The right techniques make for speedy, accurate cuts.
Synopsis: Cutting drywall properly is not complicated, and if someone else is doing the taping, it will make that person’s job easier. In this article, drywall contractor and frequent FHB contributor Myron Ferguson demonstrates his techniques in step-by-step fashion for cutting drywall to length, cutting corners, cutting off just a smidgen, cutting drywall to width, and cutting openings. He also shows how to cut out electrical penetrations with both a drywall router and a drywall saw. A sidebar covers the basic tools needed for cutting drywall: a utility knife, a drywall saw, a drywall rasp, a drywall router, and a couple of T-squares.
I recently taped and finished the drywall in two new houses of about the same size. Different contractors had hung the drywall in each house. In the first house, the joints between the sheets were good—not so tight that there was damage from force-fitting, and not so open that the joints needed to be filled with setting compound before I could start taping. Moreover, every electrical box was cut out perfectly, a fairly rare occurrence. In the second house, 62 electrical boxes were miscut, and there were big gaps between some sheets that I had to fill. Plus, I had to fix some areas that had been damaged when sheets that had been cut too long were forced into place. Fixing that long list of mistakes added about eight hours of labor for me. Don’t worry, though; I added enough to the price to cover my time.
Cutting drywall well is not a surgical procedure that requires years of training and practice. It just takes the proper attitude. If you go in thinking, “The taper can fix that,” you won’t end up with a high-quality job. It’s simple: Don’t make mistakes the taper will charge…