Title:
Wall framing assembly and method of securing a stud to a header or footer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wall frame assembly including a stud and track member, the stud having an elongated body and two depending sidewalls with inward indented channels. The track having a track body and two opposed depending flanges, the depending flange having a projection that is configured to mate with the indented channel in a complementary nesting arrangement to secure the stud frame member to the track frame member.



Inventors:
Sitkiewicz, Christopher Paul (Des Plaines, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/181537
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C2/34
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wall construction assembly comprising: a stud having an elongated body and opposed sidewalls connected by the body, wherein at least one sidewall of said stud includes a channel recess; an elongated track having a body portion and at least one depending wall extending from the body, said depending wall having a projection dimensioned to be received into said receiver in substantial matting arrangement to secure the stud to said track.

2. The wall construction assembly of claim 1, wherein said track has two opposed depending walls and said projection extends inwardly toward the second of said opposed depending walls.

3. The wall construction assembly of claim 1, wherein the channel recess of the sidewall comprises an inward indented recess extending toward the other of said opposed sidewalls.

4. The wall construction assembly of claim 1, including opposed channel recesses, each said channel recess being positioned on an aligned segment of said opposed sidewalls of the stud.

5. The wall construction assembly of claim 4, wherein each of said two channel recesses is dimensioned to receive a pair of similarly aligned projections of the track, each said projection being positioned along opposed depending walls of the track for mating alignment between the stud and the tack.

6. The wall construction assembly of claim 1, wherein the inward recess channel and the projection are generally V-shaped.

7. The wall construction assembly of claim 1, wherein the stud has a length along its elongated body, and the recess channel of the stud extends substantially along the entire length.

8. The wall construction assembly of claim 5, wherein each said channel recess of the stud extend along a substantial extent of the elongated stud body, and said paired projections of said track are spaced in pre-determined locations along the extent of the elongated track.

9. A wall construction assembly comprising: a stud having an elongated body and opposed sidewalls connected by the body, wherein each said sidewall of said stud includes a channel recess; at least one elongated track having a body portion and a pair of generally opposed depending walls extending from the body to define an interior space of the track, said depending walls each having a projection extending toward the other of said depending walls, each said projection dimensioned to be received into one of said channel recess in substantial mating arrangement when an end of the stud is received into said interior space of the track, said mating arrangement having frictional engagement of opposed surfaces of the projections and channels to secure the stud to said track without the need for fasteners.

10. The wall construction assembly of claim 9, wherein the projections of the track are formed as indented portions of each depending wall, the pair of indented portions being in substantial alignment with the other.

11. The wall construction assembly of claim 10, wherein at least one of said indented portions provides space for the head of a screw that may be driven into the assembly to fasten the stud to the track.

12. The wall construction assembly of claim 9, wherein the wall stud and track are formed of a semi-rigid or rigid material.

13. The wall construction assembly of claim 12, wherein the material is sheet metal.

14. The wall construction assembly of claim 13, wherein at least one said channel recess is a generally V-shaped groove formed in the sidewall of the stud, and at least one said projection is a generally V-shaped bend of metal formed in the depending wall of the track.

15. The wall construction assembly of claim 14, wherein said sidewall of the stud has an width extending between the stud body and a free end of the sidewall, and a middle segment of the sidewall extends along the longitudinal length of the sidewall, said at least one channel recess is positioned along said middle segment.

16. A wall frame assembly comprising: a wall stud having a length formed of a planar elongated body and depending opposed first and second elongated sidewalls, the cooperative structure of the body and depending sidewalls forming a stud geometry with a outer surface, at least two elongated channels along the length of the stud as a recess formed in the outer surface of the stud, each of said channels being aligned along a center line of a respective opposed sidewall; at least one elongated track frame member having a track length formed of an elongated track body and generally opposed first and second flanges depending from the track body, said body and flanges cooperatively forming an interior space for receiving an end segment of the stud length, each said flange having at least one projection configured for mating alignment with a respective channel of the stud when the end segment of the stud is inserted into the interior space of the track.

17. The wall frame assembly of claim 16, wherein at least one pair of opposed projections is positioned on said opposed first and second flanges.

