My homemade drywall hanger, basically a frame that can be raised up with an automobile jack, takes a lot of the work out of putting drywall on a ceiling. The size can vary—mine has a 24-in. by 48-in. plywood base with a 20-in. by 90-in. top, which easily accommodates 4-ft. by 12-ft. sheets of drywall. The unit can be jacked up to a height of 8-1/2 ft. The riser pipe should be of a large enough diameter to slide over the jackstand. Notch and weld one end to the ratchet mechanism and screw the other end into a flange at the top. Many automobile jacks aren’t made to stand plumb, so some shimming of the. base may be necessary.
The completed unit is surprisingly stable and should be able to accept 4-ft. by 16-ft. drywall sheets with no trouble at all. The jig is portable and easily disassembled into three pieces for storage by unscrewing the top and lifting the jack out of the base.
The lowered height of my unit is about 6 ft., so my wife and I can easily lift a sheet overhead and slide it on top of the carpet-padded lifter. Then it is simply a matter of jacking it up into place. Our old house has very few square corners, and the sheet can be trimmed to fit while up in the air. There is enough play in the jack to allow a back and forth movement of about 4 in., for fine tuning.
—John Bower, Lafayette, IN
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding