What are ledger strips? (with photo)

Ledger strips are attached to a vertical surface, such as a wall, to support one end of a horizontal beam.

Ledger strips are structural support elements used in wood construction and woodworking. Typically, a ledger strip is a square length of wood fixed horizontally to a vertical surface to support one end of a shelf or beam. The beams or shelves are then supported at their opposite ends by a second ratio strip or other type of support mechanism. A critical part of ratio strip installation is the correct number, type and spacing of fasteners used to secure the strip. Nails or screws usually attach strips of reason to the vertical bars, and a safe average for fastener numbers and spacing is to place one fastener below each joist.

Ledger strip is a common method of manufacturing wooden cabinets and framing to support horizontally oriented surfaces such as shelves, floors and decks. The strips are generally square in cross-section and located at either end of the building element they support. When used in the woodworking industry, ledger strips are usually attached to a ledger board. This is a flat piece of wood anchored to a wall or frame that serves to evenly distribute the load of the beams it supports. There are several ways to attach beams to the ledger board, including beam hooks or ledger bands.

Beam hangers are pressed steel structures sized and molded to accept standard size floor beams. These frames are bolted to the ledger board and the beams slide into them for support. The ledger strip is a simple, square strip of wood screwed or nailed to the ledger board on which the beams rest. The beams may not have cut profiles and simply rest on top of the strip, touching the ledger board. They can also have a square profile cut at their ends to match the size of the ledger strip, which then rests on the ledger strip, offering more secure positioning of the beam.

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Ledger strips are often found in the manufacture of store cabinets and accessories as an alternative to pegs or brackets to support cabinet shelves and tops. These strips are simply nailed or screwed into the shelf position and the shelf plate placed on top of them. In both cases, the correct types of fasteners and their spacing are essential for the integrity of the ledger bands. Although fastener types and their spacing differ from job to job, it is generally accepted that beam bearing ratio strips feature three fasteners at each beam position, with one placed directly below the beam. The ledger strips that support the shelves should have one fastener at each end and one, evenly spaced, for every 25% of the remaining length.

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