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lay out the plates first

Posted by mongo on December 10th, 2001 10:36 PM
In reply to How to start your stud so they will come out on 16 in. center's by Zack Massie on December 9th, 2001 11:54 AM [Go to top of thread]

Lay out the plates...your top plate and your sole plate...on the floor. Lay them on the floor together, with the ends even with each other, so the 1.5" edges of the boards are facing up.

I'm left-handed, so if layout does not matter, I typically pull the tape left-to-right. I hook the tape over the left end of the boards and extend the tape to the right. For a 16" oc layout, make a pencil mark at 15 1/4, 31 1/4, 47 1/4,'re marking at 16" increments MINUS 3/4 of an inch.

Now take out a speed square or another type of square. I go back to the pencil marks and extend the mark over the 1.5" edge of both the top and sole plates, and also mark an "X" on the right side of the line. The "X" reminds me which side of the line to place the stud. If you pulled your tape right-to-left, you'd make the "X" on the left side of the line.

Now separate your plates by the length of the studs, and place your studs between the plates. I use the straightest studs for kitchen and bath walls, as well as for door and window openings. Any studs with a slight crown are laid out so the crowns all face the same way...up or down. Any studs that are too warped are cut up for cripples. Any that are horribly warped are sent back to the lumberyard. Line up the studs so they are on the "X" side of the lines, and nail away. I nail off one plate first, then nail off the other.

By making the mark 3/4" LESS than the 16", 32", 48" measurements and holding the edge of the stud to that layout line, the center of the stud will fall exactly on the 16", 32", 48"...96", etc, measurement.

When you sheath or hang the drywall, hang from the same side you hooked the tape on the plates. If I layout left-to-right, I sheath left-to-right.

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