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RE: Wood design values for old structure

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] 100 years ago in Southern Missouri, they used small local lumber mills (Oak of various subspecies), and they also brought lumber in by train from big mills. The big mills that supplied Southern Missouri in the early 1900's were primarily in Eastern Texas (Southern Yellow Pine).

First get the species identified by sending a sliver to the Forest Products Research Lab.
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
(608) 231-9200

The sample is fairly small. I have had them identify lumber for me from all over the world. They do it for FREE!! But there is a limit on how many they will do for you for free in a given year.

Once the species is known, go to the grading rules agencies for that particular species (NELMA, NSLB, NLGA, WCLBA, SPIB, etc.). You can visually grade it as good as most professional graders. I would then contact the grading rules agency for an assessment of allowable stresses vs. the period of lumber you are grading. Then knowing the size of the timber, the use, and the species, you can determine the allowable stresses.

Call the FPL and cruise their web site. They are a wealth of information, and if you pay taxes, they already work for you.

Harold Sprague

From: "Bruce Holcomb" <bholcomb(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Wood design values for old structure
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 12:38:39 -0500

We are looking at a building built about 100 years ago in SW Missouri
and are wondering what strength values we can use to analyze the wood
framing.  There is a lot of Oak in this area, so the framing may be Oak
(that was once somewhat common), but other likely species we might
encounter would be Doug-Fir, Southern Pine, D-F-L and S-P-F.  Does
anybody have any values for old wood we can use for analyzing the
joists, beams, studs and columns in this old structure?

Bruce D. Holcomb, PE, SE

Structural Engineer & Vice President

Butler, Rosenbury & Partners

319 North Main, Suite 200

Springfield, MO 65806



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