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RE: Gaps between plywood sheathing

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Most materials have plus-minus tolerances on installation. What would you
say is the plus-minus tolerance on edge distances?  Many of us go out to the
job site and would like some good guidance on this issue.  As a practical
matter we recognize that holding a framer to a 1/16 inch tolerance which is
one half the diameter of an 8d common is likely to cause the framer to turn
is framing gun on us.
Thanks, George Richards

-----Original Message-----
From: John Rose [mailto:jrose36(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 7:12 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Gaps between plywood sheathing

Intended wood structural panel sheathing installation, measured from
centerline of 2x framing: 
1/16" panel edge gap (one-half of 1/8" spacing between panels) 
3/8" panel edge nailing distance (minimum) 
5/16" framing edge nailing distance 
Total = 3/4" or one-half of 1-1/2" thick framing member. 

In LA, shear wall requirements dictate 1/2" panel edge nailing distance,
instead of 3/8" as above, when shear loads exceed 300 or 350 plf. In this
case, the framing thickness must be increased to 3x where panel edges occur
on the same framing member. At top and bottom plates of walls, there is
adequate framing thickness at these locations to provide 3/4" panel edge
nailing distance in most instances, so 2x framing usually is adequate,
although the IBC and UBC may dictate 3x framing for these applications. The
extra edge distance improves lateral nail resistance against "pull out"
through panel edges, if nail forces are perpendicular or at an angle to the
panel edges, as sometimes occurs near corners of sheathing panels. 

John Rose/APA (retired) 

Michael Bryson wrote: 

Typically you install sheathing with a 1/8" gap between sheets to allow for
some expansion, correct? If the sheets are supported by a 2x framing member,
how do you get your edge distance for a 10d nail? 


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