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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm laminating three layers of 2x6 lumber together to form the top plate of a 32' long garage wall. The longest 2x6 I have available is 26' long.

1. I have the bottom layer formed out of two 16' long pieces with join at the center of wall.

2. Middle section is formed from two 8-foot sections, a 16-foot, and another 8-foot section. So that there are two joins, one 8-feet from each end.

3. How should I make up the top layer? Should I keep the joins so that they do not align up with those in either the bottom or middle layers? Use 12'-8'-12', or 4'-16'-12'?

Thank-you
 

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General Contractor
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I would the 12-8-12 myself just for the symmetry. It keeps the joins at least 4 ft apart from each other, 4 ft from center, and 4 ft from the ends. Don't forget to glue it either!

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If you are using those as a sideways header, you want to ask an engineer. Wall is held straight by the ceiling joists or collars, etc. But if you are skipping these or trying to hold up the rafters, etc, you don't want to guess it. In any case, stagger is best when it's half way so that more of the whole lumber is leveraging the joint.
I've never done it but saw an article many years ago. I think it was square four sided roof on concrete reinforced walls and the plates were 3-5 layers of 2x6? Can't remember if the lumbers were jointed or in one piece. I don't think the walls were as long as yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
2x6 studs on 16" centers except in way of doors. Wall has 4' on each side and between two 10' wide doors. Wall has a 2x10 headers over gsrage doors and directly under top plate.

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Civil Engineer
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This is an unusual top plate. Usually a top plate is a 2x4 or 2x6 laid flat on top of the 2x4 or 2x6 studs. A double top plate may be needed, in which case it consists of two 2x4 or 2x6 boards nailed together, laid flat. I can't tell from your post if you are planning to install the "plate" with three flat 2x6's, or you are planning to build the "plate" using the three 2x6's on edge. In any case, I am interested in exactly why you are doing this, since you say you are not using the plate as a header.
 

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General Contractor
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The use of a triple top plate over garage doors is not unusual. It is used to prevent wall flex because of the large opening of the doors

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Discussion Starter #11
This is an unusual top plate. Usually a top plate is a 2x4 or 2x6 laid flat on top of the 2x4 or 2x6 studs. A double top plate may be needed, in which case it consists of two 2x4 or 2x6 boards nailed together, laid flat. I can't tell from your post if you are planning to install the "plate" with three flat 2x6's, or you are planning to build the "plate" using the three 2x6's on edge. In any case, I am interested in exactly why you are doing this, since you say you are not using the plate as a header.
It will be three 2x6 on their flat (maybe two 2x6 and a 2x8 to catch ceiling) and like Al says it will be to limit flex as wall contains two large doors. We can get a lot of wind and I want to beef it up while I can before ceiling is sheated over.
 
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