drilling threw a gluelam support beam


Old 10-15-05, 08:42 PM
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drilling threw a gluelam support beam

Hi, quick question, I have a wet bar backing against a wall, above the wet bar is a glue lam support beam running the hole lenght of the wall, I need to get my electrical wires for my lights above from the switch on the wall but the beam is overhead and impoosable to go around, can I drill a hole right threw the beam vertically to get thoe wire for the lights into the cieling above and over to the outlets
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Old 10-16-05, 01:15 AM
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I wouldn’t drill through a major support beam.

I would obtain power for the light from any convenient source that may be available, subject to code restrictions. I would install a RF (radio frequency) transmitter and receiver to control the light. A transmitter is available that looks like a normal switch and can be installed in your existing switch housing. Also available, is a transmitter that is similar to a TV control that can be placed anywhere. The receiver can be mounted anywhere along the path of the AC power cable and controls the lamp via a signal from the transmitter.

Alternatively, add a facing to the beam that can be used to hide the power cable.

Lastly, you might consider a low voltage lamp fixture whereby code restrictions to how a wire is run and connected are minimal.
Old 10-16-05, 06:20 AM
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I know you can drill through the middle 1/3 of the span, and the middle 1/3 of the height of a glue lam beam...but I am not sure of drilling vertically.
I would contact the yard where you (or the builder) got the beam. They have a book with all the specs on the lumber and where you can drill. I know, I was just looking at one last week.
Old 10-16-05, 08:41 AM
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This link provides excellent info on drilling and notching glue-lams. It shows that vertical drilling is possible, but definitely reduces the strength proprotional to the size of the hole and the size of the beam. In their example, a 1" hole in a 1˝ X 6 beam reduces the strength of the beam by 25%.

In general, messing with glue lams is tricky and should not be undertaken without competent advice.
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