18. The wall frame assembly of claim 17, wherein multiple pairs of projections are positioned along the length of the track frame member at predetermined locations along the length.

19. The wall frame assembly of claim 18, wherein the pairs of projections are located every 4 inches along a length of the track.

20. The wall frame assembly of claim 18, wherein a first of said pair of projections is located 16 inches from and end of the stud, and a second of said pair of projections is located 16 inches from said first pair of projections.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to wall construction assemblies, and more particularly, to vertical wall stud and horizontal track assemblies and associated drywall for forming a wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Building construction generally includes the construction of a variety of interior walls having varying horizontal and vertical lengths. The walls generally include framing comprising an assembly of vertical wall studs secured to horizontal members serving as headers and footers, with a drywall finish secured to the framing. More recent construction techniques have incorporated steel studs and horizontal members, in place of wood framing. In the case of steel framing, the studs are typically inserted into an inner space of the horizontal members, and are secured in place with screws. Such conventional construction structure, and the requisite method of assembling same, have numerous drawbacks or shortcomings.

Proper wall stud spacing with conventional systems requires constant measuring to properly fit the studs in place along the horizontal members, and such measurements must be duplicated along the top and bottom of the stud (i.e., along the header and footer) to assure that the stud is directly vertical and square to the horizontal members. The extent of measurements necessary with conventional systems adds to overall construction time and difficulty.

An additional drawback of convention systems is the tendency of wall studs to move during assembly, and the difficulty of holding the stud in place in relation to the length of the horizontal members, while a screw is driven to join the stud to the horizontal member. This requirement with conventional framing, and resulting conventional method of assembly, creates difficulty and additional time. The worker installing the framing is required to hold the frame members parts in place, while holding a drill and driving the screw. If the frame members had shifted when the worker fits the drill with a screw and drives the screw, then additional time is needed during the assembly process to remove the screw, adjust the stud along the length of the horizontal member, and again drive a screw into place.

In the case of metal framing, this requirement of securing frame members with screw, while maintaining proper placement of the stud along the header and footer thereby results in additional time and expense, either because of repeated measurements and marking for the proper stud placement, the need to clamp or hold the stud in position, and the difficulty for the worker to assure the proper positioning of the stud while preparing to drill and then drilling the screw in place.

Some structural changes have been proposed to the typical steel stud arrangement, apparently in an effort to assist with the placement and/or securing of the stud to the horizontal members of the wall. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,805,364, provides a wall construction wherein the retaining member, appearing as a header or a footer, has serrated edges which, when manipulated by an installation tool, may be bent inward to support the stud in position along the retaining member due to an inwardly bent piece residing on each side of the stud. However, this arrangement does not reduce the amount of measuring required, and likely adds further complexity to the wall construction due to the need of a special installation tool and an additional step of bending the serrated portions. In this manner, it appears no more simple or resistant to error than the typical method of simply screwing the stud to the support members.

In another example of a proposed structural change to typical frame member structure and assembly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,760 discloses a vertical slotted header that has slots along the length of the header to secure the stud into place, yet still permit vertical movement of the stud relative the header when the stud in secured in place along the header length. This type of assembly, said to permit movement of the stud when subject to environmental forces, provides numerous elongated slots along the header length, so the studs may be secured at the desired locations along the header length. This structure, however, does not alleviate the problems of typical construction structure or methods of assembly. Indeed, the worker is still required to make the numerous measurements, and hold the stud in position while driving a screw to secure the stud to the header.

Other similar approaches have been proposed for altering the structure or method for assembly of the wall framing, usually requiring more complexity and/or additional material for providing such structural changes, or increasing the complexity and difficulty of the assembly process. The present invention is provided to solve the problems discussed above and other deficiencies of the prior structures and methods of assembly. Thus, the present invention provides advantages and aspects not found in prior wall construction assemblies. A full discussion of the features and advantages of the present invention is deferred to the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention a wall construction assembly includes a wall stud having a stud body and two depending opposed sidewalls connected by the body. At least one of the sidewalls includes a recess formed as an inwardly indented channel. The assembly also includes an elongated track frame member having a track body and two opposed depending flanges. At least one flange includes a projection that is configured to be received into the inward indented channel of the stud sidewall in a mating arrangement to secure the stud in position on the track frame member without the need for fasteners.

