Braces are used as permanent parts of the structure only in braced frames, and serve to stiffen the wall, to keep the corners square and true, and to prevent the frame from being distorted by lateral forces, such as wind. In a full-braced frame, a brace is placed wherever a sill, girt, or plate makes an angle with a corner post, as shown at E in Fig. 90. Braces are placed so as to make an angle of forty-five degrees with the post, and should be long enough to frame into the corner post at a height of from one-third to one-half the height of the story. This construction is often modified in practice, and the braces are placed as shown at A in Fig. 109. Such a frame is not quite so stiff and strong as the regular braced frame, but it is sufficiently strong in most cases.

The braces are made the same width as the posts and girts, usually 4 inches, to be flush with these pieces both outside and inside, and are made of 3X4-inch or 4X4-inch stuff. They are framed into the posts and girders or sills, by means of a tenon cut in the end of the brace, and a mortise cut in the post or girt, and are secured by a hardwood pin. The pin should be 3/4 or 7/8 inch in diameter. The connection is shown in Fig. 102.

In a balloon frame there are no permanent braces, but light strips are nailed across the corners while the framework is being erected, and before the boarding has been put on, to keep the frame in place. As soon as the outside boarding is in place these are removed. This practice is also modified, and sometimes light braces are used as permanent parts of even a balloon frame. They are not framed into the other members, however, but are merely notched into them and spiked, as shown in Fig. 110. A is the brace, B the sill, C the corner post, and DD are studs. In such a case every stud must be notched to receive the brace, which is really the same as the temporary brace mentioned above, except that it is notched into the studs instead of being merely nailed to them, and is not removed when the boarding is put on. These braces are usually made of 1X 3-inch stuff.

Fig. 109. Braced Frame

Fig. 109. Braced Frame.