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How do we make our signature curved laminated wood beams

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How do we make our signature curved laminated wood beams used in our all-season sunrooms?

Brady-Built sunrooms boast exquisite curved wooden beams that add a touch of elegance and architectural beauty to our designs. However, the journey from raw materials to the finished product is a meticulous process that ensures exceptional quality and structural integrity. In this article, we will delve into the intricate steps involved in manufacturing the curved laminated wood beams that grace Brady-Built sunrooms. By combining the knowledge shared by Brady-Built with an in-depth understanding of the craftsmanship and techniques involved, we aim to shed light on the artistry and precision behind these remarkable structural elements.

Calculating Beam Depth and Customization

Before the manufacturing process begins, each beam’s depth is calculated to meet the specific requirements of the sunroom design and local building codes. Factors such as snow load, wind load, span, bay width, and other environmental conditions are taken into account to ensure optimal structural performance. Brady-Built’s commitment to customization ensures that every sunroom receives beams tailored to its unique specifications, providing both beauty and durability.

Manufacturing Curved Laminated Wood Beams

Brady-Built starts the process by carefully selecting kiln-dried southern yellow pine lumber. This choice of wood offers favorable strength and dimensional stability properties required for the curved laminated beams. The lumber is precisely cut into 5/16-inch thick slices using a multiple blade rip saw, creating strips ready for lamination.

The strips are passed through a glue machine that applies a specially formulated structural adhesive to one face. These strips, or laminations, are then stacked together, layer upon layer, until enough pieces are in place to achieve the desired beam thickness. The stack of laminations is then placed in a steel form set to the desired roof pitch. Steel clamps are applied to the stack, tightened to create a nearly invisible glue line. This clamping technique allows the laminate stack to conform to the curve in the gluing form. After the adhesive has set overnight, the clamps are carefully removed, leaving the beam with its signature curved shape.

At this stage, the beam may appear rough, with hardened glue and clamp marks. To achieve the desired aesthetic and smooth finish, the beam undergoes a series of refinements. It is run through a surface planer to remove excess material, ensuring uniform thickness and a clean surface. A shaper and detail routing are then used to shape the edges and create intricate design elements. Finally, a belt sander is employed to further refine the beam’s surface, followed by meticulous hand sanding to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.


Ensuring Quality and Finishing Touches

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Why are curved laminated wood beams used in Brady-Built sunrooms?
Curved laminated wood beams are used in Brady-Built sunrooms for both aesthetic and structural reasons. The curved design adds a touch of elegance and architectural beauty to the sunroom, creating a visually appealing space. Additionally, the laminated construction provides enhanced structural integrity and durability, ensuring that the sunroom can withstand various environmental conditions such as snow load and wind load.

2.   What structural benefits do your curved, laminated beams have over normal beams?
The lamination process involves stacking multiple layers of wood strips, which increases the beam’s load-bearing capacity. This makes the curved laminated beams stronger and more capable of supporting heavy loads, such as the weight of the sunroom itself, snow loads, and wind loads. Additionally, the use of high-quality adhesive in the lamination process creates a strong bond between the wood strips, enhancing the structural integrity of the beam. This ensures that the beam maintains its shape and performance over time, without warping or sagging. On top of that, the lamination helps prevent damage from splitting or cracking.

3.   What quality assurance measures are in place for the curved laminated wood beams?
Brady-Built prioritizes quality assurance throughout the manufacturing process of curved laminated wood beams. The beams undergo rigorous testing and inspection to ensure structural integrity and compliance with industry standards. Destructive and non-destructive testing methods may be employed to evaluate factors such as strength, flexibility, and dimensional accuracy. Moisture content is carefully monitored to prevent warping or damage over time. Additionally, the beams receive finishing treatments such as staining, sealing, or the application of protective coatings to enhance their natural beauty and protect against environmental elements. These quality assurance measures guarantee that each curved laminated wood beam meets Brady-Built’s high standards and provides long-lasting beauty and structural reliability in their sunrooms.