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  1. #1
    Dan McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Is it okay to use wooden wedge shims between a girder and a floor truss? There are about 5-6 floor trusses in a row along the girder where they did this. I would have thought they would have just jacked the one end of the girder up and used metal shims underneath?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    From what you describe, it doesn't sound right. Any pics?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    From what you describe, it doesn't sound right. Any pics?

    I will post some pictures when I get home from work. Let me give a little more explanation. This issue is in my crawlspace which is a pier and curtain wall design. There is a girder that sits on 3 masonry piers. On top of the girder are several floor "trusses" or floor "joists" (not sure what the correct term is but they are I beams where the subfloor is attached).

    When the house was built there were small gaps (1/8" maybe) between the girder and the floor joists on one end of the girder (maybe 6 of 10 floor joists that were sitting on the girder had a gap). Instead of lifting the end of the girder with the problem, and shimming between the girder and masonry pier, they used wooden wedge shims between the girder and each floor joist to eliminate the gap; so 6 individual shims for each individual truss that had a gap.

    Is this okay?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    From what you describe, it doesn't sound right. Any pics?
    Here are some photos showing the wood shims between the girder and floor joist. Does this look right?

    Separate question...I also included a photo showing the Girder nailed to the large wood shim between masonry pier. Are these nails okay?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    A couple of points ...
    - Lumber is not laser straight. Having to put some shims in this type of situation at various locations is a necessary common practice
    - If one wants to get really picky, one can go after a builder based on the idea, and hopefully documented prove, that the shims used do not have equal or greater compressive strength as the materials they are supporting. Rational, feasible argument, none the less a big fat jerk off waste of time unless you have a really big itch to scratch
    - The issue with those shims is that from the pics they are all facing the same direction. It does not appear that there is an opposing angle shim coming back from the other side. What this means is that the truss doesn't have full support over the width of its load bearing; and that support is concentrated on a small area at the end. Over time you may get some settling as the end of the shim compresses. In a standard RES, is it a big deal? Unlikely. But if the floor above is tile, could be a problem.
    - as far as the girder to treated 2x4, the toe nailing isn't the best idea at that location. I wouldn't consider it 'attached'. Especially since we can't see if the 2x is attached to the pier in any way.
    Hope that helps.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Thanks that does help.

    1) Of the 4 shims shown, 2 of them have shims on the opposite side shown in the photo and 2 do not for some reason. So I could just add 2 shims on the opposite side of the ones that are missing and make it better?

    2) Also, notice the 2nd photo has a nail through the joist and shim. Is this okay?

    3) What's peculiar is at one end of the girder they used metal shims between the masonry pier and girder. On the other side of the girder they did what is shown in the photos. Why not just put metal shims on both sides of the girder!?!


    4) In general, when I go to sell this house would these things get written up by an inspector?

    5) The builder is coming to look at it next week, what should I make him do? Remove the wood shims and put metal shims under the girder?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    One other thing...what is the purpose of them toe nailing the girder to the 2x4? It's only nailed on the one side of the girder with two nails. What is bad with doing that? Thanks again!


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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    1- your suggestion is feasible, its all pine, there shouldn't be any issues, you should watch out for splitting, solid chunks planed to the right thickness would be better
    2- generally speaking is it Ok, sure. There's no splitting, the nail looks well driven; Since these are manufactured trusses whether it is Ok or not should be based on the manufacturer install guide. Truss install guides have all kinds of comments about where to drill holes, nails, support etc. You would want to verify with the install guide if that nail is Ok going through the bottom like that and also whether pinning the truss at mid span is Ok or not
    3- 1.5" isn't a shim, that looks like a treated 2x so putting a pile of shims that thick wouldn't be the best option. Depending on the metal shim type that many stacked shims could allow movement
    4- probably not, if the buyer hires some checkbox idiot he'll never even go down there; if the inspector is on IN he might, if the inspector hasn't heard of IN doubtful he'll do much more than shine a light into the space if at all
    5- Can't tell you what to do, not there, not seeing it live, not my job
    Do the manufacturer research yourself or hire an inspector to do it and compile it in a manner that gives you proper information to get compliance from the builder.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    It is difficult to picture the overall situation from the close-up photos and your limited description. With some major assumptions, and conclusions, I see no grade stamps, truss/i-joist, or manufactured stamping or identification marks (except limited in one photo and what does display is upside down as to orientation. Have no details, whatsoever regarding materials, spacing, loads, etc. But do see a "mix" of questionably selected and "installed" milled/sawn lumber and engineered materials.

