At US Frame Factory we love steel framing and exclusively build with it. It’s lighter, stronger, straighter, fire-resistant, and mold-resistant. It’s a great alternative to wood especially here in southern Louisiana. However, metal stud framing can be intimidating to get into it. Keep reading to learn about the necessary equipment and how to frame headers.
EQUIPMENT: When cutting metal studs and track an abrasive blade is what you will use for making your cuts. We found that buying high-end blades from weld shops works better. In total you need.
- Metal shears
- Metal snips
- Table saw with abrasive blade
- Drills and self-tapping metal screw(We found that LOX bits and screws work best)
CUTS AND MATERIAL LAYOUT: We recommend cutting everything and laying it out before starting. Always use the same measuring tape to measure for cuts as you use on the floor. For repeated lengths, set up a stop length jig. For larger big crew jobs have one person continuously cutting while others assemble and screw in. If possible you can order pre-cut lengths from local roll-formers, like us.
TOLERANCES AND GAPS: In metal stud-based framing, we shoot for a 1/16 inch tolerance with cuts and overall dimensions. When making panels use ratchet straps to draw in the metal and get a minimal gap. Ideally, you want the gap to be so narrow that you can’t fit a credit card underneath it. This will increase the strength of your building.
HEADERS: There are a few ways to make headers. And sometimes you need larger studs/track than for your walls. We used a box beam header approved by our engineer. We used them extensively in our first Church Point Project.
I’ll be posting more guides soon. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.