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I would think the lay-up requirement would be the same for the horizontal curved beam as in the stair configuration.  The laminations are typically 90 degrees to the radius of curvature. 
The best way to go is contact the APA rep in your area ( and they will put you in contact with glu-lam manufacturers who service your region.  They have been very helpful in the past.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 8:41 AM
Subject: CURVED/RADIUS Wood Beams

I have the need to design several curved wood beams for a project. They are radiused in plan (not arched). From looking at several spiral wood stairs over the years, I have come to understand that these are usually made with thin plywood laminations, bent, glued, and screwed to form the helix.


The beams on my project are not helixed, just radiused (curved in plan, flat in elevation) so I?m wondering if this is still the way to go. Can glulams be specified with the curve in the weak axis? Any references, books, or other info that could be shared would be appreciated. I am hoping to get information on lam thicknesses, type of adhesives and fasteners, joints in lams, and species available and suitable for curvature.




Santa Clara, CA