Installing a LVL beam


Old 05-22-00, 08:05 PM
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I'm installing a LVL beam that is 16" tall 24' long. This beam is made up of 4 pieces that will then be bolted together to make the beam 7"thick. Because of the weight...the beam will be bolted together once all 4 pieces are put into place. The beam will be recessed into the ceiling with j-hangers.

My question will we be able to lift this monster into there a lift similar to a drywall lift that is used for this purpose? This is an interior remodel job so no crane or such machinery can be used. Support walls will be going up in a couple of days.

I inquired at several rental centers and none have heard of such a device. I know I've seen something used before but for the life off me I can't remember. This job has been designed by an architect/structeral engineer. Any ideas or comment would be appreciated.
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Old 05-25-00, 04:37 PM
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I have a drywall lift but I wouldn't tackle that monster with it.

You really didn't say if you are fabing the beam or if it comes to you that way.

I would have made sure in taking the job that I got the beam in pieces.

If it comes as a unit try to unbolt and make it into pieces.

If you are doing the fab.

Probably your best best is to prefab the beam on the floor and drill any bolt holes to get the entire structure as designed in one piece on the floor.

I would test try one piece in place first to check for the correct length before starting anything else.

A 16" x 24' x 1.75" piece should be manageable by two folks or four is better on step ladders.

Do any glue and bolting once all pieces are in place. Might have a bit of jockeying to do but the use of a bolt to test the hole alignment of each piece as it goes in place should work. Put a few nails to prevent shifting when putting the next.

The piece by piece approach should work. From your description it didn't sound like it would come glued to you. If so that's a different can of worms. Just about have to have a custom lift or a ton of strong backs.

Them engineers do it every time, they should check the weight and consider how it will be installed when designing.

The best and safest way is try to install it in pieces. I've done similiar beams not quite that high with 3 people using those methods.

Best of luck.
Old 05-26-00, 08:32 PM
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Build the beam one piece at a time. As suggested, use nails to hold it together. A nail gun would speed up the process, but hand driven 16d sinkers will work just fine. We built one of these in a custom home last year. Did not use glue. Only nails. I believe that it was 18' or 19' feet long.

Also did not use hangers. Attached it to the top of a quintuple 2x4 post on both ends.

The ridge beam was a 4" x 22" 22' foot in two separate pieces to eventually be 42' long. It was a beast four three guys to get up in the air and not lose it. I was out on the gable end.

More than a Carpenter

[This message has been edited by More than a Carpenter (edited May 26, 2000).]
Old 05-26-00, 09:05 PM
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More than a Carpenter:

I don't know about the advise to him for changing the design.

Risky business making a field change to a design by an engineer. He is definitely holding more legal liability than I would be comfortable with.

Plus one definitely has problems if a set of plans are filed and approved. Everybody could have a can of worms including the inspector.

Maybe you want to rethink that one.

I never changed a design once approved. If it was wrong, I wasn't on the hook.

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