Georgetown County Monster Beams

November 2nd, 2011
by Don_Lawrence


Don’t know what they got in the water down there in northern Georgetown County, South Carolina, but they growin’ some stout LVL’s beams. On a beautiful oceanfront home located in the Prince George Tract, I “happen upon” two steel guys, a lumber salesman, a framing contractor and some crew member, staring at these two monsterous beams like a huge snake just crawled out of the woods. They were putting together (2) 3 ply 24″ LVL’s that had to be over 30′-0″ long. Sandwiched between the plies was a 3/8″ thick steel beam. A structural engineer had commented the LVL’s didn’t need the steel flitch beam (terminology describing how the plies would house the steel) for weight bearing capacity, merely to address deflection issues. These two massive beams will flank each side of the 2nd floor fireplace at equal distance. They carry some floor weight as well as rafter load from kneewall supports from the “stick” framed roof above. Holes had been drilled through the steel 5/8″ in diameter to bolt the three LVL and steel together. I was kept busy trying to ascertain the connection for the finished beams almost 6″wide (1 3/4″ for each LVL ply x 3 = 5 1/4″ + 3/8″ for the steel). Our connector book certainly did not have a stock hanger for this oddly sized combination, not to mention the beam reactions were not supplied (did I mention a structural engineer earlier? thought so). Looks like a call is in order to figure this little mystery out. While walking below the 2nd floor level I noticed a product I had not encountered before. It was a Georgia Pacific product called Dryply. It was slick to the foot as I realized it was a coated with a moister barrier. Being the inquisitive fellow I am, I asked the framing contractor why he chose this particular product. He informed me it was an ideal underlayment for hardwood floors and said it consisted of a 5 layer panel, tongue and grooved edges, 3/4″ thick. Georgia Pacific uses wood veneers and adhesives in combination to create a “squeek proof” floor system covered with the water repelent coating to get by the construction phase of exposure to the elements. This comes from their “Plytanium” series which I thought sounded like a combination of the space age elements plutonium and Titanium but what do I know about naming floor sheathing. It was funny what the folks at the Urban Dictionary came up with. Probably not what GP had in mind when they launched their new super product in 2003. All and all a pretty interesting day which left me with a tons of investigative footwork to do by tomorrow morning. Interesting footnote / milestone. After starting my eighth month this is my 50th post. Timberology delivers content folks, wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for reading what you have.


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