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Old 06-28-2012, 09:45 AM   #1
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Two Curious Questions,Just Trying to Understand

Two curious questions 1) I've read where some 6x6 post are buried 2'-3' deep are you pouring concrete around them for lateral support or would it better to use 3/4 " rock for lateral support and to keep the soil and water from contacting the post.

My second question, When notching a 6x6 post for a beam is the weight load distributed equally ? I would think the weight load would only be that section under the notch and not the entire post.

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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I wouldn't bury the post or notch it. I would set the post on a concrete pier using these:

And put the beam on top of the post by using these:


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Old 06-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #3
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If you bury, you must dig past the frost line for the bottom of the hole. You then put in a layer of stone for drainage before you set the post and use the post to compact the stone.

From there you can pour concrete or use lime screenings, tamped in layers. I did the latter for 4x4 PT posts I installed 25 years ago and they are still holding strong with no signs of decay.

A lot of installers use Simpson brackets, as noted in the above post. It's just a matter of choice.

As far as joints, post and beam construction is as strong as it is because of the joints they use, mostly dado and mortise and tenon joints. They add to structural strength when made properly and they are more pleasing to the eye.

Up close is a hammer beam joint but in the background you can see notched beams which are either dados or mortise and tenons with dowel pins inserted for strength. Notice the braces. They are very important in increasing structural strength and rigidity.

Of course, creating the proper joints takes time and patience. Having the right tools and knowing how to do it helps reduce the time. Simpson brackets are much easier but, if exposed, take away from the overall look.
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