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2015-Sep-5 - Wooroloo - Loft Floor Joists #5
A bit of a lost weekend.

Much of Saturday morning went on purchasing a front door from a salvage yard.

I walked in there, earlier in the week, looking for a 870 mm door (older standard) to fit my existing panelled door frame.

I spotted an 850 door with an attractive leadlight panel.

It is a reproduction, but still genuine quality leadlight.

So Saturday morning I was there at 9.30 waiting for Linda and Tony M to come and give it the tick of approval.

The door passed inspection , but by the time I had transported it home, I did not reach the building site until 2.30 pm.

I spent the day lining up the top of the stud frames for the left hand outer wall and the left hand of the corridor.

To do this I nailed on small wooden blocks of 25mm thickness, ran a string line and tried inserting a 25 mm block along the length.

By a combination of adjusting existing diagonal braces, and adding new ones, I was able to straighten these walls to within 4 mm down their length. By eye they looked perfectly straight.

Then by the fading light of sundown I climbed up a ladder and started marking up floor joist positions along the top plates.

I have some reasonably complicated steel work happening - a cantilevered bathroom over the stairwell and a front roof support over the hallway.

Wherever these touch the purlins I will also need to allow for cleats on the steel work to carry the attachments.

For the bathroom steel work I plan to create a template out of some spare steel stud framing left over from the construction of the undercroft framing.

It is the same width as the PFC 150 I intend to use.

Just before I stopped for the day I discovered that the top plate of one side of the stairwell is badly bowed.

I am expecting the straightening of this to throw my wall alignments out again so it looks like I will have to repeat all my work with the string lines.


We saw a movie in the morning ("A Walk in the Woods") and it was not until 3.00 pm that I managed to get out on site again.

I put up the small blocks of wood again and left the string lines in place for now.

While I was contemplating how to straighten the bowed plate I had visitors arrive so it was not until the light was failing that I had a chance to make an attempt on this.

I tried clamping a Z100 purlin against it but the purlin deformed instead of the plate.

Then I tried a Z150 heavy gauge purlin and this substantially removed the bow.

Surprisingly, the string lines did not show the outer wall or hallway wall being displaced by this process - so this is good news.

I have decided that I will use an LVL next weekend, clamped in place, at right angles, with some cheap sash clamps, and leave it in place for several months. I need to knock up a shelf bracket for beam to lie on.


During my lunch break I visited the site for an hour to install the LVL.

I think I know what has caused the bow now. I was a bit too keen when tightening up the bracing tensioners.

I think I will grind a special tool that will let me release the nails holding the straps in place under tension.

Releasing the tension and applying an opposite force should bring the plate in to alignment.


During a break from work I created a tool to denail the bracing on the bowed stud panel.

It was a miscellaneous home made tool that turned up inside a caravan we were once given.

It looks a little like a barbeque scraper.

I ground the tip down to a long thin chisel shape and then cut a wedge out at the centre of the "blade".


During my lunch break I drove out to site again and used the denailing tool to remove the bracing nails with minimal damage to the bracing and the underlying stud frames.

The tool is designed to chisel its way under the bracing, both sides of a nail, with the nail fitting in to the cut out wedge.

This then displaces the bracing sufficiently from the stud surface so that after a little bit of tapping back, the nail can be removed with pincers.

It took me about 20 minutes to release the tension on the bracing.

I a pretty sure this is the cause of the bowed top plate - one of the sash clamps fell off during the process, indicating that the tension had been significantly reduced.

The bowed stud plate

The angle brackets

Beam clamped up

Reasonably straight stud plate after clamping

The strapping denailer tool