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Re: Square timber members as beams

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I don't think there's anything wrong with using square members as beams, and
it may make good sense if the design is controlled by shear.  Comparing a
6x6 timber to a 4- 2x6 built up beam, Southern Pine No 2, the allowable
bending stresses are 850 psi and 1437 psi, respectively.  But the allowable
shear stresses are 100 psi and 90 psi, respectively.  Also, the ratio of E's
is about 1.33 in favor of the built up member, i.e. the square timber would
deflect more.

John P. Riley, SE
Riley Engineering
Blue Grass, Iowa

----- Original Message -----
From: Rodriguez, Marlou <mrodriguez(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2000 12:43 PM
Subject: Square timber members as beams

 Is it a bad idea to use square timber members (4x4, 6x6, etc) as beams.  My
understanding is that square members are usually extracted from the center
or the heart of a  tree.  Because of this, I was told that square wood
members should not be used as beams or headers.

Please correct me if I am wrong

Thanks in advance

Marlou B. Rodriguez
Biggs Cardossa Associates Inc.
Structural Engineers
1871 The Alameda, Suite 200
San Jose, California 95126

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