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ę Back To Ceiling Projects

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Ceiling - Building And Using A Deadman Brace


Installing drywall is usually a two-person job. To have help carrying and lifting the panels makes the work a lot easier. But help is not al ways around when you need it. Fortunately, you can work alone with the help of two common devices. The first is a rented drywall lift that costs about $50 a day. With this hand-powered tool you can install panels on ceilings and walls by yourself. The other option (shown here) is a dead- man brace. Made of 2x4 scraps and a wall stud, this can securely hold a panel against the ceiling while you screw or nail it in place.

 

Step 1. A deadman brace is made of 2x4s. The top and bottom cross braces are 36 in. long. Nail these to the end on a stud so the whole assembly is 1 in. shorter than the distance from the floor to the ceiling.

Step 2. Install 2x4 braces (at a 45-deg. angle) between the stud and the cross braces. Make sure the stud and cross braces are perpendicular. If they arenít, the dead- man wonít sit flat when itís wedged under a panel. To hold the other end of the panel, nail a cleat on the wall 1 in. below the ceiling (inset).

 

Step 3. To install the panel, slide one end over the wall cleat; lift the other end up; and push it against the ceiling. Slide the deadman under the free end of the panel and straighten it up. The panel should stay in place while you get a ladder and some screws or nails.

Step 4. Nail or screw the edge of the panel to the ceiling joists. Then install fasteners, about every 6 to8 in., across the width of each joist. If you have trouble hitting the joists with the fasteners, draw light reference lines on the panel to show where the joists are.

 

STILTS VS SCAFFOLDS

Shoe stilts bring high walls and ceilings into reach, but you need to test them to get the feel of the stilts and use them safely.
A rolling scaffold is an ideal work platform for installing and finishing drywall on high walls and cathedral ceilings.
 

NAILS AND SCREWS

Without a mechanical lifter or deadman, you need a helper on ceiling sheets.

While most do-it-yourselfers fasten drywall with nails, pros generally use screws because they set uniformly with a small dimple thatís easy to fill and provide more holding power, which means fewer nail pops to fix. But some pros use both. They start nails on some sheets before lifting them in place, and use a few nails to hold the sheet in place. Then they go back and drive screws in rows to finish the job.

 

 

 

 

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