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Old 12-16-2011, 02:07 PM   #16
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Slotted drywall knife


Some guys throw a shim on the studs to the left and right of the butt joint stud so that they create a low spot at the seam. Then a wide joint flattens the wall without any special knives/trowels.

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:33 PM   #17
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Slotted drywall knife


You guys are wasting your time and money on that tool. It isn't going to be the magic wand you imagine it is going to be. Using that tool will create more problems you wouldn't otherwise have to deal with. Just fill and feather the same way it has been done for the last seventy years.

I must agree with Bud on this one. the tool itself may have potential? but I don't think it can be made in your garage with a grinder and file?

I think it would have to be formed and stamped. the edges where more mud would be applied would have to be papered, gradually from the thicker portion to absolute zero. to get a good clean finish at edges. mud simply can't be put on that thick without cracking as it dries? keeping the tool clean as you use it is a must! leaving drag marks results from caked on drying mud.

maybe, you got results you're happy with? simply because you don't know the right way to start with!
I've always found the third coat to be easiest. it's just a learning experience in how to keep joints from being wavy. you learn when to flatten the tool and raise the tool to keep an even coating.

I see problems with sanding also, sanding those two ridges, 1 of 2 things are likely to happen, either you scuff the paper on drywall or you sand through to the tape? either require an additional coating. maybe two? scuff marks are door to cover.

let me explain the correct way to do it.

1st- tape all but joints in entire house/room from ceiling to horizontal sheets, run tape 1" past joint or so. on first taping coat.

2nd.- after all butt joints are done, go back to room where started, and run your vertical corners, do all of them in entire house/room using a 4" knife on corners, 6" on butt joints and horizontal joints. by the time you've done these the butt joints done first will be dry enough you can run your ceiling corners and not mess up the butt joints at top. when these are done your vertical corners are dry enough to run your horizontal tapered joints without messing up your corners with lapping.

3rd.- coat your butt joints throughout house/room, with a 16" hawk and trowel, with enough mud on trowel to run entire 4' butt i one pass, so no overlapping is done, start at top in ceiling corners, learn when and how much to flatten your trowel to leave a nice smooth cover, stay back far enough to see how its going? at horizontal joints begin to straighten trowel so it leaves no mud past horizontal tapered joints.

when all these are done, run your inside corners again using a brush to apply mud and a 4" knife, or 4" corner too if you prefer? after corners are done, go and run all your horizontal joints, starting inside corners of walls, enough mud on trowel to get out at least a few feet from corner, then work back from dry drywall into wet mud. again, learning when and how much to level out trowel and straighten trowel to leave me clean edges. makes for much less sanding!

4Th.- repeat step 3 for finish coat. step 1 and 2 use mud freshly mixed out of bucket adding no water, mix thoroughly, trying to get as much air out as possible. air causes bubbles in finish.

steps 3&4 I like to mix in about a quart of water into full buckets of mud, mix thoroughly running mixer up and down until constantly mixed ( keep mixer away from plastic bucket. pieces of bucket cause streaks!)

after third coat is dry, sand and paint. any imperfections? use 6" knife over divots, over ridges, 6"knife over both sides featuring out into nothing. when painting, it's normal to see Spackle until paint dries. if necessary? two coats of paint. will cover it all nicely. it'll take a trained eye to find joints. which is almost impossible to get so nobody ever will be able to spot them? find one, you almost know where the next one is!

I'm glad this tool worked for you? glad I'm not the one who had to sand it

good luck
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #18
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Thank you I didn't know that! Your information is very helpful to me. I appreciate your being here on a regular basis and being willing to offer your advice free of charge whether you really know anything or not. Your opinion is most welcome.
Yup, because that explains it all. Ignorance is bliss..

And Coupe - It's just like any other tool, once you learn to use it correctly, it works well. Just because something has been done "this way for 70 years" doesn't make it the right way / best way / only way. The work in my basement with that tool would rival that of any professional (that was finishing a wall for texture) Yes, it took me longer than any professional would have taken, but it turned out excellent. It only leaves about... 1/16" of mud possibly, and I had no problems with cracking..

