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Old 09-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Framing a soffit

I'm creating Two ladders to run down each side of my air ducts and support beam on the unfinished basement ceiling. This will be a soffit which I will connect both ladders underneath and drywall. I am having trouble making my ladders level before I attach them to the floor joists on the ceiling.

What should I be using or doing in order to keep these ladders completely level?
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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frame it to a laser level line
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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When I did mine, I shimmed between the joists and the ladders as needed. I did one side first and made sure it's level. Then did the other side and ran the level across both ladders to spot check.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
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Getting ready to do the same thing myself. I do have a laser and plan on using it. Here are the steps that I'm doing.
1. build ladders to length and height
2. Set top plate position off of beam/duct with laser or chalk line
3. Tack top plate 1 or 2 spots to hold in place
4. Reposition laser or string line to finished level and begin nailing top plate making sure bottom plate is on level line.

When nailing top plate with gun I use a wonder bar and pry down to level and nail with wonder bar holding resistance to maintain my level line. I don't shim unless I'm way - way out...usually hanging from floor joists you should be pretty good across the length of your soffit.

Do the other side the same way and level with a 4 or 6 foot level, string line or laser if you've got one.

The way I'm building my ladders is with 2x4 with a 2x3 ledger or face board on the bottom...think of it like this build a normal 2x4 stud wall but build it 1.5 inches short. Add the 2x3 to the bottom plate flush to the outside face of the wall. This allows me to nail up from the bottom into the bottom plate twice and twice through the face of the 2x3. Probably overkill but boards are cheap and I don't want to sagging drywall. 16 inch centers for me as well.
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