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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, May 4, 2020 10:58 AM

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. 

I know of several different ways of smoothing the mud:

  • Regular sanding of the drywall mud - huge mounds of dust, and the smaller particles float around the entire house. 
  • Regular sanding with a vacuum cleaner drawing the dust from the sanding head through a bucket of water to take the dust out of the air. This did reduce the amount of dust a lot, but what it didn't get was now a little bit moist, so it stuck on vertical surfaces as well as settled on horizontal ones! I won't repeat that one!
  • The damp sanding sponge method some of you mentioned. I've never done it, but I'll try it if the next one doesn't work.
  • And my favorite - hire someone to do the mudding and taping and sanding. If it isn't prohibitively expensive, I'll go that way, I think. It will be a lot faster, I'll likely get a better job, and I won't have to deal with it. Win-win-win!
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Posted by selector on Monday, May 4, 2020 3:36 PM

I did a lot of the mudding and sanding when we finished our basement years ago.  Wasn't a good time.  And the result was obviously sub-par in places.  Then, after we moved and the missus had a train room built in the double-wide garage, I did the drywall mounting, mudding and sanding.  Never again.  Whatever they pay those guyz 'n gals, it ain't enough.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, May 4, 2020 4:36 PM

selector

I did a lot of the mudding and sanding when we finished our basement years ago.  Wasn't a good time.  And the result was obviously sub-par in places.  Then, after we moved and the missus had a train room built in the double-wide garage, I did the drywall mounting, mudding and sanding.  Never again.  Whatever they pay those guyz 'n gals, it ain't enough. 

I used to feel the same way, and my mudding and sanding jobs were awful. But, I have become somewhat expert, if I may say so.

Here are 3 important considerations to become a Master Mudder/Sander.

1. I learned this from a YouTube video from a pro. He adds water to the pre-mixed joint compound to thin it. That is the key. Then, he applies a 6" wide strip of thinned joint compound, then puts on the tape, then applies an 8" strip of thinned joint compound, and presses the blade to force the excess joint compound to ooze out. When it dries, no bubbling of the joint tape. From that point on, he uses the undiluted pre-mixed joint compound for subsequent coats.

2. NO WET SPONGE. You will never get it as smooth as dry sanding. Dust? Not if you buy a drywall sanding adaptor kit for your Shop Vac. The kit includes a special drywall bag to place inside the Shop Vac and a special hand held tool that connects to the end of the Shop Vac hose. You place a type of screening material onto the hand held hose and sand away. Trust me, or should I say, trust my wife. NO DUST.

3. The key to a smooth finish is to hold a trouble light up against the drywall on a 90 degree angle for the final sanding. The light will reflect off of the slightest imperfection causing a dark spot to appear.

You follow these three steps, and I guarantee a professional, dust free mudding/sanding job.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 4, 2020 9:29 PM

Pruitt
And my favorite - hire someone to do the mudding and taping and sanding. If it isn't prohibitively expensive, I'll go that way, I think. It will be a lot faster, I'll likely get a better job, and I won't have to deal with it. Win-win-win!

Okay, be like that! Take the easy way out!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughThumbs Up

Seriously, I think that is a wise choice!

I have done my share of drywall but I will never do it again! The gentleman who did the drywall work when we renovated the kitchen is not a tradesman, he is an artist! He straightened out wobbly walls and ceilings, his seams are invisible and he even re-did some corners that were crooked that weren't in the contract. He said he just couldn't put his own work next to those corners so he ripped them out and fixed them without changing the price. He is a keeper!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 11:49 AM

So much for the "wise choice."

The wife unit nixed having someone do it - too expensive, she said. Cost would have been at most about $1350 dollars, and probably a bit less. They charge by the hour, and gave me an estimate of two full days maximum.

I was ready to jump on that, but now we have to do it ourselves. Probably a couple weeks' work, at least. I've done it before, and I HATE that part more than anything else. But the boss has spoken. so...

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 1:56 PM

richhotrain
 
 
selector

I did a lot of the mudding and sanding when we finished our basement years ago.  Wasn't a good time.  And the result was obviously sub-par in places.  Then, after we moved and the missus had a train room built in the double-wide garage, I did the drywall mounting, mudding and sanding.  Never again.  Whatever they pay those guyz 'n gals, it ain't enough.  

 

I used to feel the same way, and my mudding and sanding jobs were awful. But, I have become somewhat expert, if I may say so.

I got my feet wet with drywall in my previous basement after we had water issues so got some good practice.  The previous owner had re-drywalled one wall and it looked all lumpy and crap.  So along with replacing some bottom sections affected by the water, I fixed the crap job done by the previous owner.  After that I felt confident that I could drywall an entire 700 sq ft basement. 

