tutorial #4: framing tips for shop and house wall builds

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Blog entry by patron posted 06-06-2013 05:50 PM 4369 reads 6 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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while building my new shop wall and a spray booth
it occurred to me that many here might get some help
or inspiration in the construction side of woodworking

that shop expansion or bathroom addition for instance

as construction has been my trade for going on 50 years now
(shop and cabinet and furniture came later)
here are some things you might find useful
when planning and building these things

this is not a time/life how too book
but what i have learned and seen done
as the quickest and best way to build a decent framed wall system

i recently built a 12’ x 40’ wall for a new shop
and with LJ’s littlecope help (and some union hard hat angels )

and went on to build a finishing spray booth up against it in one corner
with a temporary sloped tin roof for rain and snow runoff

well on to the tips
to start any wall first make the bottom ‘plate’ of the walls
(for a complete 4 wall building two opposite walls are full length
the other two come up to them butted inside
and need to be laid out from the full outside corner main wall included too
or the sheeting will not tie in the outside corner
and replicate each for the top ‘plates’
(on cement or for inside bath and kitchen i use pressure treated for the bottom plates)

all framing layouts are from the outside for material coverings ply or sheet goods
or siding use which are sold in 2’ lengths so as to conserve on material costs
(interior sheet rock is cheaper and can be cut to fit whatever stud layout is there easier)

lay both top and bottom plates together side by side
and transfer the stud layout together

now for the corners
the best corner is simply two regular studs nailed together
for the primary full length walls both ends
for the secondary ones they just have a single stud on the end
to nail to the primary corner assembly when they are in place
(i use the warped or bowed ones for this as they can straighten each other)

and gives the best inside nailing surface for interior paneling or sheet rock 1 1/2” both ways
and as you can see has a full outside corner too for the sheeting there from both sides

(the old way of nailing blocks between two studs
leaves only 1” of nailing on one side of the corner
and can leave very little nailing if the sheeting isn’t laid up right)
and give it a place to nail to with full corners both sides

wall pockets are simply two studs with blocks the width of the intersecting wall
(you can even do this part way up a stud for a future counter or half wall)
nailed together in a ‘u’ whether it be a 2×4 or up to a 2×12 one
the blocks are the same as the intersecting one in width

this creates a very nice inside corner again with full nailing both ways
(for outside walls this is the time to insulate here)
or you will nave ‘cold corners’ in the rooms later
i went to get my saved insulation but my dog buddy
had trashed everything i had looking for mice
(i will drill a hoe thru the paneling later)
and pour in some styrofoam ‘peanuts’ to make up for it

headers for windows and doors
again using the twisted or bowed ones
a ‘trimmer’ is cut to the height needed for the bottom of the header to rest on
and transfers any weight from the roof to the trimmers
which are nailed to the studs both sides of the opening
(remember to increase the header length by the double thickness of the trimmers)
so the opening is the ‘rough in’ size of the window or door
(i add 1/2” to the rough size for any out of square in the opening
so the door or window can be plumb and level)

the headers need to be roughly wide enough to span the width of the opening
say 2×6 for up to 4’ of opening width
and i make blocks to spread them to the wall thickness
(like 2 1/2” for a 2×6 stud width – 1 1/2” x 2 x + 2 1/2” = 5 1/2” )
i have made them with three 2×6’s and a 1/2” spacer
but it wastes wood and they can get heavy

many make the mistake of toe nailing the ‘cripples’ or ‘jack’ shorter studs
(over the header to the top plate)
thru the edge into the header this can split then
i toe nail up from the header into the bottom of them on the side i can
and when the wall is up
go thru the walls and toe nail the other side the same

to help speed things up all of these ‘assemblies’ are made first
from any warped or bowed lumber and then are ready for their place in the wall where needed
the header and stud/trimmers are done as a unit to
if they need to be moved later (surprising how many housewife’s don’t like where a door or window is
after they are up and nailed in (even though they loved the plans at first)
moving a whole assembly is just a matter of cutting the unit top and bottom with a sawzall
with a metal blade and moving the whole thing to a more desired spot
rather than taking the whole thing apart with crowbars and hammers ruining most of the lumber
then just toe nailing the whole thing thru the sides of the studs back into the plates

even though i had a full shop 20’ away all this work was done on sawhorses right on the floor
next to the work with skill saws and construction tools and air framing nailer

for all my cross cutting l use a large speed square and a skil worm drive left side ‘77’ saw
and simply make a mark on the front edge of the wood
and holding the square from the back and the board together
run the saw against the edge of the offset square so the blade cuts right on the line
all the ends are square then and all the drops are too
walking back and forth to the shop and letting the fly’s and wind in there is just to much trouble
and takes to much time (i did make the header blocks and some simple cuts on the table saw
but could have used a job site saw or the skil saw for that outside to (i was just to lazy to bother with that)

all layout for framing is from the outside corner both way as i said before
and the sheeting needs to be from that corner too leaving a ‘v’ there
so as not to offset the paneling edge on the center of all studs

