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So, I have a bunch of 2x3 and 2x4 studs that have been in my family room for months. Some of them, I can tell are horribly warped. Others look pretty good. However, I need to box out a beam, and I want to use the straightest studs I can use.


The problem is that I don't have a frame of reference. I don't have anything that's 8 feet or longer and straight. The longest level I have, for instance, is 4 feet. I have a drywall measuring and cutting T square, but again it's four feet long.


Do I have to go buy a metal 8 foot level or the like? Or is there another way to tell if a stud is straight? Or should I just toss these, and get more (this might be easiest)?
 

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if you dont feel you can eyeball the studs for straightness then just use a tight string from end to end.
 

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If they look straight via your eyeball...they will be fine once the drywall is on them anyway. Drywall can hide a lot of things.
 

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The quickest way to identify a straight stud is to look and see if he has his hands in another guy's pockets or not



Anyway, just eyeball down the length of it, turn it over to look on both sides.


-Suntan
 

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How straight is the floor? Lay it down to see if it is warped on any side. Longer lengths of wood can be straightened somewhat by cross braces.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/18254083


The quickest way to identify a straight stud is to look and see if he has his hands in another guy's pockets or not



Anyway, just eyeball down the length of it, turn it over to look on both sides.


-Suntan

Made me chuckle
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndfi /forum/post/18254350


Made me chuckle

The second sentence in that post was supposed to be seriously discussing examination of the coniferous type. But in retrospect, I can see how it could also have been misread to suggest further examination of the other type.



-Suntan
 

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I've gotten good at picking out the choice pieces of lumber at Lowes. Usually by looking down the length of the stud along each face you can see if the stud is either twisted or warped/curved.


I will pick through the stacks of lumber pretty well looking for the best pieces.


When I had all my lumber delivered, I actually returned/exchanged at least 1/3rd of it 12-16 studs at a time (90 day return policy on uncut lumber, I believe). As I worked through the lumber, I would separate out the really bad pieces and exchange them with each trip to the store.
 

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The problem is that I don't have a frame of reference. I don't have anything that's 8 feet or longer and straight. The longest level I have, for instance, is 4 feet. I have a drywall measuring and cutting T square, but again it's four feet long.


Heck, the edge of a 8 by 4 sheet of dry-wall is straight in one plane.
 

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NO 2X IS EVER STRAIGHT!!! Although some come close.


You want to check the bow or curve of each stud as you get ready to frame. Hold the 2X with the far end resting on the floor, holding the wood so you can see far end of the 2x. With the close end of the 2x to the side about 6" or so, bring the wood to be straight in front of one of your eyes (close the other eye if it helps). If the center of the 2x is not seen but you can see both ends/tips, that side is "cupped". If the center is still seen as you "gun sight" the 2x, but you can not see the far end that side is "bowed".


You want to pick one of these to use as your main drywall side, either "cupped" or "bowed". I usually mark the "bowed" side with an "X" and then face that side to the back so I know if I can see an X i messed up.


The reason for doing this is if you alternate bowed and then cupped or random, over time the pull or push of the curve of the wood will cause popped nail heads and waves in the drywall.
 

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If you want it straight use a combination of the worst studs you can't return for all the short bits and then metal top an bottom channels for the critical straight edges. Secure the wood with a screw through the raised edges of the channels (find them in the metal framing section of HD) Don't put any framing under the beam to minimize loss of headroom. Just bridge it with drywall.


This might help you visualize what I am talking about a combination of wood and metal.

 
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