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  1. #1
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    Default Fur down or Fir down?

    This may be a regional term, but what is the correct spelling and/or usage for fur down? Meaning the small dropped ceiling to close the gap above cabinets, etc.?
    Thanks

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    I always thought it was 'fer down', as in 'how fer down the highway is the next gas station'.

    Back to seriousness ...

    "Furring"

    As in "furring" strips, etc.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Soffit

    That's what I call it. It fits I guess.

    Ted

    Hope that worked out for you today


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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Jerry, I was leaning to Fur Down which I guess is the way I always spelled it until I took a second look. And thought of "Furring strips" but then considered "Fir" like the tree, and started doubting myself.

    Ted, I always have considered a soffit to be the flat surface under an overhang as in soffit vents, but I have also heard of that term used interchangeably.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    From Wikipedia:
    Soffit (from French soffite, Italian soffitto, formed as a ceiling; directly from suffictus for suffixus, Latin suffigere, to fix underneath), in architecture, describes the underside of any construction element. Examples of soffits include:
    • the underside of an arch or architrave (whether supported by piers or columns),
    • the underside of a flight of stairs, under the classical entablature,
    • the underside of a projecting cornice, or
    • the underside of a ceiling to fill the space above the kitchen cabinets, at the corner of the ceiling and wall.
    I guess I will start using soffit going by the last definition above.

    Jim Luttrall
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    I've always (well, almost "always") heard what you are describing called (like Ted has) "soffits", however, I have also heard the term "fur it down".

    To me, "fur it down" indicates 'to close up a small space' or 'to make level', unlike a soffit, which typically closes up a 12" high space.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    I guess until you but the cabinets up to it, it is a soffit. If you are just furring it down to cover a small gap then that would work as well.

    Ted


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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    --Meaning the small dropped ceiling to close the gap above cabinets, etc.?
    Thanks
    .
    Bulkhead.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I guess until you but the cabinets up to it, it is a soffit. If you are just furring it down to cover a small gap then that would work as well.

    Ted
    "butt"

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  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    You know. I use the spell check and have for years. I get so use to counting on it that I just punch away and don't even think anymore as in dew, due, do or but, butt. I get bagged all the time.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    I was thinking

    Fur out a wall.
    Trim down the cabinet.
    Trim out a door.

    Best

    Ron


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Jim,

    From a family of trim carpenters and custom cabinet makers, I can tell you it is called a "furr down". FURR

    (the only family member with both thumbs)
    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ...'how fer down the highway is the next gas station'. ..
    The answer is: " a fur piece".


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    From a family of finish carpenters what about the tem "Valance" My father used the term for the piece of wood that covers the track for a closet Bi-fold door.


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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Also from a family of carpenters. None could spell. That's why they were carpenters. Carpenters don't have to spell; just measure. If I had asked this question of my Dad or any of his partners in crime, I would have been the brunt of fur jokes for at least a day.

    I always assumed it was furr down because of the framing materials. Nobody wanted to waste 2x4s on something that didn't support any weight. As a kid working with him the most common use was to conceal ducts in houses built long before central forced air heat and air.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    How about....


    The wall needs to be 'padded out' to meet the existing finish.


    However, I've always heard "Furred out"

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Thanks Rick, I needed some trustworthy advice from another native Texan
    From a family of trim carpenters and custom cabinet makers, I can tell you it is called a "furr down". FURR


    Jim Luttrall
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Jim...In Austin, I refer to it also as a "furr down".


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Gentlemen,

    According to Bob Vila, host of the television home-improvement show, This Old House," the term is fir-down. I think Mr. Vila should know what he's talking about.

    H.H.
    Dallas, Texas


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Henley View Post
    Gentlemen,

    According to Bob Vila, host of the television home-improvement show, This Old House," the term is fir-down. I think Mr. Vila should know what he's talking about.

    H.H.
    Dallas, Texas
    Me thinks someone puts too much faith into an actor - realize that he had other actually do the work, those who knew what they were doing (most of the time anyway).

