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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Besides the expensive automatic taping tools like this

is there an easier way to do your taping that won't break the bank?

I've almost finished taping and the first coat on a 16'x16' bedroom and without a doubt the most time consuming part of this has been getting the mud on the wall.

I was looking at a mud tube but even that is almost $200, w/o attachments. The bedroom is just the tip of the iceberg of what we have planned over the next few years and I'm gonna need an easier way to do this if we're going to follow through on our reno plans.

But is there a less expensive way to get the mud up there outside of taping knives?
 

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There are many pro that simply use a hawk, tape reel, and their favorite knife.

The tape reel adds an extra hand at that stage and when I first learned to use a hawk I was impressed at the number of sneaky places the pro could find to jam in the corner of his hawk to hold it while he set a screw that was left too high.

The automated tools I've seen seem more for really large projects, like a builder putting up 100 homes. The guy with the bazooka just went from one house to the next, that was his specialty.

Bud
 

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I'm a remodeling contractor and a lot of my work involves drywall.Most days I do some.Next week I'm starting a job with 11k sf to finish. I use a hawk and knife.
I don't know what you call time consuming?That's pretty vague.
I've worked with guys that use bazooka's and banjo's and by the time the get he mud just right and the tool set up and the clean up time I could finish a couple rooms .
One thing you may try is Easy Sand 90 setting compound in place of bucket mud.I can set the tape and run the second coat the same day.We never sand.Set the tape clean and scrape any ridges off with your knife before the second coat.Put the second coat on clean.We use topping for the slick coat and that is the only thing we lightly sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As far as time consuming goes - yesterday I taped (3) wall-ceiling corners in the room. That's a total of about 45'. Each wall took me about 30 minutes, maybe more. I went through almost an entire mud pan full of mud (12" pan) on each wall-ceiling joint.

Maybe it's my technique. FWIW, I use a 6" taping knife to get the mud on the wall and ceiling. I pretty much slop it on. Next, I take a corner tool and level the mud smooth. Then I cut a 15' piece of paper tape, fold it along its length, and set it into the mud, making sure the fold is snug in the wall-ceiling corner. Once again, I run the corner tool over it and add a bit more mud over the tape and run the corner tool one last time. By then my arms are tired and I need to take a break. (drywall contractors - don't hire female senior citizens. :001_unsure: )

So far, for (15) 4'x8' sheets of drywall, I've gone through a full 5 gallon bucket. That seems a bit high to me but it's been a while since I've done anything this size.

The hawk idea seems like a good one and I have one so I'll try it, but is it really any faster than a mud pan?

BTW, I've been looking around at rental places here and can't find any that rent automatic taping tools. I remember years ago someone on the job saying the inventor of the bazooka only rented his tools. Now it seems no one wants to rent them.
 

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I'm not the best teacher, but what we explain to you will be read by thousands.
What are you standing on, a ladder. My teacher (the pro I followed around) had a couple of neat short/wide, call them horses. 2x12 platform 3' long and about 16" high with 4-2x6 legs angled out at each corner. The benefit of the angle and flare meant they would not tip over. You can stand on any edge and reach as far as you want and be stable.

The hawk means you are carrying the mud with you and you never stop or get down for the tape as it is hanging from your belt or pocket. You will want a 6' ladder (or something) next to you to set the hawk down while you place the tape. Peel off what you need, pin it against the wall with your knife and tear it off. If you work with about 6' at a time you can easily force the mud out from under the tape with less chance of wrinkling. I usually draw the knife 3' one way and then 3' the other. Important to leave minimal mud under the tape and the process of forcing the excess out also forces the mud into the taps fibers.

1 of the above horses with a couple of 2x12's across them will allow you to work a 12' wall before you have to relocate.

Enough for now, let's see what others add.

Bud
 

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Before I even mix any mud I go around the room at every joint.Pull off a piece of tape a few inches longer than the joint and stick the edge in the joint.
That way when I get to any joint there is already a piece of tape the correct length there.All I have to do is bed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To do the ceiling-wall joint, I did set up some planking and that made things easier, but it was only 8' long so I had to finish on ladders I had set up beyond the planking.

I'm just gonna suck it up and use what I have. And I'll quit complaining...
 

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Might be able to make it a little easier what kind of tape and mud are you using? Are you thinning the mud? Slopping it on only makes it much harder to remove. Some people make corner trowels, I am not one of them. If the corner is a perfect 90º, which VERY few are they are OK. If the corner is not 90º they are a PITA. just use your 6" knife to remove the excess. 6" knife id OK but a 4" to apply is a little easier to use to apply the mud, then your 6" to smooth the tape. Second coat apply with the 6 and remove with an 8".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Might be able to make it a little easier what kind of tape and mud are you using? Are you thinning the mud? Slopping it on only makes it much harder to remove. Some people make corner trowels, I am not one of them. If the corner is a perfect 90º, which VERY few are they are OK. If the corner is not 90º they are a PITA. just use your 6" knife to remove the excess. 6" knife id OK but a 4" to apply is a little easier to use to apply the mud, then your 6" to smooth the tape. Second coat apply with the 6 and remove with an 8".
I'm using USG paper tape and UltraLightweight compound. I add about 20-30 oz of water in a 5 gallon bucket and mix with a mud mixer on a 1/2" electric drill. It's thin enough to work but thick enough that it doesn't drip off the knife.

As for the corner knife tool, when I first bought it 25+ years ago, I hated it and used a 6" knife like you described. But now it's working great for me.

FWIW, I just did the last wall-ceiling joint and it took me about 10 minutes. To do this one, I added more planking so it covered the entire length of the wall. I also used a hawk and that seem to get the mud up there pretty well. Then I ran the corner knife, added the paper tape and ran the corner knife again.

How about a banjo?
With stilts, it's a breeze. Off a ladder, not so much. But when the next rooms come up, I just may get a banjo. The idea of putting up tape with mud on both sides in one action appeals to me. Any recommendations?

BTW Paul, I did the tapered joints with an 8" knife just now and it went pretty quickly, thanks to watching one of your videos. :thumbsup: Taping suddenly became easier. :)
 

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Ultra light weight is a poor choice for setting tape and first coat. It has almost no glue in it and it will crack even before you thinned it. It should only be used as a topping it has no strength.
 

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I wouldn't recommend a banjo or other high production tools for doing a single room. You will spend more time getting the tool setup and learning how to use it. Now if you are doing an entire house it may pay.

IMO it's all a matter of practice. About the time I'm finishing a project my skills are starting to come back only to go dormant again until I do the next project. It's just one of the costs of DIY-vs-PRO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We'll have two, maybe three, bathrooms coming up and a kitchen, maybe even the laundry room. And I'm sure there will be other areas that will need taping. For $ 50-100, it's worth it to me.
 
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