Paul, I remember a tool called a 'shoe'. The roll of paper mounted to a spindle on the top and there was a hopper that held a small amount of mud. I worked much like a caulking gun, squeezing the handle would produce a thin ribbon of mud under the paper. It was a two man job, one ran the shoe and the second guy worked the tape and excess.
I guess that it was not all that successful as I haven't seen one in over 30 yrs.
I think the drywallers have left the building. I posted a question about a week back about drywall and there were tumbleweeds rolling through. LOL.
Are you talking about the type of equipment called an auto-taper where the tape and mud are applied at the same time, the kind where you have to pump the mud into the thing before you start? Or just something that helps you roll out the tape and mud a bit easier like a banjo? Those auto-tapers run about a $1000 I think.
I guess the Banjo is close but more than I want. I don't really want to dispense the mud just an easier way to handle the tape. I don't finish every day so the auto tapers are a bit overkill. I will think more about a Banjo.
I still use a banjo to run tape, never could justify the cost of a bazooka, which run more in the $1200 range to start.
The absolute newest and greatest thing in the world of taping tools is the Alpha-Tech System, this baby takes all of the hard work out of taping & finishing. This uses compressed air to push the mud thru your tools, about $5K for the complete system last time I took a look at them. They call it a CFS, continuous flow system http://www.apla-tech.com/cfsystem.htm
I've also see the wall mounted dispenser that runs the tape thru a hopper to apply the mud. Never used this set up but I have seen pics and it would be ok if you had multiple crew members running tape on a job.
As a manufacture...for speed and reliance...I would suggest an Auto Taper...if you don't do many finishing jobs..then a banjo should work just fine...maybe try better-than-ever tools..they are for the hand finishers who don't need the production given by an Auto Taper...or try www.all-wall.com... a fine source for tools..ask for Charles...
:Thumbs: Hey boss, I am a drywaller.
The banjo is a good buy, I have one that is going on 10 yrs of service for me with a little TLC and repair. If you want other options here they are. Bazooka, expensive as already stated, and big learning curve. Hip mounted tape reel, http://www.all-wall.com/acatalog/Joint_Tape_Dispensers.php cheap and easy to use. And there is the "Canadian" taping sytem http://www.all-wall.com/acatalog/Canadian_Style_Taping_Tools.php which looks easy but I have never tried this. I personally use a banjo on small jobs and a Tape Tech bazooka on jobs where it is worth washing it out after I am done. Hope this helps you out.
two pieces of plywood 12x16
two pieces of plywood 8x12
Nail the 8x12s together in a v and place between the 12x16inch pieces and fasten. the V piece forms a trough to pour slurry in.
Two pieces of copper pipe 12 inches long. Drill a hole in the trough from bottom side to bottom side and insert one pipe through. place a roll of tape on one pipe on the top at one end of this contraption. Fish the tape through the trough and under the center pipe in the trough. You should have fastened the sawzal blade at the opposite top edge of the trough as that is how you cut the tape. Fill trough with slurry, pull out a piece of tape. It is usually necessary to nail a 1x2 onto the top of the trough to act as a wiper so only one side of the tape gets coated and the wiper spills the extra mud back into the box.
Cost of building the box= maybe 5 dollars
one sawzal blade
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