Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes about scabbing on.


In order for drywall to be secure against the frame of the addition, it must be nailed or screwed by the edges of the drywall sheet. For this reason, a wall should be built so that a vertical stud is near each corner.

It is not a complicated requirement, only bothersome. I did not forget this need when I designed and built the frame for my upstairs addition. I committed a worse sin: I ignored the requirement. I figured that when the time for nailing drywall arrived, I would scab on 2X4s where needed. It sounded like a good plan at the time; it kept me from thinking too hard about the relation of one wall to another and made wall framing relatively easy.

It is frustrating to be prepared to start one job and have to go back to an old one, but there was nothing for me to do except gather some scrap 2X4s and set to work.

The full impact of what my wife refers to as laziness (I prefer to call it expediency) was not brought home to me until I began this retrograde effort. I struggled to work around the insulation, the electrical wire and the plumbing I had just been admiring. Then a more subtle problem manifested itself: between studs where I intended to install the boards, the space was less than sixteen inches. It was a gap barely adequate to swing a hammer. Even pounding the nails at an angle was not a great help. I felt like a 180 pound weakling as I watched my hammer bounce ineffectually against the 10D nails.

To supply some force to the head of the hammer, I moved my arm in ways I thought impossible. I threw out my elbow in a wide arc, while only allowing the hammer head to travel a few inches. The force I delivered to the nail head was greater than before, but barely adequate to squash a fly. Instead of a few hard hits, it took as long as twenty minutes to drive a nail. Besides experiencing severe frustration, I looked like a one-winged chicken confined to a corner of a hen house.

In places where nails would not fit and near delicate items such as the shower stall, I was forced to resort to L-brackets to secure the scabs. Hammer marks appeared everywhere, proving again my level of proficiency as a carpenter. A process that should have taken a few hours turned into an all-day ordeal.

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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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