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Methinks someone doesn't like Bob Vila and just wants to argue. So, I borrowed my boss's Construction Terminology Dictionary (yes, several of them do exist, but I didn't want to pay 95 bucks for one) and I looked up the term.

    The dictionary not only gave the correct term as "fir-down," it gave a history of where the term comes from. As most of us know, in the old days when they were plentiful, fir trees -- especially the huge Douglas Fir -- were often used for ceiling beams. (There are still several Douglas Firs in Oregon's Willamette National Forest that are 300 feet high.) Whenever somebody decided they wanted a dropped ceiling, they would call in the carpenters who would build "from the fir down."

    This is perfectly logical -- a fir is a tree; it's wood. "Fur" is something that grows on certain animals and I haven't seen any minks or cats or beavers used in construction lately.

    H.H.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Go here: Contractor School Online® - Contractor Glossary of Terms
    - Furred Ceiling. = A ceiling having spacer elements, usually furring channels, round rods, or wood strips, interposed between it and the supporting structure above.
    - Furring Channels. = 3/4 inch cold or hot rolled steel channels used in plaster base construction.
    - Furring, Ceiling. = see Ceiling Furring.
    - Furring, Channel. = see Channel Furring.
    - Furring, Metal. = see Metal Furring.
    - Furring, Wood. = see Wood Furring.
    - Furring. = 1. Wood or metal strips used to build out a surface such as a studded wall. 2. Narrow strips fastened to the walls and ceilings to form a straight surface upon which to lay the lath or other finish.

    And here: RSMeans?
    - furred = Provided with furring to leave an air space, as between a structural wall and plaster or between a subfloor and wood flooring.
    - firred = No matching terms. Please revise your search. You may wish to try inserting a wildcard character (*) into your search term.

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  23. #23
    Hugh Henley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Well, Mr. Peck, I guess it's your dictionary against mine. In any case, I've got better things to do than have this argument. I've got to go and do some firring down.

    Take care.

    HH

    PS - By the way, do you do litigation consulting for contractors or homeowners?


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    My vote. Fir is a species of wood. Furr down is correct. IMO it means attaching a generally non-structural building element to something to make things look right when finished. In the truss field "Furr down" and "false frame" are generally used interchangeably.

    For example this is a scissor truss with a false framed flat ceiling AKA a "furr-down". http://www.trussworksusa.com/images/truss/framing.jpg

    Last edited by Mike Truss Guy; 05-28-2009 at 12:11 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Henley View Post
    PS - By the way, do you do litigation consulting for contractors or homeowners?

    For both.

    Either way, I tell it like it is, and document it with the same references.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Maybe furr is not a word. I searched the Construction Info Exchange dictionary and found furring, but not fur or furr.

    http://www.constructioninfoexchange....arySearchKey=A

    Of course, this is a silly thread.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Maybe furr is not a word. I searched the Construction Info Exchange dictionary and found furring, but not fur or furr.

    http://www.constructioninfoexchange....arySearchKey=A

    Of course, this is a silly thread.
    Gunnar,

    Not quite sure why you did this, but that does not contain "fir" or "firr" EITHER???

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    According to the Means Illustrated Construction Dictionary it's FURRING.
    1. Strips of wood or metal fastened to a wall or other surface to even it.
    2. lumber 1" thickness (nominal) and less than 4" in width. The most common size of furring is 1x2 and 1x3.

    There is also furring brick, furring strip, and furring tile.
    The only thing under FIR is softwood.


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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Gunnar,

    Not quite sure why you did this, but that does not contain "fir" or "firr" EITHER???
    Jerry,

    Well, we had already established that fir was a word, if not the right one and I never thought of firr (or ferr, for that matter). But, if you insist...

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Jerry,

    Well, we had already established that fir was a word, if not the right one and I never thought of firr (or ferr, for that matter). But, if you insist...
    Likewise, we already knew that "fur" was a word.

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  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Hmmm

    Soffit or soffite or soffitto. Furr down is what you are doing when building a soffit.