laying out for stud centers

the tape is hooked to the wall end (outside corner)
in both directions
and the desired stud spacing (here it is 16”) is marked 3/4” to either side of the 16” mark
so the sheeting will land in the center of the stud and not to it’s edge (common mistake)

for pockets they need not be in sequence with stud layout
but the other studs still want to be in sequence for the paneling

for window and door framing again they can be placed wherever needed
but the ‘cripples’ (the short ones over the header and under the sill (for a window)
still need to be in sequence with the stud layout
this header shown is not a standard header
but just a flat 2×6 as the wall is non-bearing and the window is narrow
but the cripple over it is in sequence with the stud layout

wall placement
i move the framed wall to a snap line on the floor that will be the inside of the bottom plate
and toe nail it at a 45* angle down to the floor there before paneling it (if applicable)
standing the wall up is safer and easier then
as the toe nails act as a hinge and keep the wall from sliding as it is raised
(i did try to nail blocks once to the floor edge once but while raising it
the blocks fell off and the wall slipped of the floor
fortunately my brother “joe ” was by the window rough in opening
and managed to be in that spot as the wall came crashing back down
he never let me forget that claiming ‘back problems’ when ever we did that again)

for cement floors the bottom plate needs to be pre-drilled (5/8”)
for the anchor bolts (when laying them out in the wet cement
do try and put them in between framing as chiseling for them in stud bottoms is a real pain
and make sure you leave more than just the threads (3/4” extra) up
as the washers and nuts need to have enough thread to work right

and of course you will need to brace the walls once they are up
i put one brace outside the first wall on the end down to the floor outside edge
and the next one over far enough away to lay out the secondary end wall in place
it holds the wall there and is a stop for the secondary wall when it is raised too

for later when sheeting inside
i make a cardboard with a cut-out in it to place on the floor before each stud or framing member
and spray the floor with some black spray can paint so i know where the nailing is till the walls
are paneled and base trimmed till the floor is covered too and finished

well that about does it for now
i do hope some of you might get something from this
if you are thinking about adding or building a shop or some needed space somewhere

thanks for looking
and please work safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

30 comments so far

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 06-06-2013 06:10 PM

Good deal David, I enjoyed the read. I sold all my wood working stuff, but kept a few things jig saw, hammer, squares. I need to build a mini shed in front of my drive way before winter….It’s a real———pulling the snow blower from the north east corner of the house to the south west corner. I seen Mikes pictures of your area, they were very beautiful pictures.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 06-06-2013 06:14 PM

David very good
It is great to share your knowledge
You have much to share

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1903 posts in 2418 days

#3 posted 06-06-2013 06:23 PM

Thanks Mr. David. Lot’s of useful information. I worked construction my senior year of high school but I was more the guy who ran boards up and down the stairs for the guys who were doing the real work. That and I picked up the trash too. I did learn a little, mostly about roofing however. I’ll be saving this one for when I can finally build my shop (25 to 50 years down the road or so….....).

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#4 posted 06-06-2013 06:28 PM

thanks guys
always a pleasure to keep the shares going

i might be there soon myself
i made a promise to sell my tools
when i find my attention drifting
and before i have an accident
from them

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10668 posts in 4501 days

#5 posted 06-06-2013 06:29 PM

Very good David!

I could have used this back in about 1980… LOL

GOOD JOB… It’s nice to see how an expert does it…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3752 days

#6 posted 06-06-2013 06:35 PM

looks really good david, sure makes me itch for building again, i was blessed to be able to build my shop and my house, and my old senco nailer did it all, i loved the framing part, well i loved doing it all, but the framing is always fun, i learned a lot from doing it , and now wish i could do some more, but i will enjoy watching this project as you blog on it, be careful with this building, i know ive been tempted before to try and do to much…thanks for the blog…and you take care amigo…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#7 posted 06-06-2013 06:35 PM

you got that right joe

i’m a real ex pert

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#8 posted 06-06-2013 06:38 PM

thanks grizz

maybe a shed someday
if you don’t use up all that outside wood you got
laying in the open

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bricofleur's profile


1462 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 06-06-2013 06:59 PM

Spray paint the floor at each stud location? Awesome, quick and fool proof! Thanks David.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#10 posted 06-06-2013 07:05 PM

hi serge

that is much easier than measuring over from the corner
and subtracting the wall thickness
or messing with stud finders
and shooting nails into the hollow spaces

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile


2128 posts in 4476 days

#11 posted 06-06-2013 07:13 PM

good tips.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#12 posted 06-06-2013 07:16 PM

howdyle jack

you must be off for the summer now
got any new things in the mix for us

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Lenny's profile


1638 posts in 3976 days

#13 posted 06-06-2013 07:38 PM

Hi David. Thank you for sharing your experience and helpful tips. Lots of useful information here!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#14 posted 06-06-2013 07:46 PM

you got to watch (and maybe help some)
when you re-did your own shop lenny

maybe next time you will be able to save some money
by doing most of the build yourself

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3046 days

#15 posted 06-06-2013 07:51 PM

David, it is great that you can pass down some of your accumulated knowledge to us. I came away with a better understanding of how to build walls. Thanks again.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

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