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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:51 am 
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I now know not only the 'how' but also the 'why' behind determining the widths of baffles,
That's the most important point! If you know the "why", then you can make more intelligent decisions about your build, rather than just following a recipe blindly.

Quote:
surely the middle section between the two 'actual baffles' would also be considered part of the baffle?
Exactly! That's why you see the entire front end of many studios as one solid surface, wall-to-wall. So in fact, the left soffit is also part of the right soffit, to a certain extent. I have my reasons for sometimes breaking that continuity a bit with the center section, recessing it a bit (as you can see in Steve's room for example), but it's still a solid surface... sort of! :) (not all my secrets!).

Quote:
So, really half of the middle section, the part around the speaker itself plus the wing would all make up one 'infinite' baffle per speaker?
If you build it as one complete, unbroken surface, then you can also include the opposite soffit, and the opposite wing... :)

Quote:
In that case, the baffle could end up being very wide indeed, thus lowering that baffle step considerably.
Yup!

Quote:
I must ask then, at what point does a baffle stop being a baffle and simply a side wall?
As soon as it stops being a baffle! :) Sounds cryptic, but it's that simple. As soon as there is a major discontinuity in it, such as a large change in angle, or a break, or an absorption panel, or a diffuser, or a slot wall, or anything else where the surface is no longer contiguous solid, massive, and rigid. Of course, the further you get away from the speaker, the lower the effect is, since air attenuates sound anyway, plus we are talking about wavefronts that are expanding hemispherically (into half space) with the accompanying decrease in amplitude with distance, plus the grazing angle (from one point of view, the wave-front is going out at 90°, directly across the surface of the baffle), plus the impedance issue, plus a whole bunch of other things... So there really isn't much point in trying to make a 20-foot wide baffle, even if you could.

Quote:
What I mean is, if there's nothing to say a baffle must be continuously flat forever then surely a side wall should be considered part of the baffle?
As long as there is no large change n angle or other discontinuity between the baffle and the wall, yes. If there's a sudden change in direction (eg, a 90° corner, or even a 45° angle), then that's a different story. Take a close look at the room above: there's only a small change in angle between the soffit baffle itself, and the sliding glass doors... it's only 9° different, so not really an issue. But I would not consider the rear wall part of the baffle, since there's a 96° angle back there. No large changes in continuity.

But there's another issue here to complicate your calculations: Sound is 3D, not 2D, and the baffle step response also happens in the vertical direction, not just horizontal! And it's the SHORTEST dimension that sets the actual response. So even if you could make your baffle 20 feet wide, you can't make it 20 feet tall! However tall it is, that's what sets the stage here. And while you might be able to angle your side walls in slight increments to increase the apparent width of the baffle, it's hard to do that with the floor! :) Your speakers are maybe 4 feet above the floor, and perhaps 5 or 6 feet below the ceiling, if you are lucky, and the floor and ceiling are usually at very large angles to the baffle: typically 90°. So you definitely have baffle-step issue in the vertical direction, even though you might have "eliminated" it in the horizontal direction.

In other words, there's not really much benefit to making your baffle a whole lot wider than your floor-to-ceiling height. There's certainly no harm in doing that, and it can have otter positive benefits, but it's not going to gain you a lot, from the point of view of baffle step response. Still very good for edge diffraction, SBIR, and other phase related issues, but not a huge effect on baffle step.... and once again, baffle step can be corrected easily, electronically.

Quote:
but then I suppose that may cause unwanted reflections depending on the angle of those side walls.
Yup... compromises, compromises, juggle, juggle....

Quote:
- Regarding offsetting the speaker in the baffle by at least 5/8 or 2/5 or 20% I am assuming this applies only to the 'actual' baffle around the speaker itself?
Right. Because it is that immediate hard, flat surface that can cause some types of "lobing". Once again, it's not a huge issue, but still worth dealing with. And once again, sound is 3D, not 2D, so off-centering the vertical direction is important too.

Quote:
is there a preferred wider and narrower side or is it not important? For example, should the speaker be offset closer to the soffit wing, or closer to the middle section?
That is usually dictated by the room geometry: where the mix position is, the angles, distances, etc. Whichever way works out better for the speaker/listening position geometry is what you want.

Quote:
but is there a more important reason for doing so that I am not aware of?
Yup! :) See above: room geometry. You'll usually find that if you move them outwards, they'll be too far apart to aim at the mix position, without having to put a very large angle on the soffit, which also has it's consequences. And that "20%" rule is not written in stone either! If you have to move the speaker a bit right or left to make things fit, that's fine....

compromises, compromises, juggle, juggle....


