How To Use The Drywall Bazooka

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This is how you mix the mud for the NorthStar Automatic Taper or bazooka.

We are going to be using the bazooka to apply tapes on the flats, buts and angles. This amazing tools does it all at once for you, its not a cheap tool, but if you plan on redoing lets say an entire basement, you might want to look into borrowing or renting one of these. Use taping mud of course to apply any tapes, its got glue in it and holds much better, also a lot harder to sand. You want the bazooka mud a little bit more runny than a lot of other tapers would use if they were doing it by hand or with a mastic tube.

So watch the video and see how Jess wraps the plastic from the box around the flaps to hold them down and dump the box into a clean bucket. Were going to be adding quite a bit of water to this mud so we must go in steps. Jess is going to be using the 3/4 inch drill, he likes to mix the mud a little before even adding any water, once that's done add a full mastic tube of water, or about 3/4 liter. Mix that up for a bit so that the water starts mixing with the mud, you don't need to mix it much because were going to add more water. Add another 3/4 mastic tube of water, or 3/4 liter, to the mud, and again mix it up, starting slow so it don't spill everywhere. This time were going to mix this mud a little longer so that everything is well stirred. Once we are done mixing this mud is ready to use in the bazooka.  You want it to be runny so its easy to wipe and use, too thick and its hard to handle, too runny and it drips everywhere and makes a big mess. Easy !! :)


Applying Flats And Buts With The Bazooka

Applying Tape To Butt Joints With The Bazooka

Running the Drywall Automatic Taperis tricky, its not something that you will be able to pick up and go with it. It takes a little practice but if your going to tape like an entire basement it may be something you want to either rent or borrow from someone. Its important that you put the tape in the bazooka like shown in the video, if you don't put it that way it will cut your hand while your using it. The bazooka can end up saving you lots of time if ran properly. We prepare the bazooka for mud by moving the lever on the right of the bazooka forward holding the wheel down, like on the video. We fill up the bazooka with a pump, you need a pump if your going to use the bazooka, or use the boxes. We mixed our mud earlier, it takes about 10 to 15 pumps to fill up the bazooka, make sure you keep a hand on the top of the bazooka while filling to know when its full. You don't want to overfill your bazooka, as it creates a mess when you release the lever from the pressure, or even worse it can break the steel wire inside the bazooka making it inoperable. Once your all filled up you can flip the bazooka around and move the lever back to its original position making it ready to run on the walls. Hold the bazooka with one hand at the bottom and the other hand right above the cutter/advancer piece in the middle of the bazooka, so its easy to cut a piece of tape when needed. Use the advance piece in conjunction with the wheel piece on the side of the bazooka to advance the mud, ending with a little piece of tape advanced with mud on it ready to apply on the wall. 

The video really shows this step in detail. Make sure that you don't run the bazooka flat against the wall, you want your bazooka to run on only one wheel, again like in the video. So the middle piece on the bazooka, it forwards the tape if you push up, and it cuts the tape if you pull on it. this piece is used all the time, hence why we keep a hand close to it at all times. At the bottom of the bazooka there is a piece called the creaser wheel, we use the hand on the bottom to trigger that wheel. The creaser wheel is mostly use the crease the tape into the angles, or your corners. But it is also used to push the tape onto the wall a little as your running the bazooka so the tapes don't fall. I will be explaining the creaser more in detailed during the "Running Angles" part of the Drywall Automatic Taper. Once we have our butts ran, we need to wipe them before we run our flats. The bazooka is a tricky tool to use at first, but yea its an amazing time saver for us, it cuts our taping time by half, if not more. 

 


Wiping Down The Butt Joints With A Broad Knife

 We call these buts because they are but ends on two sheets that meet up, and these but ends don't have a bevel for your tape to sink into. So its important that you squeeze most the mud out from behind the tape so thats its easier for us to coat. We have a broad knife to wipe the tapes, the broad knife Jess is using is inch wide. If you don't have a wide Broad Knife 7" to wipe the tapes, I recommend using a taping knife that is at least 6inch and no less.We always run the buts first and then we run the flats over top the buts. If you got a good drywall installer you should have a minimal number of buts. Always start in the middle of the tape when you wiping the tape, so that you could squeeze out excess tape towards the top and towards the bottom. Work the mud like in the video from the middle towards the edges, going one way then the other. Make sure that the tape has mud in behind it at all times, if there's an area of the tape that has no mud behind the tape, you want to either squeeze mud in behind by wiping the but a little more up and down, or you need to pull the tape back a little and add more mud. Dry tapes are bad and they will show, you need to fix them as you see them. The video really shows you how to wipe drywall tapes.  Clean up any edges your Broad Knife 7" may have left, if you don't, your going to have to scrape that "sluggie" before you coat it. Once you got the buts wipe we can move on to applying the flats.


