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Discussion Starter #1
If you're making a deck close to ground level can you skip the beams and have doubled 2x10 rim joists connect directly to 6x6 posts? Is it kosher to notch the 6x6 twice at right angles for the corners? How about for a T connection where a middle beam/joist meets the middle of a rim joist? I think this would require notching the outside of the 6x6, rather than the inside - is that OK? If the notching is a bad idea, are there appropriate Strong-tie or other fasteners for this that do not cost a fortune? Thanks for your help!
 

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Notching on corners is legit, and superior IMO, in both cases. You can use carriage bolts through both directions into the narrow section that sticks up inside the corner and on both sides of the joint on your other post. I'm a deck/ house-on-piling/ pier etc... carpenter and that's the way I'd do it. Make sure you don't over-cut your notches and they'll look like furniture joinery (if you bevel the visible joints). In cases where there is not much cantilever I usually let the posts stick up to build handrails off of. They're more stable and you don't have to use so many carriage bolts. Makes me want to build a deck.

If you're not in a rain forest or building above a roiling surf, I think you'll be fine with (2) 2x10 beams. Together in that application they are in fact called beams. If your deck is to be used to entertain groups of people, take that into account when figuring the appropriate size to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that advice! One more question - I'll be using ABA66Z post bases to mount the 6x6 posts to anchor bolts in the concrete piers - beyond the first 2" or so of post that sits down in the base, how much more post height should I leave below the bottoms of the notches?
 

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I've used two 2 x 10's sandwiched together as beams in building decks also and use the notched 6 x 6's to set them on, with carriage bolts. One suggestion I would like to add: Use carriage bolts to bind the two boards together which will make the beam, placing the bolts on the inside of the beam so as not to be seen. I've seen sandwiched 2 x's actually separate some as time went by, one bows this way, the other bows that way. It's not pretty after you've built a nice deck. Good Luck, David
 

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I'd probably allow at least 6" inches or so if you have it. You might consider notching only 1/2 of the thickness of the beam into the posts, in your described case then 1.5".
 

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I double notched my 6x6 posts to sandwich 2 2 x10s with carriage bolts for my mother in law's pergola. I ended up doing it the old fashioned way, fyi... make sure your chisels are sharp.

Only 4 posts but it took a few hours to clean up the fit and finish. Since it was a 10 inch notch I used my sander to clean up the material in the notch.

Of course the mother in law's friend now all want pergolas, so I was hoping to find an easier way to get these done.

Picture below
 
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