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rob_chalk 08-14-2010 12:00 PM

Nasty Load bearing wall with twisted studs, and crown issues
I have a load bearing wall that goes down the centre of my basement, I am in the process of finishing the basement and just realized how bad this main partition wall is.

Instead of a standard beam in the centre of my basement I have a 2x6 (dimensional lumber) framed wall running down the centre. When it was built it appears they did not pay attention to the crown of the 2x6's and many have since twisted and on a 4' level there could be as much as 3/4" gap on some studs.

What I would like to know if anyone has a suggestion on how to hide this imperfection to make it appear true.

I was thinking of using 1x2 strapping across the length to minimize the problem with the crowns being in different directions but is there a better solution that does not involve removing and replacing this load bearing wall.

BigJim 08-14-2010 12:43 PM

The only two things I can think of is on the crowned 2Xs pop a line from the top plate to the bottom plate on the crowned side and cut the crown off and tack it on the back side. The other thing would be to pull a string an inch out from top and bottom plates and nail a 2X4 beside the 2X6s out flush with the string. JMHO

bjbatlanta 08-22-2010 10:58 AM

Pull a string to determine which ones are bad and replace them....

KennMacMoragh 08-23-2010 11:00 PM

The way it's typically done is with a straightedge, butt shims, and a hand planer. Grab a six foot level and check your wall for straight, shim the low points, plane down the high points until your wall is straight. You can buy small packs of butt shims at Home Depot for pretty cheap, then tack them on with a hammer tacker.

If you don't have a hand planer, another method for straitening a wall is the strong back method. Where ever there is a bow, cut a notch in the stud 1 5/8" deep by 3 1/2" high. Cut a 2 x 4 the length of the adjacent stud bays, should be 30 1/2" if your wall has 16" centers. Nail it inside your notch, nail one end to the nearby stud, pull on your 2 x 4 to straiten your wall, then nail the other nearest stud to your block.

It's easier to draw a picture, but that's the best I can explain it. There are other methods to straiten a wall too, like the band aid method. But since you are working with a load bearing wall, you want to use the strong back method like I described.

Cache 08-24-2010 08:27 AM

With the price of dimensional lumber being what it is right now, you really should just replace the crowned studs. Shouldn't take more than an hour or so and that really is the "right" way to fix it. Lumber is CHEAP right now anyway. 2x6 studs are running me $2 each right now.

Just pull a string or use a straightedge and determine which ones are crowned too much. I'd say anything more than 1/4". Knock (or even better use a sawzall with a metal blade) them out one at a time and replace each one before moving on to the next. Very simple! :thumbup:

Max you are out a couple hours and about $50.

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