Jul 30

Help Requested!

I have been given the opportunity to hold training classes for a large distributor in Tennessee.  The location is very close to one of my favorite places, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, so I jumped at the chance.

But location wasn’t the only reason that I was eager to take on this new task.   I am very passionate about our industry and love to share what I have learned.  That combination made this new venture a win-win.

To make sure all of the basics are covered before getting into more complicated lessons, I have decided to start at Hollow Metal 101.  My first lesson will cover frame installation using the most common wall type applications and anchors, such as wood stud, metal stud, masonry, etc.  I would like to bring in a faux wall section to offer hands on training.  Using the wall section I will show exactly how the different anchors will be used.

This is where I need your help.  A true wall section would be too heavy for me to pack and carry around. (remember, I am a girl).  I would like to build a wall section from light weight, but durable materials.  I have a 2′ jamb piece, so the wall section would need to be approximately 24″ x 24″.  A friend of mine suggested foam board for the drywall.  Any other suggestions?  Specifically, for the studs or block?  Styrofoam may be an option but I am worried it wouldn’t last for more than one demonstration.

I am eager to hear your suggestions.

P.S. I have already had an initial meeting and was able to squeeze in a full day of hiking.  Here is a picture that I took along the Alum Cave Trail.



  1. Sean @ AlaGBS / SLS Construction

    Does it really need to be square or rectangular? I would consider a triangular shape & in order for it to last I wouldn’t use foam. I would use 1/2 plywood or OSB covering one side & just a strip to simulate the drywall on the other side. You could also leave it rectangular using metal studs with one side being a double 2×4 & now you have two wall assemblies in one

    For blocks there are companies that make faux panels that could be wrapped over foam with maybe a 2x inside for something to grip

    1. admin


      Thanks so much for the suggestions. And no, it doesn’t need to be square, that’s just my uncreative symmetrical mind at work. That’s why I handed this over to the professionals!

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