corners. This is instead of banjo…….. You save the first mud applying step with trowel. Your arm is ½ as tired, get more work done in same time.

Do you need home-made zip poles to contain the dust……….

Gary
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Sorry, 12penny, my e-mail gets to me two DAYS after posting......Earthlink.
When I use hot (chemical or setting type vs. air drying, regular) mud, I need to get as much coverage as possible for that smaller job visit. I use paper tape on everything, with both muds because it's stronger and will cover a crack underneath better than fiber mesh tape.http://www.usg.com/rc/technical-arti...e-en-J1190.pdf

http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal...ata-MH1178.pdf
So I wanted a time-saver in applying paper tape with hot mud rather than mix, apply mud, apply tape, apply more mud. I use a plastic tray combo by cutting this down the center: http://www.harborfreight.com/multipu...ray-92229.html
The two smaller leave joined, melt a slit with a soldering gun at the bottom sides of one and one end of the second. The paper tape roll sits in one, feeds through the slot below through both slots in the other. Add hot mud to the top already mixed loose pancake consistency in the empty tray, pull tape through; it wets the side that goes to the wall/ceiling before applying. I pull 25-35’ through, layering it on another box tray I attach to my belt at my side, on top of itself so no dry spots (wet to wet like wallpaper). Go to ceiling with 6” knife (trowel) in one hand, stick tape, pull tight with other hand at arms reach to snap-it on drywall, move another arms reach, snap again, etc, cut end with blade, do another joint, etc., then wipe with blade to seat tape-never air bubbles because of mud consistency and coverage from going through trough. The other long tray has a wooden block in the bottom (inverted “V” shaped like the corner bead, keeps the mud from under it) with slots melted for the angle of the outside papered bead. Pull the c.b. through, stick on corner, quick smooth, apply top coat of hot mud, second coat, then drying mud. The two-tray fits in a 5 gal. bucket to easily clean with a car wash brush, long stiff bristles to reach the corners. This is instead of banjo…….. You save the first mud applying step with trowel. Your arm is ½ as tired, get more work done in same time.

Do you need home-made zip poles to contain the dust……….

Gary
I've seen guys do something similar, only as I remember they used a small cardboard box.

I have a basement remodel coming up in a couple weeks and I'll be sure to give a go. For 3.99 its worth a shot.

Thanks Gary
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #14
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AUTX90,
I'm curious where in SC are you? I'm up in Asheville and travel every so often to the upstate for work on the lakes and golf courses.
I'm going to offer my two cents here and apologize in advance for stepping on any toes in the process. I'm here to help out and help AUTx from getting into something he may be sorry for later on. I've been finishing drywall for 22 years with tools. I whole heartedly disagree with the nobody notices drywall comment. So will your realtor later on when/if you go to sell.
Buy the banjo and a 10" Comumbia "fat boy" flat box. 2 handles, (one extended for the ceiling and a shorty for the walls) and a blue line angle roller....google "All Wall tools" they have the best deals...........YOU WILL NOT REGRET SPENDING THE MONEY!!! and DO NOT go to Ames to get them.
1)water is your best friend...and so is the little black hose that hooks to the back of your washer and dryer. Get the hose and cut off the male end...this is your cleaning tool. when hooked to your faucet outside it will be equivalent to a pressure washer and will save you a lot of head aches.
2) go to Tucker Materials if you're near to Greenville or Columbia. If not find your local drywall distributor and buy your mud there. Buy...2 types of mud. Black Lid Goldbond for your taping only...you will need 5 cans.....buy 8 more cans of a light weight mud..I prefer Ruco..but any light weight will do. DO NOT buy hot mud (bag mud) this is the biggest mistake you could ever make. stay away from USG plus3 .as well, it is for texturing and will crack later on. you will need 4 500' rolls of tape as well.
FYI home depot and lowes do not sell professional grade corner bead. Buy your corner beads from the distributor as well. You will regret buying the cheap stuff, it will cause cracks later on and will be a pain in the butt to nail on correctly.

About the tool purchases.
before you even start taping walk through and check for any loose spots and blown out corners. Cut them out with a razor knife and pack with straight black lid mud.
get to know your banjo and how it functions. Walk through and tape all those cut outs you just filled up. You can tell the sign of a professional by the size of knife he carries. Your primary knife should be a 5" knife not a six. it is more ridgid and will cut the tape smoother. buy an 8inch to wipe your tape down.
Start on your ceiling butt joints. tape them first and wipe them down. Tape your ceiling seems second. DO NOT tape your angles yet. run through the entire house taping everything but the angles. ceilings and walls. when you are finished clean up your tools and walk back though the house cleaning off any mud that spilled onto the walls , especially in your angles.

Time to break out that angle roller.....oil it up with wd 40
start on the walls this time, you will need to kick an empty bucket around with you.. This is where it gets tricky for me to describe the the technique. Your objective is to leave as much mud on the backside of the tape without smearing it all over or pressing it too tight into the angle. supposing you are right handed. pulling the tape from the banjo reach as high as you can from the floor stick the tape with your left hand but only at that high spot. as you work your way to the ground press the tape gently into the angle every ft or so....do not press it tight. Cut the tape at the bottom and reap in other angles, 4 or 5 .
Grab the roller and dip the head into the mud you are taping with. Shake off the dripping stuff. PLace the roller squarely into the midway point of the angle. roll it up and then roll it down. Do this pressing harder and harder for about four times then move to the rest of the angles you taped. After you've rolled them out put the roller into a bucket of water. Grab the empty bucket and get on it in the angle. this will give you more leverage to wipe the tape cleanly. step down and wipe the bottom half then move on, keep repeating until the house is taped.
You will fall deeply in love with your angle roller making it the best purchase of the drywall job.

Bed coat with the flat box. I say this in confidence. Learn how to use you break on your handle, "which is not hard", and you've past you biggest hurdle. On your box you have settings and adjustment screws on each end of the blade. Columbia's boxes are easy to adjust. Start your setting on the second level. and the ends of the blades shoe be flush with the shoes(metal skids) on each end. FYI....my wheels on my boxes rarely touch the surface of the drywall. I use the brake to hold the wheel just off the wall. This is where most new tool finishers fail. Using your break will make the job simple.
three rules to follow
always keep your blade clean. always walk through before boxing and check for unlevel seems for they will need to be ran by hand, same with the butt joint, DO NOT use flat boxes on butt joints. Do your ceilings first.

I can not stress enough how much simpler your life will be if you purchase the tools and use them...not to mention how nice the job will turn out.

Only buy the one box. put the finish coat on by hand. friend me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/drywall.Asheville

good luck
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:45 AM   #15
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I swear I replied to this but it didn't seem to take.

Thanks for the info! It's gonna take me a little bit to digest it all. I used to have a friend in Columbia that worked for Tucker materials but i'm living in Charleston now. I was going to go to HD to get my materials and couldn't find any suppliers here in town, but i've since found a couple that I will check out today or tomorrow. Just need to figure out how best to estimate the size and amount of drywall I need. Do you think 5/8" gives a worthwhile benefit in sound reduction? I'm thinking to use that on the ceiling and maybe exterior walls. Yesterday I ordered my lift, homax banjo and a sander that can hook to my shop vac. I'm not sure if i'll order that flat box. I've never seen one on craigslist here for sale so i'm not sure how much i'd be able to get in resale when I'm done and I dont know if I can shell out another $350 right now. But give me a day into mudding and we'll see how I feel then.

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