Download PDF version (382.2k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.

Favorite Drywall Tools & Accessories - Continued

Taping Tools

Taping knives are available in widths from 1 to 24 inches. I use a 6-inch-wide knife the most, for embedding the tape, for applying and smoothing finish coats of compound, and for covering the fasteners. For the tape-embedding coat, I prefer a stiffer knife; for smoothing compound on finish coats, I like a knife with a little more flex. I even have a pointed knife that's real handy for hard-to-get-at corners (Figure 9). I use a wide knife only to apply and smooth the compound on the second (filler) and third (finish) coats. Taping knives, 10 to 24 inches wide, are great for blending intersecting seams and for skim-coating larger areas.

Image

Figure 9.

The author’s main taping knife has a 6-inch-wide blade, but he keeps other sizes and shapes handy for tight corners and spaces. Stiffer blades are best for the first, tape-embedding coat, while more flexible blades are best for smoothing finish coats.The curved-blade trowel has a concave curve in the blade approximately 5/32 inch deep. It's available 10 to 14 inches long and 4 or 4 1/2 inches wide. The curved blade puts a perfect crown on finished joints, and is great for feathering and finishing beveled-edge seams (Figure 10).

Image

Figure 10. A curved-blade trowel puts a perfect crown on finished joints and creates great feather edges.Hawk . I use a hawk in conjunction with my taping knives when I need to hold a ready supply of joint compound. Hawks are available in sizes from 8 to 14 inches square. Mud pan. I never used a mud pan until I started thinning my compound down for finish coats and skim coating. Thinned compound will drip off a hawk, so a pan becomes necessary (Figure 11). My 12-inch stainless-steel mud pan accommodates my widest taping knife. The stainless steel doesn't rust and is easy to clean.

Image

Image
Thinned compound will slide off a hawk (top), but stays contained in a mud pan (above).Tape holder. The drywall tape reel, or tape holder, attaches to your belt and holds up to a 500-foot roll of paper tape. A tape reel is a fundamental tool for any size taping job. It's always at your side so you never have to go searching for a misplaced roll, and the tape spools out for quick and easy tear-offs (Figure 12).

Image

Figure 12. A tape roll keeps up to 500 feet of paper tape handy on a belt-mounted dispenser.

Mixing Tools

Whenever I open up a pail of joint compound, I like to loosen it up a bit and make sure it's consistent. I give the compound a quick stir, using a hand mixer that looks like a big potato masher. After use, I drop the mixer into a bucket of water to keep the compound from drying on the tool. A mixing paddle chucked in a 1/2-inch drill takes the drudgery out of mixing. I use a paddle when thinning compounds and for mixing dry setting-type compounds (Figure 13).

Image

Figure 13. A hand mixer loosens up ready-mix, while a drill-mounted paddle mixer takes the drudgery out of mixing dry setting-type compounds.