I am putting up 5/8 firecode sheet rock alone on a garage ceiling... (stop
snickering). I am cutting the sheet rock into 6 foot lengths for easier
handling. I have a home made jack that I made out of a camper jack with a
dead man fastened to it. the jacking isn't half bad but... the cutting is.
I am using a utility knife... (stop snickering).... heh heh. I would like
to know what the pros use to cut drywall? Rotozip? sawzall?
Utility knife with a good sharp blade and a drywall square or held
at the end of a tape measure. I don't like any of the click
knives. I used to use a Stanley 199
((Amazon.com product link shortened)),
but prefer a Hyde 42080
(http://www.lubbocksupply.com/cart/product.aspx?id 0). They are
a bit harder to find, but fit my hand so much better. Personna
makes some of the best blades, though any heavy duty blade is OK.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
First of all, I got to say you really took on a tough project by yourself.
I've had to do the exact same thing myself. So you're on the right track but
as for cutting here's what you need to do.
Think twice. Cut once.
Get it? Truer now than ever. On a sheet of paper draft all of your planned
pieces and cuts and use a snap string to mark all the planned cuts on your
materials. Label each piece on the paper plan and use colored chalk to
lightly mark a corresponding label on each piece you plan to cut.
The drafting can be drawn without drafting tools but drafting a plan with
real tools is the best approach. You want to maximize the use of your
materials while minimizing the number of cuts. This is not only most
economical it also is the only reasonable way to allow you to manage the
weight while working in the air. You yourself noted you are cutting your
drywall into pieces.
You can use a utility knife when you're on the ground to follow your drafted
plan if you want to but if you follow my advice you'll only need a hand saw
or two for cutting. The utility knife gives you the cleanest cuts (but the
tape and mud will cover everything anyway) and it is extremely difficult to
cut drywall with a utility knife when working in the air. Prove this to
yourself. Working on the floor you can pretend you're working in the air.
See how you can or can't cut through 5/8" using a utility knife safely and
accurately with the least number of "slices" which is how the utility knife
actually cuts. It slices; which requires greater pressure and control.
Remember, everything you do when working on the ground you will have to be
able to do safely and accurately when working in the air.
So when cutting drywall while working in the air its safer and more
efficient to use a "hole saw" also called a "drywall saw" depending where
you live; terminology varies. They make a dry wall saw?. Hello? They make a
tool called a drywall saw?
Hell yes, its something like 6 teeth per inch on a short and narrow blade
ending in a knife-point tip. Very rough cut as its used to poke a hole
through drywall with the knife-point and then get a starter cut going to
proceed cutting holes for wallplates and power outlets. Okay. Are we on the
That type of hole saw should be held in a pouch for fine cuts when you're up
in the air. You also need to go to your tool store and buy a larger hand saw
that also has about 6 teeth per inch. I think they call it a rip saw? Hello?
Rough cut, Rip saw? 6 teeth per inch? Making sense now? You might have to
shop a couple of two or three stores to find the right saw in stock. Ask the
store guys. Most of them may be so old they fart dust but old farts get old
because they learned to use the right saw. :-)
The point being, I'm trying to help you understand the heavier the saw when
you're up in the air usually means less safety and less control. Wear a dust
mask while cutting; 6 teeth per inch takes out a lot of material with each
The only power tool you should need will be a power drill to drive the
screws which you should be using to fasten the drywall to whatever is it you
are applying the new drywall to.
<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com /
MAP 43ฐ2'17"N 88ฐ2'37"W : 43ฐ2'17"N 88ฐ2'37"W
All a power saw of any sort (actually any even w/o the "power" portion)
does w/ drywall is make for a mess of creating dust where don't need
What you really need is to rent a full-size lift and some help to
manhandle the sheets and could probably finish hanging a ceiling in a
grarage in a half day. If haven't finished, I'd go to the local day
labor pickup point early of a morning and hire a couple of guys and be
done w/ it...
Thought you were looking for what the pros use? Only place I've seen
any power is I have seen a very few use the zip to do cut out the
window/door openings after hanging full sheets, but never for separate
I prefer a scoring knife designed for the task...the Stanley is the
10-519 -- the long blade is designed for smoothing the edge after the
break and is much more suited than the sharp blade. Search Amazon for
"Stanley scoring knife" to see one. Goldblatt and other drywall tool
manufacturers have slightly different versions, but this is fine for
the occasional use.
As someone else noted, cut/score one side and snap, then cut the other
Any power tool is going to rough up the edge to where you will
have to use the accursed knife to clean it up anyway so you are
losing not gaining. A saw will make a hell of a mess in dust too.
A sawzall isn't too bad for cutting holes though, like for plugs
etc. Still hard to beat a keyhole saw. Six foot? Hope you are
good at taping butt joints.
Most any power tool is going to make a tremendous amount of dust. Stick
with a good sharp knife. Anything else is non-professional. Maybe you want
a non-professional touch with power tool for cutting sheetrock?
If you want to throw money at it, hire a professional drywaller to do the
job. Then, you can see it in action.
utility knife is fine.
I'm assuming that you know that you only need to cut through the paper on
one side, snap off the piece, then cut through the paper on the other side.
No fuzzy edges.
Easiest to do this with the drywall leaning more or less vertical against a
You should really consider renting a drywall hoist instead of using short
length sheets. The extra butt joints would be a killer.
Assume you are not taping and mudding since this will double your taping.
Leave the drywall on the pickup. Measure and score on the pickup. Slide
piece off to scoring. Snap down by it's own weight nice and even. Back
slice easy after snapping.
But then, you may have it all in the garage already...
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