Building Ridge Beam

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Old 03-23-09, 07:55 AM
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Building Ridge Beam

I suspect my log house plans should cover this in more detail but they don't seem to. My ridge beam will be about 36' long and will be supported at the gable ends and in the center of the house. It will be constructed of tripled 1.5 x 10 LVL boards.

The plans provide no guidance on how to build the beam. I was thinking of using SDS screws but have no idea how many rows to use or how far apart to space them. Or maybe I don't need SDS at all since they're pretty expensive? Would glue and regular nails work? Glue and deck screws? All suggestions welcomed.
 
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Old 03-23-09, 08:58 AM
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On 3 pieces or less, regular 16d (3-1/4") framing nails will work.

On four or more - carriage bolts (minimum 1/2")

Just remember, in this instance there's no such thing as too many nails...
 
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Old 03-23-09, 09:13 AM
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Thanks! Nailing would certainly save me some money.

Would there be anything gained by also gluing the pieces together?
 
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Old 03-23-09, 09:50 AM
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If you're using glue, the beam needs to be clamped until the glue sets. It will make a stronger joint, but is not absolutely necessary.

I suggest Geocel sealant (comes in a caulking gun tube) laid in a pattern like this: WWWWWW
 
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Old 03-23-09, 04:07 PM
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You should check with your local inspector. In many areas anything bigger than a double needs to be bolted. Your log home company should be able to give you a bolt pattern.
 
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Old 03-24-09, 04:48 AM
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Good point Bill...

I was using local criteria (southside Virginia) which may or may not be acceptable elsewhere...
 
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Old 03-24-09, 05:40 AM
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Thanks, I'll check with the inspector. But this is WV - the last inspection was the foundation just before backfill, and the next one isn't until the rough plumbing and electric are in. I can't imagine he'll even look at the beam.
 
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Old 03-24-09, 09:28 AM
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Are you familiar with the definition of ASSUME?
 
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Old 03-24-09, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
Are you familiar with the definition of ASSUME?
Yes, actually LOL. I have some small experience in that area.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 10:11 PM
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I built a prow-nosed cedar house with a loft in the back half. The span was 21' or so, with 2x12 rafters. The beam was a 5-1/2" x 24", 18' in the air. I know what you're going through.

You may have 5-6k# there, with a snow load. Please get some professional liability help here. Call the Structural Engineer that signed off the plans.

Nails are no where close to the shear of lags, or bolts. Notice the range of loads for the different applications here:

Strong-DriveŽ Screw Installation for LVL, PSL and LSL

(compare the number, spacing, and length of screws) Be safe, GBR
 
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Old 04-14-09, 07:06 AM
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Thanks. That's pretty much what I've decided to do.
 
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