Patio Deck Construction: How to Fabricate a Beam Patio Deck Construction: How to Fabricate a Beam

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Pretreated Wood
Wood Glue

In patio deck construction, beams are a very important aspect of the project to consider. Beams run parallel to the ledger board and perpendicular to the posts to support and secure the joists of the deck. The beams hold the deck above the ground while supporting the weight of the deck as well. Beams run horizontally in the scheme of the deck and connect to the joists of the deck. When building your patio deck, you will need to fabricate beams that are of the proper size and length in order to support the construction of the deck.

Step 1 – Determine Size Requirements

The size of your beams will depend upon the schematics of your deck. You will need to reference your plans to determine the post spacing and joist length of your patio deck. For most instances, you will be required to use a 2 x 8-inch board or larger. Reference a beam span table to determine the exact size of board to use for the beams. For this project, we will assume you are using 2 x 8 boards.

Step 2 – Lay out Boards

Next, you need to lay out the boards on the ground beside each other. You will need to flip and rotate the boards to determine which boards are most compatible with each other in sets of two. You need to have your boards laid out in sets of two where the boards are as close to flush on both sides as you can accomplish. You may find that certain boards do not lay flush with another board and may need to move around the sets until you get the best fit for each of your boards.

Step 3 – Apply Glue

Starting with your first set of boards, separate the two boards from each other by laying the top board to aside. Apply a generous amount of glue to the upper facing side of the bottom board.

Step 4 – Pair the Set

After applying the glue, lay the top board of the set on top of the glued board. Align the boards as straightly as possible.

Step 5 – Secure Set

Using your nails and hammer, secure the top board on top to the bottom board using the nails. You should have nails along the top and bottom ends of the set. After nailing the set together at each end, attach clamps to the board set every few feet. Use the clamps to help align the boards and insure a bond. After the placement of every clamp, nail an additional two nails in the middle of the set to secure the alignment.

Step 6 – Nail Underside

Once the clamps are in place, flip the set of boards over. Drive nails into the top side of the set to secure the hold from the opposing side.

Step 7 – Dry

Leave the set and allow ample time for the glue to set and form a strong bond between the boards before removing the clamps.

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