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What is a squash block for?

jproud's picture

I just finished reading The Well Framed Floor by Jim Anderson (fhb#160). Does everybody put in squash (bearing) blocks? Where do you put them and what are their purpose?

I don't do much wood framing. Sorry if the question is too basic!

(post #94059, reply #1 of 8)

on the well framed floor of my garden, I usually put a block under the squash to prevent bruising the skin. Works good for pumpkins,  zucchini, and eggplant also.



(post #94059, reply #3 of 8)

Panama red, that's funny, like it very much.

John, I wish I can give you a better answer than panama's but he is the pro. I don't do framing either. A aquash block is a block of solid lumber used to strengthen the web so that a load bearing on the top chord is transfered directly to the bottom chord.

(post #94059, reply #6 of 8)

Three of us were typing at the same time to get in the thread.


edit. make it four

Edited 12/2/2003 10:01:39 PM ET by TOMCHARK

(post #94059, reply #7 of 8)

If I crack a joke like that at home, I get either a blank stare or a rolleyes from the DW. Pannamanian does it here and I feel right at home.



Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #94059, reply #8 of 8)

Should get DW in here more often. Yours and mine.

(post #94059, reply #2 of 8)

I liked that comment about the squash.  I just got done reading the thread about working too much and was already laughing.  This is a funny place. 

A squash block is really 2x4 that are put in I joists to strengthen them over bearing walls.  They are very necessary, but can be replaced with other things.  For example, on the house I just built, we used a LVL for a band joist and that eliminated the need for squash blocks.  You could also use I Joists cut in between the other I joists at partitions.  I know that last part sounded confusing.  Easier to show than tell.  Hope that answered your question.

(post #94059, reply #4 of 8)

Wood I- Joists are designed for handling typical floor live and dead loads up to around 60-100 #/ sq ft, not structural point loads which can come to thousands of pounds per sq ft.

Squash blocks are inserted alongside the web to help keep it from collapsing. Sometimes the same idea is/was used for solid wood floor joists where loads can compress wood into the grain, a block is placed with vertical grain which does not compress.


Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #94059, reply #5 of 8)

Squash blocks are vertical pieces of 2 x 4's or 2 x 6's that are placed in load bearing locations.  Typically they are used under the framing on either side of a door opening, between the floor and sill.  It transfers the weight from the framing to the block wall below.  Cutting them a little taller then the rim joist probably is not a bad idea as well.  If this is not done, as the house settles, the sills of a door will crown..... sometimes making door operation difficult.   I see this a lot on 5' or 6' wide exterior french doors. 

The other fatal mistake is shimming the top of a door frame in the rough opening.  If the header sags at all the deflection is transfered to the frame of the door unit. 

The absence of squash blocks and shimming at the top can make opening a door impossible.  It usually reaches its' peak after the final walk-thru.....leaving the happy homeowner with little recourse.