Friday, January 21, 2011

Some Tools of the Trade

Welcome! to Joe and Nancy who just signed up to Follow the Roadrunner Chronicles.

We finished up our second week here in Moss Point, Mississippi working with NOMADS.  There are 9 couples on our team and we are divided up into groups to work on four houses in the Pascagoula area.  The house we are working on is about 17 miles from where we have our RVs parked.
 Moss Point/Pascagoula are between Pensacola and New Orleans on the Gulf Coast.

The primary task at our house is to get the sheet rock up on the ceiling and walls.  We have been at it for two weeks so far and it will probably take us another week to finish it.  Then we will have to do the mudding.
Steve and Jerry are unloading this stack that was delivered while I take the pictures...

We have been working with four types and sizes of sheet sheet rock.
The two stacks of sheet rock are 4' x 8' sheets of 1/2" regular wall boards and  'greenboard' which goes in the bathrooms and around sinks in the kitchen and the laundry room.
In the garage, we had a stack of 4' x 12' sheets of 1/2" sheet rock that we started with to put up on the walls.  After that ran out we went with the 8' sheets.

Another size,  the 5/8" sheets of 4' x 8' lengths went up on the ceiling.

And this brings me to the Tools of the Trade.

The lift for the sheet rock is one of those Tools that is a back saver.  We hoist the sheet on that guy and crank it up to the ceiling and can maneuver it into place so that all we need to do is get the 'drill guns' (drills with Philips head on the end for the screws) and we are all set.

The drills are indispensable.
Pam and I have a Ryobi and Kawasaki drill.
I think Roger's is a Craftsman.  Though none are what I would consider to be construction 'name brands'
they seem to be doing the job well.  We keep one battery charged while we use the other and have had no problems.

Another tool we use is our beloved tool belts.  In mine today I have sheet rock screws, a quik square, a tape measure, band aids, screw drivers, a putting knife, pencils, a utility/razor knife, and gloves.

My work gloves keep me from busting up my fingers.  After the second time I tried to drill my finger, I decided it was time to try the gloves.  My bloodied and bruised finger is much happier.
Knee pads ~ very useful for as much time we have been spending putting the screws in the bottom part of walls.  And we usually are on the ground cutting pieces to fit in lots of places.

And the ladders.  We couldn't do this with out lots of ladders.  I prefer the shorter one which works great.  We climb up the ladder, find the studs (most of the time) and screw in the top of the wallboards.  Good exercise.
In fact, we find ourselves getting stronger and stronger.  That is not to say that we are not tired and sore each day, but it is good exercise and we are enjoying it.

Working of the sheet rock has been good  and we estimate another week before we will start the mudding.  My goal every day is to get a little better and these tasks and learn something new.

And we love learning how to use different tools.  Next week no doubt we will expand our skill list on that.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Hope you have had a great week.


  1. You guys are an insporation to me... You are wonderful!
    Have fun & Travel Safe

  2. How long will you be volunteering at this gig? I'll be settling in at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR in a little over a week. :)

  3. I so admire what you are doing!! How do you have the knowledge of what to do??? Is there a foreman there telling you? I can drill but I wouldn't know WHERE! You are invaluable, I'm sure!!

  4. Since Dennis and I gutted and rebuilt the entire inside of our house (in 36 years), I know how heavy dry wall can be...and the lifters sure are handy!! When I think of all the stuff we did here, I cannot fathom doing it again...but glad we did it...
    You can sure learn a lot working on old homes...

  5. Building houses was my livelihood for 40 guys are doing great work!!

  6. Excellent post Randy! I really enjoyed the tour and the “tools of the trade”. I am wondering if you have had an occasion to be over at Keesler. It’s been several years since I have been there, so was wondering how the base in looking these days.


  7. I think the worst part of that job is the sanding after it is all mudded. Need your mask, and it seems that there is much more sanding than there are back muscles to endure the task.

    Dry walling is a good skill to have, but then you don't have much of it in the Allegro!!! LOL.


  8. Randy,
    Great post explain the simple life. My BPT uncle was a carpenter. In all the times I spent with him when I was a kid, I will always remember Uncle John being strong like an ox even in his late age. BPT = Before Power Tools.
    Remember to follow Norm Abram's rule of safety. Read and follow manufacturer's safety guide and wear eye/ear protection.
    Hope to join you guys soon as we go live in 2011.