Posted by JWmHarmon on January 05, 2004 at 12:11:42:
In Reply to: top plate on a round cob wall posted by Nikola on December 21, 2003 at 12:11:25:
One solution to the top plate problem with a circular wall is to cut curves from 3/4 inch plywood and nail and glue two pieces together to form a 1 1/2 inch thick top plate. The plywood can be cut with a power jigsaw. This method is time-consuming and therefore labor intensive (and expensive), but it does work. The top pieces cut from a 4X8 foot sheet of plywood would overlap the bottom pieces every four feet to stagger the joints.
You can determine the radius of the curve by using a string from the center of the circular room to the inside of the wall. Go outside the room and lay out the same curve from the center point to where it intersects the plywood that is placed perpendicular to the radius string to minimize waste.
Measure how wide the top plate must be and draw the outside edge.
This same technique can be done with overlapping 2X8 or 2X10's cut on the curve of the wall. Chainsaw trimming also works for this method but is much rougher than using a jigsaw. The chain saw method is much faster (therefore cheaper for labor).
I would not go without the top plate since it spreads the forces over a greater bearing surface.
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