How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
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How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


I am doing a small project for a friend and would appreciate some perspective on my plan.

The job is to add a library / rolling ladder above a bar in a busy restaurant. I am considering two options to secure the approx. 20' of track supports to the existing metal stud / drywall wall;

1) Attach a ledger (3/4 birch ply, maybe clear 1x) to the surface of the drywall, making sure to hit the studs every 16" o.c. top and bottom with long self-tappers. Maybe some burly hollow wall anchors between studs just for the heck of it.

2) Remove the drywall in the area where the ledger is to go, add 2x blocking screwed to the studs, replace the drywall, patch, paint and then attach the ledger to the blocking with lags.

For simplicity I prefer the first option, but I am concerned about the strength of self tappers through light gauge steel vs lags into 2x blocking. I am also not convinced the blocking is going to get me any more support than hitting the studs will

Oh, and did I mention the restaurant is open from 7AM to 11PM every day of the week, so I would have to start work after closing and be finished and cleaned up by the time they open so quicker is better. Let me know what you think.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #2
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Under the ledger, lay flat the additional 3/4 material, you mentioned birch, perpendicular to the ledger all the way down to the floor. You could make it decorative, and attach it to the existing studs. No drywall patching required and should give you the shear strength you need. You could glue everything in addition to screws.

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:55 AM   #3
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


How about using toggle bolts in place of the self tappers.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:16 AM   #4
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by skcolo
Under the ledger, lay flat the additional 3/4 material, you mentioned birch, perpendicular to the ledger all the way down to the floor. You could make it decorative, and attach it to the existing studs. No drywall patching required and should give you the shear strength you need. You could glue everything in addition to screws.
The wall is above a large window so there is not much vertical room to work with. I think the main force I have to deal with is outward and lateral pressure from people leaning back or reaching to the side. All the shear is carried on the ladder wheels.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:41 AM   #5
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


These work great for metal studs.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051IAQ9G/...hvptwo=&hvqmt=
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:41 AM   #6
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewy
How about using toggle bolts in place of the self tappers.
That would make me feel much more confident about them not pulling through. Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


How about, remove drywall strip, add 2x blocking, replace removed drywall with 1/2" ply rips glued and screwed to blocking, birch ply ledger 1/2" wider than removed drywall fastened through to blocking, covering the removed area and eliminating drywall patching.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


i would first sheath the entire wall with 3/4" plywood then drywall it. the weight will be distributed over much more area with less chance of pulling away
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


If its 25gauge or 20 gauge studs i wouldnt use self tappers at all but type s fine thread or hi low thread points and it would beat more than enough. If its a thicker gauge than that than s12 are more than fo
I e
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


I would definitely go with your option 1. As mentioned, the load is transferred mostly to the wheels on the floor. Very little shear possibility at the rail. Also pressure is into the wall, so tear or pull out is not going to happen. Your ledger board distributes the weight and allows you to attach rail mounts where ever you want or the hardware prescribes.

I recently did a similar install of a ballet barre, where the bar is also used for exercise, pull up, etc. top and bottom screwed 5/4 board to wall 16" oc. Then mounted hardware at will. Holds solid.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:16 PM   #11
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmbldr

I recently did a similar install of a ballet barre, where the bar is also used for exercise, pull up, etc. top and bottom screwed 5/4 board to wall 16" oc. Then mounted hardware at will. Holds solid.
Thanks for the advice. I can guarantee that ballet barre handles more force than the rolling ladder will need to. We are talking 1 guy taking down a single bottle of the good stuff and being careful about it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


The cleat below a closet shelf takes more shear that the setup you're contemplating. As long as you get the 2 screws into the metal studs at each stud, shear and pullout won't be a problem I would try pressing against the wall - if it shakes too much, people may get a little concerned.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Is it an exterior wall? Any access to other side of wall ? If so, are hex bolts an option ?
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:02 AM   #14
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


No access from the other side, its an exterior wall in an office building. Steel stud soffit above, windows below. There is a decent sized section that is concrete, so I figure between some tapcons into the concrete and top and bottom screws into the steel studs the ledger will be solid.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


ya you should be good. I fabricated my own ladder rack for my truck and have that screwed into the truck bed with self-tappers and i've put all types of **** on that (16' 6x6s, etc) and its never budged. so i think a ledger for a rolling ladder will be fine.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:18 PM   #16
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


If it's a matter of personal safety (person on ladder getting hurt) I'd err on the side of caution. Remove the strip of drywall, install 2x blocking, fill in the strip with plywood, install finished plywood as suggested above just a bit past your removed drywall. That's how I'd do it. Sounds like a fun project, except for the working hours!
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:33 PM   #17
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Is it even legal to put a ladder like you are talking about over a window?

I am not trying to be a jerk, but, if it is not and someone falls through or into the glass you may be liable.

I would be checking in to the codes on this one. Good luck
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #18
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerWash
Is it even legal to put a ladder like you are talking about over a window?

I am not trying to be a jerk, but, if it is not and someone falls through or into the glass you may be liable.

I would be checking in to the codes on this one. Good luck
Thanks for the perspective, and I was thinking the same thing, but there is nothing in IBC covering this as far as I can see. FWIW, the window has several levels of shelves in it currently and has since the place opened. A couple of months back a bartender standing on a counter fell down and broke an arm while reaching for stuff, so they asked me to put in the ladder.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #19
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Re: How To Fasten A Ledger To Metal Stud Wall


Well I installed the rolling ladder on Saturday (one of the two days each year the restaurant is closed) and did not have to fasten to any steel framing after all.

After talking to the engineering department at the ladder company I determined that the shelves alone would be able to support all the possible loads.

The clincher was watching a manager climb up the shelves like a monkey to see what I was doing. He said this is how they always get up and down. Kinda wish I had seen that last month. It would have saved me much fretting.

Thanks for the advice though!


Last edited by EmmCeeDee; 07-06-2012 at 08:34 AM.
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