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How to shorten a 2 x 4 joist made from old pine

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Forum topic by richard2345 posted 02-18-2013 07:48 PM 1056 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richard2345

20 posts in 821 days


02-18-2013 07:48 PM

Hello,
I am replacing a 2×4 (actual dimensions) load bearing wall stud in my house because the original was cut to make way for an AC return. The wood in question is from the original framing, which would make it 120 years old, and very hard. The stud is 106 7/8” high, and the replacement stud I made by joining two other stud pieces together is longer by about 1/16 – 1/8”. I don’t want to bang the stud in place too forcefully because I don’t want to damage the plaster and lath, so I need to shorten the joist. I don’t want to bring the stud down 3 flights of stairs to my table saw again… is there an easy way to shorten the joist in place?

Thank you!

Thank you everyone for the range of opinions expressed. Can anyone recommend an online reference for framing that may contain information about when it is appropriate to replace versus sister a stud? I have a feeling this is not the only stud in my house that will require repair.


28 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5200 posts in 1299 days


#1 posted 02-18-2013 07:55 PM

fein

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1691 days


#2 posted 02-18-2013 08:07 PM

So you would rather take a bit off a joist rather than trim the stud?

Have you not got a mitre saw or hand saw you could bring up to trim the stud?

View crank49's profile

crank49

3481 posts in 1693 days


#3 posted 02-18-2013 08:17 PM

Jorgensen Pony Japanese type pull saw.
I cut 16 4×4 posts with one of these.
Amazing how easy it is to cut, especially when trying to get a thin cut off the end.

Cheaper alternative, Stanley “Sharp Tooth” standard western type saw.
Sells for about $12. Goofy plastic tote and all.

Wait a minute. You said “stud” in one sentence and “joist” in another. Which is it?
I was referring to shortening a stud.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Don W's profile

Don W

15415 posts in 1289 days


#4 posted 02-18-2013 08:36 PM

i’m a ittle confused as well. You would want to take an 1/8” off the stud. You can even make it just a hair short and shim it tight.

When you say you made a new “stud” by joining 2, how did you join them?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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richard2345

20 posts in 821 days


#5 posted 02-18-2013 08:38 PM

*note: I mean “stud” not “joist”. Re: renners note, I could perhaps plane the ceiling joist a little where the stud meets it. It would be much easier to plane the joist instead of the end grain of the stud. I would prefer, however, to shorten the stud if I can do so w/out too much hassle. I suppose I could bring it back down to the table saw.

Re: Japanese style pull saw, I love these saws and used one extensively to cut through studs when I was doing demolition. I don’t think though that I would be able to trim 1/16” evenly across the surface of this piece of wood.

Another thought I had was what about a really sharp block plane? I read that if the blade is sharpened properly, it should be able to cut shavings off of end grain.

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richard2345

20 posts in 821 days


#6 posted 02-18-2013 08:41 PM

Yes, I could shim it tight, if necessary. I joined a 6’ and 3’ stud of similar thicknesses by sandwiching them between two 25” pieces of scrap stud and then nailing those scrap pieces onto the main studs. That should provide enough lateral support. Any other way to join the studs? I do have a couple more in the house to fix, and I’m trying to use the same old wood to fix studs, where possible.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1691 days


#7 posted 02-18-2013 09:09 PM

No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong. Don’t touch the joist (or floor or upper wall plate). Shorten the stud. Should have inserted the wtf emoticon after my first sentence.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15415 posts in 1289 days


#8 posted 02-18-2013 09:15 PM

I agree with renners.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Tim's profile

Tim

1326 posts in 683 days


#9 posted 02-18-2013 10:20 PM

2×4 actual doesn’t have such a huge amount more strength than modern “2×4” that is 1.5×3.5, but I’d be very concerned about the strength of your joined stud. I’d be very surprised if it met code as the amount of lateral stress a stud is designed to handle would pop the nails. You’d be better off putting two modern studs in place of the old one you took out, each of them the full length. If you really want to match your old studs find similar full length material.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2011 posts in 999 days


#10 posted 02-18-2013 10:32 PM

richard2345 – agreement with renners (wtf included) and Don W. Cut the stud to fit. Tim – I will assume that the studs on either side of his repair are intact. If thats the case then his method of sistering 2 – 25” pieces should be fine.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1673 days


#11 posted 02-18-2013 10:34 PM

Perhaps you can post a picture so everyone’s on the same page. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 792 days


#12 posted 02-18-2013 10:55 PM

Up north we can get 2×4 studs for as cheap as a buck each. Just my 2 cents, but Id never sister up a wall stud when a new one is a buck. Id throw 2 new ones in and make boxes out of the 120 year old wood. :) Id burn the old wood before I would sister up a stud.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2011 posts in 999 days


#13 posted 02-18-2013 11:02 PM

The Box Whisperer - agreed – but richard2345 was using the materials he had on hand. As long as the studs on either side of his repair are intact, his sistering method would be fine, maybe not prefered, but fine

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3509 posts in 729 days


#14 posted 02-19-2013 02:11 AM

In the time it took you to post this and wait (then read) all these replies, you could have hauled it down to your saw, cut it to fit, and have it reinstalled by now LOL

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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kdc68

2011 posts in 999 days


#15 posted 02-19-2013 02:14 AM

joein10asee – ROFL….thanks

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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