View Full Version : OT drywalling ceiling, no drywall jack? no problem

12-06-2010, 08:15 PM
I started drywalling my ceiling today, something I've wanted to do for 2 years now. For those two years I also pondered on how to get the drywall to the ceiling without a drywall jack. Today I came up with an idea. I only got to ruin one sheet of drywall tonight but the "jack" worked perfectly.

A quick question as well. I bought the 5/8" drywall (what I was told for ceilings) but what spacing is recommended for the screws on ceiling pieces?





12-06-2010, 08:17 PM


After tearing up that first piece I decided the "table" needed some padding.


12-06-2010, 08:25 PM
Vpt, quite the idea, and good thinking!

I would suggest, if it's not too late to place the drywall sheets perpendicular to the ceiling joist and not parallel.

I used 1 screw at the seams and three somewhat equally spaced in between.


12-06-2010, 08:39 PM
Forum member David Cofer posted a similar rig a few years back, but as I recall he used a weldment on the business end. I like the 2x4s better, quick and dirty for one time use. Good thinking.

12-06-2010, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the advise Ken, I did put a sheet up the other way first in the corner but figuring it in my head I would have to cut more sheets when I got to the end than if I put up the way I have the first one. It is a 25x36' (24x35' inside) garage. If I run the sheets perpendicular I would have to cut 4 sheets in half, if ran parrallel I would only have to cut 3 in half. Not a big difference but seamed the less cut pieces the better to me. What are the benefits and downfalls to each way?

x39: I originally was going to go with welded iron but after not finding enough to do the job I went with wood and like you said it is only temporary and would be a waste of metal.

12-06-2010, 08:57 PM
If you run across the joists the gyprock is supported along the seams at an interval of no more that the centre spacing of your joists (studs if it's a wall). But if you run them along the joists the seam probably won't be supported at all unless you cut the sheets to be the same width as your joist intervals. If the join isn't supported, even if well taped afterwards, it will probably crack and show the line some time later.


12-06-2010, 08:58 PM
There are no benefits to running parallel, only negatives.
Perpendicular, will offer a substantially stiffer ceiling.

That's the way it is done and for good reason, even if it adds a bit of work.

Staggering your end seams to the adjacent sheet is also a good idea.


12-06-2010, 09:15 PM
This is a metal Meyers building. Originally the joists were spaced 6 feet apart, I added the cross sections so I could insulate the garage using 24" insulation. So all the lighter colored 2x4's are spaced 24" on center, the darker 2x8's (if I remember correctly) running the other way are 6' on center. So I am sure the 2x4's I added in for the insulation are helping with strengthening the garage but I don't think any more strengthening is really needed. Either way I put the drywall there will be at least one edge that doesn't have a solid from one end to the other 2x4 to screw into. I won't be taping and mudding at all, just cut and screw.

12-06-2010, 09:18 PM
I do appreciate any and all pointer and tips you guys give me and always take them into consideration. I just don't want to seem like I want to disagree with anyone and argue all the time (seems like I come across that way sometimes).

12-06-2010, 09:23 PM
Where I live (Clark county Nv) The sheets have to be run perpendicular with a minimum of 5 fasteners in 4 feet on the walls and 7 fasteners in 4 feet on the ceilings to meet code.
If a fastener tears the paper covering You cant count it.

12-06-2010, 09:26 PM
This is where 12 foot sheets would be called for ;)
Their real fun and not a one man task.

I think I understand, and if you are not going to be storing anything up there or walking it may well be just a judgment call then, especially since you have 4'8' sheets already and won't be taping.

Do you have to have the building inspected?

12-06-2010, 09:27 PM
Very Clever! I give props.

12-06-2010, 09:39 PM
The reason I asked if the work has to be inspected is that if it does, all this talk is out the window, local rules apply.
I can tell you there is a thing called approved ceiling load, all this is engineered with specific limits.

5/8 on 6 foot joist centers may well fall out side those limits.

This kind of stuff always complicates a seemingly simple task doesn't it :)

12-06-2010, 09:47 PM
Even these little 4x8 sheets are heavy enough to work with. lol

No the building does not have to be inspected. I won't ever be storing anything above the ceiling and really doubt I will ever be up there for anything.

Thanks for help, I appreciate it!

