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Any structural engineers?

Old 06-07-2007, 06:54 AM
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Default Any structural engineers?

I am in the process of building a 40' X 80' building for my woodturning business. I have been working in an old mill building with wood floors for years and dont like the sound of working and standing on concrete all day. My inquiry is this, I am considering putting down pressure treated 2 X 4's on their flat, and then 3/4" tongue + groove plywood down for a finish floor. My heating contractor tells me that the radiant heat will work just fine with this. My question is on the spacing of the 2 X 4's. 8" on center or 12". I have several machines that are in the 6-8 thousand pound range, with one at 13,000 lbs. Sometimes we have carts with 2-3,000 lb loads, and a forklift that wieghs roughly 10,000 lbs.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Lotsa factories used end block wood set directly on the concrete. What you describe may not work..that fork lift weight is essentially point loads on the tires. Can you strip the floors with 2x material, or is that too rough/expensive? Plwood isn't as durable as solid wood, and harder to repair.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

I'm no SE but I don't think that the floor is going to take that kind of load. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the RFH is not going to work very well.

You can't use mats at the machines? I spent a fair amount of time working in machine shops. Good boots was key working on concrete floors.
Also, your feet are going to be warm wearing boots with RFH. The guys building my house loved the warm but hated the sweat. Of course if you don't 'have to' wear boots, a good walking shoe is great on hard floors.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

On a concrete floor with radiant, I think I will need the 2 X's to fasten the plywood down. The whole thing will float on the concrete. I could glue the ply down, but I would think the air space would be better. I do have mats at all machine stations, but not everywhere, I think the floating floor would be better for absorbtion of any vibration from the machines. As far as wearing boots, we all wear sneakers.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

We do alot of production fit-out work in the North East and I have to agree with the earlier post.....

End Block wood is the way to go..........

I have been in countless production/warehouse areas that are floored with exactly that.......

When you say radiant heat................
Are you talking about gas fired radiant tubes (infrared) or radiant hot water/glycol?

If the latter, you might want to investigate the efficiency of the underslab radiant trying to work through end block flooring.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

sixpack, its a hot water system, I was hoping someone here would chime in as to the efficiency of it radiating through the air space I'm leaning towards. I know I have it in my den, in the concrete, with a bamboo floor glued down, and it works fine.
As to the end block floor, I'll take a look, never heard of it.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

End block floors, to put it simply, are 2x4's, cut to a length that varies up to about 6". These blocks are placed on the floor on end, exposing the end grain of the wood. Once the entire floor is covered, they lock themselves in much the same way pavers lock themselves in. It is a great floor system as it gives the cusion of wood that concrete can't, and it carries an extremely heavy load because it is solid.

The wood does have to be chemically treated, though and I'm not sure of the size, construction classification and use group of your building, but in conjunction with this information, this type of flooring may require fire sprinklers.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Radiant floor heat does not like air space or a large amount of 'insulating' material over it.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

One problem with the end block system is if you happen to get a small roof leak or a part of the floor gets wet it'll heave the blocks. I've seen 3' high x 10' dia mounds heave in our plant, and our blocks were treated and coated with what looks like tar and varnish.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

I am thinking just the ply, glued down. Or nothing, more mats.
Thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Mats and walkway systems for foot traffic only gets my . The costs however may be steep.

Good luck.

BTW I'm sure you know the drawbacks to RFH. No set back temps to an empty building. The offset being with a comfort level that is outstanding. Where are you building?
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Mist-Rest, the building is about 400' behind my house, in Cape Porpoise Maine. All wood, clear span trusses, 12' walls.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:21 AM
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Default RE: Any structural engineers?

End block is the way to go, and it's also the easiest to repair if damaged.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Oh. What do you turn?
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

Anything really, porch posts, balusters, newel posts, table legs, finials, we have a monster of a lathe that we can turn columns 20' tall and 3' in diameter.
www.hansonwoodturning.com
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Any structural engineers?

hansoni - 6/8/2007 12:56 PM
we can turn columns 20' tall and 3' in diameter.
How do you support a piece that big in the lathe?
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