Applying Flats On Drywall With The Bazooka

Its a good thing to run the buts first, but not a must. You don't need to hold the creaser wheel all the time when running the flats, but it a good ideal to use it so that the tape sticks to the wall better. Advance the tape on the bazooka and start in a corner, run the flat and when you get to a corner you can either cut the tape and start again, or you do it all at once like I show. If your only starting out i would suggest cutting it in the corner it will be easier for you. Short piece can be put on by hand like I show, because trying to run a little tape like that would be a waste of time. If the tapes look like they are kind of falling off, you should push them back onto the wall with you fingers before they actually fall. Try to keep your bazooka steady when running down the wall. If your having troubles, and its not running straight down the wall its because the bazooka is twisting in your hands and you need to keep it more steady. You also need to keep an eye out for how much mud is left in the bazooka. When the bazooka is empty, it will jam kinda and not advance anymore, or it will not put mud behind the tape. If your bazooka is the jam type, you need to stop running the bazooka as soon as it jams, or else you will break the steel wire inside the bazooka. The bazooka is an amazing tool, if your a full time taper, and your not using one, your wrong. 


Wiping Down The Flats With A Broad Knife

After you've ran the flats with the bazooka, you need to wipe them with a Broad Knife 7 Inch. We are using the 7 inch broad knife. When your wiping little tapes you may find that its hard to wipe, its going to want to slide around so just hold it down with a finger while you wipe. The video really shows you how its done. Always start in the middle when your wiping tapes, working the mud towards the ends. Make sure that you press petty hard on the knife squeezing a lot of mud out from behind the tape. If you see any wrinkles in the tape you can grab the tape by the end and pull on it a little pulling the wrinkle out. If mud squeeze out from the sides of your knife down the wall, make sure you clean that up, it easy to clean while it wet. The flats have a beveled edges for your tapes to sit into, so that your wall will be flats when you done. If you have any dry spots again, make sure you add some mud behind it somehow and wipe it again. Make sure that the tapes reach the ends, so that your angle tapes will go over top of them. Try to work your way around the wall following the wall, don't jump around everywhere doing little bits here and there, you'll end up miss stuff, follow the wall. You can also take a look on how Jess holds the Broad Knife 7 Inch in his hands, with his fingers behind the knife. With the bazooka we cut the corners of the tape with the broad knife like Jess does in the movie, its trickier than it looks :) But I got faith in you!!


Running Angles Or Corners With The Bazooka 

You run the angles after you have ran the flats and buts. Advance your tape a little like usual before you start, always. Make sure you have extra tape to work with, advancing a little more then you actually need, so that you can adjust it once its on the wall. Its easier to just cut off a little piece instead of having to add another tape. And the only ones that you really need to cut are your top angles, because the horizontal angles can just be pulled down a little if they are little to long, too short tho, that's a little more work to add a little piece. This also goes the other way, meaning if your tape is a little short to the top, but you made sure that you had lots of extra at the bottom, you can push the tape up a little till its to the corner. The top angles are a little more tough, I would say run them long again, just to be sure that all the corners are covered by tape, so that it don't crack. We are going to cut the extra tape left from the top angles when we do our 3 ways.  For doing the angles you want to make sure that you use your creaser wheel a lot. It makes it much easier for when you are rolling if your tapes are well into the angle. It helps keeping the tape on the wall too when you doing your top angles, so that it don't fall down. The videos show you a lot of good tips, including how to drywall tape tight spots.


Rolling And Flushing The Angles With Drywall Tools

So now that we are done running some of the angles with our bazooka, unless your only doing a little room where you could run all of them, were going to roll and flush the tapes. And unless you are doing only a little room, your going to want to use a roller and Drywall Corner Flusher, or you could always do it by hand which we will show too, but it takes a hell of a lot longer. The roller really helps you remove the wrinkles or the slack out of the tape, also helps getting the mud behind the tape spread out evenly so that there's no dry spots. Always when doing tapes start in the middle, roll one way a little and then the other a little more till you roll the entire angle. When your rolling really try not to hit the floor with it, but if you do make sure you clean the bottom of the roller. If you don't clean it up the rocks and stuff you picked up from the floor with end up somewhere in your angle leaving big scratches when flushing. Roll out all the angles you ran, and when your done rolling were going to flush them all, making them smooth and nice. Flushing is kind of tricky, make sure you study the video really good and see how we handle the flusher. The flusher only goes the one wait, we show which way it goes. You flusher pole might have a bend at the tip, make sure you use this bend to your advantage. Work the mud from the bottom to the top, pressing fairly hard, you can do the same one 3 or 4 times, or until you think it looks good. Leave the mud gathered up in the 3 way, we will come with our pan and clean up all the 3 ways. The Drywall Corner Flusher we use for the first coat is 3.5 inches, its a little smaller then the next one we're going to use. The flusher should almost just slide on the wall, it should not be something that is physically hard. If your having problems try different things: your mud might be to thick, maybe your holding the flusher tip in the wrong position, maybe there's just not enough mud or you waited to long to flush. It could be lots of things, don't get discourage, a lot of stuff can be fixed in the later steps also. This flusher tool is also the same tool that we use to finish our angles, but we use the 4" inch flusher instead to cover over that previous coat. Once your done rolling and flushing we continue to run more angles until we usually have a few rooms done before we put our tools down for a bit and clean up the over-spill and 3 ways. WATCH HOW TO WIPE THE 3 WAYS. If you like these tutorials on how to drywall please leave us comments.