The Main Floor Beam

(and attendant can of worms)

I'm still reeling from September 11. I had to reattach myself to my life. So, I quit smoking on November 10, 2001. A significant date (very symbolic, he he). Took some time off to get some teeth worked on, and, well, couldn't resist a kick at the can. You know, the one full of worms. My New Year's resolution was to have the old post-strewn floor beam out, and the new clear span (14 feet, 4 inches {after drywall}) in place. The 14-foot span is significant because it is ten feet more than a four-foot pool table width. I don't want any walls behind my cue stroke.

OK, so this sounds simple, except that the beam ties into the service/bearing wall at the north end of the basement, which required installing the main trunk drain through the footing, as well as the branches for floor drains, laundry, and the downstairs bathroom...before any thought of beams could continue. All of this had to proceed, of course, amid a mess of temporary supports and plumbing connections.



 The old sewer stack. Notice the strict adherence to, umm, ahhh, some kind of code, not sure which one, perhaps the Guggenheim Pipe Sculpture Scripture. At any rate, its days are limited.

 Floor drain and laundry branch, during footing excavation. Temporary connection to Guggenheim sculpture at upper right.



 Much later, December 28, 2001. Footing poured & curing, temporary connection to stack stub in the footing. Only three more days in MMI, must get beam up by MMII.

Now things can proceed, while waiting for the concrete to cure.


 The old 6X6 beam, with a post every 5 feet. Wrong.

 Closeup of temporary support with old beam resting on cross-bar of 'deadman' support. First step in removal.

 Working solo, I lower the other end of the old beam (a 21-foot-long 6X6 timber, not THAT heavy, actually). Now there is room to move.

Meanwhile the Concrete has Cured and Construction Can Commence. I C's the opportunity...augggh.


 Built-up sandwich of premium lumber, glued, screwed, spiked and clamped, awaiting placement.

 Using the same deadman, the new beam gets heaved (solo) into place.

 Now raised, deadman removed, quad 2X4 sandwich post holding up both ends, say goodbye to all of those posts in the basement. under load, virtually no deflection.

I did it. Now I gotta get back to work to pay fo all awf thofe miffing teef.