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Author Topic: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)  (Read 409 times)

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Offline hktb40

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OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« on: May 19, 2017, 06:55:07 PM »
I found some Glulam beams for sale on Craiglist for half the price of new beams. The only problem is that they have been sitting in this persons yard for 13 years. They were covered by sheets of metal roofing I am told, and they are raised off of the ground 4 inches with airflow underneath. The beams are not wrapped or treated so assume that the sides of the beams are open to the air/ moisture. I live in rainy Oregon.

So my question is how do Glulam beams hold up to this kind of storage?

Would they still be safe to use?

Any help is appreciated, 
Thank you

Offline hktb40

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 06:55:36 PM »

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 07:56:10 PM »
I bought a couple of truck loads of big glue lams circa 1960's and have had great luck building all sorts of things.They had a coat of varnish and many coats of paint but were in great shape after clean up. You might try cutting some sample ends off and physically stress test for any delamination. 50% off is too much , try 10-20 % of market. Other than my good experience I would caution further investigation!  Good luck.  Rob
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Offline Don P

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 10:39:24 PM »
I remember a tech paper on it, I think it's in the publications tab at

Here it is, scroll down to the technical pubs, a couple look promising;

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 06:35:09 PM »
If the beams will be used structurally, for human habitation, this is risky.  Likewise for animals or expensive cars, etc.  You do not know their strength rating or if they have incipient decay or a compromised glue joint.

Contact Oregon State forest products lab (extension specialist) for some possible on-the-site evaluation.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 07:59:00 AM »
i agree with gene i would be afraid of them  as the lumber will swell and shrink as the moisture changes the glue doesnt (at least none that i know of ) i would be afraid the lam glue joints would be weak :)
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: OLD/WEATHERED Glulam Beams (Safe?)
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 08:44:26 PM »
It's difficult to inspect when they are dirty or weathered.  I accidentally bought some 12"x15" reclaimed glulams thinking they were solid wood.  So I remilled and planed them to 11x14 with my beam planer.  Mine look good to use, but I'd always leave a larger safety factor than normal.  You don't know until you can really see what's there. 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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