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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Tesla, good point. The vertical studs look like they have a slenderness ratio approaching 50-1 (2" in 8'). Good puff of wind and that roof will put a heck of a buckling load on the walls. Is this 'balloon framing' as mentioned in another post, relying on the inner and outer sheathing for strength?


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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 333
Alan, this is not balloon framing. With balloon framing, the studs run continuously up 2 or 3 three stories, with the 2nd and 3rd floor joists resting on a ribbon that is rabbetted into the studs. Balloon framing was more of an "east coast" framing method. Here in the west, we "platform frame", with individual studs running from floor to ceiling on each floor level.

Tesla, in picture #1, there is a single gang plaster ring below the panel. It looks like there is rebar bent over to the ring for the UFER connection.


[This message has been edited by stamcon (edited 09-11-2005).]

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Alan, this is an un-finished version of "platform framing", balloon framing's younger wiser brother. [Linked Image] (It is missing fire blocking at the mid-point of the wall.)

(For our European friends... Not sure if this type of framing is popular there.) It is based on the balloon framing technique, except it stops at each floor with a top plate, and rim joist for each floor, then starts again on the next floor. The floor and roof joists sit on top of the top plate, and nailed to the rim joist. And correct, still is not at full strength until the walls are complete. The material, and method of attatchment will determine its final shear strength. Like the semi-finished example in the backround of pic #1.

Where I am in earthquake country, certain walls at engineered to maximize that shear value. "Shear walls" usually have simular 16" on center 2x4 or 2x6 framing, then have cross grained multi-ply plywood nailed in a tight pattern on the edges, and each stud with 10d nails, on one side or both. Often they will have hold-down brackets and those are bolted to the top, and bottom plates though to the foundation. And on regular walls from the foundation, the sill plate is bolted down, as shown in pic #2.

Heres a nice animation describing shear wall basics. (wait, it takes a bit to start.)

Stamcom, its not so much an east west thing, more to do with the era of development. Many buldings in the west were balloon framed before 1920. Like much of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Even some of the older Vic's, and Ed's in and around San Diego and Coronado. (What are left of them)

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 09-12-2005).]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
What happens is they skim off cement and replace it with more sand in the mix than normal.

A neighbor told us of the "farmer's mix concrete" once... usually it's cement and sand 1:3, farmer's mix is 1:10...
I just had to hack a door into a 12" brick wall and I _still_ prefer brick construction over wood frame!

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 938
Likes: 2
Some of my comments,the 1st thing that caught my eye was, that PVC TA on steel pipe,and 2nd was the cheesy way of "supporting" the bundle of NM cables,thought it would make a good photo.

Another comment made here was about the bundling of the cables,with the design of those panels,1/2 being used for metering,that does not leave much space for KOs (approx. 3 1/2" x7")so, its a common practice to bundle it that way, although as long as inspectors allow it it will continue.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 288
How balloon framing got its name:

In the early 19th century, two technological developments made it possible to frame houses with thin dimensional lumber, rather than the enormous timbers that had been used previously in Europe since ancient times.

Sawmills, powered by either water or steam, facilitated the economical cutting of small dimensional lumber, beginning in the late 18th century.

Factories began mass-producing nails, which, when handmade, were too expensive to use in framing (they were used for flooring and siding, generally). If nails are not available for framing, joints have to be pegged mortise-and-tenon, which is highly labor-intensive. This tends to encourage framing with large timbers, posts being set at wide intervals.

When old-school carpenters watched new 2x4 framed buildings going up in 1830s Chicago, they haughtily pronounced them too flimsy to last, saying they would blow away like a balloon in the first strong wind. They were wrong, of course, but the name stuck.

I worked on a 1915 balloon frame house last week, upgraded the service and added some appliance circuits. They are a breeze to fish wires in, since there is no top or bottom plate. The studs are nailed to a beam below the floor, and the floor joists are nailed to the studs some distance above. A piece of string and a weight are literally all you need for a 1-story house, which this one was. I recently acquired a 1915 Terrell Croft book on wiring finished buildings (that meant previously unwired, back then). Several ingenious techniques are illustrated for fishing between floors and walls, techniques which are largely forgotten today since they do not work with platform framing.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Great historical background. It's always fascinating to find out how terms originated.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
"Factories began mass-producing nails, which, when handmade, were too expensive to use in framing" One more item on that... Nails were highly taxed, and made in countries like England! Just another, later "Tea Party."

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Did somebody say tea party? I think we're well overdue for one! [Linked Image]

There's only standard VAT (sales tax) on nails now so far as I'm aware. That's bad enough though: 17.5%.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 161
Except on new build, Paul. You knew that, didn't you?

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