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January 2009
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The Drywall Buffer and ‘salty’ terminology

Cutting drywall is a simple operation in most cases. Sometime the cut edges are not clean, having bumps where the material is sticking beyond where your  cut line is.

In the trade these are known as ‘dogballs’.(no i have no clue either, it just is) It is important to clean them up for a clean tight drywall job. For that you need a Buffer.
This is a Stanley Pocket Plane, aka the mutherf*cker.

(another bit of salty trade terminology whose antecedents goes back to time is money. Drywall hangers for the most part are paid footage, which means that having to stop to buff off dogballs means taking time away from hanging, making the job less profitable, which is why they call this the mutherf*ucker. Professional drywall hanging is much more precise than it seems.)

Having a situation, and a buffer, a few quick strokes, and you are ready to hang your sheet.
Db2 The tighter your joints, the easier to tape, the cleaner and better job you will produce.

You can use the edge of your keyhole saw or the edge of a taping knife to do this, but it is more time consuming, messier and less elegant.

4 comments to The Drywall Buffer and ‘salty’ terminology

  • NOW, you tell me. One day late. ;/

    I used the keyhole saw and a vacuum to clean up an edge before a put a closet jam in. The buffer would have saved me 10 minutes at least.

    I didn’t avoid much mess, either using the saw.


  • M,
    Sorry ’bout that. This is one of the pieces that I have had in my drafts folder for some time. Rewrite is the killer, trying to make it clear and not forget anything.

    Every type of work and remodeling is no exception, has its own language, and after a while somethings get so ingrained that you forget them, and explaining them seems real simple on this end, cause I can see the steps between A-F, but describing anything without B,C,D, and E doesn’t help.

    I will try to stay ahead of your projects :)

  • Good man!


    Check out DW’s tile job and tips. Almost worthy of your blog.



  • I’ve always wondered what that pocket plane tool was used for. I have one in my toolbox. I did a tile job in my bathroom (replacing all the drywall with the concrete stuff). It was very satisfying to get it completed.

    Thanks for your tips! We’re about to start a bathroom remodel in a different house, but having a contractor work on it this time.