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Re: Trimming Down a PSL Beam

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In general, cutting the beam down would be acceptable. This will of course affect the section properties, but the mechanical properties (Fb, Fv etc.) will remain the same. As Andrew described the manufacture of the beam, PSL does not have different quality (strength) portions of the beam as does glulam.
It seems odd that the beam he installed is 17.25 inches in depth. All of the manufacturer's standard depths are 18 inches! Check Trus Joist's specs.
Bruce Pooley
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 7:01 AM
Subject: Q: Trimming Down a PSL Beam

I have a question from a builder friend of mine. He inadvertently installed a 17.25? deep PSL beam where he should have put an 11.25? deep PSL. He wants to know if he can cut the portion of the beam sticking up 6? too high, essentially making an 11.25? deep PSL out of the existing 17.25? PSL.


I was leery of answering this question because I?m aware that this is an engineered item, and I am not familiar enough with the design of the beam itself to know if this ?cut-down? beam would be equivalent in strength to a PSL beam that was ordered the right depth.


So my question is:


1)     Is there indeed and equivalent strength?




2)     If not, is there any way to determine a ?strength adjustment factor? (< 1.0) that could be used to determine if the cut-down beam is adequate or not?




[N.B.: I also submitted this email to the APA?s helpdesk, but I?m not sure if it?s the kind of question they could answer so I?m posting it here as well.]