We had 6x8" rough sawn beams installed as collar ties of a cathedral ceiling
room. The beams look too hefty, so we are debating having them replaced
again with 4x8 beams, with resulting cost and aggravation for our
contractors who lifted the 6x8's in place...
I am wondering if it would be reasonably possible (say over a weekend for
one person) to use a 3-4" hand power plane to "thin down" the beams that are
in place now (by 1.5-2"). There are four beams in total, 14' in length.
Any opinions are appreciated.
Regards, Wolfgang in VT
Thanks for all the replies.
The 16" circular saw sounds very scary, using it 8' above the floor on
scaffolding? Battleax, do you have personal experience with this?
The Alaskan Mill for chainsaws seems less intimidating, but I have never
used either type of saw.
Now that I realize it's in-place the circular saw would be difficult because
you'd be coming in from both sides, you don't want to use the 16"
upsidedown, I can't imagine it.
Regardless you still have to deal with the ends that the saw won't reach.
I'd say unless the beams are on the ground this is a very difficult project,
and I work with post&beam every day.
I just used a power plane to carve a new daggerboard out of a block of oak.
It took a while and was hard work. Your chore is about 100 times as much
work and (apparently) overhead. It can't be a good idea.
Not reasonable at all IMO.
It would take too long and leave a smooth surface.
Depending on how rough sawn the surface is you may
be able to use a chainsaw with guide like one of these
2:1 proportion is going to look pretty odd too. If you can't change the
8" dimension, then I'd leave them be.
If at all possible, then I'd lift them down and work at ground level. if
I had to work at height, then I'd want _good_ staging in place to work
on. I'd trim them down by hand sawing a notch out at each end to give
saw-space, then running a large circular saw along them. With a big
framer's saw you can rip both sides and almost through, then take the
central web out by hand (or by splitting it).
I have read about beams in old buildings that have been hewn thinner
while in place, but taking a broad axe to your ceiling beams is
something that needs practice before and a good cure of muscle cramps
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