A.K. Boomer
12-06-2010, 10:00 PM
Nice apparatus VPT :)

that ain't workin - that's the way you do it...

I do agree with the others on how to run the rock and I might add stagger them like bricks it will add much strength but its your baby and I understand.

I made the mistake of not staggering when doing a little section at my bro's house and although it seems to be doing fine I hate making simple mistakes like that -- all the material was there but the fact is is I put it together wrong cuz I was fixated on other details and I hate that...

12-07-2010, 09:40 AM
Thanks for all the complements everyone!

I will stagger the sheets just for you guys but I think I will still be running the sheets parrallel to the added in "joists" which will be perpendicular to the original joists.

I was thinking about it last night. Is it an absolute no-no to rotate every other sheet like a cross hatch patern? Would it be ok but just look to wrong or out of place?

12-07-2010, 09:56 AM
Your putting the sheetrock on the studs the wrong way it is suppose to be across the studs not running the length of the studs. Screw are random about 12 inches apart 7 rows of screws for 8" sheetrock you don't need to measure to the exact inch. You can buy a special sheet rock screw attachment for your drill so it puts the screw about .030" below the surface. That special screw device is about $2 makes the job quick and easy. Put the first row od sheet rock on full length sheets across the studs. When you get to the other side if the room it will probably come out uneven just a little unless your room is built exactly 12, 24, 36 feet wide. If you have to cut the last sheet use the scrap piece if you can to start the next row. I see you have your ceiling studs on 24 inch centers most people do 16 inch centers. Most people use 1/2" sheet rock but you have 5/8" and only 3 rows of screws you better put the screws 8" apart. Cut a sheet in half to start the next row. This off sets the seams for every other row and makes it much easyer to finish out with a smooth flat ceiling so it looks nice. Most sheet rock installers get paid by the sheet they work fast and will not try to salavage the small pieces and that seems wasteful but it makes the ceiling and walls easier to finish and it looks nicer with all large sheets. If you try to use all those tiny scrap pieces it will be hell to finish it so it looks nice.

3 experiences sheet rock guys can sheet rock an entire 2400 sq ft house in 8 hours work. Each room will have a large scrap pile of sheet rock. I use to do sheet rock years ago but not much anymore only for myself at home.

Buy the new light weight mud in 5 ballon buckets it is easier to work with. The old paper tape is the cheapest and works good. The new style tape is 4 times more expensive lots of guys like it because it is easier to work with but only if the contractor is paying the bill.

I have an unfinished garage I built a sizzor jack with 2x4s used a comealong to pull it together at the bottom. It lifts the 8' sheetrock up pretty easy. My garage is 24' x 30' it hurts my neck to look up and do sheet rock these days so I am goind slow I do a few sheets every day. Hope to have the ceiling finished in a couple weeks I am working along.

12-07-2010, 12:27 PM
If you want to run the sheets parallel screw some 1X4 furring strips across the joists. Put them where you get the most support at the seams..thats how it was done years ago

If you don't want to do that sister some 2X's at the joints for added screwing surface. A little extra expense but a much better and secure job.

Raw edges go to the out side and make sure the tape seams are butted to gether. That depression serves a purpose.

12-07-2010, 01:23 PM
I didn't have a lift, so I made a 2x4 frame with hinges that I could screw it to the top plate. Sheets were laid on the frame, and the frame was pushed up to the ceiling with a pole that served as a prop after it was in position. I did about 40 4x8 sheets on flat and vaulted ceilings.

I didn't have any help, so using 4x12 sheets wasn't an option.

12-07-2010, 01:39 PM
For future reference. Here is the bible right from the horses mouth.

12-07-2010, 01:39 PM
I like your contraption VPT. HF sells one for about $300, and you can always make a "T" out of 2x4 to prop the rock in place while screwing it in.

I am another one of the perpendicular advocates, if for no other reason than it lets you see where your studs are to shoot your screws into.

12-07-2010, 03:09 PM
I think you may be under the misconception that the board edges need to be supported by a joist, in fact they run 90 degrees the other way and the spacing of the joists gives sufficient support such that the seam won't crack.

