Mar 30, 2009

18” Rollers - Your Friend and Foe

18" RollersI will be referring to the Wooster SHERLOCK® WIDE BOY™ HULK™ for this article because of the advantages it has over similar frames.

18” rollers can work to your advantage or work against you and knowing when to use them is ‘key’ to discovering when they benefit you most and when they don’t. I personally use an 18” roller more than any other size roller but I also use it with assistance of a 9” roller and sometimes a 6” using the appropriate roller for the size of surface being coated.

18" Rollers For the ultimate in productivity, the rule of thumb when using an 18” is this: If the area being rolled is less than 18” wide, use something smaller. You will be more productive keeping the 18 on wider areas and leave those shorter width areas for a 9” or a 6” and it’s good to have both ready at any time on larger jobs or have a second guy running the smaller frames just ahead of you — in a way — cutting in with a roller for the 18”.

TIP on Loading an 18” Roller: I’m not a big fan of the VVVV grooves on the ramp of the pan shown so I load the ramp with paint, put a final spin on the roller and at the same time raising the cover off the ramp which will produce the shot you see in the photo. At this split second, I lower the cover into the hanging stream of paint and while the cover is still spinning mid air, I collect as much of that paint hanging as the cover makes one full turn in the air.

Carefully select when to use the 18” roller horizontally, in some situations it can benefit you to roll under a 6’ wide window horizontally once you drop to your knees but on the other hand turning the rig horizontally to roll tighter to something or to roll a 12” wide area next to a door can be very counterproductive and leave you going home sore.

I prefer to roll out of a pan to avoid the downward dunking or loading inherent with the use of buckets. Pan rolling is particularly helpful when rolling with a 16’ pole with the pan placed across the room instead of positioning the pole downward into a bucket of paint.

The combined weight of a 6’ Purdy Pro Extra Extension pole, the 18” frame and loaded roller cover can easily be 6 lbs. and will take some getting use to.

PROS:
Can cut your rolling time in half compared to 9” rollers
Provides a more uniform consistent finish, fewer passes
¹Capable of covering up to 96 square feet of wall board in 60 seconds or less the equivalent to an 8’x12’ wall or you can buy a Speed Roller which was also field-tested to cover 100 square feet per minute if you don’t like loading.
¹Capable of rolling up to 8’ x 42” wide or more with a single load
¹100 sq ft of drywall can be covered in as little as 5-6 loads.
Better for back rolling with someone spraying vs a 9” roller

CONS:
Often not worth getting an 18” out for less than 2 gallons of paint
Say goodbye to small tight places
Cannot roll tight into corners due to dual side arm design
Can be cumbersome or awkward to use at first
Becomes heavy after prolonged use but becomes easier with regular use.

¹Dependent on roller nap size, pan use, loading method, surface and type of paint

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