Repair wooden columns - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-29-2017, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Repair wooden columns

Next week I´ll start a job on a wooden house made of girdle. I´m going to make a closet under the stairs, a kitchen cabinet and do some repairs on a 2 storey house. 5 columns are ruined close to the ground and need to be fixed somehow. Maybe I´ll cut the rotten area and place a new one, because I can´t replace the entire piece without removing all the walls, that are made of 12cm beams that are connect together by a tongue and groove system. The wall beams are also connected to the columns by a groove. So I´m asking for some help with that, any sugestion will be wellcome.

Here´s a photo of the worst damage

Repair wooden columns-img-20170426-wa0008.jpg
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-29-2017, 10:01 PM
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not the best photo

There is no indication in that photo of the construction. Are the boards dado'd into the column? How are the boards held on? Can't give advice until more information is provided. :frown2:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-29-2017, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
There is no indication in that photo of the construction. Are the boards dado'd into the column? How are the boards held on? Can't give advice until more information is provided. :frown2:
I don´t have any other photo, but I make a simple sketch to help.

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post #4 of 15 Old 04-29-2017, 10:29 PM
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Is the column functional or decorative? If decorative I think I would be inclined to use a sawsall and cut the face of the wood away and put like a 1x6 over it. If though it is functional as bad as it is I think you pretty much will have to demo all of it and start over.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-29-2017, 11:56 PM
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Hello Caio,

It would be helpful to have a bit more description of the architecture this building is comprised of, and its location geographically.

This appears as some form of Post and Plank infill system within a timber frame wall diaphragm? As such, the post are structural to a spread point load from the roof and/or floors above...??...it would seem.

I would also need to understand the cause of the decay, and the species of wood, as well as dimensional elements sizes (metric is fine.)

With that information, I may be able to provide some basic suggestive guidance for...in situ...corrective restoration that may be applicable.

Regards,

j
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Is the column functional or decorative? If decorative I think I would be inclined to use a sawsall and cut the face of the wood away and put like a 1x6 over it. If though it is functional as bad as it is I think you pretty much will have to demo all of it and start over.
It is functional, it sustain the structure of the second floor. So I´ll have to suport the structure, and put new columns. And maybe to rebuild the walls, I´ll make a cut in the top of the columns, so I can fit the wall beams between the columns without problem.

like that

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Here more details
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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The house is made of girdle, a very dense wood normaly used in construction here. The columns are fit into the ground, and has grooves to receive the walls. Well, I,m in south coast of Brasil, and moisture is a problem here. The cause of the problem is probably the lack of a trough in the roof right over. I suggested the homeowner to build a porch in that spot to prevent it to happen again in the future. One thing that could work, is transfer the load to a new structure inside the house, and use a sawsall to cut off the rotten areas, and replace it with new wood. But I want to be sure it is the best alternative.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 01:19 AM
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Hello Caio,

Well, your written English is much better than my Spanish or Portuguese.

As I had suspected, this appears to be a post 1950's style of Timber Framing (which in turn is a copy of much older traditional systems) that utilizes a Post and Lintel technique with semi structural panel infills. (A latin...or scientific...name on the wood species would help further.)

I would be remiss, as a professional Timber Framer myself, to not strongly encourage that this work be carried out by a person with such timber framed restoration experience as this project calls for. I would furth (strongly suggest) that approval from an applicable PE (professional engineer) that specialize in such repairs or restoration of vernacular architecture be consulted.

This is not the type of job that will take simply supporting the structure..."...and put new columns..." or "..."make a cut in the top of the columns, so I can fit the wall beams between the columns without problem..." This is both too simplistic a description, and very well structurally unsafe.

A veranda (aka porch) is a great idea. However, this could take a lot more than simple transference of structural point or wall diaphragm loading.

Pictures of the entire structure, both walls inside and out, related supporting walls, and foundation would be required to make further definitive (or suggestive) guidance...

Regards,

j
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Hello Caio,

Well, your written English is much better than my Spanish or Portuguese.

