|Project by clafollett||posted 03-16-2013 08:17 AM||3239 views||2 times favorited||13 comments|
Although this isn’t your traditional wood working endeavor, it did indeed involve a lot of wood working. It all started when we realized the previous owners of our home decided to remove a load bearing wall without replacing the load bearing part. As you can guess, that’s not such a good idea.
After seeing cracks forming in the pseudo beam (a.k.a. cut through 2×4 studs from where the previous wall was with 2×4 plate nailed to the bottoms) below our master bedroom, we decided it needed fixed pronto. Never one to go the easy route, I wanted to expose hand crafted posts and a beam to give a nice timber frame appeal. So off to Lowes I went to find the best 2×12’s I could get my hands on.
The posts and beam are made from 5 layers of Southern Yellow Pine planed to 1.25” and laminated together with Loctite PL Premium construction adhesive which was spread to a nice even coat (or the closest one can get with Poly adhesive). The design is a tongue and groove with the backs of the posts and ends of the beam slipping over a tongue mounted to the wall.
I constructed the 3 layer laminate cores first from the straightest knot free boards I could find to ensure full structural integrity. The core of the posts are made up of 2×8’s while the tongue is made up of laminated 2/4’s which were then thickness planed for exacting dimensions and a nice fit in the groove. The ends of the beam also has a built in grove with the inner core being roughly 8” shorter than the outer laminates.
As you can see, the outer laminates were not so knot free and this was intentional. I wanted some really nice figuring to make it pleasing on the eye. I personally love knotty wood even though its a pain to work with. Once the outer laminates were cured in place, I hand planed everything as square as possible and applied 10 coats of MinWax water based satin poly sanding thoroughly between coats.
The wall was reinforced with studs to give a solid mounting surface to the tongue. The tongue was then glued and screwed to the wall with 6” FastenMaster HeadLok heavy duty spider drive bit screws from Homedepot. The beam was then slid onto the tongue and into place under the joists. Once everything was as level as I could get it. I measured for the posts and cut them to length.
We raised the beam ever so slightly to give a bit of room and slipped the posts over the tongue and then lowered the beam on to the posts. Using a pattern jig for my screw holes, I predrilled and drove the 6” HeadLok screws through the posts and beam which also bound them to the tongue. These were long enough to bite into all 5 layers without poking through. These screws are beasts. Narrower but stronger than 3/8 lags. I also love the industrial look the black pan heads give.
This is a project I actually completed during the winter of 2012 but I thought I would share. I’m very proud of how this turned out and am certain if a hurricane some through town, all my neighbors will be coming to our house to camp out under this thing.
-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge