The other day, I was retrofitting a wall beneath a steel frame that included a 2x nailer that was bolted to the bottom of a steel I-beam. I needed to double up the existing nailer with another 2x, and to do so, I had to drill some holes to accommodate the bolts. Rather than spend the time measuring the location of the bolts, I applied a time-honored trick that framing carpenters use to locate foundation-bolt holes in mudsills. I instructed my assistant to hold the new 2x right against the bolts in the existing nailer (see drawing). Then I hit the 2x with a hammer. This created a series of impressions in the wood that exactly matched the location of the bolts that were in the existing nailer. I then used my 1-1/2 in. drill bit to cut the holes in the new nailer, enabling it to fit flush against the old one. Total time: just about five minutes.
—Cesar Camorlinga, Redwood City, CA
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #157