Pros and Cons of Finger-Jointed Studs

We use finger-jointed studs for a number of reasons. For starters, they’re straighter. And they’re a better use of material because less wood is being wasted to manufacture them. Finally, they’re more cost effective.

When we first started seeing finger-jointed studs, there might be two or three pieces in a 2X4, but over the years, the individual pieces have gotten shorter and shorter. The lumber companies are using every last bit of wood and not throwing anything away. It’s a good practice. And these studs are strong for a vertical load. 

The thing with finger-joints though is they can be crooked and you’ll see one piece maybe a quarter inch out from another one. It can be harder to get a smooth wall. Generally, before we sheet rock we come in with a straight edge and if it’s bowed we use a skill saw and angle-cut it. And then we drive a nail in and pull it back over. We’ve even had to take out entire studs before. The ones in this project look good though.

It would be interesting to see finger-jointed studs getting manufactured. I’d guess they’re originally made at 24-feet long and then cut.

It would also be interesting to open up one of the ModelReModel’s walls in 50 years and see how it looks. The old walls that we took apart in this house are spruce pine fir and they were brittle. I’d like to see how these new ones would check out, but that’s a job for someone else, ha-ha.

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