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Old 05-28-2011, 12:42 PM   #16
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Where would I purchase metal shims?


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Originally Posted by Vincer View Post
OK, I crawled back down there and I took some pics and also I used a laser level and checked...the top of the beam is STRAIGHT. So it's the wanky joists. I should point out that this house was built in 1939, so maybe things are a bit weirder down there wrt consistent joist width? No, that doesn't make sense. I don't know what's going on, but the beam is pretty straight.

Let me see if I can attach a picture, or a link to pics here...ugh, well here are links to the pics, I'll see if I can figure out how to upload better

The laser sighted beam

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Full view of beam, note the wood shims I shoved in there

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

NOTES: I have not nailed the metal hardware to the wood yet and the metal straps from the preformed concrete piers are NOT perfectly perpendicular to the block, they are slanted. One post is shorter than the other, the ground is not level. The beam i mostly level, but I don't think it matters that much as it's snug up against those joists that do touch it.
why not replace your post with new ones 1/4" longer. transfer your joist layout to the beam and notch the top of the beam to fit. the joist that are tight will need to be notched 1/4", the 1/8" gapped ones will need a 1/8" notch, the ones w/ the 1/4" gap will recieve no notches as they will be tight to the joist now. no shims needed now.

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Old 05-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #17
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Where would I purchase metal shims?


Hi guys, first of all, thanks for all the suggestions and advice!

Now to clarify some things;

1) The joists are not toe nailed to a rim joist, they are sitting on a 2x6 (I think) sill plate, which is sitting on the foundation. There is blocking between the joists at the sill plate, so that end is firmly supported, I measured at least 6 inches sitting on the sill.

2) The the two joists that are above the posts are butted up tight against the beam, they sit squarely on it (joists 2 and 6)

3) joists 1, 3, and 5 have about a 1/8" gap to the beam, joist 4 is almost 1/4"

4) I measured the joists they are all 7 1/2" to 7 9/16" (hard to measure!)

5) The aquarium will sit perpendicular to the joists, so it's supported by the multiple joists, not just one or two

6) The gap is NOT between the post and the beam, as was pointed out. Sorry, this wasn't very clear in the first post. I had a heck of a time putting that beam up there by myself, it required milk crates and scrap wood! Lifiting an 8 foot piece of 4x8 in a crawlspace by yourself is not easy!

7) I tool a look at the main house beam and I can see that there is a gap between joist 4 and the beam as well! Joist 4 also appears to be tight to the subfloor, the other joists SEEM a bit less tight.

8) I took a straight 2x4 (checked it with my handy dandy laser level) and shoved it around down there, the bottoms of the joists in question are NOT IN LINE. I can't get any straight edge to span more than 3 adjacent joists without a gap.

9) The sub floor is solid wood, I'm guessing at least 1/2"`thick. It's 3 1/4" wide planks. On top of this sits the hardwood floor which is 3/4" thick oak (According to the guy who refinished it years ago, so it's not quite a full 3/4" after sanding down) The subfloor planks run perpendicular to the joists and the hardwood floor runs parrallel to the joists on top of that.

10) The joists are a bit rough looking, meaning they are not like what you'd see at Home Depot, they hare not sanded smooth or anything, I don't know if that just means that they are just bumpy and that might be why some joists are butted up tighter against the subfloor?

11) The floor above is fairly flat, it's not sagging at all. I poured some water on it and it pools, rather than runs in any direction.

OK, thanks for reading all of that!

My conclusion is that maybe some of the joists are slightly crowned up, with the biggest gapped joist being the most crowned up towards the subfloor.

The bottom line though is that ... there are gaps for whatever reason.

Some possible solutions as presented in this thread;

- Crank up that post and force the low joists up
- shim with wood
- shim with metal
- index and notch the beam with appropriate sized notches, then fit the beam back and all joists will sit in the beam notches. This would mean that I would notch 1/8", 1/4", 1/8", 0, 1/8", 1/4" so that the top of the beam meets the largest gapped joist and the currently ungapped joists will sit in 1/4" notches.

I really don't want to force that low joist up (nor will I notch the joist!) because the lathe and plaster walls might just decide to show me what they think of forcing them out of where they have settled in the past 70 years.

Shimming is easiest, but it seems to raise the most red flags with you guys. Metal would be preferred over wood.

Notching seems like a good solution as it is similar to shimming but without the stigma of shimming. This requires the most work as I have to uninstall the beam, cut new posts and notch the beam. However, if this is the best solution, that's what I'll do.

Thanks for reading this long winded post! And thanks for your advice, tell me what you think!

Vince
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #18
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Where would I purchase metal shims?


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You cut the post short, jack the beam tight to the joist and shim or re-cut the post then secure the joist to the beam.

Are the post treated?
The posts are NOT treated. I was going to spray some boracare on them after I got them in. They are douglas fir. Nothing down there WAS treated, until I found termites, now everything is "boracared" meaning they are soaked in borates.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #19
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Where would I purchase metal shims?


I think you’re way over thinking this.
Get a couple of floor jacks, bottle jacks or whatever you can get your hands on. Jack up the beam until tight under the joist. If your lifting some of them up an 1/8” no big deal. Go up top and walk on it, if it all feels good put the new post in and be done. If your going to treat the post with anything treat the cut ends before you put them in.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:46 PM   #20
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Where would I purchase metal shims?


OK, so to cover my bases, I went and bought a bottle jack so I'm going to see what happens if I jack the beam up a bit. If I can get a better fit without cracking stuff upstairs, I'll install a taller post. I also bought a piece of steel and some rustoleum paint so I can cut some shims if that doesn't work and also, even if the jacking worked, I'd still have to shim that center joist. If it looks hopeless, I'll take the mark and notch the beam.

Vince

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