Laminated Posts and Beam

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Project by clafollett posted 03-16-2013 08:17 AM 5251 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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

13 comments so far

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 12:33 PM

Amazing construction !!
Thanks for sharing.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2611 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 01:20 PM

heh. That’s not going ANYwhere :-)

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 2775 days

#3 posted 03-16-2013 01:42 PM

Thanks guys!

madwilliam, I think I could park my Tundra upstairs. That beam is rock solid!

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

View Ken90712's profile


17570 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 03-16-2013 02:13 PM

Not catch and fix! We had to constantly fix those kinds of things when we bought our house as well. Great job and nice look to it as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3705 days

#5 posted 03-16-2013 08:22 PM

I love this it looks very nice indeed just wht I would have myself if I took a wall down.Alistair

I saw your japanese films dustbunny!Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Carbide's profile


210 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 03-18-2013 07:24 PM

I think we would all be rich if we had a dollar for every half a$$&d construction job we run into. Great way to save the cave-in of the upstairs. I like the exposed beam idea.

-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 2775 days

#7 posted 03-19-2013 12:18 AM

Thanks guys! I kinda knew getting this house would have me doing some remodeling but we were definitely caught off guard by that. I’m kinda glad it happened though because I like the beam way better than the crappy half height wall left behind.

Plus, we also found how this dips**t decided to cut a nice sized “U” out of a floor joist so he could run the drain for the master bath remodel he had done. leaving about 2” of an 8” joist.

The saddest part? He actually claimed to have been a general contractor. Judging by the amount of beer tabs and caps we’ve round buried, its no wonder he was an “out of work” contractor claiming the economic down turn killed him.

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

View Jpedi's profile


100 posts in 2179 days

#8 posted 03-20-2013 12:20 AM

WOW! You could park a 747 on top of that! Well done!!

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 2775 days

#9 posted 03-20-2013 02:05 AM

Not sure about the 747 but maybe a 727. Unfortunately, I don’t have one on hand to test with. :)

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

View Jpedi's profile


100 posts in 2179 days

#10 posted 03-29-2013 12:40 AM

Oh, well best I can come up with is an E-350 van…. but it’s pretty close!! :>

BTW, do you know a 727 is harder on runways than a 747? Fewer wheels and the weight distribution is a killer for airport pavement design…..

View Jpedi's profile


100 posts in 2179 days

#11 posted 04-11-2013 02:35 AM

Just something I learned in my previous life….. hehe

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 2775 days

#12 posted 04-12-2013 03:48 AM

Interesting info, I didn’t know that but it does make sense. I do have a little knowledge in this area from my previous life. Did you know that if you took the wings and tail off a C141, you could fit it inside a C5? I also used to know the number of ping pong balls you could put in a C5 but that number has long escaped me. :)

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

View Jpedi's profile


100 posts in 2179 days

#13 posted 04-18-2013 02:01 AM

Hehe… funny thing about knowledge gained in previous lives…. it is typically currently USELESS info. I once was an Air Force “certified” loadmaster (civilian contractor) but I definitely do not remember ping-pong balls from that training (which I never used, BTW – I was a designated backup). Riding in the cockpit jumpseat in a REALLY OLD de-militarized C-141 is another story in my catalog….. :> No lumber involved though….

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