The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can #16: More Progress on the Insullation and walls

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Blog entry by cmckerliesr posted 03-20-2011 02:22 AM 4105 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Pictures and stuff Part 16 of The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can series Part 17: Some progress »

Well there it is, the first wall covered.
Two sheets of OSB attached to 2X3’s that were cut in half length wise. The 2 X 3’s were 8 feet long, and I cut them in half, then every 3rd position that was indented I drilled 3 holes through the wall. I then had my son hold a 2X3 centered over the holes and I went outside to drive 1 inch metal roofing screws through the holes and into the 2X3’s. I drilled holes that were slightly smaller then the screws so they would bite on the metal of the can too. These made some real rock solid studs…..

Yeah I know I am going against most building standards and even how most people will tell you to put stud walls inside a can.

OK, let’s be honest. If you read anything about making a can into a house or any structure other then it being just a can. The basically tell you to put in a vapor barrier, then build a standard stud all against the side and put just about any type of insulation in between the studs. Sorry, but I do not agree. First I have had no condensation inside the can, even where I have put insulation. Plus attaching the 2×3’s directly to the wall of the can are very sturdy. While I can not make the studs 16 inch on center or any thing like that. I do have an intelligence level above plant life that tells me that I do not have to as long as I mark where the centers are. I chose to install the studs every three positions because it is as close as I can come to 16 inch on center.

What I mean by every three positions is: I first locate the rib that protrudes outward and closest to the corner. I then drill several holes down the center of the rib. The 2X3 is attached to the wall using 1 inch metal roofing screws. I then count three outward protruding ribs and in the third one and install the next 2X3.

OH I should back up and talk a little about installing the insulation. Before I had decided to install the 2X3’s the way I did above. I simply sprayed adhesive to the inward ribs. I unrolled the insulation and cut it to length so that I could put it on the walls horizontally.

Then before I installed the 2X3’s I cut openings in the insulation where the 2X3’s were to be installed. Yes I know this is a little backward.

But I originally did not intend to install studs. MY original plan was to install the insulation, then press the OSB against the wall and insulation far enough to be able to run the screws from the outside into the OSB. I quickly found out that this was not possible since I could not press the OSB against the wall enough for the screws to grab the OSB. So, that is when I decided to install the 2X3 studs. Hopefully I explained all of that well enough so you do not think I am a complete idiot by not creating or installing studs first.

Just remember the studs only became part of this after my original plan fell apart and the insulation was already up. For those who are saying the studs should of been part of the plan all along. All I say is that I was trying to do this as cheap as possible, and installing a standard stud wall would of taken away some valuable space in the can. Then, once I found out that my original plan was not going to work. The 2X3 stud installation I describe above allowed me to attach the OSB while taking up the possible space.

Well that is it for now from the man in the can.

-- The Man in the Can, Craig M. North Carolina

4 comments so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#1 posted 03-20-2011 02:39 AM

Looks like a good plan to me, Craig!

I had a contractor tell me, not long ago, about a change in the way they now finish off basements. It applies here because they were concerned about condensation, too. He said they used to frame up a stud wall and set it with a space between it and the concrete basement wall. Insulate, drywall then finish. What they discovered was that the air space between the stud wall and the concrete/block wall was encouraging condensation and mold. Now they put everything tight against the concrete/block wall. They even use spray on insulation between the studs. He said the idea was to eliminate the air space as much as possible. Seems like that’s exactly what you did!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 03-20-2011 02:48 AM

Very nice!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3131 days

#3 posted 03-20-2011 07:21 AM

Those cans are plenty sturdy, and need no studs (which are structural members), nor any other bracing (they are even made to stack about seven high! Technically, what you are making, and all that are needed, are furring strips, which are commonly used as spacers against existing walls for installing many types of panelling. By “roofing screws”, I assume you are refering to the screws with the rubber gasketed washers. These would be plenty effective in this installation.

Those OSB panels should do away with all the problems you have had in the past about adhering things to the walls, and the insullation is a must in any steel can.

Good luck with tour shop build. I am glad to see you back out there.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View Grumpy's profile


23917 posts in 3849 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 12:33 AM

That’s some job Craig

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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