2nd Year students (a new chapter in the CB-A Trials)

Steel Stud Work (Day One)

As part of the CB-A project 2010-11 I sort feedback from industry

Student in Worldskills competition

about students and one part of that was the issue with recently qualified tradespeople was their lack of confidence in setting out new work and taking responsibility for it.

“Fail early and often and succeed early” I have said it before and feel that it is this failing that helps build confidence and competence.

The task

Construct a steel stud wall with a window and door, a low raked wall and return, from scratch and free-standing. (braced from an existing structure, non-load bearing)  The work will be assessed on Accuracy + or – 2mm before loss of points for Plumb, Level, Measurements, Stud placement, also Boxed studs, Stud spacing and fixings.

Task One:  Setting out

Theory session class setting.

  • Group discussions re: JSAs’


Setting out steel framing
Steel stud work

Manual Handling of steel and plasterboard
Cutting steel work
Setting up and using a docking saw S.O.P.
Using tin snips
Cordless drills
Using Planks and trestles
Mixing compounds
Using flushing tools and equipment
Cutting measuring and fixing metal trims
Measuring cutting and fixing plasterboard

  • Terms used,
  • What happens at work,
  • Who does their setting out,
  • What are the problems they have and why.


afraid of making a mistake and of making a decision and sticking to it, any error will be expensive to fix, boss won’t let them do it.

Older experienced workers usually unqualified used to setting out carry out most works.

  • 3:4:5 Pythagoras  Square of the Hypotenuse = sum of squares of the other two sides
  • Lengths and sizes of Stud and track
  • Spacings Max 600 centres
  • Track fixings Max 600mm centres max 100mm from end of track
  • How to set out, Chalk lines, Arcs and builder’s square, tape measure 3:4:5.
  • Reading the plans
  • Fixing track
  • Cutting Studs at 2390mm
  • Bracing top track and inserting studs in rear wall
  • Constructing window in rear wall and door wall, small raked wall and return
  • Lining rear wall doorway and other walls
  • Metal trims and window reveals
  • Flush 3 coats


The sessions in class were similar to the 1st year students last week their input levels were higher and engagement sustained longer.  This showed a definite improvement however not to the levels of the first week of the first years, who had not experienced any other style of tafeSA training delivery.

It became obvious that their confidence to set anything out was the main issue here.


First step: Discussed Set out (15 minutes), flicking chalk line for rear wall and 3:4:5 to intersect rear wall at a right angle.

Second Step: Practical session (30 minutes) in workshop (2 groups) one plan and left them to it.  Observed discussions and thinking re:set out, track placement and allowances for plasterboard etc..

Feedback: The communication between students is intense and typical of a workplace during a set up.  Differing opinions and a decision made and rear track fixed in and other measurement and set out to be checked once started.

Third Step: Setting out doorway wall at right angles to rear wall, raked wall and return at 45 degrees.

Feedback: The communication carried on till first doorway wall was set out then the students were on their own to finish the rest of the setting out.  Over all impression was that confidence had grown and some of the mystery had gone from the procedure.

About wallandceiling

I currently design, create and administer over 180 Moodle online courses as part of a project in tafeSA with the BJIT Business Services Team. This project has highlighted a need for training in Moodle and how to implement and maintain courses online. I have been a lecturer in Wall & Ceiling Lining (Drywall for Americans) in Adelaide South Australia involved in the CPSISC validation of the CPC08 National Training packages and the CBA Program to build capacity in assessment through the use of Action Learning and Assessment for Learning principles.
This entry was posted in CB-A, CB-A Project, tafeSA, Training, Wall & Ceiling Lining and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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