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Author Topic: Suggestions for straighting timbers?  (Read 1033 times)

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Offline JSmithey

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Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« on: June 23, 2017, 12:55:59 pm »
I built some walnut timber frame trusses for my house that I'm starting on and some of my timbers have bowed. 9x7 timbers where cut this spring and some have 2" bow over 16'. Don't think I should have split the hearts to make 2 timbers from one log, my boxed heat beams are very straight. Any suggestions on straightening? I've piled on about 3000lb of weight to get them straight but they will need to be raised in about 1 month.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 01:06:02 pm »
I doubt that it will help much.  You might get some of it out.   Splitting the heart is usually not a good idea.  Would be better to saw oversize.  Dry.  Then resaw if you want perfect beams.  Maybe someone else will hold out more hope.  Banjo
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Offline JSmithey

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 01:11:26 pm »

Offline JSmithey

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 01:14:33 pm »
I doubt that it will help much.  You might get some of it out.   Splitting the heart is usually not a good idea.  Would be better to saw oversize.  Dry.  Then resaw if you want perfect beams.  Maybe someone else will hold out more hope.  Banjo

Kinda what I figured. Probably just have to live with it

Offline fishfighter

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 06:09:17 pm »
Maybe wetting them with some wet rags and the weight on them might help. I really don't know. Has anybody try that?

Offline jimdad07

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2017, 08:34:48 pm »
Could be a far fetched thought here but might be worth a try.  You might be able to take the truss apart and build a large steam box, steam the beam and then try to weigh it down.  Like I said, a far fetched idea but might be worth a shot.  The idea is to loosen up the lignin in the wood to make it pliable and would probably stand a better chance of staying straight that way once it dries out.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 12:08:54 pm »
Could be a far fetched thought here but might be worth a try.  You might be able to take the truss apart and build a large steam box, steam the beam and then try to weigh it down.  Like I said, a far fetched idea but might be worth a shot.  The idea is to loosen up the lignin in the wood to make it pliable and would probably stand a better chance of staying straight that way once it dries out.

Steam will change the color on black walnut; I would advise against it.

JSmithey - which direction are your beams bowed?  Are they already built into trusses?  If so the bow could be caused by shrinkage in the truss components.
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Offline jimdad07

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 02:57:14 pm »
Could be a far fetched thought here but might be worth a try.  You might be able to take the truss apart and build a large steam box, steam the beam and then try to weigh it down.  Like I said, a far fetched idea but might be worth a shot.  The idea is to loosen up the lignin in the wood to make it pliable and would probably stand a better chance of staying straight that way once it dries out.

Steam will change the color on black walnut; I would advise against it.

JSmithey - which direction are your beams bowed?  Are they already built into trusses?  If so the bow could be caused by shrinkage in the truss components.
Good point, I did not think of that.  Makes sense.
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Offline JSmithey

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 09:59:11 am »
some are built in trusses and some are just going to be beams in the house. I'm sure the bow is due to my sawing they bowed a little as soon as I sawed them and got worse as they started drying

Offline DPatton

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 09:38:45 am »
JSmithey

That is a beautiful truss in the photo. I sure hope you can find a way to salvage and use them. It would be a shame to have to rebuild them with all of the work you have into them. your post will definitely keep me from making the same mistake. Good Luck!

Offline JSmithey

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2017, 08:39:42 pm »
JSmithey

That is a beautiful truss in the photo. I sure hope you can find a way to salvage and use them. It would be a shame to have to rebuild them with all of the work you have into them. your post will definitely keep me from making the same mistake. Good Luck!

Thanks. I realized an inch or so bow in a 16' beam is really hard to notice once it's raised in the air. Definitely salvaged and very happy with the outcome. Trusses will be set this week.

Offline JSmithey

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Re: Suggestions for straighting timbers?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2017, 08:40:06 pm »