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Monty, there are a couple of setting type compounds out there. One of them, 'easy-sand', will give you no problems in the sanding area and can be used in every phase. I like to keep all of my early phase work (taping, fill) below surface so as to preclude sanding altogether. Then top coat and feather with a broad knife or trowel, paying attention to the edges. This leaves little dusting and may get textured anyway. Size of project and working time of the compound are your limiting factors. I hate to have the mud hit in the bucket so I try to gauge the amount needed, mix it, get it on the surface quickly and work it from there. The beauty of these products is that you can, depending on the size, complete a project in a really short time. Clean tools and buckets often. Hope I didn't go on too much and that it helps. best Al
I used a setting compound yesterday. I was taping a bathroom that had to be ready for paint in 24 hours. I udes a easy sand 20 to embed the tape and first coat the bead. A easy sand 45 for the second coat, went out for lunch and finish coated the job with a lightweight drying type compound. I ran a fan all night with the heat set in the house at 70 degrees. It was dry the next morning and I sanded it out this morning.