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RE: cutting PSL beams

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Andrew is correct in his description.  Parallam is as homogenous as a wood beam can get.
Just make sure that you really have a parallam beam and not a glu lam beam for reasons already stated.
Good luck
Dave Nuttall, P.E.
Green Bay, WI
-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Kester [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 7:56 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: cutting PSL beams

It is to the best of my knowledge and understanding that paralam strand beams are manufactured out of individual wood fibers, compressed and glued together to form a stronger then normal sawn lumber composite product. With that in mind, cutting the top half of a beam down would be no different then what they may do in a factory to make smaller beams. HOWEVER, some glulam beams have an "up" and a "down", and use lower quality glues and wood in the upper compressive regions where the higher tension values are not necessary. In this case, you may not be able to just cut the beam down.
OR, call Truss Joist Macmillan or Georgia Pacific and ask them, they make the stuff!
Good luck,
Andrew Kester, PE
Longwood, FL