Installing blocking for top plate


Old 07-06-05, 11:13 AM
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Installing blocking for top plate

I want to frame out one of the walls in my small basement. The top plate runs parallel to the joists. The first exposed joist is about 6-8" from the wall so I will need to install blockings to secure the top plate. The unexposed joist sits recess on top of the cider blocks. The question is how do I nail the end of the blockings to the unexposed joist (can't get my nail gun between the space or get a good swing with a hammer)? I don't want to move the wall 8" out from the cider blocks.
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Old 07-06-05, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 655
You are engaged in building an overhead ladder with recessed access to one of its sides. The blocking would normally be a straight piece of 2x4 lumber if you had unrestricted access. Let's assume that each one would be 14.5" long normally.

In order to tie into the concealed joist, you need a ledger board that can be lagged to the joist face. The ledger board is 1.5" thick, so the blocking is cut shorter by that amount - 13". I would reduce that by another 1/2" to anticipate any uneven sections in the joist.

Cut 5 or 7 blocking boards 12.5" long. Nail one end of each board to the 8' ledger board through what will be the back side of the ledger. You now have half of a ladder. Angle each blocking board toward its neighbor (if installed on edge) or down (if installed on face) so that the ladder can slide between the joists and onto the top of the cinder block wall. Make the ledger board parallel to the concealed joist and return the blocking boards to square to the ledger. Nail the free end of each blocking board to the exposed joist and fasten the ledger board to the concealed joist. There are several methods for fastening the ledger board:
- powder-actuated gun using a washer and the lightest powder charge available. The gun has a very long nose to permit use in a recess.
- lag screw installed with an impact wrench - extensions will permit deep recess installation.
- palm nailer driving 16D nails - this is a very compact tool that should fit down in the recess
- solid steel post about 12" long with a smooth-faced framing hammer or 3# drilling hammer will extend into the cavity

Happy framing.

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