As I had suspected, this appears to be a post 1950's style of Timber Framing (which in turn is a copy of much older traditional systems) that utilizes a Post and Lintel technique with semi structural panel infills. (A latin...or scientific...name on the wood species would help further.)

I would be remiss, as a professional Timber Framer myself, to not strongly encourage that this work be carried out by a person with such timber framed restoration experience as this project calls for. I would furth (strongly suggest) that approval from an applicable PE (professional engineer) that specialize in such repairs or restoration of vernacular architecture be consulted.

This is not the type of job that will take simply supporting the structure..."...and put new columns..." or "..."make a cut in the top of the columns, so I can fit the wall beams between the columns without problem..." This is both too simplistic a description, and very well structurally unsafe.

A veranda (aka porch) is a great idea. However, this could take a lot more than simple transference of structural point or wall diaphragm loading.

Pictures of the entire structure, both walls inside and out, related supporting walls, and foundation would be required to make further definitive (or suggestive) guidance...

Regards,

j
Thanks for the compliment, things like video games and science fiction taught me the little english that I know.

Well, take a look at those videos to see the build system. which is very simple by the way. The inside walls looks the same as the outside and all the columns are fit into the ground and upright first, with 5 or 6 feet of space in between, then the walls boards are placed between the columns, and a top plate is fixed over the columns finishing the wall. All structure is mounted over a radier, about 6 inches thick. The columns are 6 x 6 inches, about 10 feet long, with center grooves , 1 and 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inches deep, to receive the wall boards, that are installed without nails. It is possible to remove the walls, because they aren´t part of the structure.


https://www.google.com.br/url?sa=t&r...9jvsRnsKwPZ13w



The scientific name is Apuleia Ieiocarpa, from Leguminosae-Caesalpiniaceae family. Also known as grápia, yellow jatobá, or girdle. It is hard wood.

The homeowner hired me just to do a small repair, but it needs more than that. I know I can do this job, but I could use some engineering guidance for that.

My plan is to remove one of the walls between 2 columns, position a suport in the same dimensions to take the load, then replace one column at a time, then rebuid the walls e go to the next section. then build a varanda to protect the area. And instead of fit the column into the ground, I´ll fill the holes with concrete mixed with Waterproofing solution. Put a iron truss before the concrete dry, and bolt the column to the ground with some apropriate fasteners, or maybe add a bottom plate, making the wall similar to the wood frame system. This idea came to me after I watched some attic conversion videos. They transfer the load of the structure temporarily, to make the reposition of the roof frame to obtain more space to make a new room.

In a couple of days I´ll take more detailed shots of the house, and ask the homeowner to contact the engineer responsible for the construction to help with this problem. But any help will be wellcome.

thanks for the help.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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One more thing, I could remove the wall boards of the upper level To lower the load of structure during the replacement. This wood is very dense and heavy, it should help a little to prevent any surprises.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 08:49 AM
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I don't know if it's possible with that type construction but I normally make a temporary wall next to the wall I'm removing to support everything during the rebuild.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 09:09 AM
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Trust you have adequate insurance cover, just in case.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 12:13 PM
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If you don't want to remove the entire wall, you have little choice other than patching the beam by sawing out all rot, squaring the existing beam and putting a short replacement beam underneath to make the patch. If the homeowner has no objection to seeing the patch, this becomes a simpler repair.
Definitely a place to use treated lumber.
You may need to use a jack under the wall to keep everything perfectly level.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-30-2017, 06:37 PM
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Olá Caio,

Your last few posts really helped me understand the parameters of your project much better...Obrigado!

The links and videos you just shared confirmed my description to the type of architecture I thought this to be.

As a form of traditional Timber Framing that has been modified with Post and Beam elements, along with other elements of modernity, we have a hybrid with many positive features...and negative as well. Unfortunately (as this conversation indicates) we also have some tradtional feature omitted that have lead to the current decay challenges as well.

I will try to go through each item and give you my thoughts on each...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...The scientific name is Apuleia Ieiocarpa...
That was again helpful...!

