4 x 12

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Hi. Is it common or uncommon for Home Depot and Lowe's to stock 4 x 12 lumber? I wanted to use a 4 x 12 for a header, but was unable to find it at HD, and didn't know if it was this particular store, if it has to be special ordered, etc. Thanks.
Eric
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Eric and Megan Swope wrote:

Depends on the wood I would guess. I couldn't find 4x12' Ceder at any of the home depot's or lowe's in the Metro Detroit area. I had to use 2 2x12, and I don't like them as much at all.
--
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CL Gilbert
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 08:04:59 GMT, "Eric and Megan Swope"

4X12 is a common size, but you won't find it at any Home Depot or Lowes I've ever frequented. To find sizes like this you have to find a real lumber yard, not the silly, poorly stocked and over priced "Home Centers."
I was recently in an 84 Lumber just up the street, which is a real lumber yard, and they had 4X12 rough cedar beams, as well as other sizes.
For a header, that isn't exposed so it doesn't matter what it looks like, I would laminate one up for myself. I would probably build it in place because it would be a bit heavy once assembled. Use 1/2" CDX plywood glued between two 2X12 boards and you will have a 4X12. And it will be stronger than a solid piece of lumber would be. Gang nail or bolt it together, or both. If I wanted this exposed, I would probably still build it like this and then dress it up on the outside with whatever grade wood I wanted.
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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John Willis wrote:

I went to several 'real' lumber yards myself, and they still didnt have this size in Cedar.
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 13:32:42 -0400, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"

Depending on where you live, you can often find rural sawmills where they can make any size timber a tree will allow. Of course they will be rough sawn, and you will have to rely on the type of wood they have, or supply your own tree.
I agree that nailing two 2X12's together is stronger than a single beam.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

....
Why would that be? There's no more (and maybe less) material (neglecting the effect of an additional 1/2" (say) ply which would add some additional resistance.
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Putting to different pieces together acts the same way, sort of like a torsion box. Same as a 1/2" dia. tube is stiffer than a 1/2" rod.
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Edwin Pawlowski writes:

No, not absolutely stiffer.
You may be thinking of it being stiffer per unit weight, which it is.
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A composite beam may be stronger because the defects and local weakness will not likely coincide. There is another factor, the tendency to twist and buckle under load may be improved by the fact that the pieces have different twist in the fibers.
We are talking about wood, here. Not aluminum beams like in an airplane wing.
MG
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MG wrote:

Those are some hypothetical maybes that sometimes might, sometimes might not actually help...
I still don't believe an engineering load test of two nailed 2x12's would beat a 3x12 in load on average of several trials of same species and grade material...
Tomorrow if I have time I'll see if I can find anything on the US Forestry site specific to the questin...
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You say same species and grade, and add averaging over several specimens. This imply uniformity. The more we assign importance to uniformity the more we make wood an homogeneous material, which is not.
Clearly there is no reason why a composite should be stronger that a single piece of equal crossection IF the material are homogeneous. Wood is less dependable than a steel beam in the sense that a higher safety margin must be applied for wood.
In construction you consider the lowest of all possible breaking loads and stay below that. With wood the ratio between lowest breaking load and typical is a smaller fraction than with steel.
To make a silly extreme case a knot hole at one third of the span in a single beam is worst than two knots symmetrically placed on a composite beam.
In other words the issue is about homogeneity or lack thereof. If you select 2 perfectly grained flawless board and compare it to the same perfect single piece there is no difference.
MG
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MG wrote: ....

That's exactly my point--that <on average> (which is all one can deal with w/ timber since, as you say, it's an inconsistent material), there's no difference between a composite built of 2-tubaX's and a solid beam of the same actual dimensions.
I don't believe there's any code based on the difference between the combination outlined above based on the assumption of defects cancelling on the composite beam.
Engineered and laminated material is something else entirely...
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There are counteracting forces. Take a thin strip of wood and bend it. Now take two thin pieces of wood, bend them, glue them together, clamp, dry, and they remain bent. Why do you think that is? Laminations for curved materials are often made that way.
Nick was quick to chime in with a one word answer, perhaps he will take the time to talk about the molecular flow of this so everyone can easily understand what happens with laminations when you are pushing one while pulling the other. .
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Say what? I disagree. Further a 1/2" tube should not be stiffer than a 1/2" rod.
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 15:34:52 -0400, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"

No, the tube is *stiffer* than the solid rod of the same material. Our Strength of Materials teacher in 3nd year engineering went through the math/physics for the proof and I remember being stunned by it. But it was clearly correct as I recall.
--
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I have always been told that by structural & civil engineers.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

For equivalent weights, yes. See my note back to Edwin.
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You've always been told what???
Nick
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Wrong.
Nick
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wrote:

No formula?
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