Drywall is one of the most widely-used and versatile of all indoor building materials. With viable uses in residential, commercial and industrial settings, drywall is typically placed over wooden or metal studs in order to separate wiring and insulation from a home's living area or a business's workspace. Also known as sheetrock, drywall is manufactured in different lengths, widths and thicknesses in order to better suit specific applications. But the tools used to handle, cut and install drywall are the same no matter what type of sheetrock or drywall you are working with.
A combination of fasteners is used when securing drywall into place. A drywall hammer, which is thinner and longer than a typical carpentry hammer, features a waffled head and a flat back that can be used as a pry bar. 1¼-inch ring shank drywall nails are ideal for drywall thicknesses up to a half inch, though longer nails are available for thicker sheets of drywall.
Drywall screws, also 1¼ of an inch in length are sometimes used either in place of or alongside drywall nails. Screws are inserted using a handheld drywall screwgun.
Multiple measuring devices will be used throughout the course of an ordinary drywall job. This includes a retractable tape measure and a metal t-square. Tape measures up to 20 feet in length will be enough for most drywall jobs, but many professionals use a standard 30-foot tape measure. Metal t-squares are used to ensure accuracy when cutting a sheet of drywall. T-squares are constructed to rest on top of the sheet of drywall and extend all the way to the bottom, allowing you to make a straight cut with your utility knife.
A utility knife is used to cut sheets of drywall down to the appropriate size. A drywall utility knife features a removable blade, allowing you to replace it with a brand new one as soon as it gets dull.
Taping and Mudding
After the drywall is in place, it still needs to be taped and mudded before it can be painted. A handheld, stainless steel mud pan is used to store the joint compound, also known as drywall mud. A joint knife with a blade size of at least 6 inches is then used to scoop the joint compound out and spread it onto the drywall, particularly nail spots, screw spots and any dents, gouges or scratches. An 8-inch or 10-inch taping knife is used to apply drywall tape smoothly over any seams.
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