I wondereded if this was one of the local hardwoods used in Brazil like Garapa. It is known for some (not complete) rot resistance.

Garapa (and its related hardwood species from down there) are much better than any of the common pressure treated pine lumber used. Pressure treated lumber in general is more a..."mind game"...than actually functional for very long against the elements a building is exposed to.

Garap is however susceptible to tropical termites and will decay if exposed to constant wetting without thorough drying...As the decay in these posts indicate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...The columns are 6 x 6 inches, about 10 feet long, with center grooves , 1 and 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inches deep, to receive the wall boards, that are installed without nails. It is possible to remove the walls, because they aren't part of the structure...
(Note: I work in metric so...feel free...to use that system.)

That is a minimal Wall Diaphragm dimension for a structure carrying roof and second floor loads.

150mm (~6") square stock for the primary support posts is not really that big for such an infill system and the original house designers have cut way too many corners in their copying of the traditional modalities for this type of traditional Timber Frame Architecture as indicated in the video and web page. That would not meet either traditional nor current building engineering standards here in North America, Most of the EU countries nor Asia, including Japan.

It may seem possible to remove the wall boards that form the Infill System, but this comes with some potential hazards that need to be addressed prior to doing that!!!

They should be part of the structure!!! Traditionally these infill system are actually part of the bracing system for the wall as it acts in concert to the rest of the structure as a incremental structural diaphragm. Today among those of use that still use these traditional Timber Frame building systems in their original context, we would never infill a wall unit in such a manner. Simply removing them is not really safe without taking some precautions to temporarily brace the building against lateral load and other related vector forces.

Further, these infill boards are often...Mortise and Tenoned...in some fashion at intervals and or entirely depending on system. Here, in this modern build, that critical element has been omitted and they didn't even make the tongue and groove system that long.

This structure would, in current context, be much better built if it had incremental grinding (~500mm increments) of the posts with some form off mid span Wall Chords, or Wall Purlin that had more robust Mortise and Tenon Joinery. Then the Wall Board infillers could simply be Spline and/or Toggle Jointed into place if the incremental grinding had originally been part of the design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...The homeowner hired me just to do a small repair, but it needs more than that. I know I can do this job, but I could use some engineering guidance for that.
After this discussion with you, I have complete confidence that you can effect the repairs. I would suggest protecting yourself legally by informing the customer that their structure should be examined by a qualified PE, and that there are...Design Challenges (Desafios de Design)...in the original structure fabrication that you can not rectify at this time (Rectificar neste momento.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...My plan is to remove one of the walls between 2 columns, position a support in the same dimensions to take the load, then replace one column at a time, then rebuild the walls e go to the next section. Then build a varanda to protect the area.
Excelente..!!

Just make sure that you have both compression and side vector loading all accounted for with whatever system of support you employ as the temporary system...

The varanda, if properly designed and built, should mitigate the current moisture issues...in that area. I suspect this water challenge is found all around the exterior of the house because of the way it was originally designed and built.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...And instead of fit the column into the ground, I´ll fill the holes with concrete mixed with Waterproofing solution. Put a iron truss before the concrete dry, and bolt the column to the ground with some appropriate fasteners, or maybe add a bottom plate, making the wall similar to the wood frame system


This is a very critical area...!!!

I...think..........??? part of what you are suggesting might be a good idea. I would need a photo (video better) of the area this work is to be done in once you have begun effecting repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...I could remove the wall boards of the upper level To lower the load of structure during the replacement. This wood is very dense and heavy, it should help a little to prevent any surprises.
That is probably advisable...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caio Mekacheski 2
...In a couple of days I´ll take more detailed shots of the house, and ask the homeowner to contact the engineer responsible for the construction to help with this problem. But any help will be wellcome.
Great...More photos will always help...

Muito bom ... Estou ansioso por isso ...

Sinta por favor livre contatar-me pelo email se você deseja. Eu trabalho internacionalmente se você acha que mais consultoria indepth é warrented ...

Atenciosamente,

j
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Last edited by 35015; 04-30-2017 at 06:40 PM.
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