Columns and Beams- 3, Project, Sept 26, 2015

Hi everyone!

Having installed the column in the previous post, we are now ready to install the form for the beam. Both of the forms have to withstand the pressures generated by the liquid concrete.  The column will have to be strong because this form will have to support the weight of the concrete, especially at the bottom where all the pressure is generated.  The beam, on the other hand, will not have a great amount pressure on the forms, however, the weight of the concrete on a suspended structure will have to be taken into account.

Before we get into supporting the beam form, let’s build it!

First we install the beam bottom. For this project, we are using a 2 x 5 for the structural plank….in real life, a 2 x 10 rough plank would be used, like a scaffolding plank. We are using 2 x 6’s as a representative component because we have a lot of them on hand, and because we do not want to waste material.

Our beam bottom is the length of the span between the two vertical forms. The structural plank is cut a little shorter so as to give maximum strength without interfering with the fit of the sheathing panels.

Here we see the beam bottom on both ends of the form:



Note the safety 2 x 4 under the beam bottom. This is not designed to support the form except in its construction….the shores will do all the work, but they are hard to handle, so this “shelf” will hold the form  in place until we can install the jacks.



Then it is time to install the shores (or jack posts). They are placed under the nails we previously placed in the plank so that they adequately support the form:


The shores are nailed into the sleepers at the bottom to prevent them from spinning when they are being adjusted. Sleepers have to transmit the load, so need to be solid and have full contact with the ground.


The jacks are adjusted so that the bottom is level with the column openings:



The beam sides are then installed and attached to the column forms:




Then the final adjustments to the jacks are made so that the beam is straight, flat and level.


Please do not forget to plumb each jack!

When you are happy with the state of your beam form, attach the sides to the bottom with nails so that it is secure.

Then a brace is installed to ensure that the column is plumb:


And the finally  the column clamps are installed…not too loose and not too tight! All 2 x’s need to be supported, but not twisted out of position.




And here you all are busy working on our site!:


See you all this week!!


About jhcarpentry

I am a teacher in the Construction Carpentry Program at the Chateauguay Valley Career Education Centre (CVCEC) for the New Frontiers School board. This blog is a way for me to connect with my students.
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2 Responses to Columns and Beams- 3, Project, Sept 26, 2015

  1. Scott Frederick says:

    Hi John,

    I’m sure you have better things to do on a Friday night than read the comments on your posts but a friend just sent me this and I thought you might be interested:

    Have a great weekend.


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