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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at that point. I just finished taping the seams and screw spots.


(As I was measuring, cutting, and covering the framed portions of my HT with drywall, I found out the hard way that unless I completely seal any opening, sheetrock dust will find its way EVERYWHERE outside of the HT. So now I have a "nice" thin layer of rock dust all over the rest of my basement. Major bummer!).


1. What have others done to reduce/eliminate producing rock dust?


2. What are the pros and cons of the various methods?


3. Is there such a thing as an electrical sander that has a vacuum attached?


4. Has anyone wet-sanded with success?


I don't want to spend a week doing this. I just want to cover the rock to eliminate the appearance of joint tape, and then paint over that.


Thank you


SteveN
 

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There are wet sanding techniques that work very well and there are power sanders with vacuum attachments. The latter you may be able to rent from your local HD or Lowes.


As for the keeping the dust down, for me it was a lost cause. BUT, to minimize its transference to other parts of the house, you should


A) Seal the room with plastic


B) Turn off your HVAC - Your heating and air is the worst culprit when it comes to moving dust to other parts of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the power sander you refer to one that's dedicated exclusively for drywall sanding and nothing else?
 

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Yes rent that one. Probably about $20 a day plus sanding discs and well worth it. Sanding the drywall was the absolute worst part of my project. Brian
 

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HD sells an attachment for your shop vac that passes the air through a water bath. It probably removes most of the dust. Don't know the name, but it's been posted here, I think.
 

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Rent the unit Brian mentioned at HD for $20/day or a week for the cost of three days. It's made by Porter-Cable and comes complete with the vacuum made especially for the purpose. I do drywall work, and will never do more than a patch without it.
 

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"Sand & Kleen" bought from the local Home Depot. Lots of folks on the forum bragged about it before Christmas, so that's what I bought my husband. We'll get to try it out next week. This week...mud!


BTW, you need a shop vac to go with it.


Pam
 

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Just a heads up on the Porter-Cable unit....I was going to buy one, use it and then sell it on Ebay. I did extensive research on the unit and found mixed satisfaction. Some bragged about it while others said that they hated it.....leaves swirl marks and digs into the mud. Your mileage may vary! ;)


The porter cable will not work on corners as well I seem to recall.


In the end, I laid down the tape myself (and first layer of mud) and then paid a contractor $400 to do the rest for me. If your seams are not spot on, it will bug the crap out of you every time you see the wall after it is painted.


Oh, and I second (and third) that about turning OFF the HVAC system. My whole house now has a fine coating of drywall dust. Also, replace the furnace filter if you did have the HVAC operating....it will be clogged up in no time at all.


In addition to protecting the house, protect yourself!!! Make sure to get a good quality respirator (~$25-30) with the removable filters, NOT the cheap ones you can buy. Don't skimp on this....your cardiovascular system is very important to you and it's a major expense (and pain) to have it replaced :eek:!!!


HTH.
 

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Another tip, if you happen to have a window nearby put a window fan aimed out on full, leave the HVAC off. The fan will pull a lot of airborne dust out of the house. As proof if you leave the screen in the window it will be filthy when you are done.



You may need to crack a window open somewhere else to create an air supply if your house is really tight, and you don't want to be sucking gases from your water heater back in the house either.
 

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Sime, that's why I always rent the P-C machine. I own a lot of tools, but not this one. Let someone else do the cleaning and maintenance.


Big is very correct. Window fan, and remove the screen (especially if it's a fiberglass one)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Since my energy level is fairly low this morning, I'm considering avoiding all of the sanding. Instead, I could roll the mud on the ceiling only. It would give it a lightly textured look. Then paint over that.


Has anyone else done this with satisfactory results?
 

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I recently had my basement finished. The guys I hired to tape and mud said that they were the best (I liked thier bravado, so I hired them). I noticed that after applying tape they glazed the seams and screw holes in very thin layers with very wide blades. It took them a little longer, but the amound of sanding they had to do was minimal in the end. By the way, they were the best I have seen. My walls and ceilings were incredibly smooth.


I tell this story as a recommendation to DIYers out there that slap the mud on too thick and sand to fix. Try taking your time and the mess is less. Also, by having to sand less, you have less risk of tearing and scraping the drywall paper.
 

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I have the "Sand & Kleen" unit previously mentioned, and it works great. I have loaned it to several people and all have have been very pleased with the results. In fact it's out on loan now.


Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Video, a coincidence to be sure, but this morning after my post, I visited the local hardware store and bought a 12-inch wide blade to apply the mud (it was the only "large" size they had in stock).


You're absolutely correct. To my amazement, spreading it on wide and thin gives an incredibly smooth finish which blends the tape "into" the wall making it all but invisible, and thus should reduce whatever sanding is required.


Aviman, I don't know what the Sand & Kleen is but I'll check it out at HD tomorrow morning.


Larry, I checked out that sander at my local HD. They offer it at $29 for 4 hours or $40+ for one day. Additionally, I'd have to buy the sandpaper ($6.99 per sheet) plus a vacuum bag ($17.99). Not really THAT expensive but a bit more than I expected for just one job, one day. My HD is a 40-minute drive from my house so it's a minor irritation to have to be on the clock with rental equipment. I'll check out Lowes tomorrow as well.


However, now that I've "discovered" the 12" blade, maybe sanding won't be such a big deal, and the mess won't be anywhere as great as I first expected. We'll see.


Still, did anyone go the textured ceiling route with decent success?


The pressure to complete the HT by the end of the week is on. Hopefully, I'll make the deadline.
 

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I second the use of a larger blade for doing mud. The first drywall work I did in my house was with a small blade with lots of thick mud and sanding.

Further on, I have learned to do 3 coats spreading thinly in ever widening strokes from coat to coat to minimize sanding.


Still, sanding is required. And sanding sucks more than any other possible job in the HT. Man does it suck!
 

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I am doing drywall now. So far drywall has been an absolute joy compared to insulation. Gawd that stuff is awful...
 

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Don't know your requirement for insul., but Johns-Manville sealed insul. is a godsend! Its encased, and the encasement also acts as a moisture barrier. NO ITCHING!


You can get it at Lowes.
 

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Sand,


Apply mud to the edge of a 12" blade with a smaller 6" er Load it up, and apply with a broad sweep.


For normal joints, the 12" wide blade discribed earlier is the ONLY tool to use. It creats a smooth enough finish that only minimum sanding with each coat is required, not the "Sanding Block On A Stick" most see used.


Get a Sanding Sponge. Use 220 grit Sandpaper to "Spot" knock down any obvious ridges, and apply a 2/3rds squeezed Sponge to the wall with light, broad sweeps. Just moisten, don't wet. Flip the Sanding sponge over and use the other side to contiune buffing down any ridges. The wet emulsified sheetrock dust will flow into the craters and minute low points. Don't work the surface too much at one time. After you smooth with the Corse side, re wash the area "LIGHTLY" and get away from it. This should reduce dust to an minimum, and give you as smooth a finish as you desire.


Use a inexpensive 4' level to spead the mud across an area to be used for a Screen. If you rub the 4' level horizontily, you can revel any 'low or high spots' you have to fill with mud.


The above smoothing method is how I / we do it for Screen walls, and we do 'em in existing Homes mostly, so it should give you smoothness with less dust.
 
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