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Old 05-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Fasteners for soffit


I am framing by basement, and I have a lam beam & HVAC trunk line which run down the middle span of the main area to be finished.

I plan on building a soffit to enclose both. my question is, what kind of screws should I be using to support the weight of 2x4 framing & 1/2 drywall?

The joists are engineered 2x4 trusses. I don't want the whole thing to come crashing down from weight some day

Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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Fasteners for soffit


I use ceramic coated decking screws for almost everything except drywall.

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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Fasteners for soffit


any reason in particular, or just because that's what you have?
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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Fasteners for soffit


I think you mean a bulkhead.

Technically, you should be using either 10d or 16d common nails, generally speaking. 16d when toenailing, for sure.

Screws are used in at least one popular cable show. They don't seem like structurally rated screws to me, but somehow they get their work passed by inspectors, so who knows. For something like a bulkhead, I'm not sure it will really matter if you use screws.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Fasteners for soffit


Never going to rust, the tips are made so they screw in faster, there not brittle, heads are tougher so you almost never have a cam out or have one snap off.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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Fasteners for soffit


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Originally Posted by cortell View Post
I think you mean a bulkhead.

Technically, you should be using either 10d or 16d common nails, generally speaking. 16d when toenailing, for sure.

Screws are used in at least one popular cable show. They don't seem like structurally rated screws to me, but somehow they get their work passed by inspectors, so who knows. For something like a bulkhead, I'm not sure it will really matter if you use screws.
you'll have to pardon my vernacular. I'm not in the building trades. I just feel like a free hanging bulkhead, secured to the joists with just nails, might sag eventually. I even mentioned this to a carpenter who changed out my patio sliding door and he agreed that it would be alot of weight to just have nailed in from the bottom into the joists.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Fasteners for soffit


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you'll have to pardon my vernacular. I'm not in the building trades. I just feel like a free hanging bulkhead, secured to the joists with just nails, might sag eventually. I even mentioned this to a carpenter who changed out my patio sliding door and he agreed that it would be alot of weight to just have nailed in from the bottom into the joists.
I'd trust the nails for a bulkhead. You're really not talking about that much load per nail, once you start considering how many nails would go into the assembly. This assumes you're not going to hang anything heavy from the bulkhead. That said, using screws is probably fine. I was just trying to point out that for framing in general, using nails is prescriptive; screws are not. Try finding a screw fastening schedule in the IRC or IBC Technically, screws could be used but their shanks need to perform like the prescribed nails in the fastening schedules, and that's not typically the case for average/common wood screws sold in box stores.

Now, the fastening schedules in the code books don't cover things like bulkheads, so, again, I doubt an inspector would raise an eyebrow over the use of screws there--even if they're non structural.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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Fasteners for soffit


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I'd trust the nails for a bulkhead. You're really not talking about that much load per nail, once you start considering how many nails would go into the assembly. This assumes you're not going to hang anything heavy from the bulkhead. That said, using screws is probably fine. I was just trying to point out that for framing in general, using nails is prescriptive; screws are not. Try finding a screw fastening schedule in the IRC or IBC Technically, screws could be used but their shanks need to perform like the prescribed nails in the fastening schedules, and that's not typically the case for average/common wood screws sold in box stores.

Now, the fastening schedules in the code books don't cover things like bulkheads, so, again, I doubt an inspector would raise an eyebrow over the use of screws there--even if they're non structural.
yah, all my framing thusfar has been with a hitachi n83a2 and either 2.5" or 3" nails. I was going to just do that, but again, got to worrying about weight. when I was going to build it out of 2x2's, I was going to just nail it. but i've had others tell me that could cause issues (again weight).

good info though.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:02 AM   #9
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Fasteners for soffit


In my experience, if you can get a small amount of Galvanized gun nails, you will never see that soffit sag. The holding power with those nails is incredible. I for one know that they certainly are not easy to pull out.

Secondly; You say you're going to use 2x4? You can lighten the load by using 2x3's instead. I would also pre-frame your soffit in 8' sections. This allows you to nail down into the end of each vertical stud in the run of your frame work.

If it's a straight run with no jogs, you'll simply build two side walls [that look like ladders with 16" o.c. framing]. Install each to a side and then complete the process by adding a 3/8" plywood to the bottom. This allows you maximum headroom. You would build your side walls to come down 3/4" below whatever it is you're covering.

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