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Discussion Starter #1
In my backyard there is an old bank barn of sorts. The top story is 50' long and 15' wide. The bottom story is about 35' long and 15' wide, so part of the second story is on the top of a hill and has a crushed stone floor. I plan to store my garden tractor and a few other outdoor tools on the stone floor side of the second story, since my garden is located right next to it. I plan to put my woodworking equipment (tablesaw, bandsaw, molder, workbench, etc.) on the wooden floor of the second story.

I have most of what I'm going to do figured out, but I'm not sure what to do with the floor of the second story. It is just wide enough that I think I either need to go with 2x12 floor joists, or if I go to 10x2 I think I would need a center beam under the joists, and then of course some sort of posts every few feet to support the beam, which I want to try and avoid. I am planning on putting the joists on 16" centers, but would go to 12" if it changes anything. I plan to use 2x6 tongue and groove as the flooring on the second story.

So what do you guys think, will 2x12 span the 15' with no problems, or should I use a center beam, or could I even go with 2x10 and span the 15'? If I need to use a center beam, can I just go with 2x8 for the joists? I would prefer to avoid the hassle of the center beam and posts, and I don't want to go with the engineered I-beams for the joists as I'm attempting to keep the costs down. Although, I have no idea how much engineered 15' I-beams go for.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
As much weight as I can. :laugh:

Just kidding.
The tablesaw isn't too big, maybe 200 lbs.
The bandsaw is about 470 lbs.
Moulder/shaper maybe 350.
Jointer around 300
Delta belt/disk sander around 250
roll-around toolbox maybe 300
Then I want a workbench along one long wall (maybe 25' of it)
Plus various sawhorses, and some shelves long the other wall.
All of the bigger tools are on roll-around bases, so they would generally be along walls, and not all sitting next to each other in the center of the floor.

Here are a few pics. The floor on the second story was always a little scary, and I never even used it for anything. The roof fell in about 16 months ago, and I figure I better do something with it or else I'll be demolishing the entire thing. As it is, the foundation is still solid, and I plan to just get rid of everything else and start over. I have a lot of stuff laying around to rebuild it, but I don't have the floor joists, so I would need to buy whatever it is I went with.

barn_top.jpg

barn_front.jpg

barn_inside.jpg

barn_right.jpg
 

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Andy,

I have a pool table that weighs 2500 lbs. on a crawlspace that the carpenters figured out would need double 2 x 16's to support the table and people walking around without the floor giving. They supported the 2 x 16's with 12" concrete blocks laid on a concrete footing. That is just under the area around the 8' pool table. I don't know if you'll be able to get by without the beams and support.

My table and floor is very steady. The work was done in 1994 and the table is still level. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think I might run a center beam. The good thing would be, the floor would then be strong enough that if I ever wanted to move a garden tractor in there to do something like an oil change or swap tires around or something, the floor would hold it. Plus, the bottom story would be mostly storage except for the front portion which might end up with a gas grill for outdoor cooking, so a few posts and a beam aren't going to really cause me any trouble.

The last thing I need is a bandsaw falling through the floor. :laugh:
 

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You're a braver man than me Andy. Call me chicken; but I'd have a structural engineer look over the building and your ideas for it. I see a lot of things that could go horribly wrong or get very expensive very quickly. An engineer's recommendations will be cheap compared to a catastrophic failure.

I don't think the engineered wood I-beam joists are that terribly expensive; otherwise cheap ass home builders wouldn't use them. Besides I'd rather work with a straight joist instead of the dimensional pretzel wood lumber that is common now-a-days.

Remember, in general remodeling is always more expensive than new on a per square foot basis.

Andy,

I have a pool table that weighs 2500 lbs. on a crawlspace that the carpenters figured out would need double 2 x 16's to support the table and people walking around without the floor giving. They supported the 2 x 16's with 12" concrete blocks laid on a concrete footing. That is just under the area around the 8' pool table. I don't know if you'll be able to get by without the beams and support.

My table and floor is very steady. The work was done in 1994 and the table is still level. Good luck with your project.
Good lord Wayne, is that table made out of granite?
 

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Good lord Wayne, is that table made out of granite?
Ha, it cost like it was granite! My bad, (big fingers = sloppy typing), should have been 1500 lbs. (actually 1488 according to my spec sheet.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You're a braver man than me Andy. Call me chicken; but I'd have a structural engineer look over the building and your ideas for it. I see a lot of things that could go horribly wrong or get very expensive very quickly. An engineer's recommendations will be cheap compared to a catastrophic failure.

I don't think the engineered wood I-beam joists are that terribly expensive; otherwise cheap ass home builders wouldn't use them. Besides I'd rather work with a straight joist instead of the dimensional pretzel wood lumber that is common now-a-days.

Remember, in general remodeling is always more expensive than new on a per square foot basis.
:laugh: I'm not sure you get the full measure of my "remodeling" plan. :lol: All I plan to keep is the concrete foundation and a few steel posts that support the second story. It will basically be new construction. The photos mainly show the overall size, and how it sets into the bank.

Maybe I will check the I-beams out. They make one style right up the road from me, so maybe they are cheaper than I thought.
 

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:laugh: I'm not sure you get the full measure of my "remodeling" plan. :lol: All I plan to keep is the concrete foundation and a few steel posts that support the second story. It will basically be new construction. The photos mainly show the overall size, and how it sets into the bank.

