Uncle Knackers Handy Tips on Mixing Drywall Compound

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Uncle Knackers
May 3, 2010
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Hi Guys,

Uncle Knackers here again. This weeks tip is a cracker. You will never find mixing cornice cement or any other plaster related product for that matter any easier if you tried and believe me... l've tried. Below is the link.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zosKHr7itME]YouTube - Uncle Knackers Demonstrates how to Mix Joint Compound[/ame]

Watch right through to near the end where you can check out one of my award winning recipes! A delicious little snack. :)
I don't know what it is..... but when an Aussie makes a DIY video it's memorizing! Must be the accent :D
I'm on dial-up with a 56K modem that normally operates at about 2 to 4 kilobytes per second, so downloading a video for me is kinda like watching grass grow.

Here are some serious tips for mixing drywall mud, if anyone wants to be serious:

1. Mixing by hand is a hassle. Go to any place that repairs small kitchen appliances, and ask for any worn out kitchen mixer blades. The ones they throw out will be worn out at the drive end so that they slip in the kitchen mixer. You can mount these in an electric drill, and have a miniature version of what contractors use to mix 5 gallon pails of plaster or whatever. Mix your mud in a small container (like a large soup can or a Super Big Gulp cup) and do the mixing inside a cardboard box so that the plaster that comes flying off the mixer blade stays inside the box and doesn't get all over the place.

2. When mixing powdered drywall joint compound, always put the water in the mixing container and add powder. Never the other way around. If you add water to powder, than as you start mixing, the mixed compound is too thick to wet the dry powder in the bottom of the container, and it takes forever to get a uniform mix.

3. I'm familiar with mixing powdered joint compounds. There are different names for different kinds of joint compound, and the difference between the various kinds will depend on the amount of powdered glue in them, and if and how quickly any chemical set kicks in. A compound with a name like "Lite Sand - 90" tells you that the powder has very little glue in it (cuz the name suggests it's easy to sand smooth) and it's got a chemical set that kicks in 90 minutes after mixing. At that time, the joint compound will stiffen up so that you can't spread it any more. You can't sand it until it dries because it'll just gum up your sanding screen, but you can scrape it down with a paint scraper. If there's a number in the name of the powdered joint compound, it normally means that the compound has a chemical set and the number is the number of minutes it takes for the chemical set to kick in.

Typically, powdered or premixed joint compounds will be called:

A) "Taping" or "Regular" for the first compound to go down, and the one that the tape is buried in. These will have the most amount of glue in them so that they stick the best to the wall. Also, the glue will make this stuff hard to sand smooth.

B) "Topping" or "Finish" for the subsequent coats of joint compound after the first coat. This will have the least amount of glue in it so that it's easy to sand smooth.

C) "All Purpose" for a joint compound with a medium amount of glue in it. These are most commonly used by contractors to save time and space in their truck. They use one compound for everything (taping and finishing), and that saves time and space.

Chemical set joint compounds ONLY come in powdered form. That's cuz they'd stiffen up and become useless 90 minutes (or whatever) after being mixed at the factory.

The few premixed joint compounds I've used were so thick that you needed the arms and wrists of a mountain gorilla to spread them easily. I never hesitate to recommend that newbies mix some water into their premixed mud to make it easier to spread. You want to be able to work COMFORTABLY and EASILY, cuz you'll do a better job that way. The factory ships the joint compound out really thick because they know you can thin it yourself, and no one wants to be paying the shipping cost on water.

Finally, be aware that you can add white wood glue when mixing up your joint compound (whether you use powder or premix) to make your joint compound stick better and dry harder. You might want to do this when using joint compound to stick vinyl corner bead on, or for your first coat when taping. (I always use fiberglass mesh tape, and I've had no problems at all with it.) The glue you add to the joint compound will make the mud thinner so that it's easier to spread smooth, but also stronger, so that the corner bead won't break off the corner if it takes a hit. Typically, you'd do this by putting some water in your mixing container and mixing the glue into the water until it's uniformly dispersed. Then add powder until you get it to a consistancy somewhere between that of whipped cream and soft ice cream. If you're mixing glue into a premix, you can do it any way, but I would be most inclined to mix up a fairly thick solution of glue in water, and mixing that soup into my premix. But, in the final analysis, do whatever you find works best for you.
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