I don't know if I would call myself an expert, but quite frankly it's as good as the main house that was done by professional builders.  I am picky and did take the extra time to do all area's till I was satisfied.  I didn't want the basement finishing job to detract from the home or it's value.

 

Here are 3 important considerations to become a Master Mudder/Sander.

1. I learned this from a YouTube video from a pro. He adds water to the pre-mixed joint compound to thin it. That is the key. Then, he applies a 6" wide strip of thinned joint compound, then puts on the tape, then applies an 8" strip of thinned joint compound, and presses the blade to force the excess joint compound to ooze out. When it dries, no bubbling of the joint tape. From that point on, he uses the undiluted pre-mixed joint compound for subsequent coats.

I watched a lot of youtube video's but didn't see that one.  That said, I didn'thave any issues with my joint compound on the before taping.  Some buckets were a little dryer than I would have liked so I did add some moister if needed.

2. NO WET SPONGE. You will never get it as smooth as dry sanding.

I tried the web sponge.  It actually created grooves so I stopped that and had to repairt.  Dry sanding worked best.

Dust? Not if you buy a drywall sanding adaptor kit for your Shop Vac. The kit includes a special drywall bag to place inside the Shop Vac and a special hand held tool that connects to the end of the Shop Vac hose. You place a type of screening material onto the hand held hose and sand away. Trust me, or should I say, trust my wife. NO DUST.

My wife got one of those.  It attaches to the hand sander and makes a big difference.

3. The key to a smooth finish is to hold a trouble light up against the drywall on 90 degree angle for the final sanding. The light will reflect off of the slightest imperfection causing a dark spot to appear.

You follow these three steps, and I guarantee a professional, dust free mudding/sanding job.

Rich 

Yep.  I took my LED shop lights and would shine them down along the wall and I could see any imperections.  I didn't need Youtube for that; it was pretty obvious when I moved the lights around.


There is one thing I would have done differently, I would have mounted all the sheets of drywall vertically.  Before I started, I saw some recommend horizontal and others vertical - 50/50.  Having done the basement on hind site, if I ever hung drywall again, I'd do vertical to minimize butt joints.

By the time I was done with the walls, my wife wanted the ceiling in the wife-den done with drywall, but I had had enough so it was all suspended ceiling.  I found suspended ceiling pretty easy to do.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 2:26 PM

Hey Mark-

One way to help clear the airborne dust that is floating around the room . . .

Fill a big (empty) windex bottle with water. Hold the spray bottle high Statue-of-Liberty style and walk all around the room misting as you go. Wait a few minutes and vacuum the floor. Repeat as necessary.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 2:33 PM

ROBERT PETRICK

Hey Mark-

One way to help clear the airborne dust that is floating around the room . . .

Fill a big (empty) windex bottle with water. Hold the spray bottle high Statue-of-Liberty style and walk all around the room misting as you go. Wait a few minutes and vacuum the floor. Repeat as necessary. 

Yikes, that sounds like the world's biggest mess just waiting to happen.

So much better to use the Shop Vac sanding screen. No dust whatsoever.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 3:36 PM

richhotrain
ROBERT PETRICK

Hey Mark-

One way to help clear the airborne dust that is floating around the room . . .

Fill a big (empty) windex bottle with water. Hold the spray bottle high Statue-of-Liberty style and walk all around the room misting as you go. Wait a few minutes and vacuum the floor. Repeat as necessary. 

Yikes, that sounds like the world's biggest mess just waiting to happen.

So much better to use the Shop Vac sanding screen. No dust whatsoever.

Rich

No reason to panic. I've never produced any discernable mess, much less the world's biggest. This is not the primary dust control measure, but the final effort to deal with the residual suspended particles.

Absolutely, vacuum as you go, or some variation thereof. If there is so much dust in the air that the atomized mist causes it to reconstitute back into globs of wet plaster, then there are more serious issues afoot to deal with.

By the way, this is the same sort of technique I use before applying a lacquer or varnish topcoat to anything anywhere outside of the spray booth hood.

Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 3:37 PM

riogrande5761

 

 

 

 

Rio,  Jim if I remember correctly I hope.

For someone that does not do Plastering for a living that sure is a fine example of some quality work!  NiceYes

I have been taping and Plastering my own sheetrock for so many years and have worked with so many different professionals.  It seems most of them have their own system of methods doing their job.

Only about five years ago I learned from someone and changed one of my methods.  I learned about ADFORS Fibatape.

This tape has to be used with setting compound for the first coat for it never to crack which it never does.  It is about $11 per roll and worth every penny as other mesh tapes are junk.

The beautiful thing about this Fibatape is it saves you at least 3 hours taping a basement. 

