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StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 6929
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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I have a 24' span between two healthy ponderosa pine trees,

Customer Question

I have a 24' span between two healthy ponderosa pine trees, and I want to use a beam to create a swingset between the trees. Is there a way to span 24' to withstand the weight of 4+ adults on swings, knowing the trees negate all twisting and pulling forces on the support beam?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I can help. Can I get back to you in a few hours?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but the beam will be large. Do you want a heavy piece of solid sawn timber or glulam?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Either way, I just want to explore the options available.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
The question is quite under priced for one size. I can size one of them for you or submit am additional service offer for timber and glulam. You will also need to make sure the connections to the trees are properly engineered and detailed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure what your answer implies, I just want to know dimensions of sufficient beam to support the swings over the 24' span. I am aware of and have used proper connections to the tree.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
You can plan for a 6.75" x 12" pressure treated glulam 24F-V4
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great thanks, ***** ***** the v-4 stand for? And if a single timber, what size?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
The V4 means there is a top and bottom to the beam. The tension laminations go on bottom.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if I made my own beam out of a set of pressure treated boards, I would plan on (5) 2x8s or 2x10's making up the vertical component of the beam, offset over the span to offset seams. the tensions layers could be 3 layers of 2x8 or 2 layers of 2x10's also staggered horizontally. Is that what you are proposing? the final beam would be roughly 7.5" wide by 12-12.5" deep depending on the vertical height used. Any other ideas, I don't know where to find a single beam that dimension.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
You can order glulam beams from just about every lumber yard.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks for the suggestion, I will start there then! I just figured I had to make it myself.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I'm happy to help. Good luck with your project.

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