I demo'd a half wall (disregard errant cuts, I reinforced the stud from the other side) that separated our upstairs hallway from a stairs opening. We're having a metal railing installed, and I need to add blocking behind the drywall to reinforce this corner and receive the metal railing after drywalling.

My thought was to just double up 2x4s and screw them into the existing stud, with a few toe screws and lateral braces to fix it to the bottom plate and adjacent stud. My hurdle here where I'm starting to overcomplicate things, is the distance I need to extend is 3.5" and doubled up 2x4s would only extend it 3". Is there a best practice to extend this out the required distance and be sturdy enough to mount the railing to? I made 2" spacers but these cracked when I tested out screwing them in.... Would plywood work here?

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1 Answer 1


You can sandwich a scrap of 1/2" plywood between two 2x4s, glue and screw them together and that will get you the required 3½".

Seeing how you've got that wire to contend with it might be a better idea to start with a 2x4, cut into two pieces, allowing a channel for the wire and then screw a 2x4 with a glued scrap of 1/2" plywood in to get you where you need to be.

Another option would be to get a 4x4 and cut a channel in the back to route your wire and then lag screw it in with some Timberloks or something of the sort.

  • 1
    Thanks matt. I had a 4x4 from the demo. Worked like a charm!
    – Ted
    Nov 20, 2023 at 2:13

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