Taping tools are invaluable for dry-liners and plaster-boarders, saving a lot of time when fitting plasterboard in large buildings such as factories, retail and commercial buildings as well as student halls and other places which offer accommodation on a large scale. Applying scrim tape by hand doesn’t take a very long time for a small room, or in a house, but when this is being done on a large new build then the time, and therefore saving costs start to add up. There is also slightly less wastage, as the tape stays firmly in the machine at all times, stopping it from getting stuck to other surfaces and being wasted. Taping machines also cut the tape, doing away with a taping knife entirely, and they can apply tape accurately in corners, which can be a struggle for the novice plaster border.
Taping tools have a fairly long history, with the first prototype model being produced in 1945, by brothers Robert and Stan Ames in Georgia, USA. It weighed around 45 kilos and was battery powered, and obviously quite cumbersome, a far cry indeed from today’s hand-held models. Drywallers by trade, the brothers began experimenting with inventions for improving their job in 1939, but did not create the first automatic taping tool until 1954, after improving on their initial bulky model. The people involved in these inventions went on to found or advise most of the plasterboard tool manufacturers we know today, including Belmont Tools, the Ames brothers’ first company.
Although Plasterers 1 Stop Shop mainly sells machine and hand plastering tools and equipment, focusing less on the plasterboard side of the trade, it is still interesting to know how these inventions came about, and how they can be useful. You never know, this could come up in a pub quiz and as a plasterer, everyone will expect you to know the answer!