8)


Quote:
- Lastly, I think it's important to mention that my monitors are actually tri-amped. I have an active crossover unit and 3 power amps, 1 separate amp channel per driver. So that will help to balance the power once I figure out how to set it properly.
That's part of the final room tuning process. It's great that you have them on separate amps, as that gives you more flexibility in tuning, but it also multiplies the complications.... Not trying to scare you, but tuning three-way crossovers and three amps on each side, is very complicated! Not for the feint of heart... It's hard enough to do it with just a pair of active speakers and a sub...


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:28 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
Quote:
I now know not only the 'how' but also the 'why' behind determining the widths of baffles,
That's the most important point! If you know the "why", then you can make more intelligent decisions about your build, rather than just following a recipe blindly.

Quote:
surely the middle section between the two 'actual baffles' would also be considered part of the baffle?
Exactly! That's why you see the entire front end of many studios as one solid surface, wall-to-wall. So in fact, the left soffit is also part of the right soffit, to a certain extent. I have my reasons for sometimes breaking that continuity a bit with the center section, recessing it a bit (as you can see in Steve's room), but it's still a solid surface... sort of! :) (not all my secrets!).

Quote:
So, really half of the middle section, the part around the speaker itself plus the wing would all make up one 'infinite' baffle per speaker?
If you build it as one complete, unbroken surface, then you can also include the opposite soffit, and the opposite wing... :)

Quote:
In that case, the baffle could end up being very wide indeed, thus lowering that baffle step considerably.
Yup!

Quote:
I must ask then, at what point does a baffle stop being a baffle and simply a side wall?
As soon as it stops being a baffle! :) Sounds cryptic, but it's that simple. As soon as there is a major discontinuity in it, such as a large change in angle, or a break, or an absorption panel, or a diffuser, or a slot wall, or anything else where the surface is no longer contiguous solid, massive, and rigid. Of course, the further you get away from the speaker, the lower the effect is, since air attenuates sound anyway, plus we are talking about wavefronts that are expanding hemispherically (into half space) with the accompanying decrease in amplitude with distance, plus the grazing angle (from one point of view, the wave-front is going out at 90°, directly across the surface of the baffle), plus the impedance issue, plus a whole bunch of other things... So there really isn't much point in trying to make a 20-foot wide baffle, even if you could.

Quote:
What I mean is, if there's nothing to say a baffle must be continuously flat forever then surely a side wall should be considered part of the baffle?
As long as there is no large change n angle or other discontinuity between the baffle and the wall, yes. If there's a sudden change in direction (eg, a 90° corner, or even a 45° angle), then that's a different story. Take a close look at that room above: there's only a small change in angle between the soffit baffle itself, and the sliding glass doors... it's only 9° different, so not really an issue. But I would not consider the rear wall part of the baffle, since there's a 96° angle back there. No large changes in continuity.

But there's another issue here to complicate your calculations: Sound is 3D, not 2D, and the baffle step response also happens in the vertical direction, not just horizontal! And it's the SHORTEST dimension that sets the actual response. So even if you could make your baffle 20 feet wide, you can't make it 20 feet tall! However tall it is, that's what sets the stage here. And while you might be able to angle your side walls in slight increments to increase the apparent width of the baffle, it's hard to do that with the floor! :) Your speakers are maybe 4 feet above the floor, and perhaps 5 or 6 feet below the ceiling, if you are lucky, and the floor and ceiling are usually at very large angles to the baffle: typically 90°. So you definitely have baffle-step issue in the vertical direction, even though you might have "eliminated" it in the horizontal direction.

In other words, there's not really much benefit to making your baffle a whole lot wider than your floor-to-ceiling height. There's certainly no harm in doing that, and it can have otter positive benefits, but it's not going to gain you a lot, from the point of view of baffle step response. Still very good for edge diffraction, SBIR, and other phase related issues, but not a huge effect on baffle step.... and once again, baffle step can be corrected easily, electronically.

Quote:
but then I suppose that may cause unwanted reflections depending on the angle of those side walls.
Yup... compromises, compromises, juggle, juggle....

Quote:
- Regarding offsetting the speaker in the baffle by at least 5/8 or 2/5 or 20% I am assuming this applies only to the 'actual' baffle around the speaker itself?
Right. Because it is that immediate hard, flat surface that can cause some types of "lobing". Once again, it's not a huge issue, but still worth dealing with. And once again, sound is 3D, not 2D, so off-centering the vertical direction is important too.

