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Old 11-10-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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Metal Framing Studs from Home Depot

Sorry if this has been asked/answered but searching for terms related to framing and metal bring up a LOT of results that are not what I'm looking for. I'm wondering if the metal framing studs from home depot and that are frequently used in commercial interior walls are suitable and recommended for interior projects? They seem like a good, lightweight material. Looks like they are galvanized steel.

I am thinking of using them to build a platform for a rear bed. Seems like a frame built using these could then be skinned with a thin material, similar to how I think some other stuff is constructed in an Airstream.

Thanks in advance for your advice and expertise!
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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The metal studs are used for non-structural walls so I wonder if they are strong enough as a supporting frame for a bed. They could however gain a lot of structural strength if plywood was screwed to them, spacing the crews fairly close together.

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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You might want to look into metal perling as is used in metal buildings. It is strong for the weight, you can weld or bolt it, easy to cut with a cutoff saw.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Steel partition stud, the small firring strip top-hat & metal track might do famously. Note they are made for controlled environments and the levels of possible humidity in a trailer in storage etc. might defeat the barely-there galvanizing provided to keep them from rusting in transit or before they get covered up.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Just a quick update with some in-progress photos. Hard to get the area back there into a camera frame!

I almost scuttled the plan to use these studs but came back around and decided to give it a whirl. I'm also repurposing the little metal storage bins from under the twin beds. I think they'll actually end up strengthening this whole structure.

In these photos, the studs and bins are mostly just mocked up and not screwed together yet. This is far from complete and more will be added (hopefully not much as I want to keep it light as possible). The header stud laying across the bins still needs to be notched for the outside-sides, similar to how it is on the inside.

The main worry I have with this is that the metal is somewhat soft, so I am going to need to be careful to distribute the weight on the structure. I will probably sheath either the bottom of the bed or the top of the framed structure (with large holes cut in the to for access) or maybe even both. As I'm starting to fasten things together, I'm having fewer fears about the distribution of the weight.

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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Interesting! I am ready to frame out twin beds, using 1x2 wood. keep us informed how metal works out.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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I'd think some good hardwood 1x2's would be sufficient.

I made a mahogany face frame and a stick frame using some poplar.. The back frame is attached to the wall, rather than curve the frame towards the front angled it.. It is put together using good water resistant glue and Kreg joints.
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I filled in with extra support and put 1/2" plywood ontop..
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Hehe though this "Adult Erector Set" would be way more cool
80/20® Inc. - The Industrial Erector Set®
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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I've spent some hundreds of hours on crews doing some neat custom work with metal framing - churches, studios, exterior alcoves, blah blah.

Nest them, fabricate box-beams.
Web corners for diagonal bracing.
Add vertical diagonals, even X bracing, in running wall lengths.

Get creative with joints, leave extra fastener tabs cut from the wide-web part of the stud bent to match beam when splicing in; Keep both nested pieces of box beam as uncut and continuous as possible and cut the profile out of connecting beam & use with the extra tabs from wide-web cut^ for intersecting beam, weave in side tabs to keep finish side layer smoother.

Double or triple up on steel or stainless steel pop-rivets for their nearly flush surface (versus screws).

Skin (your sheath?) both sides to increase rigidity like the Airstream shell.

Adding adhesive or 3m extreme double-sided tape when you skin over the frame would boost strength - If you can get all the oil off the steel.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerdodger View Post
Interesting! I am ready to frame out twin beds, using 1x2 wood. keep us informed how metal works out.
This is definitely an experiment and I have my doubts about the metal studs. But on the other hand, they are very, very easy to work with and they are pretty light. As it comes together, I am more and more sold on the strength, even without skinning/sheathing them.

One concern is if the screws will work themselves loose with movement of the trailer. I was going to pop rivet them but my home depot only had aluminum rivets and I think steel rivets on steel studs would be better. Might end up going back to add some rivet reinforcements if needed.

I will indeed update this thread with info on how they wear and any issues that arise.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromis View Post
I'd think some good hardwood 1x2's would be sufficient. I made a mahogany face frame and a stick frame using some poplar.. The back frame is attached to the wall, rather than curve the frame towards the front angled it.. It is put together using good water resistant glue and Kreg joints.
I agree. If my woodworking skills were better, and if I were better equipped with tools, I might have gone that route. But on the other hand, using metal substructure feels "right" with what I have seen of airstream construction in this 70's trailer.

I'm out at a campground, and the metal studs are very easy to work with just having a cordless drill/screwdriver and some tin snips. Eventually, I will want to skin this structure with some wood to fill in around the bed and to create some furniture/cabinet looks and features to it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Double or triple up on steel or stainless steel pop-rivets for their nearly flush surface (versus screws).
Any idea where I can find these? That was going to be my plan to start with but the home depot near me didn't have any steel rivets! They only had aluminum rivets except for an assortment kit.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:21 PM   #12
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Chrome Bolts, Stainless Steel Bolts, Metric Bolts, Socket Head Cap Screws, Grade 8 Bolts, F911 Bolts <--- my favorite online fastener vendor.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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Couple more pics with the bed frame removed. Kind of wish I went an inch lower to clear the 12 volt outlet on the back a bit better. I'm going to build a little box to the rear of the bed and just below the curtain rail. But hmmm... now I just realized I can't have a flip up, hinged top on it with the rail in the way. Maybe it will just be open top with recesses down to stow things like reading materials and for access to the outlets.

Most of what is shown here is just set in place and not fastened yet. I also have not cut in the outside ledge of the boxes salvaged from under the old twin beds. I will probably run a 1x2 under that lip for added strength and so it can be a bit more of a structural element to tie the two other cross members that will be going in there together.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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Project going on hold for the evening! I'm so excited -- just noticed a growing clump of silver near me in this campground in San Diego, so I stopped by and said hello -- turns out it's the San Diego WBCCI chapter! They invited me over to happy hour. This will be my first WBCCI experience!
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