Common metal framing supplies include tracks, channels, studs, corners and arches, and are available in various sizes, strengths and gauges. Laths, bridging, stud punches, framing extrusions and framing hammers are among other common metal framing supplies.
Metal hardware nailers, connector nailers, cutting saws, transit levels and electronic framing screwdrivers are some of the tools needed in order to use framing materials. Framing strip nailers, tube benders, nut runners, carpenter squares and shear stud cutters are also used in metal framing. Tools that allow for more detailed work include punch-lock stud crimpers, framing chisels, shingle pullers, corner caps and metal arch guides.
Using a grid-like placement of beams and columns, metal framing supports, shapes and attaches the walls, floors and roofs of buildings. Light-frame construction and heavy-frame construction are two types of metal framing for constructing houses, offices, apartment complexes and parking garages. Heavy-frame construction techniques were used to make the construction of skyscrapers possible, while light-frame construction allows more room for architectural design. Hip roofs, dormers, gables, clerestories and crickets are made possible through light-frame construction, as well as arched doorways, lintels and cathedral ceilings.
Aside from metal framing, another type of frame construction is known as mass wall construction, which uses horizontal layers of stacked materials, such as masonry, adobe or logs.