2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2, Page #35[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Strengthen Building Frames Fast
"Barns and house roofs can sag under snow load over time and floors can be too springy," says Rick Plavidal, inventor of the two devices. "With these devices, you can simply screw them into place and adjust them as needed to strengthen the floor."
The JoistJack is a 6 1/2 ft. long steel strap. Both ends are screwed to a joist with the belly of the strap hanging below and parallel to the joist. Spreader bolts at either end of the strap belly push against the joist, while either end of the strap pulls against the same joist. Similar to drawing back a bowstring, the tension forces the joist to bow upward slightly. The SuperJack uses braces and threaded rod to achieve the same affect.
Necessity was the mother of invention in the case of the JoistJack. "I had a springy floor in the kitchen and thought there should be a way to strengthen it," says Plavidal. "Since then, I've also used it to reinforce a floor under a wood stove."
The triangular CornerCam is installed against truss or rafter ends and their supporting wall. The spreader bolt extends from the point where the truss meets the wall to the center of the CornerCam's exposed and slightly inverted side. When the bolt is turned, it forces the exposed side to straighten, pushing against and strengthening the joist.
The XPress floor stiffening system uses spreader sets that fit between joists to change the pattern of the floor. Pretensioning the XPress members stiffens the floor. When weight is applied, floor movement is dampened and the weight is transferred across all the joists.
The CornerCam and the JoistJack are unit priced at $47.50, the SuperJack at $97.50, and the Xpress at $17.50. All can be ordered direct from Ridgeway, though Plavidal is seeking retail and wholesale distributors.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rick Plavidal (ph 970 596-1787; rick@ ridgway structural systems.com; www. ridgway structural systems.com).
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