Home » RWW Blog » Woodworking Tutorial – Chapter 8

Woodworking Tutorial – Chapter 8


Wall framing includes assembling of vertical and horizontal members that form the outside walls and partitions, or inside walls of the structure. This frame supports upper floors, ceilings and roof. It also serves as a nailing base for inside and outside wallcovering materials.

The term “system” commonly means methods and materials of construction. It is used in connection with floors , ceilings and roofs as well as walls. Included are the design of the framework as well as the wall covering materials and the method of applying them.

For example, a floor system includes;
1. The details of the sill construction.
2. Size and spacing of joists.
3. The kind of subflooring.
4. Application requirements.


The wall-framing members used in conventional construction include a sole plates ( bottom ), top plates, headers, and studs.Also included in the framing are partition locations with in the wall framing. Studs and plates are usually made from 2 x 4 lumber, while headers are made out of heavier lumber from 2 x 6 lumber up to and including 2 x 12 lumber.
Bracing used to be 1 x 4 lumber let into the studs on a 45 degree angle, from the top plate to the sole plate on the corners. However today the use of plywood or OSB is used to square the frame and also provides wind sheer bracing. In one story structures, studs are sometimes placed on 24″ O.C. ( on center ). However 16″ spacing is more commonly used.
Note extra studs are used ;
1. At corners of load bearing walls.
2. At the sides of window and door openings.
3. Where an interior wall joins an outside wall.

Conventional stud spacing of 16″ and 24″ has evolved from years of established practice. It is based more on accommodating the wall covering materials than on the actual calculation of imposed loads.
Full length studs become cripple studs when they end because of an opening. Trimmer studs ( jack  studs ) stiffen the sides of an opening and support the header.They are secured to what is known as the King stud.

Wall framing lumber must be strong and straight with good nail-holding power. Warped lumber will not do the job, especially if the interior finish is drywall. Standard framing materials must be  no more than a 15% moisture content in order to be used in the framing of a structure.


Any of several methods can be used to form the outside corners of the wall frame. In platform construction the wall frame is usually assembled in sections on the rough floor and then raised. Corners are formed when the side wall and the end wall are joined. Usually a second stud is used in the side wall frame. It should be spaced  inward from the end stud with blocking between. Only straight studs should be used for this operation.

Some carpenters prefer to build the corners for platform construction seperately. They are set in place and carefully squared and braced before the wall sections are raised.


Where partitions meet the outside walls, it is essential that they be solidily fastened. This requires extra framing.

The framing must also be arrainged so inside corners provide a nailing surface for wall-covering materials. Several methods can be used to tie the walls together and provide the nailing surfaces needed:
1. Install extra studs in the outside wall. Attach the partition to them.
2. Insert blocking and nailers between the regular studs.
3. Use blocking between the regular studs and attach patenented back up clips to support inside wall coverings at the inside corners.

More on this chapter at a later date.