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Most of the time, I use ready-mix joint compounds to tape and finish the drywall I hang. But occasionally I find myself working in less-than-ideal drying conditions, or on small jobs that need to be finished within a day or two. To keep these jobs moving, I reach for bags of setting compound instead of buckets of mud.
Setting compounds harden through a chemical reaction rather than through evaporation, making their setting times predictable and consistent. And once a coat of setting compound has set up, it can be covered with another layer of compound even if it's not completely dry, which speeds along the taping process.