Free Hands Drywall Cleats

Drywall Construction Aid

I’m finishing my basement and am in the drywall phase of this year-long solo project. After renting a 100 lb drywall lift for a weekend for $60 to get the largest ceiling panels positioned, I found Free Hands on the internet. They are simple plastic cleats which you screw into the studs or joists to provide a ledge to support an edge of the drywall while you position and screw it in place. I’ve been using them for all the rest of the odd-sized and half-sheet drywall panels on the ceiling and all the panels on the walls. It takes about a minute to attach and remove the two cleats each time. The smooth plastic surfaces allow me to slide the drywall up onto the cleats and move the panel around until I get a precise fit. They’re sturdy and inexpensive, and I’m making good progress with them. I could have made cleats out of scrap wood, but I really doubt they would have performed nearly as well as these. They’ve made one-person drywalling possible for me.

-- Malcolm MacDonald 03/29/06

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