    See lower chords - see compression damage and splitting above at least one "shim" and a concerning knot with stairstep pattern above pier upon unsecured sawn lumber.

    Appears you have I-joists or some other truss system installed. Appears you have some need for mid-span support which has been improperly executed.

    No the shims are not correct, nor are the unsecured intermittant insufficiently bearing, concentrated point loads beneath the lower chords, esp. if aggrivated by Live Deflection.

    This installation could not possibly have been engineered, planned, or approved by the truss or "I-joist" manufacturer.

    Also appears there has been no proper squashing, etc. above the beam/girder below (implied by insulation and piping paths above). Presuming the "Beam" or Girder support was initially intended and installed for provide mid-span support to the Trusses above (or I-joists, etc.).

    The applied is suspected unqualified attempt at remediating "bounce" or deflection complaints.

    On-site inpsection, Engineering evaluation, analysis and calculations are necessary, as well as plans review and verification.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-13-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    It is difficult to picture the overall situation from the close-up photos and your description. With some major assumptions, and conclusions, I see no grade stamps, truss/i-joist, or manufactured stamping or identification marks. Have no details, whatsoever regarding materials, spacing, loads, etc.

    See lower chords - see compression damage and splitting above at least one "shim" and a concerning knot with stairstep pattern above pier upon unsecured sawn lumber.

    Appears you have I-joists or some other truss system installed. Appears you have some need for mid-span support which has been improperly executed.

    No the shims are not correct, nor are the unsecured intermittant insufficiently bearing, concentrated point loads beneath the lower chords, esp. if aggrivated by Live Deflection.

    This installation could not possibly have been engineered, planned, or approved by the truss or "I-joist" manufacturer.

    Also appears there has been no proper squashing, etc. above the beam/girder below (implied by insulation and piping paths above). Presuming the "Beam" or Girder support was initially intended and installed for provide mid-span support to the Trusses above (or I-joists, etc.).

    The applied is suspected unqualified attempt at remediating "bounce" or deflection complaints.

    On-site inpsection, Engineering evaluation, analysis and calculations are necessary, as well as plans review and verification.

    Let's see if I can answer some questions...these are i-joists...I have 3 girders. One main girder that runs the length of the house in the middle of the house; this girder has blocking between joists. I have two smaller girders (6-8' long) where one is under the dining room (no load bearing wall above) and the other is under the stairs (questionable load bearing wall above). Neither of these smaller girders have blocking or squash blocks between the joists. The photos in this post are of the smaller girder under the stairs.

    I had a structural engineer who said they are probably there just to prevent deflection. He thought it was peculiar that there was no blocking, but didn't seem overly concerned about it due to the length of span of the joists.

    The builder is coming to look at it Tuesday and will repair he said. What is the correct repair? Remove the wood shims between the girder and joist and replace with metal shims between the girder and pier?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    I couldn't and wouldn't begin to attempt or suggest, let alone design or engineer a solution to something, especially over the internet, and most especially without any information with which to consider or work with.

    On-site inspection, Engineering evaluation, analysis and calculations are necessary, as well as plans review and verification.

    I-Joists have a definite top chord and bottom chord, they must be installed in the correct orientation (top chord UP), according to specifications, and as a system according to engineered plans.

    Your last post attributes incredulous reference to and by a structural engineer...and your asking on the internet?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-13-2011 at 05:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McDonald View Post
    ... So I could just add 2 shims on the opposite side of the ones that are missing and make it better? ...