Last edited by casper129; 12-16-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:04 PM   #19
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Yup, because that explains it all. Ignorance is bliss..
AMEN !!!
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:15 AM   #20
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It all comes down to the fact that a lot of us are rank amateurs and we can use all the help we can get. My current project is finished and I wish I had known about that knife before I started. I WILL buy one before my next project. They only seem to be available in the Midwest. Does anyone know of somewhere I can buy one on line with reasonable shipping charges?
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:01 AM   #21
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Menards won't ship you one? (still a much better idea the guys had to just make your own)
The plastic one I made with the wooden handle would be perfect for this, I'd just sit and sand the middle part down while watching TV.

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Old 12-19-2011, 11:21 AM   #22
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I found that simply bending the taping knife to create a curve will take care of the problem you mention. When using a curved blade coming across, it will leave more in the middle, and less along the sides, giving you a better starting point. Then apply your addtl coats as needed. As you get used to the curved blade, it makes it easier for using along the corners as well as you can hold down one side and it will leave more in the corners as needed. The problem with straight blades if that when you drag it across, you pull off more then you want, especially in the middle. Thats the benefit of the curved blade...

But hey, if you can invent something better, and it works, by all means, good luck.. !!
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:42 PM   #23
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I wasn't saying this is a miracle tool that is going to fix all.. It's just that extra helping hand that the amateurs could use when only doing a small area.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #24
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Slotted drywall knife


thanks for the tip on the mud slinger for amateurs

what i find funny as a product designer is peoples willingness to stick their head in the sand, lol!


just think, when someone invented the blade 70yrs ago, or whenever it came out, those at that time said ba-hum-bug, that will not work!! i'll keep using my homemade cornhusk spreader... you know, the one they've been using since medieval times

Last edited by jawadesign; 12-21-2011 at 12:44 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:20 PM   #25
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As I see it, there are a few different kinds of people here.

1. The guy who learned his trade from a master and was taught to properly use the corn husk spreader and has become very adept at it and won't give it up. It's tried and true. He is accused of being stubborn. Many seek his advice, but many do not follow it.

2. The more progressive guy who learned his trade the same way and is very good with the corn husk spreader but is willing to try something new. He has a box full of newfangled blades that really didn't do a better job than the corn husk and often did worse or took longer. His advise is often for grasshoppers not to waste their time on gimmicks because he has already tried them. His advice is often scorned. He will become the master.

3. The DIY guy who never studied under the master, but is looking for any advantage he can get. He will use the new blade and swear by it because he knows no other method. Perhaps if he'd learned to use the corn husk, he would think differently. He seeks advice, but often shuns that which he does not wish to hear.

My personal choice for flat joints is a Marshalltown curved blade drywall trowel.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...=0CGEQ8wIwBg#p
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #26
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I prefer the 16" trowel myself- depper curve-more feathering

http://www.toolup.com/marshalltown_1...ll-trowel.aspx
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:58 PM   #27
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I used the same trowel that Maintenance 6 posted up, after using and sanding the slotted drywall knife. My basement walls look better than my walls upstairs that were done by contractors.... (Upstairs I can see almost every butt joint, the ceiling joints are cracking (non-butt joints) and around every 5 feet or so it looks like they turned the crown of the stud the opposite way just for fun.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:29 PM   #28
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I prefer the 16" trowel myself- depper curve-more feathering

http://www.toolup.com/marshalltown_1...ll-trowel.aspx
I would like to get a 16", but I just HATE breaking in a new trowel.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:30 PM   #29
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I used the same trowel that Maintenance 6 posted up, after using and sanding the slotted drywall knife. My basement walls look better than my walls upstairs that were done by contractors.... (Upstairs I can see almost every butt joint, the ceiling joints are cracking (non-butt joints) and around every 5 feet or so it looks like they turned the crown of the stud the opposite way just for fun.
Getting paid to do a job has nothing to do with being a proffessional.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:09 PM   #30
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Getting paid to do a job has nothing to do with being a proffessional.
Yup.. except the house was built by one of the "best" contractors in the area.. I think our entire state is just filled with ****ty builders that just slap something up quickly to get paid and move on to the next... Best workers I've found since moving in the house have been found on craigslist..

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