wood covering for ceiling beam

PekeMarch 21, 2013

I need some advice about covering a structural beam. We have 2 that we need to cover with wood. We thought about using wood floor planks, but they are too thick and we couldn't figure out how to finish the ends.

Then we thought about using 1/4" oak 4' x 8' plywood sheets. That would give us seams that wouldn't look right.

We had taken down a suspended ceiling grid made with 3/4" x 4" x 24" stained oak boards. We have about 300-400 ft of oak we could use. FREE! We tried to split them in half on the 3/4" side. We thought we could use them on the beam in a staggered pattern sort of like floor planks. We went through two $17.00 saw blades and we only cut 7 boards. Oak gets really hard as it ages!

So we are now going to try to use the 1/4" oak 4' x 8' plywood, but cut it into 4" wide planks. That way we would have staggered seams/lengths.

Does anyone have any ideas for us? We do not want to sheetrock the beams or paint them. One beam is smooth wood and the other is rough cedar so they would't look the same if painted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Peke

Here is a picture where you can see the rough beam and only a small part of the larger beam.

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Run the 3/4" oak planks thru a thickness planer. Then cut the edge on a 45 degree angle when you join the edges it will resemble a real piece of lumber.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Are they unattractive now, or can they be sanded out and finished? I prefer the look of a real beam to one covered with thin wood, especially if there will be a bunch of seams.

Rather than having a pattern of seams, have you considered gluing on wood veneer? It comes in very long strips so that you don't have to have any seams at all.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:29AM
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Millworkman, Thickness planer? I get the 45 degree angle part. What does a thickness planer do? My brother in law has a planer. Is that the same thing? We were trying to cut them in half so we would have enough for both beams, but the oak has just hardened too much.

Renee, they are very ugly. One even has writing on it. Some sort of "ink" stamp. We tried to sand it. The other has stained cedar on one side and the other was painted white. So can't get that white paint off the rough cedar. Husband hates the cedar any way.

Not sure about the veneer. Is it the roll stuff? The beams are about 18" tall and about 6" wide. Would veneer come in sheets that wide? If not we would still have seams.

Seems like I am going to have to have seams no matter what I do. One beam is 30' long so there will be a seam somewhere.

Keep the ideas coming! I appreciate them. Peke

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:18PM
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planes the surface of the board, thereby reducing the thickness.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:46PM
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I think my brother in law has one. Thanks for your help. Peke

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:05PM
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