Creating 6x6" beam from 4/4 boa SD

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Forum topic by DaveInPA posted 08-30-2017 02:40 AM 568 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 878 days

08-30-2017 02:40 AM

Hi – I’m building a new room and the plans call for a few 16’ long 6×6” exposed beams. The rest of the house is 200 years old so I’d like to use a species that might read like an antique beam. I’ve used English oak on another project and the grain is tight like old growth oak. However I can only get that in 8/4 thickness.

So here is what I’m thinking – can I get 4 of those boards mill them flat and square and simply face glue them together to create a single thick structural beam? The only issue I can think of is that the grain pattern on the underside edges won’t match and it will be obvious that it’s a laminated beam – then it defeats the purpose and I might as well get a new oak beam for 1/5th the cost.

Any creative suggestions or ideas on how to accomplish what I’m trying to do?

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 08-30-2017 02:45 AM

Get a faux finish painter to fake the grain.

View TungOil's profile


1372 posts in 1103 days

#2 posted 08-30-2017 02:51 AM

the usual way I’ve seen beams ‘faked’ is by building a 3 sided U shaped box from 4/4 material. a bit like a rain gutter if you will. You could hide the joint by using a lock miter, like this:

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 2050 days

#3 posted 08-30-2017 03:00 AM

I’ve done a lot of fake beams in the U-shaped box like TungOil suggests, but if this beam is structural, and needs to be solid, then an option is to resaw a 6” slice, glue up 4 pieces, plane the bottom face, and glue on the thin slice (1/4” would work, and give you some room to add distressing). A 14” roundover at the edge will pretty well hide the joint line.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1795 days

#4 posted 08-30-2017 04:41 PM

You might consider a glue lam beam where the structural properties are published, combined with Jerry’s idea of skinning it with a hardwood veneer.

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