With Christmas over we found some time to do some building today. Wanda and I have been putting metal framing connectors on the joints of the lumber to better attach them together, it’s not necessary but we are in a windy area and 18′ high walls do catch some wind. The connectors are all installed on the bottom plate and we have started to build a catwalk so that we can do the top plates and put the rafters on as well. I woke up a bit late today and we didn’t get out of the house and to the lumber mart until ten or so. I bought a thousand construction screws, I decided that we would use 14.5 inch long boards to make the brackets for the catwalk then we can take them apart later and use them as fire blocks inside the wall as 14.5 inch blocks are required for that.
Wanda did a lot of cleaning and shoveling snow to access the building materials, then she got to cutting the wood to make the brackets and braces. I assembled a jig from some scrap boards to help us assemble the brackets faster. Everything went rather quickly, Wanda cut the pieces while I assembled then after four or five were built I started screwing them to the building while Wanda built brackets. By four we had the brackets installed on the north wall and the start of a catwalk.
I walked on it, it was a bit scary but I’ll get used to it, it’s lots better than working off a ladder or walking on the wall top.
The frame connectors above connect the studs to the top and bottom plates. The bottom plates are anchored with 1/2 inch by 7 inch long concrete anchor bolts every six feet. The rafters will be toe nailed then attached with hurricane ties to the top plate. After all this we can celebrate when good storms come this summer.
This is the first jig that we used to build the parts for the catwalk, these pieces are all 14.5″ long. They get screwed together in the jig.
This is the second jig that we use to attach the angled part that supports the end of the first piece. This longer board is 34″ long and will eventually be made into fire stops as well.
These are the finished products ready for installation.
And these are the brackets installed on the north wall. I mounted one of them five feet off the ground with only two screws and hung from it, it felt secure, these are mounted with eight screws, they should have no problem holding us up.