Question about strength of 6" x 6" cedar beam


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Old 10-06-15, 08:45 AM
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Question about strength of 6" x 6" cedar beam

I have a large yard barn with a loft and I want to insert a 6" x 6" x 8' long western cedar beam into the upper peak of my end wall, at just one end of barn. My hope is to attach a small hoist for lifting sacks of grain up to a loft door, for storage in the loft. My thought was to extend 3/4 of the beam (about 6') into the barn an attach it securely between the collar ties and the roof of the barn. The end wall is also beefed up where the beam would go through the end wall, and rest on the studs of the end wall. The remaining 2' (less 4" that sits in the end wall) would then extend outside the barn. The lightweight hoist (400 lb. capacity max) would then be securely attached near the far end of the beam, outside the barn. Does anyone have a thought on how much weight could I safely lift with that beam?
 
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Old 10-06-15, 09:23 AM
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400 lb is no problem, the beam will deflect less than 1/16" with a 400 lb load cantilevered out 2 feet. Maximum will depend on how well you beef up the structure. Remember the forces on the inside end of the beam will be up. You don't want knots in your beam, although a few small ones won't be an issue with 400 lb load.
 
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Old 10-06-15, 10:29 AM
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Unless the end of the beam is covered by an overhang, I'd consider cutting a bevel on the top side to help it shed water. Any special reason for using cedar instead of PT?
 
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Old 10-13-15, 10:15 AM
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All good info....thanx very much!
 
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Old 10-13-15, 10:24 AM
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Marker-I'm using cedar mostly due to the fact that the interior of the barn is finished (man cave/home brewery) and the cedar works with my "decor". Truth is the load I'll be lifting is only approx 170lbs (3 sacks of malt per lift)...so thot I'd go with the 6x6 beam since its 'just' cedar. Probs could have gone with just a 4x4 if using PT.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 12:35 AM
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not all cedar is created equal

the cedar you source should be old growth red heartwood western cedar. there is a night and day difference between sapwood and heartwood in terms of strength and durability (longevity/insect resistance etc...) another consideration might be to use pressure treated wood and box the beam in with nice cedar boards, making it look even bigger, maintaining the natural and rustic vibe but also getting the longevity without huge cost.
 
 

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