    ... they did what is shown in the photos ...

    ... The builder is coming to look at it next week...
    Fifth topic, same home. DIYer/Home Owner.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Fifth topic, same home. DIYer/Home Owner.
    Wow bud, I hope you feel better about yourself. I didn't know there was a limit to the number of postings? Also, all postings are different in order to focus on each problem separately. I find I get better answers with this approach.

    Mods, please move my posts to DIY forum so I can stop getting berated by this gentlemen.

    Thanks to those that replied!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    "Mods, please move my posts to DIY forum so I can stop getting berated by this gentlemen."





    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Maybe there is a place to put overblown responses - the count is well over 5. Just saying....


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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    The answer to the question(s) is No. NCDOI has consistant interpretations/position statements. On the issues you have pictured and brought up on several topic strings.

    Compromise flooring system and componants upon pier/curtain wall foundation.

    See published and available position statements at NCDOI for 2002 NC RC, 2006 NC RC & 2009 NC RC. Regarding your other questions, see also prohibition interpretation statements regarding notching drilling, shaving, altering Girders. Restriction of Horzontal movement; Maximum "shim" upon masonry/reinforced concrete piers by other than masonry units; specifics for your foundation type, etc. See interpretation statements listed under 2002 NC Residential Code, 2006 NC RC, and 2009 NC RC.

    Bad (cut end PT not field treated; no termite shield; compromised/positioning/selection girder; point failing, toe nailing to, position upon pier offset, pier deterioration unbalanced loading to edge)



    Also bad (plate plus shims, exceeding 1-1/2"; etc.):




    Then there is this patched/spliced sill beam mess wedge "ledger" (using what appears to be a deconstructed piece of a top flange of yet another damaged I-joist, on its SIDE as a bearing support, singluarly nailed to the inside hacked beam above the curtain wall); notched smashed and shaved I-joist adjacent to failed i-joist not loaded to beam distributing to piers for distribution but upon self-declared s/w curtain wall.






    NC OSFM | Code Services – Engineering and Codes

    Quote Originally Posted by NC, emphasis bold/underlining not original

    March 31, 2005; 2002 Residential Code; (NC); Section R502.6; Wood Girder Plates

    Q: Can wooden plates (not wedges) be used between wood girders and foundation piers?

    A: Yes. There is nothing in the code that prevents the use of wooden plates, but there is also nothing in the code that provides prescriptive design information for them either. The code does not restrict a wood girder from being out of level; so, we have to assume that plates to reduce that condition are a step in the right direction if the plates do not compromise the structural integrity of the pier/girder relationship.

    The following guidelines will apply:
    1. Plates would have to meet the requirement of Section R506.2 for bearing surface as well as the requirement for treated wood in Section 323.
    2. The minimum width of a plate must be the width of the girder that is being supported.
    3. The maximum depth of a plate is restricted to 1-1/2" because of the available heights of standard masonry.
    4. The plate material must be a minimum compressive strength equal to the wood girder material.
    5. Horizontal forces are not resisted at the plate location.
    For the purposes of this interpretation "wooden girder plate" is a flat piece of wood with relatively even thickness that is placed between the top of a pier and the bottom edge of a wood girder where it rests on the pier. This may also be referred to as a shim, but obviously cannot be of a wedge shape.


    This interpretation is based on an interpretation produced by Bill Murchison of DOI on May 16, 1995 for beam shims as they related to Volume 7.
    Above from:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...r%20plates.pdf

    The interpretation has been repeated for the 2006 NC RC (except deleting reference to original interpretation by the department)

    October 1, 2007; 2006 Residential Code; Section 502.6:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...r%20plates.pdf

    And has been repeated for the 2009 NC RC, except note change/correction to #4:

    Quote Originally Posted by NC, 2009 RC interpretation

    4. The plate material must be a minimum perpendicular to grain compressive strength equal to the wood girder material.

    July 1, 2009; 2009 Residential Code (NC); Section R502.6:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...r%20plates.pdf

    As has the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by NC

    Drilling and Notching of Girders

    June 1, 2004, 2002 Residential Code (NC); R501.1

    Q: Does the Residential Code allow the drilling and notching of girders?

