Hot GluLam Action

Before the county approved our change from engineered trusses to a glulam beam we did the work to prepare for the beam. We had to pour two 4’x4’x1′ concrete pads to hold the 6″x8″ center posts holding up the beam. We did the Glulam in 3 pieces. 32′ for the middle span, and 15′ for the two side spans. 15 feet in from the side corresponded to interior walls so most of the posts will be hidden. I was expecting to county to require the pads to be inspected before I could pour, so we waited pouring until approval. When we received the acceptance they did not update the inspection notice. Michelle called to confirm no new inspections. Away we went to pouring.

I did some Free Mason old school string and plumbob stuff to work out where to put the steel cups in the pads, and make sure everything was level and lined up. I used a laser to level the footing frames. 60$ to Trenton and a few hours later we mixed about 60 bags of concrete and poured both pads. A few days later the Glulam, the steel cups, and the posts showed up. Did some Triangle math, had some friends double check for me then I built the side posts out of four 2×6’s with a ¾ inch spacer in the middle. I set those on my own then I did some more free mason string and plumbob stuff to work out how tall to cut each post.

I ran string from the bottom of each of the side posts tight enough to have almost no drop. Measured up from the steel cup in the concrete of each pad to the string then added the height of the side posts to obtain the total height of the post. Impressed myself, both posts were the same height. We poured both pads the same height. I had Trenton over another evening to help me set the posts in the posts and support them with four 2×4’s secured to 3 foot long steel stakes. Next step was to put a ladder on the posts and put the steal cups on top.

I had to borrow a monster 16″ circular say to cut the 6 ¾” thick glulam from Pete. I made all of the cuts on the beams on a Sunday. Then, Monday morning dad came over with the boom truck and we started working on lifting the beams into place. We setup a rig for the big beam to balance it better. We used a 10′ long 6×6 with a truck strap on each side holding the glulam. A chain in the middle of the rig was attached to the boom. We managed to lift the beam up over the wall but we needed some help to place it in the cups. Dad went home for a bit until 16:00 when Trenton and Bruce showed up to help as riggers

We tied a rope to each end of the glulam to pull it into place; Bruce on one, me on the other, and dad standing on a home depot bucket on the boom truck. He needed the bucket to see over the wall. We placed the center beam without much issue. Other then we had some trouble balancing it so we stuck a rock on one side to even out the weight, and I had to climb a ladder and hit the beam and post a bit with a sledge hammer to center it perfectly. Trenton was too scared to climb 16 feet in the air on a ladder and hit the post your ladder was resting against with a sledge hammer; kids these days. The two side beams went in perfectly. Lined them up right and they ended up tight to the center beam. Impressive work, almost like we knew what we were doing. All said and done the beam is level everywhere I checked it with a 4 foot level; winning. Now we wait for the roof to show up Friday and we’ll do some more crane work.

As always – pictures!!

Maddex and Trenton in front of the posts

Center glulam being dropped off with a fork lift

Post pad before the mud. You can see the pink drop line and weight over the center

Pad poured with added hand prints. Dad always taught me to put in hand prints. Even if they will never been seen again

Rig and beam about to be lifted over the wall

Dad balancing the beam out with a rock

Me bolting the center post into place. You can see the rock next to me

Beam in place after everyone but the Petersons have left.

Maddex next to a chunk of beam to give you size

Circular saw compared to Maddex for size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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