South wall blocking

South wall blocking

Dean came over one Saturday and we tackled blocking installation. Blocking (wood blocks installed between the wall studs) is required by fire code and also adds structural strength and drywall nailing edges. Using 2x4s we salvaged during first floor demo, we measured each stud bay along the North wall and cut separate pieces for the bottom, the middle, and the top behind the ribbon. We need the middle piece because we have 10′ ceilings. I wasn’t sure how fast or slow it was going to go, but we made pretty good progress. With Dean taking measurements and nailing, and me working the saw, we managed to get the entire North wall done and about a third of the South wall.

Bottom blocking

Bottom blocking

We used the nail gun to make fast work of the installation, and employed a couple techniques to avoid toe-nailing. Because the top of the floor joist terminates between the studs (a feature of balloon-frame construction) we were able to nail one end of the bottom blocking down into the joist and then nail into other end from the next stud over and work our way down. For the middle blocks we staggered so we could end nail from both sides. At window edges we nailed a small block to the stud and then nailed the blocking down into it. Finally, for the top we cut down the blocking on the table saw so it would fit behind the ribbon and then face-nailed them. We had to individually measure each piece because of the unevenness of the stud spacing, but it went fairly quickly.

Middle blocking

Middle blocking

The East and West walls we had to hold off on for the time being because the floor joists run parallel to the walls, meaning once we install the bottom blocking it will seal off a cavity below the floor. We’ll wait until the spray foam installation to put in the blocking so that everything gets insulated properly. There’s more blocking to do, but it requires  me to once again rearrange my tools and all the other stuff we have leaning against the walls. I started on it this week, and hope to get through most of it. As always, a big thanks to Dean for his help!

Top blocking (behind ribbon)

Top blocking (behind ribbon)

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