According to another aspect of the invention a wall frame assembly includes a wall stud having first and second sidewalls and a connecting elongated body wall. Each of the first and second sidewalls include a continuous channel that runs the length of the stud. The assembly also includes a track frame member that has first and second opposed flanges depending from a track body wall, in which the flanges and the body wall cooperate to provide an inner space of the track. The first and second flanges each have a projection extending inward toward the inner space of the track, the projections being dimensioned to be received into the channel of the stud when the end segment of the stud is inserted into the inner space of the track such that the stud and track are secured together by the fictional mating arrangement of the projection and channel.

According to another aspect of the invention a wall frame assembly includes a wall stud having parallel first and second sidewalls joined together by a planar stud body to form a generally U-shaped exterior surface shape of the stud. A channel is formed in the middle of each of the sidewalls, as a generally V-shape groove indented from the outer surface shape of the stud, and toward the opposed sidewall. The assembly also includes a track frame member having opposed first and second flanges depending from a connecting body wall. Each flange has a projection of complementary shape and alignment to the stud channels, such that the stud and track are secured together when the projection is inserted into the recess. The track has a series of paired projections along the length of the track, each spaced at least every 16 inches, and preferably approximately every four inches.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled vertical wall stud and horizontal track assembly according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of aligned components of the vertical wall stud and horizontal track assembly of FIG. 1; and,

FIG. 3 is a cut-away top view of a wall construction assembly along line 3 of FIG. 1 after the addition of an outer panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1-3 alternative views of sections of framing 12 for a wall construction assembly 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the framing generally includes an elongated vertical stud member 14 and a footer and/or header member providing at least one elongated horizontal track 16. The framing 12 may be constructed from wood or similar materials, or, as is shown in the Figures of the preferred embodiment, may be constructed of metal, such as the common steel stud material in use today. In the case of the metal framing, both the stud member 14 and the track member 16 are preferably formed with a generally U-shaped channel construction. As shown in FIG. multiple vertical studs 14 are intermittently spaced along the track 16 length according to typical construction practice and the requirements for the wall dimensions of a particular application. As with typical construction, the vertical studs 14 may be placed into position along the track 16, and secured in place such as with a screw driven through a portion of the stud 14 and an adjacent portion of the header or footer. The structure of the present invention provides mating structure on the stud 14 and the track 16 to join the stud 14 and track 16 in pre-assembled position prior to securing together with a screw, thereby providing a means of staging the assembly of the stud to the header and/or footer to permit a worker assembling the wall to drive the screw or similar means of attachment without the need to hold the stud 14 in position along the track 16.

It is also contemplated that, in some situations, the stud 14 and track 16 may be securely fitted together according to the present invention, and the need for screws can be eliminated, and the frame may be screwed together when drywall is attached. The present invention provides a wall frame assembly 12, and related method for constructing a finished wall, in which the frame members 14, 16 may be assembled together by mating arrangement, which results in locking frictional engagement of the frame members 14, 16 without the need for fasteners prior to attaching sheet-stock (such as drywall) to the frame assembly 12. Further, the present invention provides the structure for locking arrangement of the frame members, such that the screw used to secure the sheet-stock covering (drywall) to the frame 12 may be aligned for simultaneously securing the stud 14 to the track 16. This aspect of the present invention is useful to potentially eliminating the need for the worker constructing the wall to carry a drill and continually drive screws into the frame 12 as it is assembled.