12-07-2010, 03:26 PM
I see you have your ceiling studs on 24 inch centers most people do 16 inch centers. Most people use 1/2" sheet rock but you have 5/8" and only 3 rows of screws you better put the screws 8" apart. Cut a sheet in half to start the next row. This off sets the seams for every other row and makes it much easyer to finish out with a smooth flat ceiling so it looks nice. Most sheet rock installers get paid by the sheet they work fast and will not try to salavage the small pieces and that seems wasteful but it makes the ceiling and walls easier to finish and it looks nicer with all large sheets. If you try to use all those tiny scrap pieces it will be hell to finish it so it looks nice.

Question Gary:

What happens if your studs arent exact and the end of the sheet doesn't hit directly on a stud. Do you use nail in a board or extender to give you a surface to screw into, or do you trim the sheet so that your edge always ends up on a stud? I didn't take the name "allthumbz" for nothing- anything that can go wrong will, and I will end up with no stud on the edge, or the stud not the full 16", leaving a bit protruding and no surface to screw in the adjoining sheet. What do you do in that instance? Do you trim the sheet? Add a nailer?


12-07-2010, 08:02 PM
Great info in in here!

Well today after looking it over and measuring some stuff I started laying all the sheets like everyone has been telling me. There is only the one sheet the other way in the corner now. I put up 7 full sheets total now and everything has been working great. My buddies told me to get some friends and just hold the sheets over our heads while putting screws in. I am much happier I went with the jack. I don't have to rely on anyone else and I can take my time with every sheet and get it perfect. I would have had more done but I have had to fix some wiring and outlets that needed to be moved and rerouted. I have all kinds of wiring work to do before drywalling the walls. My grandfather wired the garage originaly and he isn't much for drilling holes or seperating breakers much. Like for instance each row of lights has its own breaker and switch but all 5 outlets on the north wall and the two outlets next to the work bench are all on one breaker.

12-07-2010, 08:24 PM
If you are just going to use those outlets for drills and small hand tools, that's fine.
If you intend to use for heavier electrical draws, use a separate circuit with a 20 Amp breaker, as needed.
It is aggravating to have a breaker kick off, when you start a bench grinder, or a cold cut saw. Wire for your needs and future needs, before you install the drywall.

Throw in a few extra runs of wire in bigger guages, for 20Amp, and 30 Amp and terminate them in a box, for future use.
You never know when you might want to add a compressor, heater, mill etc.

12-07-2010, 08:44 PM
When it gets cold there is an array of tools that kick out that one breaker. Air compressor is on that line and when cold will kick the breaker, chop saw, miter saw, log splitter all will kick out that one breaker the first time they are started when cold. It is a 20amp breaker for that line right now. I will be splitting up the outlets and most likely run 30amp breakers for each wall of outlets.

Good idea on the extra boxes for future needs. I know for sure I need at least 1 more 220v box for the 3phase conversion which is all another whole box of worms. I will have to sit down and do all kinds of figuring for wiring before drywalling the walls. I will be asking lots of questions here as well about vfd's and wiring and all later on when it comes time. Right now I just have to make sure I put in the right outlets for the lights in the right spots.

12-07-2010, 09:16 PM
I've never used a jack myself, but even if you do you may be able to use the tip of making up a few big "T"s from wood with the vertical of the T just a little longer than the distance from the floor to the installed ceiling. Brace the horizontal and chamfer the edges so they don't mark the sheets. They can be made from anything you have laying around.

To use, raise the sheet by whatever method you choose, put the T under the sheet and then kick the vertical piece towards more vertical. That will jam the sheet up tight against the joists and ensure the adhesive "dobs" are squeezed properly, even in areas where you won't put screws through.

I don't mind gyprocking actually, you can go from something that looks like it's years from being finished, to something that looks "almost complete" in a few hours. Sadly then comes the next part ... :p

I agree 100% with the others, do whatever you need to do behind the walls BEFORE you hang anything. Before those sheets go on it's a piece of cake to run whatever you like, after a PIA. If money is real tight and you can't afford to run cables "just in case", at the very least drill suitable sized holes through the studs and run some decent draw wires around the place. You can always use them to pull through cable later, and suitable draw wire is darn near free.


12-07-2010, 09:45 PM
Wiring to me is fairly cheap compared to lots of other things around the shop. I will make sure everything is ran before hanging the walls. Even if I don't get the outlets or switches right away I will have the wiring ran. It is going to be a big chore cleaning up these walls to get them ready with all the nails, wires, and hooks all over.