Quote:
is there a preferred wider and narrower side or is it not important? For example, should the speaker be offset closer to the soffit wing, or closer to the middle section?
That is usually dictated by the room geometry: where the mix position is, the angles, distances, etc. Whichever way works out better for the speaker/listening position geometry is what you want.

Quote:
but is there a more important reason for doing so that I am not aware of?
Yup! :) See above: room geometry. You'll usually find that if you move them outwards, they'll be too far apart to aim at the mix position, without having to put a very large angle on the soffit, which also has it's consequences. And that "20%" rule is not written in stone either! If you have to move the speaker a bit right or left to make things fit, that's fine....

compromises, compromises, juggle, juggle....


8)


Quote:
- Lastly, I think it's important to mention that my monitors are actually tri-amped. I have an active crossover unit and 3 power amps, 1 separate amp channel per driver. So that will help to balance the power once I figure out how to set it properly.
That's part of the final room tuning process. It's great that you have them on separate amps, as that gives you more flexibility in tuning, but it also multiplies the complications.... Not trying to scare you, but tuning three-way crossovers and three amps on each side, is very complicated! Not for the feint of heart... It's hard enough to do it with just a pair of active speakers and a sub...


- Stuart -


Okay, got it! Thanks a lot for clearing that up for me, I’ll tweak my current design with those thoughts in mind and see if I can get my baffles.

On a different note, I was thinking today that I could potentially use 12mm cement fiber boards on the outside of my OSB layer which is battling the weather though it is holding up well the cemboard would also be offset to the seams of the osb layer, rather than beef up my osb internally. The weight of the cemboards are about 14kg/m2 as opposed to the drywall which is about 12, but I was going to install 2 beef up layers of drywall as opposed to just one layer of cemboard. The cemboard is about twice the price of the drywall but I would have the advantage of not having to cut in between the studs, it would protect my osb layer and I could always install 1 beef up layer of drywall internally if I needed to.

My question is, has anyone used the cemboard externally without a top layer of siding? If I paint the cemboard with a weatherproofing paint and seal all of the joints before hand then I believe it will withstand the rain.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:31 pm 
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I have another related question, I've used the search function but cannot find exactly what I'm looking for:

Would a beefed up wall perform slightly worse/better/the same as a conventional wall of the same materials?

E.g.

2x 5/8" drywall - 3/4" OSB - studs

VS

3/4" OSB - studs - 2x 5/8" drywall between studs

The beefed up wall would have less mass due to the studs breaking up the drywall, and the drywall panels would be smaller which would make their resonance higher too, correct? However, the drywall pieces would be less rigidly secured to the frame which would have more of a dampening effect, correct?

I am just guessing here but would love to know the answer!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:50 am 
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Quote:
My question is, has anyone used the cemboard externally without a top layer of siding? If I paint the cemboard with a weatherproofing paint and seal all of the joints before hand then I believe it will withstand the rain.

I haven't and am not sure how the board would hold up without siding.

Quote:
Would a beefed up wall perform slightly worse/better/the same as a conventional wall of the same materials?

I think you answered your own question here:

---Conventional---

Pros:
- Easy to build.
- Larger gap between leaves.

Cons:
- Fixing the layers of sheathing requires a typical screw schedule which means the green glue effects are hindered.
- Unless you have the ability to add this mass during initial construction, it is probably impossible to add mass this way.

---Beefed Up---

Pros:
- The added drywall is pretty much floating on green glue which maximizes it's effect
- It allows us to "easily" add mass to completed construction.
- With several stages of caulking, it's pretty much guaranteed to not have any voids!

Cons:
- Time consuming, annoying, expensive (backer rod/caulk).
- More material (cleats, backer rod, caulk.)
- The surface density of the studs at the equivalent depth of the beef up drywall is the weak link here.

So, in conclusion, this is bringing up a good point regarding the lack of mass at the studs. Off the top of my head, I think dimensional lumber is about half the mass of drywall. So, I wonder if we should be running full lengths of 1.5" thick cleat along the stud/joist and drywall joint. Thanks for pointing this out.

Greg

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:49 am 
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Gregwor wrote:
Quote:
My question is, has anyone used the cemboard externally without a top layer of siding? If I paint the cemboard with a weatherproofing paint and seal all of the joints before hand then I believe it will withstand the rain.

I haven't and am not sure how the board would hold up without siding.

Quote:
Would a beefed up wall perform slightly worse/better/the same as a conventional wall of the same materials?

I think you answered your own question here:

---Conventional---

Pros:
- Easy to build.
- Larger gap between leaves.

