Looking for Timbers … Big Timbers

Our house requires some large beams inside the house.  Supporting the floor are steel beams and there are wooden beams to support the roof.  Some of the wooden beams will be exposed and others will be hidden.

Wooden Beams

In order to be ‘sustainable’, we are looking for reclaimed wooden beams.  Essentially, we would like to have wooden beams that have been used in other buildings and are structurally sound so we can use them in our house.

These are not easy to find and, when you can find them, they’re expensive.

We came across someone selling three beams that were part of an old bridge.  These beams were 12 inches by 12 inches (rough) and were held together with four 1 inch steel rods.  This former bridge structure was floating in the San Joaquin delta and was pulled ashore and had been dring since August 2009.

Bryan drove to see the beams.  We could ‘see’ how the beams could be dressed up so they would look new.  Since this would reduce the ultimate size of the beams we decided to ‘pass’ on these beams and keep looking.

This is the former bridge deck that we could take apart and obtain large structural beams. The four beams would be almost 30 feet long.

This is the former bridge deck that we could take apart and obtain large structural beams. The four beams would be almost 30 feet long.  The two middle beams would yield larger finished beams than the left and right side beams.

The beams were over 12 full inches in width and depth. We would have to take at least an inch or more off each side to have solid dimensional timbers.

The beams were over 12 full inches in width and depth. We would have to take at least an inch or more off each side to have solid dimensional (square) timbers to build with.

The four beams were held together with 1 inch steel rods and bolts, as you can see in this photo. The end of this beam would have to be cut off, reducing the length of the beam.

The four beams were held together with 1 inch steel rods and bolts, as you can see in this photo. The end of this beam would have to be cut off, reducing the length of the beam.

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