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I am building out a workshop space in my basement, and want to put up framing on the walls, as shown here: enter image description here

Specifically the left wall and the far wall, both of which have a lip. The foundation blocks are 8" deep (inside to outside) - 2" of concrete, 6" void, then 2" of concrete. Ideally, I would like to fasten 2x3's or 2x4's to the block using appropriate anchors. The framing members would extend from the lip up to near the top of the wall. My research has shown that a Concrete Sleve Anchor such as this: http://www.confast.com/products/concrete-sleeve-anchor.aspx is the best fastener for the job, and is rated sufficiently (1590lbs tension, 3060lbs shear).

Note: I am avoiding traditional framing with a header, full length 2x4 studs, and a footer resting on the basement floor, mostly because the basement floor is very uneven, and can flood in the spring.

What I would like to understand is:

  • How much load can 2x3's or 2x4's attached to concrete block support?
  • Is this different than simply summing up the fastener tolerances and accounting for safety margin, i.e. 1590lbs / 4 (safety) = 397lbs per stud?
  • Does the choice of stud (2x3 vs 2x4) AND the choice of orientation (long side vs short side facing out) matter in terms of supporting this load? If so, how?
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How much load can 2x3's or 2x4's attached to concrete block support?

Typically a 2x on end can handle about 1250 PSI for doug fir. This is about 6,000+ lb for a 2x4, 4,500+ lb for a 2x3. Crushing wise, it depends on how often it is braced. You anchor a 2x4 into a concrete wall every 6" for 5' and I am sure it will actaully hold those loads.

Is this different than simply summing up the fastener tolerances and accounting for safety margin, i.e. 1590lbs / 4 (safety) = 397lbs per stud?

Yes. The 2x's can hold one load, the fasteners can hold another. Typically you specify fasteners based on the actual loads to be held, not on the possible loads each stud can hold.

Does the choice of stud (2x3 vs 2x4) AND the choice of orientation (long side vs short side facing out) matter in terms of supporting this load? If so, how?

Yes and No. The failure mode for a 2x is usually buckling. So putting it flat against the wall would make it stronger laterally by bracing it in the weak direction allowing more load before buckling. But if you brace the 2x laterally via wood and face them out, this is a moot point.

But if you framing walls inside of a fully supported basement, why does any of this matter? The walls are not supporting any other laod than the wall finish. Just shoot concrete nails into P.T. members placed vertical on the wall to fur it in and cover a suitable finish. Maybe I am missing something.

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