How to Build a Wood Bulkhead

Written by cameron easey
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How to Build a Wood Bulkhead
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

A bulkhead in a house is also known as a soffit, which is used to conceal duct work, electrical wiring or beams that are along a wall. If you have a box-shaped section at the top of a wall in the kitchen or in your basement, there is a bulkhead present. To build a new bulkhead from wood, you will require the proper measurements to construct the frame.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-2 boards
  • ½-inch plywood
  • Circular saw
  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Level

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance between each wall to determine how long to build the bulkhead. Make a note of the measurement.

  2. 2

    Measure out from the top of the wall the width you want the bulkhead, such as 14 to 16 inches. Make a mark on the ceiling, with a pencil, every 4 feet down the length of the wall.

  3. 3

    Measure the ½-inch sheet of plywood to the length and height of the bulkhead. Cut the plywood to the required size with the table saw.

  4. 4

    Measure a 2-by-2 board to the distance you measured in Step 1. Cut the board to this length by using the circular saw. Repeat this step for two more 2-by-2 boards.

  5. 5

    Place the cut piece of plywood on top of the 2-by-2 boards. Secure the boards together by using the nail gun. This will be the runner assembly.

  6. 6

    Set the runner assembly on the pencil marks on the ceiling. Drive nails through the top of the assembly and into the floor joists.

  7. 7

    Place a level at the bottom of the runner so that it extends to the wall. Make a mark on the wall at the top of the level with a pencil. Repeat this every 4 feet along length of the runner assembly.

  8. 8

    Set the second 2-by-2 board along the pencil marks that are on the wall. Secure the 2-by-2 board to the wall by driving a nail into the wall studs.

  9. 9

    Measure the distance from the outside of the runner assembly to the wall. Measure and cut a piece of ½ -inch plywood to this measurement.

  10. 10

    Place the plywood on the bottom of the runner assembly and the 2-by-2 that is on the wall. Secure the plywood with nails using the nail gun.

Tips and warnings

  • If a 2-by-2 board for the runner assembly is not available, you can split a down its length using the table saw.

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