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Old 09-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
jake26
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Default How to join LVL beams?

A while ago, I posted a question about a beam construction I did for a Garage Makeover I was working on. The thread is here:

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=70073

Long story short, the beam I built was not strong enough for the necessary span so I disassemled the 12" beam to install a new LVL constructed beam from 3 25' long 14" LVL beams.

The question I have is; what is the best way to connect the beams. I used construction adhesive on the 12" beam but was amazed on how easy it was to disassemble the glued wood. What distance should the bolts be? Should the be top and bottom in equal lengths, in stagged lengths, ect ...?

Thanks again for the help. If it were not for GJ, I may have had a serious issue on my hands.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
Cryptic1911
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

mine is drilled and bolted in a staggered formation. I don't know the exact distance, but maybe like 16-24" apart? I looked to see if I had a picture, but I only have them from before they bolted them together
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
twostory
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Your LVL manufacturer should have very specific instructions on how to joins the 3 beams. One method it to glue & screw, another method it bolts placed at specific locations (as specified by the LVL company)

Georgia Pacific has this info available online, as do some other manufacturers.

Who made your LVLs ?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Another option would be to substitute a steel beam for the 3 LVL's you are about to install.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

I just fastened some lvl's together for my garage. I checked one of the LVL spec sheets, and they showed a nail every 8" with three rows of nails. 2" from the edges and one in the middle....

It adds up to a lot of nails in a hurry.

I used the nail gun and put them in about every 6". I had to hammer them the last 1/4" because the LVl is so dense.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Get the fastening schedule from the web site of the manufacturer. I Like to use Fastenmaster screws, they have screws specifically for joining engineered lumber. Also If you had the beam speced at a lumber dealer, there should be a calculation sheet showing the required end purchase for the supporting jacks and a fastening schedule as well.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

I would also like to mention that you should follow the manufacturer's directions for bracing the beam. If it rotates, you are out of luck.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

We used nails on the ones I have installed. It does add up to a lot of nails in a hurry.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

So PVC cement and duct tape are not good enough? How about Gorilla glue or JB-Weld and some C-clamps from Harbor Freight?




Now if you had to connect the beams end to end then Crazy Glue does the trick!!!

Sorry, I just can't help myself....
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Last edited by Torque1st; 09-16-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

I have not ordered them yet but when I do, I will ask for the installation information. Thanks for the advice!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Typical nailing would be (3) 16d nails rows 12" o.c. Gluing in addition of the nailing is also suggested
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

http://www.gp.com/build/product.aspx?pid=1392

Click on residential floor and roof. I typically use the red rafter lock screws that are available at most lumber yards. If not drill and carriage bolt them together. Glue is next to useless as they're coated in a wax type coating.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

These work great
http://www.mcfeelys.com/search/lvl+screws
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Hey Gang!

The LVLs arrived today. Basically, the instructions say to either join the beams with ” bolts 2 rows 24” on center or 16d nails 3 rows 12” on center. I plan to do the bolts with a row of nails between each row of bolts.

Now comes the task of raising the 26' beams into my attic space. Yea!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake26 View Post
Hey Gang!

The LVLs arrived today. Basically, the instructions say to either join the beams with bolts 2 rows 24 on center or 16d nails 3 rows 12 on center. I plan to do the bolts with a row of nails between each row of bolts.

Now comes the task of raising the 26' beams into my attic space. Yea!!
why even bother with the nails?
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:26 PM   #16
jake26
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blkhonda1991 View Post
why even bother with the nails?
I planed on using nails until the entire beam is together because I am rasing them inplace one at a time. Not that I did this before or know what I am doing, just taking more caution.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to join LVL beams?

How did it go jake26? Any pictures?
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