drywall - first coat of mud is cracking

Hello all - I'm mudding the drywall in my garage. I used the normal paper tape and it seemed to go up OK. Last night I put on the first coat of mud over the tape. For the most part it looks OK, but in a few places the mud is cracking slightly. Most of the cracks are a 1/4" or less.
First, any idea why this happened? I know people will say I put the mud on too thick, but I don't think so. I tested the thickness of my mud as I was putting it up and it was around 1/16".
Second, can I put my second coat of mud over these small cracks or do I need to remove it and start over?
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cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

no prob, just keep on muddin.
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cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Probably thicker than you think. Only time in hundreds I've ever had cracking it was due to too heavy of an application. Better to use 3 thin coats than heavy glopping ones that you end up sanding for hours. Sand lightly between coats and it doesn't hurt to cut the compound a little with water to thin slightly and make it more workable.
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cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Them's some big ass cracks!

The cracks are almost assuredly from too thick of an application and/or the mud drying too quickly. Not sure where you're located, but higher humidity in the summer usually means it dries more slowly.

I don't see how a 1/16" thick application could possibly have 1/4" cracks. There's something wrong there. Normally with small cracks you can just cover them with a thinner conistency top coat and they'll get filled in. If you can eliminate any other causes, such as contaminated compound, and the cracked compound is well adhered, then just go ahead and top coat.
You also might have another problem that you're not yet aware of. If you're having drying problems, it's possible that the paper tape is not well adhered. It'll look okay, but it will bubble down the road. Before you put any more effort into it, make sure that what you have is up to snuff before proceeding.
R
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If this is the first coat, I wouldn't worry.
Sand and continue. If the next coat cracks, then you can start to be concerned.
I mudded up some 2x3" drywall holes and the first layer always cracked baddly. It is expected when you have 1" of solid mud. I just sand and continue with normal. The second coat usually goes on without a problem.
c_kubie
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I'm thinking he means that the cracks are 1/4" long, not wide.
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On 6 Jul 2005 06:27:18 -0700, cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I always get cracks on the first coat, but never on the last coat.
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JimL wrote:

First coat is the tape. Why do you suppose you get cracks?
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wrote:

No. First coat is to cover the hole in the wall that my wife made when she threw the 'empty' 38 revolver at me and missed. The patch over the bullet holes didn't crack.
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JimL wrote:

LOL. I recommend Glaser Safety Slugs for interior home protection. Hopefully she was wearing ear protection...
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Thought I would post a follow-up.
To answer a few questions, yes, the cracks are a 1/4" long, not wide. And when I said "first coat", I meant the coat after the tape was up. Is that considered to be the second coat?
The source of my problem was the mud. I was using some left-over junk from my father-in-law that just wasn't cutting it. The mud even smelled a little odd. After buying new mud, mixing it properly, and putting on another coat, it looks fine. I just hope those cracks underneath don't come back to haunt me.
cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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cant_have_my snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The mud 'soured'. Good move on the fresh stuff. Apply it as I explained earlier (thin coats) and the cracks will fill. You shouldn't have further problems unless you apply it too heavy.
Thanks for the update. Most don't bother.
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Just sand out the cracks before putting on the next coat, otherwise you'll end up with voids or weak bonding between layers. If it's really hot/dry in your garage, the cracking might be due to too rapid drying. If that's the case, water down the mud slightly (and stir really well).
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