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Old 05-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
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Proper Way to Laminate Deck Beams


For a span that is larger than you can purchase lumber for, what is the proper way to laminate dimensional lumber together to create the beam? Do you stagger the joints so they're not all at the same place, or do you put all the joints over a post so that each end is secured?

See photo for example.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Proper Way to Laminate Deck Beams


there is only one way I know of and be compliant when doing this, hire a professional engineer to determine how to laminate the plies. prescriptive building codes require that plies terminate on some type of support whether a column, hanger or beam.

you have to have the correct number and size of fasteners when attempting to make up a laminated beam.

I'd go with your second option of having all plies supported over a column. you need a connection to prevent lateral movement between the column and beam
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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there is only one way I know of and be compliant when doing this, hire a professional engineer to determine how to laminate the plies. prescriptive building codes require that plies terminate on some type of support whether a column, hanger or beam.

you have to have the correct number and size of fasteners when attempting to make up a laminated beam.

I'd go with your second option of having all plies supported over a column. you need a connection to prevent lateral movement between the column and beam
Agree with Brack above.... but you must have some long spans. (Ideally you would do both, stagger and land on post...but you knew that by your question.)

Plus we don't know if you're building a 1 foot high deck or that lam is supporting the second story in a high wind shear earthquake environment.

Landing on the post might be as simple as some simpson strapping on both sides, or maybe a simpson post cap in 1/4 bolt thru.

Safe is get an eng/stamp if application necessitates.... you have at least two different forces to evaluate. Plus the eng may spec certain laminating techniques like glueing, nailing/clinching,bolting etc.

Good luck
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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Agree with Brack above.... but you must have some long spans. (Ideally you would do both, stagger and land on post...but you knew that by your question.)

Plus we don't know if you're building a 1 foot high deck or that lam is supporting the second story in a high wind shear earthquake environment.

Landing on the post might be as simple as some simpson strapping on both sides, or maybe a simpson post cap in 1/4 bolt thru.

Safe is get an eng/stamp if application necessitates.... you have at least two different forces to evaluate. Plus the eng may spec certain laminating techniques like glueing, nailing/clinching,bolting etc.

Good luck
I'm building a 30' deck on the summit of Mt. Washington (2nd place for highest supported wind speed). Do you think my triple 2x4's will be enough?

Nothing near that exciting. It's a 20' wide deck and I have a large supply of 10' boards.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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I'm building a 30' deck on the summit of Mt. Washington (2nd place for highest supported wind speed). Do you think my triple 2x4's will be enough?

Nothing near that exciting. It's a 20' wide deck and I have a large supply of 10' boards.
Oh... didn't understand.... you just need a board stretcher... I think Harbor Freight has them on sale.

Best

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Old 05-21-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Proper Way to Laminate Deck Beams


I'm just an experienced DIYer, but I don't think spanning 20 feet with triple 2x4s is going to work. You need an engineer.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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I'm just an experienced DIYer, but I don't think spanning 20 feet with triple 2x4s is going to work. You need an engineer.
It was a joke.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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I'm building a 30' deck on the summit of Mt. Washington (2nd place for highest supported wind speed). Do you think my triple 2x4's will be enough?
and here I thought it was 30' on a triple 2x4 .....
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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Proper Way to Laminate Deck Beams


the first pic is the correct way. stagger the seams so that they do not land all at the same spot. I start the first row from one direction always breaking center of column or really close to center and then switch the direction for the next row until the beam is complete. staggering the seams locks the beam in, nail the separate boards to one another really good also to help form the beam.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:43 AM   #10
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Just as a rough rule of thumb that an engineer did tell me one time,

when laminating dimensional, by staggered nailing and clinching over long nails, and glueing with PL or Liq nails, you get about 80%+ of the streangth characteristics as if that was one solid (non-laminated) piece.

That does not exactly address this circumstance of staggered lengths, but only to the extent that laminating it up well can't hurt.

Best...

Peter
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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Proper Way to Laminate Deck Beams


BTW, in case no one has told you....... Dat's too far for 2x4's.




(Sorry........... Couldn't resist.)
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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BTW, in case no one has told you....... Dat's too far for 2x4's.




(Sorry........... Couldn't resist.)

How long do you want those 4x2's.....?

Oh, a long time... I'm building me a deck.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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I am pretty sure that most local yokel codes all require you to end all plies of a girder over support. Why? because they will not assume that you used the correct amount of fasteners and the correct type of adhesive to construct your girder. You need a structural glue to bond your members together properly.

As far a the statement about 2 x 4's Im not sure what the OP is trying to do. If that was supposed to be a joke, he ought to be on stage. There's one leaving in ten minutes.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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I am pretty sure that most local yokel codes all require you to end all plies of a girder over support. Why? because they will not assume that you used the correct amount of fasteners and the correct type of adhesive to construct your girder. You need a structural glue to bond your members together properly.

As far a the statement about 2 x 4's Im not sure what the OP is trying to do. If that was supposed to be a joke, he ought to be on stage. There's one leaving in ten minutes.
New one for me.... I'm going remember that.

Actually, I think you are dead right, code wise I think an inspector is going to want those landed on a post.... as to strapping or post caps tieing together...I don't know.

(Although, I don't know if his question even involved code and he was just asking which we thought was a better trade-off given that he was going to use existing lumber.

But, it really is unanserable without knowing all the specs/loads. For all we know, he could be using 12"x stock on an 11' span which is triple laminated and so overbuilt that I would then vote to stagger lams and not land on a post to give better stability at the post w/o strapping etc.?

However, I'm pretty sure the OP is not really using 2x4 stock and he was being facetious... although he never did mention his absolute spans nor size of dimensional lumber.

Best

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Old 05-21-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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although he never did mention his absolute spans nor size of dimensional lumber.
r
and he did say ......

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It's a 20' wide deck and I have a large supply of 10' boards.
I was always taught a board was 1x and lumber was 2x ....

but then his question was
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For a span that is larger than you can purchase lumber for, what is the proper way to laminate dimensional lumber together to create the beam?
the proper way is to end each ply over a column, beam or hanger, or have an engineer determine it. At least in my area.
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