The wall stud 14 and track 16 are each preferably constructed from metal sheet stock that has been formed by traditional methods of manufacture, such as forming by bending the metal, and stamping blanks from the metal as desired. Other materials may be used to form a stud and track structure according to the present invention, which may include various natural or synthetic materials well know in the art. When constructed in assembled arrangement, the stud 14 is aligned transverse relative the track 16, and is preferably aligned generally perpendicular the track 16. As shown in FIG. 2, the stud member 14 includes an elongated stud body 18 that is generally flat and extends along a major extent of the stud member 14. A pair of opposed sidewalls 20, 22 depend from the stud body 18, and the width 19 of the stud body 18 being defined along the cross-sectional extent of the body 18 between the first sidewall 20 and a second sidewall 22. In the preferred embodiment, the width 19 of the stud member 14 is proportional to the typical stud width used in construction, and thus is approximately 3.6 inches. Further, in the preferred embodiment, the length of the stud member 14, measured from one longitudinal end of the wall stud 14 to the other, is in the range of typical metal studs presently marketed. However, the structure of the present invention provides a stud member 14 that may be cut to a variable length along its longitudinal extent, with the mating cooperative structure between the stud 14 and the track 16 being available regardless of the stud longitudinal length resulting from a worker cutting the stud 14 to a given desired length.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the sidewalls 20, 22 extend perpendicular from the stud body 18. Each sidewall 20, 22 has a sidewall width 21 and a longitudinal length 23. In the preferred form of the invention, the length of the sidewalls 20, 22 is generally equal to the length of the stud body 18, thus maintaining the generally U-shaped construction of the stud member 14 through out the longitudinal extent of the stud 14. Each sidewall 20, 22 has a free end 24 spaced from the stud body 18, and a depending flange 26 at the free end 24 which serves as a structural component to provide rigidity of the elongated stud member 14. The depending flange 26 extends transverse the sidewall 20, 22, and preferably extend generally parallel the average planar alignment of the stud body 18. Thus, the U-shape of the stud 14 is formed from the combination of the body 18 and sidewalls 20, 22, and the flange 26 protruding from the free end 24 of each sidewall 20, 22 thereby extend inward within the U-shape.

In this embodiment, as shown in the Figures, each sidewall 20, 22 is formed by bending the metal along the length of the body 18, and the flange 26 is formed by bending the respective sidewall 20, 22 at the free end 24. In the preferred embodiment, the bend at the corner 28 between the body 18 and each respective sidewall 20, 22 is generally at 90 degrees, and the flange preferably extends from the sidewall 20, 22 at generally 90 degrees. Alternative structure for the flange is also contemplated, such as a fold of the metal to place the flange 26 in a position folded back against or generally parallel the respective sidewall 20, 22. In another embodiment, the flange 26 may be formed as a curl of metal at the free end 24 of the sidewall 20, 22 of the stud member 14. The width 21 of each of the sidewalls 20, 22 is defined by the distance between the corner 28 (joining the sidewall 20, 22 to the stud body) 18 to the free end 24. In the preferred embodiment, the end wall width 21 is in the range of 1 to 3 inches, and preferably approximately 1.25 inches.

A recess 30 is formed in at least one of the sidewalls 20, 22, and is preferably formed in both of the sidewalls 20, 22. The recess 30 is formed as an inwardly indented bend of metal of the sidewall 20, 22, protruding inwardly, into the interior of the U-shape of the stud 14, and toward the other sidewall, thus the recess 30 is a receiver channel. The recess 30 preferably extends the entire longitudinal length 23 of the stud member 14, as an elongated channel as shown in FIGS. 1-3.

In the preferred embodiment, the recess 30 is a generally V-shaped channel formed from a bend of the metal in the sidewall 20, 22 providing an elongated channel formed of two segments 36, 38 that mate at an apex 40 and form an angle of approximately 60°. The two segments 36, 38 are preferably of equal dimensions, and both extend inwardly into the U-shaped horizontal member 16 at each sidewall 20, 22. It is preferable for the recess 30 on each sidewall 20, 22 be located in the same place along each sidewall width 21, such that the recesses 30 of the two side walls 20, 22 are aligned together and approach each other within the U-shaped construction of the horizontal member 16.

While the recess 30 of each of FIGS. 1-3 is shown as V-shaped, numerous other recess shapes come to mind and may be substituted for the preferred embodiment of a V-shaped channel, without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Regardless of the exact shape of the recess 30 when viewed in cross section, the recess is positioned in the sidewall 20, 22 to provide an elongated channel of the stud member 14, which provides mating arrangement of each channel 30 with a projection 42 of the horizontal track member 16. In the preferred embodiment of the V-shaped recess 30, the projection 42 also has a V-shaped configuration of its inner surface 44 to provide substantial mating geometry of the projection 42 and the receiver 30. This embodiment of V-shaped mating geometry provides engaging surfaces of the recess 30 and projection 42 that facilitate self-alignment of the stud 14 into position along the track 16, when the stud is inserted into place. This structure for self alignment is provides by the mating of the inclined inner surfaces 44 of the projection 42 walls 36, 38 with the inclined outer surfaces 46 of the receiver channel 30.

