Building Freestanding Walls

I welded a small steel plate and a 1/2-inch nut to the bottom of each post for attachment.

I used a flap wheel and an angle grinder to remove burrs from the edges of the ripped channels.

I welded a plate on the other end so that I could drive it with a hammer.

After driving through and removing the top layer of linoleum, I drilled holes just inside my initial cut and continued to drive the square chisel all the way through the floor, alternately driving and drilling as necessary.

I slipped each post through a finished hole and held it at the proper height using a C-clamp.

In the basement, my helper bolted a 2x8 block to the bottom of each post. While I kept the posts perfectly plumb with a level, he screwed the blocks to the bottoms of the floor joists.

When finished, I tightened the bolts until the washers slightly compressed the surface of the block.

Next came the ipe boards, which I cut about 1/8 inch short so that they wouldn't bind as they slipped into place. Because I'd cut the channel in the tubing for a friction fit, no mechanical attachment was necessary. I simply slipped the boards into the channels at either end, stacking them on top of one another.

I cut a slot in the center of each board with a biscuit joiner and used a single biscuit to keep the boards aligned with one another. I dry-fit the biscuits without glue so that the boards could be removed and replaced easily in the event of damage.

I topped each post with cast steel caps from Trotter Welding & Steel Supply, in Sonora, Calif.

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