In order to stiffen the partitions, short pieces of studding are cut in between the regular studding in such a way as to connect each piece with the pieces on each side of it. Thus, if one piece of studding is for any reason excessively loaded, it will not have to carry the whole load alone but will be assisted by the other pieces. This operation is called "bridging," and there are two kinds, which may be called "horizontal bridging" and "diagonal bridging." The horizontal bridging consists of pieces set in horizontally between the vertical studding to form a continuous horizontal line across the wall, every other piece, however, being a little above or below the next piece as shown in Fig. 126. The pieces are 2 inches thick and the full width of the studding; and in addition to strengthening the wall, they prevent fire or vermin from passing through, and also may be utilized as a nailing surface for any inside finish such as wainscoting or chair rails.

The second method, which we have called diagonal bridging, is more effective in preventing the partition from sagging than is the straight bridging, but both methods may be used with equal propriety. In the diagonal bridging the short pieces are set in diagonally, as is shown in Fig. 127, instead of horizontally, between the vertical studding. This method is certainly more scientific than the other, since a continuous truss is formed across the wall.

Fig. 126. Horizontal Bridging

Fig. 126. Horizontal Bridging.

Fig. 127. Diagonal Bridging

Fig. 127. Diagonal Bridging.

All partitions should be bridged by one of these methods, at least once in the height of each story, and the bridging pieces should be securely nailed to the vertical studding at both ends. It is customary to specify two tenpenny nails in each end of each piece. Bridging should be placed in the exterior walls as well as in the partition walls; and as a further precaution against fire, it is good practice to lay three or four courses of brickwork, in mortar, on the top of the bridging in all walls, to prevent the fire from gaining headway in the wall before burning through and being discovered. This construction is shown in Fig. 128.