The channel recess 30 has a preferred depth as defined by the amount needed for assuring the stud 14 will be retained in position along the track member 16 despite slack in the mating of the stud and track due to distortion. In the preferred form, the suitable maximum depth of the channel is approximately 0.3 inches. Alternative depth of recess is possible, which will require additional metal, and is easily varied by altering the fold of metal forming the recess 30 when the stud 14 is formed, preferably prior to forming the bend at the corner 28 between the stud body 18 and the sidewalls 20, 22, and prior to forming the bend of metal at the free end 24 that leads to a flange 26.

The channel recess 30 is formed in the middle of each sidewall 20, 22, along the longitudinal mid-line of the stud 14. Thus, the apex 40 of the recess angle, which is the juncture of the two segment walls 36, 38, is located generally at the mid-pint of the stud sidewall width 30. This is a useful feature of the present invention for assisting the worker to identify the “On-center” point of the stud 14. Common construction rules provide for the spacing of vertical studs to be at a given distance, most often 16 inches apart. This measurement of stud spacing in a wall frame, such as 16-inches apart, is measured “on-center” as the distance between the center of one stud 14 to the center of the next stud 14 in the framing. Thus, having the mid-point, or apex, of the recess easily identified assist the worker in aligning the wall according to the proper stud spacing, even without regard for mating the projection 34 within a receiver channel 30.

The wall stud 14 preferably has the same cross sectional shape along its entire length such that the channel recess 30 extends the entire length of the sidewalls 20, 22 of the stud 14. This allows for each stud 14 to be cut to a desired length, with the projection-mating structure of the receiver 30 being available regardless of the stud 14 longitudinal length. The mating projection 42 is preferably formed by bending into position a portion of each elongated side of the track member 16, thus providing opposed projections that mate with recesses 30 on each sidewall 20, 22 of a stud 14.

In the preferred embodiment, the horizontal track 16 has void regions 48 along its length that are absent of any projections. The void regions 48 allow for a stud to be aligned at a given desired spacing, without the use of mating projection 34 and receiver 30. The projections 34 are spaced along the track 16 at predetermined distances. In a preferred embodiment, the projections are spaced 16 inches apart, beginning with a first projection 34 located adjacent an end of the track. This embodiment provides a structure in which a stud 14 will be located directly a the end of the track 16, and additional studs 14 may be inserted into the track 16 at a position every 16-inches along the track length. In another preferred embodiment, the projections 34 are spaced 4-inches apart, beginning adjacent one end of the track 16. This embodiment provides a structure in which a stud 14 will be located directly a the end of the track 16, and additional studs 14 may be inserted into the track 16 at the desired spaced locations, such as every 12-inches along the track length. Special markings may be provided (not shown) to provide identification of the spacing. For example, the projections may be marked by stamping into the steel the measurement from an end of the track member 16 (such as “4 inch; 8 inch; 12 inch; 16 inch; etc”).

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the track 16 is generally U-shaped. The track 16 is generally aligned perpendicular to the elongated axis of the stud 14, and thus is positioned as a header or footer of the wall framing. The track 16 preferably includes a track body 50, which is a generally flat elongated body wall that has a width 51 extending laterally between a first depending wall 52 and a second depending wall 54. The width of the track body 50 is measured as the cross sectional measure between the first depending wall 52 to the second depending wall 54, which is preferably a width that is suitable for receiving the stud body width 19, as is the case with the common metal studs on the market. The length of the elongated track 16 is variable, as it may be cut at any desired length when framing the wall. Thus, the track 16 may be made available at lengths that are typically marketed for headers and footers in steel stud framing, and cut to size desired.

