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1864
two questions about beams
1864

I have a question about beams, I have a beam in the basement that needs to be replaced. the current beam is 6"x6" I am considering using 3 or 4 2"x12" #2 Douglas fir boards to build the replacement beam. The new beam would end up being 4.5"x11.5". If my research is correct on this the new beam will end up much stronger then the older one, do you agree? 2nd question would it be best to nail the three boards together or use bolts?
Thanks in advance for your help.

ed21
Re: two questions about beams
ed21

Considering that a beam in the basement may be carrying a decent load, a glue lam beam would be a better choice. It would be easier to install and stronger. The actual loads should be considered. A decent lumber yard should be able to help you. Why is the old beam being replaced? Rot, termites, bending. Any should be corrected.

Re: two questions about beams

about 3/4 of the beam has been cut away at one end to make room for a heating line :mad: , idiot would be an understatement for whoever did this work IMO. yes I have sized LVL beams but the questions was just generally all things being equal regarding the two beams listed in the first post what is the stronger beam.

ed21
Re: two questions about beams
ed21

In general the built up beam mentioned will be stronger. I prefer to size a beam for the loads and the span.
Nailing and glueing will work, but bolting is a better way to make a composite beam.

dj1
Re: two questions about beams
dj1

Quote: " 3/4 of the beam has been cut away at one end to make room for a heating line , idiot would be an understatement for whoever did this work IMO. "

He is more than an idiot, he is a terrorist.

Look into a steel beam as substitute.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: two questions about beams
Sombreuil_mongrel

Your built-up 6x12 will be stronger than any 6x6. Use clamps to draw the individual pieces together before bolting. Bolts will be easier, because there will be fewer of them, if you use #16 sinkers to nail every next 2x12, and you need 4 nails every 16 inches, that's a lot of nailing. Of course, it's fully acceptable, and bolts cost more. I imagine three bolts every 24" to be a reasonable pattern. You could choose to use specialty screws like the Headlock or Spax types. They make them in specific lengths for jobs like this, if you have a high-end impact driver they are a convenient way to fasten.
In retrofits there can be a certain freedom and simplicity to building-up a beam in place rather than trying to get in a larger one-piece unit in a single go. The piece-at-a-time approach is lighter and can be positioned with less resistance.
Casey

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