Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ceiling Beam Installation Begins

The first set of ceiling beams was installed today! Yea, the end is in sight! Okay, you've got to have binoculars to see it but it's there. Good thing too, I'm getting dangerously close to burning out! Must... finish... theater...! With the installation of the first beams I was also able to solve a little engineering concern I've been having. The ceiling, which looks like any other drywalled ceiling, is actually suspended from rubber and steel acoustic dampeners which reduce the transfer of sound through to the attic and thus to other rooms. These dampeners have a weight limit they will reliably hold and the two layers of drywall in the ceiling come close to maxing out that limit. I've been concerned that hanging the beams from the ceiling could cause it to sag in time, or worse. Then a flash of inspiration! By joining the two haves of the beam together with a plate in the middle, the resulting unit would be rigid enough to span the room making it possible to attach it only at the side walls and not at all to the ceiling. The plates on the side walls to which the beams are anchored are already screwed into the studs so weight bearing should be not problem.

In the second picture you can see the MDF plate bolted in place bridging the joint between the two halves of the beam. There are actually two plates, one on each side, sandwiching the joint. The bolts will get covered with rivet heads and the plate painted to match the beams. There is also still to come a curved flange where the beams meets the duct. These have to be custom fit once each beam is in place.

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