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Old 07-05-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
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Beam support

Can I support a beam made of 3-2X12X13's on one end with a bracket made of 3-2X6's which are lag bolted into an existing 4X4 (old true dimensions-this is a very old house)? I would like to make the beam appear to be a solid old beam by clading in cypress but the beam would be made of Southern pine. I would like the beam to be resting on the bracket which would also be clad. How big would the bracket need to be if it is supporting a second floor and attic and what size lag bolts should I use and how many. I'd like to make the bracket no more than three feet long and be no more than 3 2X6 boards thick. Thank you


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Old 07-06-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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There are a couple issues here that need to be addressed.

1. I believe that you are overspanning your beam. Based on the 2006 IBC, a triple 2X12 beam can only span 7'2" if the beam supports two stories and the room is 20' in width (measured perpendicular from the beam). And it is possible that your room is even wider than 20'. Here is the table:

2. The table also says that you will need a minimum of two jack studs on each end of the beam. However, this assumes that you will have a continuous load path all the way to the foundation and ground. It sounds like you want to build a 'bracket" though. Does this mean that the load from the beam will pass to the bracket, from the bracket through the lag bolts, and then from the lag bolts to the existing 4x4? I would advice against this because it will induce a moment (rotational forces) in the 4x4. And it is very likely that the 4x4 was only intended to resist axial (straight up and down) forces.

3. If you still decide to go with your design method, have you considered the possibility of bolt bearing failure? In basic terms, this occurs when one side of the bolt hole (the holes in the wood) deforms due to the forces from the bolt.

If I were doing this project, I would figure out a way to shorten the beam span or invest in an engineered beam. I would also avoid the bracket support method and ensure a continuous and simple load path to the foundation.


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Old 07-06-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BobT View Post
I would like to make the beam appear to be a solid old beam by clading in cypress
Well thatís reassuring.
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