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Old 09-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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Can someone help reconizing this wall board


Hi,

I have a 1950's house and while doing some work upstairs I found that the wall I originally thought were lath and pather were acually a type of wall board I have never seen. It seems there is a thin layer of plaster then a thin layer of cement (with hair in it?) and then a thick layer of paper backed gypsum all sandwiched together.

Ive attached a picture....

If anyone can help that would be great


Cheers

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Old 09-16-2007, 01:50 PM   #2
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sorry pic did attach
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:59 PM   #3
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Can someone help reconizing this wall board


Yeah that stuff is pretty freaky, and pretty rare
My sis has it in her house
It's a PITA
Not sure what it's called, it's not very common
No tradesman I showed a chunk to had seen it before
I certainly hadn't, and I have demo'd a few walls and worked on some old houses
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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it sure is.... i think it may be called gypsum lath. Patching it is the worst!
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:30 PM   #5
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I am pretty sure that it was called rock lathe here. It was the first kind of drywall after the wooden lath and plaster age. Thank goodness true gypsum drywall started appearance very quickly thereafter. I am sure their were the old fashion guys shaking their head and exclaiming"that will NEVER work". But I imagine as houses got bigger and house building evolved into faster and better materials. the lath and plaster was too time consuming. Can you imagine a BIG 3 story house and mixing all that in a wooden hand mix mortar box??? carrying it in??? And applying in perfect non streaked applications??

About then they came up with some fiber board that was used as wall panels too. used in cheaper houses mostly. I used to live in a house of that!! Lots of different ways of trying to accomplish same thing.

Almost same period you found alot of knotty wood paneling too.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:36 PM   #6
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Can someone help reconizing this wall board


three coat plaster on gyp lath. horse hair binder very common down south.

You might have had a rebel bring it up.

so it did good for 50 years.

I understand the pyramids are having problems.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:52 PM   #7
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I think what you have is a very early version of "drywall"'
The hair is horse hair. I think this was used between 1945 and about 1955 as a precursor to what we now know as drywall. The hair held the plaster together.
It can be patched with any plaster compound.
If you have to remove a lot of it for some reason it may contain asbestos (I am not sure) so you may want to consult someone who has expertise in that field.

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Old 10-03-2007, 10:05 AM   #8
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asbestos was added to plaster to increase working time. (it slowed down how fast the plaster would set-up giving the plasterer more time to use up the mixxed batch of plaster.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:41 PM   #9
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This is typical wall /ceiling construction in NY from the '30's to the late '50's. Solid, much quieter then drywall and will take a few episodes of water and not disintergrate. Easy to cut for outlets without the wood lath vibration.
It's just too labor intensive now, plus there aren't too many people who still have the skills to install it.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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Plaster coated Gypsum board. My house has two layers of 3/8 with holes in it to allow for the plaster to hold to the wall. It is a PITA to work with, due to in order to cut through, you need a big hammer to knck a hole in, or a Zipsaw with a good cutting bit.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Has anyone had a sample tested for asbestos?
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Rock lath was a plaster base and came in 16"x48" sheets, 3/8" thick and was usually sold in bundles. A brown coat was applied and then a finish coat. It made a good solid wall. Today, they plaster over blue board (when somebody actually plasters) and it comes in 4'x8' sheets. Some rock lath contained asbestos, but I've never run into any. Horsehair was used as a binder in plaster for probably hundreds of years. It is common to see horsehair in plaster over wooden lath. I've never seen it over rock lath or wire lath.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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I found some info on this from 1946. The product was called Gypsum Sheathing and was made by the National Gypsum Company. See ad on second page of this publication.

http://www.nrla.org/uploadedfiles/PD...NOVEMBER-r.pdf
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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I came across that stuff one time putting a door in for somebody. I didn't bother looking it up, I wrote it off as plaster over Sheetrock. I was intrigued though.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:54 AM   #15
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My area is full of that stuff. A lot of homes built in the 50's time frame have it.

I knew an old timer that was in the building trade. He was a plasterer that started way back when wood lath was used. He started work as a laborer hauling bundles of lath to the rooms to supply the guys that put up the lath. He told me that two guys could lath a 12 x 12 room in about 1-1 1/2 hrs depending on how many doors and windows. Usually took 2 days to nail up all the lath in a typical 2 story house. I asked him how many times they had to stop and pull splinters out of their fingers. He said they didn't get any as the wood was not as dry as it is years later. He, over the years, moved up thru the ranks to become a plasterer. Several jobs were in between. The time to do a house from start to finish usually was about 4-5 days depending on the crew. He remembers when the plasterboard came out to replace the lath. The same scepticism was there about that the same as it is now when a new product came out. Several guys he knew would not accept the new way and continued on with what they knew. He was a bit more open minded. He was one of the few guys left in the area who could do a finish plaster over blueboard. He was still doing it up into his 80's. I wish I had the time to apprentice under him. He is now long gone but, a lot of his craftsmanship is still in the area. I think about all the guys who used to do this stuff when ever I do a demo on a house and wonder what they would think of the new stuff we have today.

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