Your tape and first coat is done in one step.  Then the setting compound accelerates the dark blue lid mud second coat.  Then I finish with the light blue lid lightwieght third coat last.  All plaster, plus 3 products.

I by no means am boasting or bragging here as I have been doing this crap for too many years.  The nice thing now-a-days, my finished edges are feathered out so fine all I have to do is knock off the buggers  with a 10 inch knife.  Believe me I'm a real happy man I don't have to sand anymore.  I hate drywall dust.

 

Again, that's a fabulous looking plaster job you did! Yes

 

 

TF

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, May 11, 2020 11:02 PM

11 May 2020

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on making the mudding and taping less onerous. But, having had very sensitive lungs for my entire life already (asthma when I was 5, and my mother smoked like a Big Boy through all my years at home), I'm just not going to do that work myself. Even with a decent respirator (which I have), I don't want to expose myself to the dust over the weeks it would take me to do the work.

So that means train room prep is nearly complete! I have a few sheets of drywall to hang yet, and I need to trim out the windows and hang the lights. Beyond that the room is done. There will be no mudding and taping and sanding of joints and screws, and no paint either. With the walls only semi-finished, there will also be no finished flooring. I can walk on OSB just fine. That should all save another $1500 or so.

Here's the first light, hung today. The rest will be done in the next few weeks.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, May 16, 2020 9:03 PM

Lighting installation is going good. At the end of the week, I'm a bit less than halfway done, but the results even now are apparent. In the areas where the lights are up, the coverage is much brighter and more even than before.

Here's a comparison of lights off and lights on:

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, May 22, 2020 10:47 PM

22 May 2020

And lighting work continues. I'm now just over half done with train room lights. The old lights have been disconnected.

One of the new LED panels had to be mounted to the underside of a heating duct. Here's that job in process:

The black strips on either side of the fixture are the visible parts of a carpet square I put up as an insulator between the duct and the light. Forced air heat doesn't get all that hot, but it made for cheap insurance.

Disconnecting the old lights in the train room meant I also had to modify the remaining existing lighting for the other side of the stairway. Where a single pole switch used to turn all the basement lights on from the bottom of the stairs, I now want to control them from three locations - bottom of the stairs, middle of the hallway on the side of the stairs opposite the train room (location of the new - someday to be built - library), and the wall the behind the stairs, which will be the entrance to the train room (and where the train room light switches are). It'll make sense someday, I promise (I hope!).

That meant pulling the switches out of the box at the bottom of the stairs, and replacing the single pole switch (to the left in the following photo) with a new 3-way. The other two switches are 3-ways for the lights at the top and bottom of the stairwell.

Boy, what a mess of wiring! But by proceeding methodically, checking off each connection on my wiring diagram as I made it in the box, I completed the task in a couple of hours with no major hiccups.

And also this past week, I trimmed out the windows and we finished installing the sheetrock on the stairway and furnace walls. Here's the stairway wall:

After we talked further about taping and mudding, my wife relented and agreed to let me hire a guy to do that work. He should be starting in a few days. So we're back to the original plan - a nearly fully finished train room! 

And the beat goes on...

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:10 PM

Pruitt
After we talked further about taping and mudding, my wife relented and agreed to let me hire a guy to do that work. He should be starting in a few days. So we're back to the original plan - a nearly fully finished train room! 

Hi Mark,

I'm glad that your wife has agreed to hire a professional drywall finisher. I was worried that if you had left the walls unfinished you would have become quite disappointed over time. Now it's going to look like a proper 'train room' instead of just another layout in a basement.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:29 PM

hon30critter

I was worried that if you had left the walls unfinished you would have become quite disappointed over time. Now it's going to look like a proper 'train room' instead of just another layout in a basement.

HEY!!!    Crying   Super Angry

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:57 PM

richhotrain
HEY!!!       

Ooops! Sorry!! I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes. All I was trying to say was that Mark had come so far that it might be disappointing to not go the rest of the way.

Just to make you feel better Rich, I haven't figured out how to make my garage even close to looking respectable when I start taking pictures. I'm thinking of buying a bunch of flat blue bed sheets and just covering everything in sight.Laugh

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:30 AM

richhotrain
 HEY!!!    Crying Super Angry

This response gets you my "reply of the year" award, Rich! I couldn't stop laughing!
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:07 AM

hon30critter
 
richhotrain
HEY!!!    

Ooops! Sorry!! I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes. All I was trying to say was that Mark had come so far that it might be disappointing to not go the rest of the way.

Just to make you feel better Rich, I haven't figured out how to make my garage even close to looking respectable when I start taking pictures. I'm thinking of buying a bunch of flat blue bed sheets and just covering everything in sight.Laugh

Dave 

ahh, thanks Dave, I feel much better now.   Dead

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:16 AM

Smile, Wink & Grin

Pruitt

This response gets you my "reply of the year" award, Rich! I couldn't stop laughing!

