Mixing small batches of joint compound

• posted on June 12, 2006, 9:05 pm
I'm currently installing drywall in a 20x18 (approx.) room, and I am planning on finishing the seams with fiberglass mesh tape (except the inside corners, which will use steel-reinforced paper; there are no outside corners in the room). Fiberglass mesh tape requires setting-type joint compound for the first coat. Fortunately, one such compound (Sheetrock Easy Sand, in various setting timeframes) is available at the local big-box hardware stores. Unfortunately, the packaging only lists the mixing proportions for mixing the entire bag at once! Needless to say, I don't need 18 pounds of compound to finish this small of an area. However, scaling down the "recipe" poses a problem because I do not have a weighing device that is accurate enough to weigh the joint compound. What I need is the mixing proportions by volume (in other words, the ratio of volume of powdered compound to volume of water). What proportions are generally used by people who have worked with this compound? I wasn't able to find any information on this on Sheetrock's website.
Also, do you need to use a drill attachment to mix the compound, or can you do this effectively with a wooden stick or dowel?
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• posted on June 12, 2006, 9:33 pm
Same problem for thinset mortar and small amounts of concrete. Typically for drywall mud, I get premix in a bucket or box.
Usually I dump a bunch in a bucket then pick that up and weigh myself holding it on a bathroom scale then put the bucket down and subtract what I weigh by myself.
Or you can just divide the bag in to 2, 4, or 8 parts by volume or weight then divide the water by the same.
The simplest method is to just add small amounts of water until it is the right consistancy (adding more powder if you end up adding too much water)

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• posted on June 12, 2006, 10:11 pm
Who says that you need fast setting mud for fiberglass tape.

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• posted on June 13, 2006, 3:58 am
EXT wrote:

USG - the drywall mfr.
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• posted on June 12, 2006, 10:55 pm

I hope this rambling answer helps you.
Don't buy anything faster than 45. If you are a real beginner stick with 90.
Find a measuring cup or bowl and a water measuring container. You will only need to use trial and error for the first batch.
Hand mix only batches that are 1/4 bag or smaller. Electric mixers or over mixing speeds up the setting process. I find a shallow wide container easier than a deep narrow one. I also have a large rubber kitchen spatula and a slotted metal spoon for mixing.
The trick to doing this right is to add the water slowly and get all the powder wet and lumpy. Let it sit for 1-3 minutes. Then come back and add more water and mix to a smooth consistency. Note the total amount of water and measures of powder used. Use this process every time you mix because the amount of powder will vary based on the "fluff" basis of the powder. Never add extra water after the second mixing. You will ruin the setting properties.
I have not measured a partial batch for so long that I can't give you any approximates. I am going to mix a very baby match on Tuesday and will post those numbers for you but those will also be so small as to be of no help.
You want a thicker mix for bedding the tape than you want for topping.
Leaving you for now with this final thought. For the second mixing it ALWAYS easier to add water than powder. Never add water or powder after the second mixing.
Email works if you remove the obvious.
Colbyt
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• posted on June 12, 2006, 11:37 pm
snipped-for-privacy@ngcsu.edu wrote:

The 'fast dry' is made to use in areas that are 'thick'. It's best in normal areas to use the premix in the pail. If you're afraid of it drying out put about a 1/4 inch of water on top after you use some and the next time just pour the water off before using. It will last a long time.
J
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• posted on June 12, 2006, 11:52 pm
snipped-for-privacy@ngcsu.edu wrote:

I believe that the only limitation with the mesh tape is that you're not supposed to use lightweight joint compound...even though I know a number of people that do use lightweight for bedding the tape with apparently no ill effect.
Setting type compound is great if you're in a rush to get several coats on in a day. It's doubtful whether you'd do more than one coat a day anyway, so I'd probably stick with the bucket.
R
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• posted on June 13, 2006, 4:55 am

Buy premixed, ready to use: It comes in smaller plastic tubs than the 18# box, right down to about 1#
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• posted on June 13, 2006, 2:05 pm

Here, HD has CGC 90 in what I think are 2 pound boxes.
I _think_ it said 3 parts compound to 1 part water, but I'm not sure.
I've been so used to the readymix, I've not tried the setting type before. But I just bought one of the aforesaid small boxes to try it out.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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• posted on June 13, 2006, 10:26 am
Just add enough water to make it a thick paste. Add a little at a time. You dont need to measure all that stuff. You are not cooking a fancy meal.....
No drill mixer needed either. Mix any way you want.
On 12 Jun 2006 14:05:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ngcsu.edu wrote:

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• posted on April 17, 2016, 5:20 pm
replying to jdgrii8338, jgodean wrote: The bag says it holds 18lbs. Weighing one cup of the powder, the weight is 7.2oz. 18lbs is 288 oz. That means one cup is 2.5% of the overall weight The specifications say to use 5-6 quarts of water. We'll take the median which is 5.5 quarts, or 176 oz. 2.5% of 176 oz is 4.4oz. That means that you should use 4.4 ounces of water per (level) dry cup of compound.
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• posted on May 9, 2016, 3:38 pm
replying to jgodean, RoyalPayne wrote: Thank you jgodean. This is EXACTLY what I was hoping to find for my situation. Love that some one would take the time to actually do the math, which is not my strong point.
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• posted on May 9, 2016, 5:39 pm
On Monday, May 9, 2016 at 12:44:05 PM UTC-4, RoyalPayne wrote:

Have you been waiting 10 years for someone else to do the math for you?
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• posted on May 11, 2016, 1:40 am
replying to DerbyDad03, RoyalPayne wrote: Nope, just glad someone did the math for me. 10 years? not getting the time reference....I just read a thread that popped up in response to my query. My situation had just come up, and had plenty to do until there was a answer.
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• posted on May 27, 2016, 4:51 pm
On Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 10:44:05 PM UTC-4, RoyalPayne wrote:

According to Google Groups, jgodean responded with the math on April 16, 2016. The previous response in thread was dated 6/16/2006, thus the "10 year time reference".
I guess the real question is "Why did jgodean wait 10 years to post a response to jdgrii8338's original question?"
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• posted on May 11, 2016, 2:05 am
replying to RoyalPayne, James G. Olmstead-Dean wrote: I actually found the median to be a little wet. I made up a spreadsheet which is a little messy but if you want to copy it, you can tinker with the amounts: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LNaRWNxGijaL4geNeBxet4gs3lblYX8qt9WZncvu2A0/edit?usp=sharing
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• posted on May 27, 2016, 2:35 pm
replying to James G. Olmstead-Dean, RoyalPayne wrote: Replying to James G. Thanks for that info. I also found the mixture to be a little wet. Sloppy actually. So I did what I was warned not to do, I added more powder. Then more, and finally a little more water. Perfect. It went on well, dried faster than I thought, and sanded wonderfully. So....based solely on my experiments....go for mixing, and adding, water and powder however you so desire.
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• posted on December 17, 2016, 7:47 pm
replying to jgodean, Eryq wrote: Given that 4.4 oz of water is 0.55 cups, that gives you ~0.5 cup water to 1.0 cup of dry compound, or roughly a 1:2 ratio of water:powder. I was just working with the stuff today (for the first time) and that was my experience.