    A: No. The Code does not allow for the drilling or notching of girders unless designed by an engineer.
    Above from:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...%20girders.pdf

    Repeated here regarding 2006 NC RC:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...%20girders.pdf

    And addressed here regarding 2009 NC RC (Sect. R502.8):

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...%20girders.pdf

    Of interest see also (and related statements for other versions of NC RC):
    Foundation Anchor Strap Spacing:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...%20spacing.pdf

    Alternate anchorage for Pier & Curtain Wall Foundations in 90 & 100 mph wind speeds:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...oundations.pdf

    Pier and Curtain Wall Bonding:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...%20bonding.pdf

    Anchorage For Pier And Curtain Wall Foundations:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...oundations.pdf

    Nonload-bearing Masonry Foundation Curtain Walls:

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...in%20walls.pdf

    And see:

    Engineered Wood Products and Connectors in Marine and Flood Zone Environments

    http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/engineerin...vironments.pdf

    And the similar statements made for prior NC code editions.

    The excuse to having used milled/sawn lumber for rim/band (offered elsewhere) using engineered products for flooring system (I-joists in this case) doesn't fly. If the band, and therefore I-Joists are getting wet, have too high a MC, are rotting, failing, being consumed by WDO, etc. then there are other construction issues, defects, or failures not having been attended to correctly. Engineered products are available, including those which are treated (see link immediately above). Not a continuous perimeter foundation wall, its a pier and curtain.

    According to the Meck Cty Web site, permits are required for this "work", structural, repair, etc.

    Shaving floor joists is not allowed, be them sawn/milled lumber or the flanges or chords of manufactured trusses or I-joists, Glu-lams, etc.

    Notching of the flanges or chords is not allowed on I-joists.


    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-15-2011 at 11:55 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The answer to the question(s) is No. NCDOI has consistant interpretations/position statements. On the issues you have pictured and brought up on several topic strings.

    Compromise flooring system and componants upon pier/curtain wall foundation.

    See published and available position statements at NCDOI for 2002 NC RC, 2006 NC RC & 2009 NC RC. Regarding your other questions, see also prohibition interpretation statements regarding notching drilling, shaving, altering Girders. Restriction of Horzontal movement; Maximum "shim" upon masonry/reinforced concrete piers by other than masonry units; specifics for your foundation type, etc. See interpretation statements listed under 2002 NC Residential Code, 2006 NC RC, and 2009 NC RC.

    Bad:







    Then there is this patched/spliced sill beam mess wedge "ledger" notched smashed and shaved I-joist adjacent to failed i-joist not loaded to beam distributing to piers for distribution but upon self-declared s/w curtain wall.




    NC OSFM | Code Services – Engineering and Codes
    1) Other than the obviously damaged joist, what else is compromised? I don't see what issues you are referring to relative to the girders?

    2) Also, I have seen the requirement for maximum shim height and this shim height is within tolerance.

    3) The sill beam is not spliced/patched. If you look at the original post, instead of muddling this post, you will see the other views of the sister joist showing that a piece of scrap was added to the undisturbed sill beam. This scrap will be removed by the builder as described in the other post. The sister joist will also be replaced by the builder and he acknowledged the poor installation. As described in the other post.

    4) Pier and curtain wall foundation -The single course brick wall is a curtain wall and obviously rests on a footing. This wall can be a max. of 4' tall. The piers are to be spaced no more than 6' O.C. apart and bonded to the curtain wall. A treated sill plate rests on top and doubled rim joists on top of that. Reinforce and provided lateral stability to a wall structure to meet wind, and structural moments. Not there specifically to support weight of the floor package.

    Your posts are filled with generic statements. It would be more helpful if you were specific to the problems posted in lieu of just rattling off codes to no end.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Your own comprehension problem.

    That's what you get when you sprinkle details on multiple discussion strings and can't recall what has been said previously on those discussions.

