Got the main load-bearing beam up this weekend, after first putting up the 5th sistered beam that would rest on it. Which in turn allowed me to finally take down the existing abomination, the partially lapped, mangled, misapplied oak 4×4.
And the final effect:
Funny story: I’ve been living, breathing, and sleeping this beam for months. I’ve lain awake at night imagineering how I would position it, lift it, fasten it — thinking about the space, the order of operation, the materials, the tools…. But when it was all up, and the time came to take down the existing 22-foot oak 4×4, I realized I had given ZERO thought to how to do it — without any part of it falling out of control, which would be Very Bad.
So then came a lengthy pause while I thought it through, and very slowly and carefully applied braces and brackets (sort of the other process in reverse), cut it into sections with a sawzall, and let each section down easy.
And a luna moth helped: