Soon after reading Kevin Ireton’s article Pocket Doors, I needed to fix a pocket door in a 2×4 wall. Its skimpy 3/4-in. split jamb had flexed at the junction between the split jamb and the header. Result: cracks in the drywall at the corners. To solve this, I stiffened the walls near the split jamb without thickening them or tearing them open.
First I removed the door stops and the door, allowing access to the inside of the wall. Next I cut a couple of 1x4s to fit between the header and the plate adjacent to each half of the split jamb, as shown in the drawing. The 1x4s are meant to take a load from the side, reducing the bending that caused the cracks. To make them extra stiff, I screwed 1/8-in. thick by 3/4-in. wide steel straps to their edges with drywall screws on 1-ft. centers.
Before slipping each 1×4 in place, I ran a liberal bead of drywall adhesive down the face that bears against the back of the drywall. Then I used 1-1/8-in. drywall screws to secure the 1x4s to the finished walls. After patching the cracks and holes, the walls were ready to paint.
Bruce G. Koprucki, Chaska, MN