Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes about karate and scoring.


To cut drywall, it must first be scored. This type of scoring has nothing to do with warm summer nights, an inexpensive restaurant and a cheap hotel room. Such goings-on with a piece of drywall could prove cumbersome, even painful. Scoring is, rather, the act of making a thin, shallow cut along a straight-edge with a utility knife. It is recommended that this cut be made on one side of your drywall before cranking up the circular saw. The cut prevents paper from clogging the saw.

Although a circular saw will effectively slice through drywall, there is a method that does not shoot a stream of chalk ten feet into the air and will not quickly dull your saw blade; it is called..."the karate method". In Japanese the word "karate" means "empty hand". The karate master fights without the use or need of a weapon. In a similar manner you can snap the drywall where it has been scored. Simply make certain that the board on either side of the score is supported; raise your hand or perhaps your knee dramatically and strike the wallboard on or near the score. This will make a strikingly clean break. Now simply cut the thin paper that still holds your two pieces together.

For cuts that do not go across the entire board, or for small holes (for outlets and light sockets), a keyhole saw is the preferred tool. Simply align the tip of the saw with the line of your cut; strike the saw on the handle to drive it into the drywall. Then saw away. The cut may be rough, but this can be compensated for later with a utility knife and mud.

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Scabbing On
Drywall Transport
Scoring and Karate
Dimples and Mudding

Drywall How To Manual

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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