How to Cut Studs & Reinforce a Wall

Written by brian scudder
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How to Cut Studs & Reinforce a Wall
Wall framing is one use for which Kerfed studs are engineered. (Framework - Lumber image by Jeffrey Zalesny from

Factors attributing to bowed studs in wall framing include wood which is not fully dried when installed, damp conditions during construction, and mistakenly installing bowed studs. This is a common situation in new construction, and many of these bowed studs go unnoticed until after construction is complete. Repairing these bowed studs consists of a method known as kerfing. Kerfing is accomplished by cutting into the stud horizontally, and installing a wedge in the kerfed area once the stud is properly aligned.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Power saw
  • Wood wedge
  • 4-foot straightedge
  • Screw gun
  • 2-inch drywall screw
  • 4-foot long stud
  • 2 ½-inch drywall screws

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  1. 1

    Place a mark in the centre of the concave bow side the of the stud. This marks where the kerf is made.

  2. 2

    Set the saw to cut 2 inches deep. Do not set the saw to cut any deeper.

  3. 3

    Cut a horizontal kerf in the stud by placing the saw in a horizontal position while cutting on the mark.

  4. 4

    Apply pressure from the convex side of the stud and insert a wedge into the kerf.

  5. 5

    Check the stud with a 4-foot straightedge, placing it vertically on the edge of the stud.

  6. 6

    Secure the wedge with a 2-inch screw by angling or toenailing it through the edge of the stud and through the wedge.

  7. 7

    Align the centre of the 4-foot stud on the centre of the kerf, and install one 2 1/2-inch screw through the 4-foot piece, into the kerfed stud, while keeping the piece flush with the kerfed stud.

  8. 8

    Install nine more 2 1/2-inch screws, evenly spaced, into the 4-foot stud. More screws can be installed if needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Setting the saw depth to 2 inches ensures stability of the stud after the kerf cut.
  • Wear eye protection and saw operation guidelines.

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