Favorite Drywall Tools & Accessories - Continued
Mechanical Taping Tools
After years of traditional drywall finishing, I decided to
give mechanical taping tools a try. I'd heard mixed reports
about them but hadn't seen them in use. Ames Taping Tools
conducts a one-day class on using mechanical taping tools in
Leola, Pa., so I made the trip, assuring my wife as I left that
I was only going to gather information. The training from the
Ames crew was excellent, and I was really impressed with the
tools. Needless to say, I came home with a complete set and a
very convincing argument in my defense (at least from my
perspective) for renting them. (Although the tools are
expensive to purchase — ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 for
a complete set — Ames doesn't sell their mechanical
tools; they only rent them.)
I rented the tools for about a year, and then finally
decided to purchase a similar set from Wilco Drywall Tool for
about $3,500. Now, whenever I tape a large job, I use the
The automatic taper
applies paper tape and the proper amount of joint compound
simultaneously as the tool head is rolled along a seam or
inside corner (Figure 16).
An automatic taper applies paper tape and
compound simultaneously to seams and corners.
Loading pump. Many of the mechanical tools
have to be filled with joint compound. The loading pump comes
with different attachments for the various tools (Figure 17).
It's lightweight, stable, and easy to clean, and it has a
reversible handle for left- or right-hand pumping.
17. Mechanical taping tools must be loaded with compound
using a special pump. Attachments adapt the pump to various
finishing tools.A corner roller embeds the tape into the
compound, following the automatic taper in inside corners.
The 3-inch adjustable corner finisher wipes
down and feathers the compound after the corner roller embeds
the tape. The 3-inch corner finisher can also be used to apply
and smooth the finish coat on inside corners, but to do this,
joint compound has to flow into the finisher, then onto the
corner (Figure 18).
A corner roller embeds tape in the compound
following its application by the automatic taper (top). An
angle applicator attaches
to the corner finisher to deliver compound to the surface for
tooling. The 3-inch adjustable corner finisher smooths and
feathers the compound after the tape is embedded by the corner
An angle applicator is essentially a box
filled with joint compound that attaches to the corner
finisher. Joint compound is forced out of the box and through
the corner finisher, which in turn smooths and feathers the
Flat boxes, or mud boxes, apply and smooth the
joint compound for the filler and finish coats over taped
joints. These boxes come in different widths: 7, 10, and 12
inches. I use the 10- and 12-inch models (Figure 19). I like
the uniform results that I get with the flat boxes. The width
of the seam is determined by the box, but the box's trowel edge
can be adjusted to match the precise crown of the compound
previously deposited on the seam.
19. A flat box dispenses second and third coats to the
taped joints. An adjustable curve in the blade ensures a
precise, feathered crown on flat seams.Myron Fergusonis a drywall contractor in Broadalbin,
N.Y., and the author of Drywall: Professional Techniques
for Walls and Ceilings. Ask the author
any follow-up questions at JLC's
Drywall and Finishes
Sources of Supply
P.O. Box 2219
Lower Burrell, PA 15068
Ames Taping Tools
3305 Breckinridge Blvd., Suite 122
Duluth, GA 30096
490 Wellington Ave.
Cranston, RI 02910
Falcon Ladder &
222 Adams Rd.
Kelowna, BC VIX 7R2
205 Mason Circle
Concord, CA 94520
P.O. Box 1259
Windsor, CA 95492
Johnson Level &
6333 W. Donges Bay Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092
4686 Eagle Circle N.W.
N. Canton, OH 44720
1861 Ludden Dr.
Cross Plains, WI 53528
8485 Broadwell Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244
3700 Pratt Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
1345 Industrial Park Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55441-3899
Wilco Drywall Tools
1120 Siddonsburg Rd.
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055