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Re: built-up wood beam

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Have they considered just replacing the beam?  By the time you go through the analysis, specification and construction process it may be cheaper just to replace it.  If you do what is proposed, consider:
1. Is the hardwood plank at same moisture content as beam? (possible differential shrinkage)
2. What are the relative E-Values of the two wood materials? How will you determine these?
3. What load are you upgrading from and to? I.e., Is there a change in loads, an existing defeiciency, an aesthic issue?
4. What type of epoxy and what are the elastic modulus and shear strength values of it? Some epoxies are more flexible than others and that may affect how the two members interact.
5. How will quality of the gluing be assured. What controls will you require to prepare the surfaces, apply the epoxy, cure the epoxy and how will they be monitored.
If you want to feel warm and fuzzy, burn the old beam in the fire on a cold winter's night and replace it with a new beam!
Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA
-----Original Message-----
From: Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc. <ghodgson(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 08:46:49 -0400
Subject: Re: built-up wood beam

I have been asked to review drawings for a house addition, The designer 
has called for an existing beam (9h x 11.25v actual or nominal?) to be 
reinforced with a 2" x 11.5" hardwood plank glued on the flat to the 
bottom of the existing beam with an epoxy glue. I am assuming the 
original beam is S-P-F or Doug Fir as that is pretty standard around 
here. No grades or species were given. I have never heard of such a 
thing and do not want to comment on it if it is acceptable practise but 
it seems strange to me. The house is approximately 20 years old. I'm 
just wanting to feel warm and fuzzy about this. 
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