Favorite Drywall Tools & Accessories - Continued
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.
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
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.
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).
12. A tape roll keeps up to 500 feet of paper tape handy
on a belt-mounted dispenser.
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).Figure
13. A hand mixer loosens up ready-mix, while a
drill-mounted paddle mixer takes the drudgery out of mixing dry