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How to Build a Drywall Stand

Stan Mack

Hanging drywall by yourself is a pain. It’s hard to lift the board up into place while simultaneously attaching the drywall panel to the ceiling. If you can’t get a few friends to help out for the day, and you don’t want to waste money renting a drywall lift from a tool outlet, you can always build a “dead man.” It’s a stand-like device that professional drywall hangers often use to prop up a board of drywall and hold it against the ceiling.

Step 1

Measure the height of your ceiling with a measuring tape. If the height of the ceiling varies significantly in different places, you may need to build several dead men, one for each ceiling level.

Step 2

Cut a 2-by-4 with a saw to the height of the ceiling, less 4 inches. For example, if your ceiling is 96 inches, cut the 2-by-4 so that it is 92 inches long.

Step 3

Cut a second 2-by-4, this time to roughly 3 feet.

Step 4

Lay the small 2-by-4 on top of the large one to form a large T.

Step 5

Attach the small piece to the large piece, using long wood screws and a screw gun.

Step 6

Attach braces to each arm of the T if the dead man seems wobbly. To do this, cut two small sections of 2-by-4 and attach them to the underside of each arm with screws. If you only need the dead man for one small job, this is probably unnecessary.