    Bunch a Red Necks with the furr down talk

    Sorry Bill

    Hill Billies

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 05-28-2009 at 08:08 PM.
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by ben jacks View Post
    Hi Jerry, You missed a golden opportunity to answering 'fur both'.
    Dang! I sur did.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    This may be a regional term, but what is the correct spelling and/or usage for fur down? Meaning the small dropped ceiling to close the gap above cabinets, etc.?
    Thanks
    We call that a Bulkhead here
    Hope it helps


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Hey guys, this thread was started a year ago and solved to my satisfaction. I will continue to use "furr down." Let's let this one die in relative peace.

    BTW - The use of "Bulk head" would get a blank stare around here unless talking to a northerner

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Hey guys, this thread was started a year ago and solved to my satisfaction. I will continue to use "furr down." Let's let this one die in relative peace.

    BTW - The use of "Bulk head" would get a blank stare around here unless talking to a northerner
    Jim,

    C'mon, let us have a little fun (fin... fen?). Since Mr. Henley chose to exhume this thread, we decided to waste a little time bantering about.

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    "Crown Mold" if you're closing the space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling covering. Anyplace else just means you're a certified wood butcher.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    "Crown Mold" if you're closing the space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling covering. Anyplace else just means you're a certified wood butcher.

    WC Jerry,

    I haven't seen 12" vertical height crown molding (that would be what, about 18" stuff at the diagonal?), where do you get that at?

    That would kind of dwarf a kitchen ceiling too.

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  38. #38
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    EC Jerry, Where did you get the 12 inches from? I read the original post as any opening between the 12 inch ceiling soffit drop and installation of the upper kitchen cabinets? Crown mold can also be flat as well as beveled. Perhaps I'm losing my alleged mind?

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  39. #39
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    You Jerry's seem to have your fur all up over this discussion.




  40. #40
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    WC Jerry,

    I'm not going to be much help on finding your mind when I have lost track of mine ... now where is ... ????

    However, the original post is asking about "fur down" and that would be the soffit, or "El Soffit" in your photo.

    The crown molding would go to the ceiling and the soffit.

    However, if there was no soffit, then the crown molding would need to fill in that 12" gap.

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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Original Post: This may be a regional term, but what is the correct spelling and/or usage for fur down? Meaning the small dropped ceiling to close the gap above cabinets, etc.?
    Now I get it and the answer is..... drum roll..... soffit. Now I have never heard the expression "fur down" but can we agree on the expression "soffit." Ah, jeez, why am I going on about something so mundane? I am now surrendering to whatever the group maintains to be the correct and righteous answer.
    PS: upon my last gasp, how about “close molding?”……………………Arg….!

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  42. #42
    Albert Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    "Fur down" is correct.

    The term originates from a key property of fur, which traps air and acts as an insulator for animals.

    When you build a fur, you are entrapping a pocket of air somewhere in the space.

    When you build it against the ceiling, you fur it down (toward the floor), and thus it becomes a "fur down" when colloquially described in noun form.

    When you add a suffix to a word which ends in a consonant, you double the final letter, hence "furred" when it is used as an adverbial adjective: a furred ceiling.

    Hope this helps.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Hello all. Just joined because we here at Ideal Homes questioned the spelling. I've been in the business since I was 14 ( 54 years ago) & was taught "furr", always used that spelling, no one until now ever called me on it. A new generation or two see it differently & that's ok by me...This forum is a handy way to talk things out & let all of us know that old & new, we are still building and happy doing it. A smarter & more prosperous new year to you all.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Fur down or Fir down?

    Furring something out, up, down, what ever is usually just fattening the surface up, out, down, slightly, not 12 inches.

    In all actuality it is more or less a bulk head but in the real world it is a soffit.

    We use to furr out a tub wall to account for the thickened flange on a tub. To have window trim in a wrapped opening out the certain distance that you wanted the trim to land on a window you would furr out the jamb or header or sill.

    The term furred was never meant for large gaps. As I stated above it is also a bulk head. Many terms have bean added for many things over the years

    Any who.....it is still called a soffit ..... unless you were born in the south then it could be about anything.

    And as Mack added 54 years ago at 14 .... well Mack, you are just to old to remember I was born about 57 years ago and since I came to the south the brain cells are slipping away quicker Or are they ?

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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