LOL, thanks Mark. In accepting the award, I want to thank my parents and grandparents and all of my fans out there.   Smile, Wink & Grin

Yeah, Dave's comment was hurtful and surely directed at me.  Laugh

Actually, the truth hurts and Dave was spot on. My basement layout is in an unfinished basement, and 21 years after our home was built, tiny wood chips can still be occasionally found on my layout. The likely culprit is the harwood flooring on the first floor where the nails protrude through the plywood underlayment.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, May 30, 2020 7:08 PM

30 May 2020

Work on the train room is progressing nicely now.

Most of the lighting is up:

And taping and mudding of the sheetrock began May 26th. It's about done now - just a bit of sanding and touch-up to be done tomorrow. I'm sure glad I was able to convince my wife to let me hire somebody!

How it looks as of this afternoon:

Monday I'll be able to start priming the walls. Getting exciting - Completion is in sight!

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Posted by selector on Saturday, May 30, 2020 10:58 PM

Nice!!  After all of that, what seems like prep work (and a huge delay), you'll really get excited and feel your juices flowing as you paint and clean up.  I don't know if you intend to start construction of the rails this summer, but you'll certainly be ready to git at it in the fall.  

I'm happy for you, Mark.  "Ater the battle, the reward." Geeked

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, May 31, 2020 10:52 AM

Thanks, Crandell!

I hope I can start the layout before the end of July. Painting the walls should be finished within a week, and ceiling beams by the end of the week after. I need to paint and install trim boards around the top of the walls, but I'll do that piecemeal, starting above where the Casper part of the layout goes.

The biggest single part left is the finished flooring and baseboards.

Here are the colors I'll be painting the train room:

The walls will be Indian Red and trimwork will be Bronze Green. These were the standard colors used on Burlington structures during my modeling era, 1930-1945.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 31, 2020 9:33 PM

Pruitt
The walls will be Indian Red and trimwork will be Bronze Green. These were the standard colors used on Burlington structures during my modeling era, 1930-1945.

That will look great!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, June 1, 2020 6:46 AM

Looks great Mark!  I taped and finished our place up North, and when I started painting, I noticed a few areas that I needed to touch up. Surprise

Will the backdrops be a seperate thing, attached to the layout and walls?  It will be a nice contrast to the room colors.

Mike.

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, June 1, 2020 9:49 AM

Dave - Thanks! I hope so.

Mike - Thanks! The along-the-walls backdrops will be separate, mounted on 1X2 stringers along the top and bottom of the backdrop. The top will be capped with a thin white finish molding piece (I think). If I do it right, it should look kinda nice. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 8:32 AM

3 June 2020

I just uploaded my latest update video:

Over the last few days we've primed the train room:

And applied the first finish coat of paint:

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 7:26 PM

Mark, you do really good work, both with construction and making videos.  I can't wait to see the layout get started.

And the amount of work you've done since settling in Wyoming is impressive.  

- Douglas

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 10:35 PM

Hi Mark,

That's a huge amount of progress in just one month!

I love the wall colour, but you may find that unfortunately two coats won't do it. We had our master bedroom painted a similar colour a few years ago and it took four coats to get the proper depth of colour. That was with a professional painter doing the work. Hopefully you won't suffer the same fate.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, June 4, 2020 12:20 AM

hon30critter

I love the wall colour, but you may find that unfortunately two coats won't do it. We had our master bedroom painted a similar colour a few years ago and it took four coats to get the proper depth of colour. That was with a professional painter doing the work.  

Something had to be wrong with the wall surface preparation to require 4 coats of paint. If properly primed and with quality paint, two coats should be sufficient. 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 4, 2020 1:28 AM

richhotrain
Something had to be wrong with the wall surface preparation to require 4 coats of paint. If properly primed and with quality paint, two coats should be sufficient. 

Rich, I'm a little bit perturbed that you would dismiss our painter's professionalism so quickly. His work ethic is incredible. He uses Benjamin Moore paints. He takes all of the wall plates and ceiling fixture plates down and then reinstalls them. He removes and rehangs all of the pictures and wall decorations. He fixes drywall problems at no extra cost. We have never found a single drop of stray paint. We have used his services many times and we will use him many more times again.

FYI, he primed the bedroom twice. The previous colour was a hideous dark brown. Obviously we didn't have a clue about decorating when we did thatSmile, Wink & Grin, and there were problems with old wallpaper glue bleeding through the brown. It was his decision to do the four coats, and he did not charge for the additional paint required. The resulting colour is very rich.

Cheers!!

Dave

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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