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flati 01-11-2010 05:17 PM

Framing Question
After framing my basement and standing the walls in place, I noticed that some of the studs must be bowed outward somewhat. I placed a 4' level across four studs at a time and its obvious some sit out as much as maybe 1/2-5/8". I hand picked the wood eyeing up/down each piece and I'm very precise when framing, I can't understand this. My wife says I'm being silly, this won't be visible after the drywall is attached and that the framers that built the house would not have taken as much time hand picking the lumber or framing it and the rest of the home looks just fine. Will this show after hanging the drywall?

bjbatlanta 01-11-2010 05:53 PM

You'll notice it more with the trim than the drywall. Yes the bow will be apparent to anyone who's "looking for it". To most, it won't be noticed. Even "hand picked" lumber can and will bow once you get it on the job if you don't install it pretty quickly, and often after it is installed. That's what comes from the way lumber is grown "rapidly" these days. It is harvested, milled, "kiln" dried, bundled, and shipped. Once the bands are cut on a bundle of 2"x's the "warping" begins (or so it seems). If I'm framing a basement (for example), I'll hand pick enough 2"x's for a couple of days, then re-stock. I don't usually leave much sitting over a weekend. Again, some will still bow (and I check and correct before I hang drywall) even in place, but not nearly as many. A bow of 1/2" may not be much, but if one stud bows "in" that much and the next bows "out" that much, you'll definitely have issues....

flati 01-11-2010 07:16 PM

Si I guess I'm gonna have to remove the bowed boards and replace with new ones, huh? Is there something that I can do to straighten the bowed ones while they are up or even after taking them down? How should this lumber be stred, with weight on it?

II Weeks 01-11-2010 07:21 PM

this is one of the many reasons Im in favor of metal studs in basments. Remove the real bad ones and replace. 1/4" out wont be noticed but 1/2" + will.

jlhaslip 01-11-2010 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by flati (Post 381116)
Si I guess I'm gonna have to remove the bowed boards and replace with new ones, huh? Is there something that I can do to straighten the bowed ones while they are up or even after taking them down? How should this lumber be stred, with weight on it?

If they are a concern, using a sawzall, cut the stud in the middle of the 'sweep' (from the back) a little less than half way through and nail/screw a piece onto the side as you straighten it. This will work only for non-structural studs.

flati 01-11-2010 07:53 PM

I'll go home and check them over later and measure exactly how far out and how many. Whats the best method, a 4' level across a few studs in the center of the wall or a string from end to end?

pyper 01-11-2010 07:55 PM

The ones that are bowed in you can shim out -- take some paneling and rip it -- staple it up. Use self stick tiles for transitions and dips of less than 1/8 inch.

You'll see the walls aren't flat, particularly since you spent the time finding straight studs and since you already know they won't be.

You might want to get an 8' straightedge. Johnson Controls has one that they sell at Lowes or HD for pretty cheap. It's in two parts and bolts together. Or you can use a piece sliced off some OSB.

Willie T 01-11-2010 08:41 PM

2 Attachment(s)
These two drawings show how to take the bow out of studs, whether from the side that is bowed IN, or from the side bowed OUT. (This is in case you can only get to one side of the wall.)

Obviously, it is easiest to work from the side that is bowed OUT (bottom picture) because no wedges are required that way.

Straightening a stud from the side that is bowed IN (top picture) is a little more involved because you have to force wedges into the saw cuts to draw the bow back toward you. (you saw cut the studs, no matter which side you are working from)

Of course, for the best stability, nail on a piece of plywood to the side of the cut stud when it is forced back to where you want it to be.

II Weeks 01-11-2010 09:26 PM

nice, drawing Willie

how many studs are we talking about?

to see if a wall is straight, yeah, use a string from end to end but have each end off the stud with a piece of 3/4" inch block or one of those bowed studs will "f" you up.


canyonbc 01-11-2010 10:04 PM

Willie T - I like your idea alot

I have also worked with some guys who take a electric powered hand held planer

like this one

It worked really well.

Now all walls that we did it on were in the master bedroom and non bearing walls. The customers only really cared about there room, at least that is all they asked us to really check.

flati 01-12-2010 10:24 AM

Nice Willie, think I'll give that a try.

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