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The context is building a wall which has three king studs at the end (it will be joined to by another wall so has two studs to screw that wall's end king into plus one for the interior sheathing).

Despite trying to stagger nail locations across the king studs and doing the outer two nails on the end king first, it still split.

What's the standard way to shore this up? Lateral screws to hold it together? Something else?

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It's not really a structural concern*, but a good strategy is cross-nailing or screwing. Just run some fasteners crosswise. Yes, that can result in more splits, but modern soft lumber can usually take it. Stay at least 2" from the end.

If using nails, two 8d from each side should work well. If you use screws, pre-drill about half diameter or stay back 4" from the end.

_________________-_________-______
             *   |    *    |   *  |
                 |         |      |
                 ||        ||     |
             *    |   *     |  *  |
__________________|_________|_____|
                  ‾         ‾

* Nothing about the wall depends on strength at that location. The sheathing and all the other wall components tie things together just fine.

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  • Okay thanks - and good to know on it not mattering at that location - does it impact anything?
    – g491
    Jan 3, 2023 at 21:33
  • Having the splits at the end of the top plate
    – g491
    Jan 3, 2023 at 21:46
  • I didn't know if you meant that there is only no "structural concern" but that maybe that wording left the door open that there could be other concerns so I wanted to confirm. Thanks
    – g491
    Jan 4, 2023 at 1:12
  • 1
    Framing rarely has an aesthetic component beyond good craftspersonship, but you're free to set your own standards. :)
    – isherwood
    Jan 4, 2023 at 13:39

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