Cons:
- Fixing the layers of sheathing requires a typical screw schedule which means the green glue effects are hindered.
- Unless you have the ability to add this mass during initial construction, it is probably impossible to add mass this way.

---Beefed Up---

Pros:
- The added drywall is pretty much floating on green glue which maximizes it's effect
- It allows us to "easily" add mass to completed construction.
- With several stages of caulking, it's pretty much guaranteed to not have any voids!

Cons:
- Time consuming, annoying, expensive (backer rod/caulk).
- More material (cleats, backer rod, caulk.)
- The surface density of the studs at the equivalent depth of the beef up drywall is the weak link here.

So, in conclusion, this is bringing up a good point regarding the lack of mass at the studs. Off the top of my head, I think dimensional lumber is about half the mass of drywall. So, I wonder if we should be running full lengths of 1.5" thick cleat along the stud/joist and drywall joint. Thanks for pointing this out.

Greg


Thanks Greg, you’ve confirmed my thinking. If I do decide to beef up instead of use cement board then that’s exactly what I will do anyway, use a baton that frames the entire bay, nailed to the stud and seal behind and around. I saw this done on a build that Rod consulted and designed over at dark pine studios. After talking to max the owner he confirmed excellent results using this method. It also guarantees you have a solid seal at the weakest points of the wall.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:04 am 
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Quote:
- The surface density of the studs at the equivalent depth of the beef up drywall is the weak link here.
Your other comments are spot on, but this is one that comes up occasionally, and needs clarifying.

The absolute density if drywall is around 680 kg/m3 (give or take a big margin), so the SURFACE density of a 5/8" panel, which is 16mm thick (roughly) is about 680 x 0.016 = 10.88 kg/m2. Call it 11 kg/m2 for simplicity. So if you have three layers of drywall as your leaf, then that would be about 33 kg/m2.

The absolute density of typical wood studs is around 750 kg/m3 and a 2x4 stud is 89mm thick (3 1/2"), so the SURFACE density of that stud, seen edge on, is 750 x 0.089 = 66.75 kg/m2. Call it 66 for simplicity.

In other words, your average stud has the same surface density as SIX layers of 5/8" drywall. :shock: :!:

Surprising, but true.

So, if you have the situation of a strange wall, where there's two layers of 5/8" on the studs all across the wall, plus another two layers of "beef up" in between the studs, then for the parts of the leaf of the stud bays, in between the studs, you have four layers = 44 kg/m2, and for the parts over the studs you only have two layers (22 kg/m2), but you also have the stud itself, which is equivalent to 6 layers (66 kg/m2), so you actually have EIGHT layers where the studs are, or 88 kg/m2. So the parts where the studs are is TWICE as good as the bays between the studs.

So in reality, the studs are not the wink link in the wall: they are the STRONG link in the wall: the "weak link" is the part where there is only drywall with no studs behind it, even though there's 4 layers of drywall there....

Yet another of the very many non-intuitive things about designing and building studios....

And to add another interesting fact to the mix: the density of caulk is around 1600 kg/m2, a bit more than twice the density of drywall, so you only really need to have half the thickness of each sheet of drywall caulked to get the SAME surface density.... which is why it is fine to have backer rod in half the depth of the joints, and the other half filled with caulk. Or you can fill the complete depth with caulk if you feel like it, in which case your joints are TWICE as dense as your drywall leaf... and that's a good thing! (This only applies to colored caulk: clear caulk is less dense, since it has no pigments, and the pigments provide a lot of the mass [about 40%]... so only use black, gray, white, or colored caulk for sealing your joints, not clear caulk....)


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:10 am 
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Quote:
The absolute density of typical wood studs is around 750 kg/m3

Thanks for clarifying this! For some reason I thought they were half that of drywall. Another value to add to the vault!

Greg

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:23 am 
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It depends on the species of wood, of course: Poplar is around 520, while oak is around 850. Spruce is 450. Pine is anywhere between 400 and 700. Maple is around 750. Hardboard is more like 1000, and balsa is around 170. A very broad range. I use 700 for "generic" wood where I live, but for the USA it would probably be better to go a bit lower: call it 600, to be safe.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:25 am 
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So if I’ve understood correctly, a beefed up wall will perform better than a conventionally built wall the same materials, despite the sheets being cut smaller to fit between the studs even at low frequencies? For some reason I thought the resonance would be higher if the sheets were made smaller (say 2’ wide x 8’ long vs 4’ wide x 8’ long).

