Removing a 9' load bearing wall


I'd like to remove a load bearing internal wall by putting a beam in the attic and attaching it to the ceiling joists from above.
I know this was general topic was discussed in April of 2008. "Dave in Houston" posted URL's for some pictures. They're gone. Can someone show me how this has been done before?
The wall is on the upper floor of a 2-story home. The wall is near the center of the house, approx 9' long. The roof does not bear on the wall. The wall supports 2x6 ceiling joists, 1/2 inch ceiling sheetrock, and attic insulation. That's all.
The attic is pretty accessible. I can put a beam up there, assemble it, and attach it.
I'm very interested in advice about sizing the beam and attaching it to the joists. I'd like to see what has worked for someone else.
I'm officially an engineer, so I understand the need to provide support all the way to the foundation. No problem.
Thanks for your help! -- Mark
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Simple rule of thumb - nominal lumber size when doubled as a header = span. So, a double 2x6 will span 6 feet. Your opening will require double 2x10. 15" pieces of 2x2 can be installed vertically to that the top is nailed to your new 2x10 and the bottom is nailed to the 2x6. Repeat for all 2x6 involved. As you have noted, solid block the ends of the 2x10s and add studs as required.
If it will make you feel better, here is a header span table from the Southern Pine institute: http://newstore.southernpine.com/cgi-bin/newsopine/product ?;5;
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MDA had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/construction/Re-Removing-a-9-load-bearing-wall-15382-.htm : Thank-you!
This is much simpler than the alternative system of cutting the ends off joists, installing a beam, and atttaching joists with joist hangers.
What do you recommend for number of nails, size of nails, and spacing of nails?
-- Mark mda53226(at)yahoo(dot)com
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MDA wrote: ...

Not really, all it does is switch the order of things...
The problem is still there's not enough information to ensure you've accounted for the loading correctly but _assuming_ your assessment of the structure's integrity is close (but asking these questions here makes one wonder), it's still hanging the joists and hangers would still be the better solution. But, I'd still recommend you get a professional opinion on the actual situation before proceeding, engineer or no--you obviously are something other than civil/structural/architectural in specialization. (As am I, so that's not a slam...)
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mda had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/construction/Re-Removing-a-9-load-bearing-wall-15385-.htm : Thanks, dpb --
You're right, I'm a mechanical engineer. I work in the world of steel and plastics. I'm not familiar with estimating the strength of a nailed joint in wood.
Was thinking there must be a rule-of-thumb for estimating the strength of a 2x2 nailed to a 2x10. . . and a guideline for nail size and spacing to get a good joint without weakening the wood.
Was also thinking it would be good to apply glue to the 2x2's before nailing. The glue joint would carry the loaded with shear stress, and glue is very strong in that direction.
I'm not totally clueless. Am simply asking questions to collect the best ideas before developing a plan. (The "expert" at the building supply store told me I could only put a beam UNDER the ceiling. There is no way to put it above the ceiling. You folks are proving him wrong.) I came here to ask because Google suggested this was a good place to get opinions.
-- Mark
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On Oct 7, 12:32am, mda53226_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (mda) wrote:

2x2s are problematic. The wood used in 2x2s is often sketchy. Solid wood of a small cross section is prone to splitting when numerous framing nails are used. In your situation you'll probably be using at least five or six nails per 2x2 where it's attached to the 2x6 - in 5.5" you'll have six nails in a 1.5" wide area...not good. It would be far preferable to use metal strapping - check the Simpson Strongtie catalog.
Your question omits necessary information - joist span, attic height (indicating probable load), etc. You first have to determine the total design load per joist and use that to compute the size of the beam. I no longer use solid sawn lumber for beam application in remodeling. LVLs are far stronger and do not shrink. Shrinkage can lead to cracked finishes and uneven settling.
Look into the LVLs and using metal strapping. The metal strapping should preferably be wrapped over the top of the beam and under the bottom of the joist. The number of nails is dependent on the load - divide the total individual joist load by the shear loaded strength of the nail and add one nail. Use the same number of nails on either end of the strap. Simpson's web site will list the holding power of their joist hanger nails. R
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"Hurricane clips" would cost more then a 2x2 to hang the joists from. But may be easier to install.
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