How to attach wood to a steel i-beam
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When you want to attach wood to a steel I-beam, there are two acceptable ways to do it. The first and most traditional way is to pack the web between the I-beam flanges with multiple pieces of wood, then bolt them together. This is a very strong connection, but it wastes a lot of time and raw materials in the process.
The most practical way is to top-mount wood onto the upper I-beam flange, and use that as an attachment point for any other wooden structural attachment.
- When you want to attach wood to a steel I-beam, there are two acceptable ways to do it.
Cut a wooden plank of 2x6 or 2x8 stock to length using a circular saw.
Measure alternating holes at 12-inch intervals in the I-beam with a tape measure. Mark the points with a pencil.
Drill 1/4-inch holes with a drill and a metal bit. If this is special order I-beam, contact the fabricator to have holes pre-punched to your specifications. This will save a step and you won't have to drill the holes yourself.
Place the wooden plank on top of the I-beam flange. Turn in 1/4-inch by 1 1/2-inch lag bolts with a ratchet and socket until they are firm. This now gives you a solid base to mount such things as floor joist hangers, plywood or other wood stock that can be directly screwed into the top mounted plank.
Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.