How to Construct a Laminated Rim Joist for Patio Decks How to Construct a Laminated Rim Joist for Patio Decks

What You'll Need
Band saw
Electric sander
Adhesive wood glue

When building patio decks, you may decide to construct your own laminate wood rim joists to complete your patio. Rim joists are joists located at the end of the patio deck. These joists are like a cap for the other joists, enclosing the deck and comprising the outside box or perimeter of the patio base. You may choose to use laminated wood for your rim joists. Laminated wood is manufactured wood that is created by gluing layers of very thin wood together to create a thick piece of wood. Laminated wood is known to be stronger and straighter wood than milled wood. When building a patio deck, you may choose to use rim joists that are laminated wood in order to add extra security of wood that is stronger and less likely to warp over time. If you have excess wood beams, you can use these beams to construct your own laminate wood to be used for your rim joists.

Step 1 – Cut Wood

The first step in constructing laminate wood is to cut the wood into thin pieces so each piece can be glued and then stacked upon one another. Using a band saw, you need to cut the width of the wood to create thinner pieces. You want the wood pieces to be no more than ¼ inch thick. You can leave the length of the wood as is or cut the length as well to meet the specifications of your patio deck.

Step 2 – Sand Wood

After cutting the thickness of the wood, you will need to sand the wood. You only need to sand one side of the wood. You want to sand against the grain of the wood for this project. You are trying to create a rougher finish on the wood so the adhesive can better grip each layer of wood to create a stronger hold. Since you will be sanding multiple pieces of wood, using an electric sander will speed this process.

Step 3 – Glue Wood

The next step is to glue each layer of wood together. When gluing, you want to start by placing the finished side of one piece of wood down. This will create laminate wood that has a finished outside, instead of a sanded outside. Generously apply the glue adhesive to the sanded side of the wood. Place the next layer or piece of wood on top of the glue with the finished side down. By doing this, you will be gluing a sanded board to a finished board. Repeat these steps with the remaining pieces of wood until you have reached your desired thickness of laminate wood.

Step 4 – Clamp

Once you have stacked and glued your wood to create your desired thickness of laminate wood, you will need to clamp the layers of wood together to secure the bond while the glue dries. Place clamps generously along the perimeter of the laminate to keep the bond secure. Leave the clamps on the wood long enough to allow the glue to dry.

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