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Re: Wood beam splits

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Scott, Bruce,
 
Thanks for the help, this beam did turn out okay with checks along its length.  It is split mid-height for about 8" at one end so I am recommending couple of lag bolts pre-drilled and driven through the crack.  Now it will be evident that the beam has been "fixed" even though it doesn't need it.
 
And to reiterate, it sounds like wood splits still need some type of rational analysis to determine their affect on the beam's capacity even though there is no discussion of this effect in the standards.
 
Thanks for the info!
 
Jim Wilson, PE
wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)yahoo.com
Stroudsburg, PA
Is the beam split or checked? A split goes all the way through the thickness -- the 3-inch dimension. From your description, it sounds more like a seasoning check. If this is an older beam, there was a reduction in the allowable design value for shear based on possible checking.
 
Checking is natural and usually is not a problem, just excites owners when they see it.Your suggested fix might be a little much if the beam is only checked. Maybe one or two bolts to make the owner happy if he insists on some repair, but best not to do anything. 
 
Is the beam deflecting excessively? Unless the beam is split into two pieces and sagging, it is unlikely that you will have a failure. As for a repair, if the beam is split and sagging, then you might want to use stitch bolts or lag screws. Use a few bolts/lag screws to keep the beam from becoming two separate pieces. Install connectors generally at the ends of the beam and away from higher stressed areas of bending.
 
Bruce Pooley P.E.
Timber Design
3448 S. Newland Court
Lakewood, CO 80227


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