If that’s the case then would it be fair to say that it’s ALWAYS preferable to build the walls in a beefed up manner if time and expense is not an issue?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:53 am 
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Quote:
For some reason I thought the resonance would be higher if the sheets were made smaller (say 2’ wide x 8’ long vs 4’ wide x 8’ long).
You are thinking of the natural resonant frequency of a panel in a free field. That is not related to the MSM resonance of the wall. The only factors that affect the MSM resonance of the wall, are: 1) the surface densities of the two leaves; 2) the depth of the air cavity between them, and 3) the damping (insulation) in that air cavity.

Quote:
If that’s the case then would it be fair to say that it’s ALWAYS preferable to build the walls in a beefed up manner if time and expense is not an issue?
Sort of but not really! There's no free lunch. If you add layers of drywall between the studs, then you are also reducing the depth of the air cavity between the leaves....



- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:01 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
Quote:
For some reason I thought the resonance would be higher if the sheets were made smaller (say 2’ wide x 8’ long vs 4’ wide x 8’ long).
You are thinking of the natural resonant frequency of a panel in a free field. That is not related to the MSM resonance of the wall. The only factors that affect the MSM resonance of the wall, are: 1) the surface densities of the two leaves; 2) the depth of the air cavity between them, and 3) the damping (insulation) in that air cavity.

Quote:
If that’s the case then would it be fair to say that it’s ALWAYS preferable to build the walls in a beefed up manner if time and expense is not an issue?
Sort of but not really! There's no free lunch. If you add layers of drywall between the studs, then you are also reducing the depth of the air cavity between the leaves....



- Stuart -


Ah I see! Okay that makes sense now.

Regarding reducing the air space between the two leaves - apart from in the case of an inside out wall where you would be increasing the space between the leaves. Yes the internal room size would be decreased slightly, but if it is a new build and you have already designed it with that in mind then it seems like a good thing to do.

Thank you Greg and Stuart


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:42 pm 
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Hey Guys, hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoying the holidays!

I have a question about the best way to implement inside out ceiling modules.

I understand the framing - a strong skeleton is made from the joists (or in my case, the rafters) with 2x8, 2x10 or even 2x12 (depending on span) then the modules made from 2x4 frames are inserted into the bays. My question is concerning the layers; if on a beefed up wall the drywall layers should not be screwed directly to the OSB but held in with cleats, then is the same not true for the ceiling modules?

If using cleats also applies to the ceiling modules then how does one do it with more than one layer of drywall without the first layer falling down? I can imagine managing to use cleats with a single drywall layer - the frame which has OSB attached to the back would be installed into the bay first, then the drywall would be propped up in place and sealed around the perimeter and then the cleats are screwed into the frame to press the drywall layer up against the OSB. But trying to do that with 2 layers would not only be a nightmare but also even more dangerous.

If we are not concerned with using a cleat system for the ceiling modules and we simply screw the drywall to the backside of the OSB, and then lift the modules into place, then why bother using cleats on the walls? One could simply screw the drywall to the OSB around the perimeter of the bays.

What's the answer?

Paul


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:46 am 
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After writing my last post, I realised there's a simple (if not a little tedious) way to do it (see image)

This could be done either by building separate modules or by building it straight into the bays between the rafters/joists.

Paul


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:20 am 
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You seem to be missing the point of inside-out ceilings! You build the modules ON THE FLOOR!...

So, you make a frame from 2x4's laying down on the floor, then you put as many layers of OSB, MDF, drywall, or whatever else you feel like using ON TOP OF that frame while it is STILL SITTING ON THE FLOOR, then you raise the entire module up through the joist backbone, and bolt / nail / screw it in place.

Simple!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:25 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
You seem to be missing the point of inside-out ceilings! You build the modules ON THE FLOOR!...

So, you make a frame from 2x4's laying down on the floor, then you put as many layers of OSB, MDF, drywall, or whatever else you feel like using ON TOP OF that frame while it is STILL SITTING ON THE FLOOR, then you raise the entire module up through the joist backbone, and bolt / nail / screw it in place.

Simple!


- Stuart -


I understand that perfectly well Stuart, if you re-read my post (the one before last) you will see what I'm asking. I was asking in my post about fixing the drywall layers. It is advised on a beefed up wall NOT to screw the drywall directly to the OSB (or whatever that wall is made from) - so why would this not also be true for the ceiling?

If you make modules then you are cutting down big sheets of drywall into smaller sections and then fixing those directly to the supporting structure - so what's the difference?

Why would it apply to walls but not ceilings?...


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