Maybe I will check the I-beams out. They make one style right up the road from me, so maybe they are cheaper than I thought.
Whew... I thought you were "remodeling" and using the existing structure as well. You know, just reinforcing what's there. :lol: That would've been awfully ambitious.:munch:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jason,

I'm crazy, but not that crazy!
You would have liked when I built my polebarn. There were two connected old sheds and I wanted to build the polebarn where the sheds were, only larger. I built then entire polebarn except for the last for or five roof trusses over/around the old sheds. We used the old sheds as scaffolding to walk on the roofs to make it easier to set the trusses. After cutting a chunk of the shed roofs off, we set the last trusses, and then I smashed the old sheds with my old OC-46 track loader and hauled them out of the polebarn. I'm sure people driving by wondered what the heck I was doing, and my dad thought I was crazy, until he got to walk on the old sheds to help set the trusses with me. He thought it was a good idea after that.
 

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Ha, it cost like it was granite! My bad, (big fingers = sloppy typing), should have been 1500 lbs. (actually 1488 according to my spec sheet.)
Well good grief, 1,500 pounds is still pretty darn heavy!

:laugh: I'm not sure you get the full measure of my "remodeling" plan. :lol: All I plan to keep is the concrete foundation and a few steel posts that support the second story. It will basically be new construction. The photos mainly show the overall size, and how it sets into the bank.

Maybe I will check the I-beams out. They make one style right up the road from me, so maybe they are cheaper than I thought.
Whew...thanks for the clarification Andy. As I recall, TJI can make the things over 40' long if need be. Good luck trying to find dimensional lumber that can do the same thing. Also I think TJI posts span tables and the like on their web site.

Weyerhaeuser :: Trus Joist
 

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Having done a fair amount of this type of work I would suggest you shop around for a good local saw mill and order what you want from him. A 15' span would require 2x12s @16" oc for residential construction, 12" oc would be better. Solid blocking down the center of the span instead of bridging is a big help as well. With 2x6 t&g decking you could have a 20" or 24" spacing and go with a 3x10 or 3x12 joist and be fine. When you add up all your anticipated weight and then spread it around the floor it is not that much lbs per sq ft. Green wood weighs more but is usually much cheaper and you might be able to buy oak or another nice strong hardwood at reasonable rates. Any mill wood you buy should be stuck for sitting to help dry it out and reduce staining. I always try and get logs that were cut in winter as the sap content will be greatly reduced . If you don't own forks for your tractor figure them into the cost of this project right now. Around here I pay $.50 bd ft for pine and $1.00 for oak and other hardwoods. You will have a building that is much more pleasing to the eye when you are done if you use boards instead of plywood and build a little character into it as you go. Good luck plan well and enjoy the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Manomet,

Thanks for the tips!

I have a question, what do you mean by "Solid blocking down the center of the span instead of bridging is a big help as well"?

I do have a local sawmill I occasionally deal with. Maybe I'll ask him for pricing on 3x10 roughcut. It would definitely look cool!

When I called the local engineered lumber place I asked the guy what they recommend for fastening the T&G to the I-beams. He said he didn't know because no one ever asked him that before. He said when people go with T&G it is usually in fancy structures and they use the big GluLam beams instead of the I-beams where the GluLam beams are exposed. I told him this was an old storage shed, not some fancy house.

I was thinking maybe I'll fire up the shaper and buy 2x10 planks and cut my own tongues and grooves in them. That would be darn cool looking (and still cheaper than pre-cut 2x6 T&G).
 

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If you have 15' span chalk a line 7.5' in from one side down the length of the floor, one mark @ 7.5' per joist. Cut blocks that are square and exactly the length you need to fill the space between each set of joists, we usually stagger them from one side of the line to the other and nail into the ends of the blocks by shooting 16's through the sides of the joists. The two most important things to look for in a good mill are quality wood that does not have a lot of black knots or imperfections and consistent cutting ie. boards that are very close in width one end to the other and thickness top and bottom. It is much easier to work with a stack of same sized boards than to compensate from one to the next for irregular size. As far as T&G ing your own wood you will find it much easier to run the cutter down the board ie. router than to run the boards by the cutter. T&G spruce 2x6 is usually reasonably priced and quickly installed very consistent I don't think I would want to tackle that volume of material by hand.
 

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So how are you getting along with this project. Sometimes reading about things online is kind of like reading a book and you expect time to be condensed into short paragraphs. Please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, my projects are just the opposite, it is like being stuck in a time-warp and time is expanded. :laugh:

I'm still working on costs, and figuring out what I want to do. It's something I may start in the fall, or next spring. My planning phases tend to be lengthy for large projects. Rest assured, once I start moving on it, there will be plenty of posts here. :lol:
 

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I always tell my customers "The more thought and planning you put into, the happier you will be with the finished product. The more decisions and choices you make now the less hurried and more enjoyable the whole project will be".
 

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I had a two car garage over a crawl space with 2x12''s 12" on center. It had a 4" slab poured on top so figure weight of concrete and vehicles the 2x12's were enough. This was on my mid 90's house in Alaska.
 

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At a minimum use the 2x12, but I really think the I-beam will better serve you since you will be working up there and have heavy wood working equipment up there also.
 
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