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Old 04-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Cutting metal joists?


The short of it is: Can I cut existing metal joists with Shears? (The hand held, manual super-scissors, kind)

The long of it is: Condo. all metal joists. The washroom sheetrock is out 8" from the concrete dividing wall. I want to "sink" a 12" deep kitchen cabinet into the wall. That way it only sticks out 4" over the toilet, but when opened, you have huge depth for towels and the wife's junk... Trouble is 2 metal joists in the opening.

Anyway, I want to cut the hole exactly the size of the cabinet and push it in (smallest trim possible), so I would be happy if I can snip these joists, and be done. Otherwise its an 18TPI blade on the jigsaw and I'll need at least 3" of sheetrock clearance, top and bottom... Or the G-damned hacksaw.

Any help is appreciated

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Old 04-15-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Cutting metal joists?


I use tin snips so yes, it's doable.

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Old 04-15-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Cutting metal joists?


Thanks Jay.
And I'm sure the neighboring units would thank you too if they heard the power saw hacking through tin framing!
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
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Cutting metal joists?


I really hope you mean wall stud and not floor or ceiling joist. Tell me you mean wall stud. If that wall is between units it may also be a fire wall. So you need to check to see if you can put that cabinet in a firewall.

Last edited by wildcat; 04-15-2009 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #5
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Cutting metal joists?


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Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
I really hope you mean wall stud and not floor or ceiling joist. Tell me you mean wall stud. If that wall is between units it may also be a fire wall. So you need to check to see if you can put that cabinet in a firewall.
Sorry, are they called 'studs' in the US? Ive only ever heard them called "wall joists" up here in Canada.

No worries about the fire-rating. Thought I covered that when I said:
The washroom sheetrock is out 8" from the concrete dividing wall.
- Its a high-rise, city condo.

Last edited by 1forest1; 04-15-2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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Cutting metal joists?


You are right about the fire wall thing. After I posted that I got to thinking that since that is a washroom that the 8" air space was probably considered a chase therefore the firewall rating was taken care of completely by the detailing of that concrete dividing wall.

Yep, in the US studs are almost always vertical members, while joist are horizontal members.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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Cutting metal joists?


Not sure what part of Canada you're in, but here in Alberta they're well known as "steel studs" and yes tin snips is the recommended way of cutting them, even during framing. It's quick and no mess but watch the sharp edges.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:13 PM   #8
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Cutting metal joists?


once you cut the "studs" you have to make headers for the top and bottom of the opening out of the corrisponding size track in order to lock the cut ends of the studs in place. tin snips should work fine for this situation unless the gauge of the studs is thicker than 20 gauge. anything heavier than a 20ga. steel is hard to cut by hand.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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Cutting metal joists?


Tin snips work perfect for vertical metal studs... just did that in my bathroom with $11 simple ones from Home Depot (then returned them...shhhh..). A couple things I learned after ruining one stud:
1) If the gap between floor and ceiling joist is say 8 feet, cut it 7'3/4" or a bit shorter... allowing for the joist movement as well as ease of getting it into the space...
2) on existing walls, adding a stud in can be difficult cause you don't usually have room to maneuver the stud into place/use a hammer to tap into perfect allignment... metal studs make it easy cause you can actually bend em a bit
3) like N0C7 said, REALLY watch the snipped edges... I grazed my finger along it by accident and sliced me pretty deep... take a stone or something like that and soften the edges if you will be working near the snipped part.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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Cutting metal joists?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
just did that in my bathroom with $11 simple ones from Home Depot (then returned them...shhhh..).
I just bought a pair of snips from HD - they seemed kinda dull...

Actually I did my entire basement in my old house with metal studs and an old pair of snips and had no problems (but yes watch the edges)....

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