As shown throughout FIGS. 1-3, the depending walls 52, 54 are bent at a ninety degree angle from the track body 50, and extend perpendicularly away from the track body 50. When assembling the framing assembly, as shown in FIG. 1, the depending walls 52, 54 are located outside the end walls 20, 22 of the elongated stud 14. Each of the depending walls 52, 54 extends from the track body 50 an extent desired for securely holding the stud 14 in position, and may have an extend of wall height 55 that is typically used for steel stud framing, and preferably in the range of approximately 1.25 inches.

Each depending wall 52, 54 has a projection 54, preferably formed from the steel sheet stock of the depending wall 52, 54, which provides a structure for mating with the receiver channel of the stud 14. Alternatively, projections may be mounted within the track member 16 for mating with the receiver channel 30 in the center of a stud 14 sidewalls 20, 22. As shown in FIG. 2, the projections 34 are formed from part of the walls 52, 54 by first forming at least one lance 56 in the metal of the wall 52, 54, and then forcing the metal inward into the U-shaped configuration of the track 16 to thus form the projection 34 by separating the metal at the lanced area 58. In preferred forms of the invention, a lance is made at least at the top and bottom of the intended projection, and a stamping operation is performed to indent the metal between the two lanced segments. In another embodiment, the projection 34 is formed by lancing the metal of the wall 52, 54 with a three-sides lance cut, which results in a joining segment 60 at a bend in the metal to join the projection 34 to the remainder of the depending wall 52, 54.

As shown in FIG. 3, the projections 34 are generally complementary in shape to the channel 30 of the stud 14. As described above, in the depicted embodiment each projection 34 extends inward to form an inner surface 44 that is generally V-shaped with an angle of approximately 60° to mate with a like dimension of the recess channel 30. The preferred maximum height of the projection 34 is approximately 0.3 inches. Therefore, the dimensions of the projection 34 are similar and complementary for mating with the dimensions of the recess 30. Further, the projection 34 are generally present in pairs, located directly opposite one another on opposed walls 52, 54 of the track 16. The pairs of projections 34 thereby provide a guide for insertion of a stud 14 such that the stud will be arranged flush against the inside of the track 16, and the stud 14, when inserted, is confined to a generally perpendicular range of transverse arrangement relative the track 16.

When employing the method of assembly of the present invention, elongated wall studs 14 are provided and arranged along the upper and/or lower elongated track members 16 that are provided. A stud member 14 is inserted within a receiving space of the track 16, such that the receiver channel 30 of the stud receives a mating projection 34 formed on the inner surface 60 of the track 16. Additional stud members 14 are inserted into the track 16 at the desired locations along the track 16, preferably by inserting mating projections 34 and receiver 30 of the stud 14 and track 16. The studs 14 are inserted into the track 16 intermittently as desired depending on the required structural strength of the wall being constructed. Once each wall stud 14 is fully seated within the track 16, any relative rotational movement of the wall stud 14 within the track 16 is limited, and preferably eliminated, by the nesting arrangement of the channel 30 and projection 34. Therefore, the assembled wall stud 14 is generally confined to a perpendicular arrangement relative the track 16, and final alignment and fastening the stud 14 to the track 16 with a screw is easily achieved. In this manner, the frame 12 may be fully assembled, by securely connecting the studs 14 to the top and bottom tracks 16 (such as a header and footer of the frame 12), and drywall or other such sheet covering may be secured to the frame 12 with the screws used to attach the drywall passing through the union of the stud 14 and track 16.

An additional benefit of the method employed with the present invention is that a screw fastener (not shown) driven to secure the stud 14 and the track 16 will be driven into a recessed position relative the outer surfaces of the track 16 and stud 14, such that there is less likely an interference caused by an exposed screw head when placing drywall or other wall covering 64 on the framed wall 12. The indented portion of the frame members 14, 16, from the formation of the projection 34 and receiver 30, provide an indent space 62 relative the outer surface of the frame 12, recessed from the outer surface of the frame 12 where wall covering 64 is placed. Thus, the projection 34 and receiver 30 not only secure the frame pieces together, and not only provide a structure conducive for aligning and driving the screw to hold the frame members together, but it also provides a space 62 for the head of the screw to be recessed into the steel frame 12.

While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying claims.