- Use a clamp to hold your tape in place.spring clamp image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
Besides a tape measure and chalk box, a laser level is very handy for setting top plates and general layout. A plumb bob can be used in its place, but the laser level has made the plumb bob obsolete--and the laser level has more uses. A hand clamp comes in handy to hold your tape to the metal track when marking studs. A tri-square is also used to mark across a track or stud when perfect alignment is desired.
- A yellow snips makes straight cuts.aviation tin snips image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com
There are two primary cutting tools for steel studs: the metal snips and the chop box. The metal snips are available in three different directional cuts. The red-handled snips cut left, the green cut right and the yellow cut straight. Use the one that works best for you. The chop box is a portable saw able to cut 10 studs at the same time. If you have a lot of framing to do, purchase or rent this saw.
- Use a magnetic level when framing with steel studs.top level image by Stanislovas Kairys from Fotolia.com
The power-actuated nailer is used to nail the track to concrete. A hammer drill and concrete anchors can be used instead. A locking C-clamp is necessary to hold the studs while you screw then to the track. You will want at least 4 clamps. Without these clamps, it is difficult to hold the steel studs in place while you attach with screws. To screw the studs to the tracks and other studs, a screw gun is the main tool, not a drill. Screw guns operate at a higher RPM than battery-operated drills. A 24-inch and 48-inch magnetic level is useful for framing soffits (the undersides of an eave or cornice) and setting shorter framing members.