In my last post, I got the second floor joists installed. In this post, I talk about how I levelled them.
With the second floor joists in place, I went back with a water level and made a mark on each end of the girder log, then used my snapline to make a level chalk line on the girder log a few inches below the top. I used my combination square to find the distance from that line to the bottom of the joist (yes, all my joists are exactly 12″ tall – if yours aren’t, you’ll want to measure to the top of the joist). I wrote all these down in my notebook. I found out that on the skinny end of the girder log, I made it a bit too high – by about 1.5″. On the fat end of the girder log – over the kitchen, I made it a bit too low – about 1.5″. At least it is straight. I took the biggest difference and the smallest difference, and divided it in half – half the joists would have to be shimmed, the other half would have to be notched. I started with the beam with the smallest variance from my proposed height – this beam is my “zero”. I only had to notch the log about 1/8″. Once that one was at the correct height, I used my 4′ level to carefully mark the rest. You must do this carefully because if your 4′ level is off by even a 1/16″, this can be magnified over a 40′ distance. If in doubt, use the water level to verify.
I didn’t want to notch the skinny end of the girder log, so I will notch the beams themselves. And on the fat end, I shimmed the joists and chiseled out some of the girder log – where it is thick enough, this is fine:
Normally, you would mark the joists, flip them over and notch them, then install them. But I can’t flip a 200-300 lb joist. Not easily, or by myself. I came up with a way to do it in place….
For the non-reading types, I made a video….