    As far as your own inability to see what is clearly represented in the pictures, as well as what is NOT present:


    or retain what and how you described conditions of same on the multiple threads, follow a link, read, or comprehend what has been supplied to you by others as well, etc.; or what has been pointed out to you there; whether feigned or actual, no comment (other than typical - sigh).

    The flooring blocks/shims between Girder/beam upon piers and I-joists are wrong. Shouldn't DIY flooring guy fiddle with engineered or prescribed floor system/structure support system.

    You have been repeatedly advised to get certified copies of your stamped plan documents; contact independant professionals to represent and protect your interests; including an attorney specialized in construction defect litigation and real estate; and an engineer (with high local "grading" experience with the county).

    Interesting you ignore that these "repairs", "alterations", "replacements", "corrections", "additions of missing", and "modifications" to your structure require active permitting (inspection), according to the county web site.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-15-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Your own comprehension problem.

    That's what you get when you sprinkle details on multiple discussion strings and can't recall what has been said previously on those discussions.

    As far as your own inability to see what is clearly represented in the pictures, as well as what is NOT present:


    or retain what and how you described conditions of same on the multiple threads, follow a link, read, or comprehend what has been supplied to you by others as well, etc.; or what has been pointed out to you there; whether feigned or actual, no comment (other than typical - sigh).

    The flooring blocks/shims between Girder/beam upon piers and I-joists are wrong. Shouldn't DIY flooring guy fiddle with engineered or prescribed floor system/structure support system.

    You have been repeatedly advised to get certified copies of your stamped plan documents; contact independant professionals to represent and protect your interests; including an attorney specialized in construction defect litigation and real estate; and an engineer (with high local "grading" experience with the county).

    Interesting you ignore that these "repairs", "alterations", "replacements", "corrections", "additions of missing", and "modifications" to your structure require active permitting (inspection), according to the county web site.
    Thanks for editing your post to provide all the links and explanations...much more helpful. Sincerely.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Thanks for removing the super nasty post.

    Continuous span intermediate support as you pictured and described way up above, requires 3-1/2" bearing, full flange. Cannot Shim, esp. not wedge wood shim. Requires Lat restraint.

    "Alexandria" would be the Lena(Alexandria), LA plant.

    No removal of material - No cuts or crushing to bottom flange, exceeding "minor" limits; esp. at concentrated loading (perimeter load bearing wall 2-story+gable attic and "2-story porch posts). limited to 1/8" 36" apart top or side of top flange - not bottom, not concentrated Ls.

    See: IJ-14 "Minor Flange Cuts" and download (its 1 or 2 pages) from:
    I-Joist Technical Notes - Boise Cascade, LLC

    The above is a simple, KISS approach short document with line drawings and will help you to realize the "Need for Engineering" .

    See next document on the list on the link above and grab it also, "Web Stiffener Requirements", #IJ-16. It too is a short one, 4-6 pages as I recall. Simple diagrams, easy to read; as a nuclear plant engineer you should be able to handle the math.

    See also "Eastern Product Profile" (download from this page): BCIŽ Joists - Boise Cascade, LLC

    A simple line drawing series and table - cross section of the product with measurements.

    See also ESR-1336 (prior date was July 2008 in re 2006 IRC, ...etc.),
    here: http://www.icc-es.org/reports/pdf_fi...S/ESR-1336.pdf
    Its a much easier read then the multi-fold multi-color pdf install sheet, and you'll find the continuous span, intermediate support bearing and end bearing details as well as prohibition to cut flanges, except roof joists/birdsmouth early on in the doc (page 1 or 2, around sec 4).

    See also VAR-1017: http://www.icc-es.org/reports/pdf/VAR-1017.pdf

    and ICC ESR-1040 in re flange material and associated engineered materials for the I-Joist Flooring System: http://www.icc-es.org/reports/pdf_fi...S/ESR-1040.pdf

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-15-2011 at 08:24 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Thanks. I have contacted Boise engineering. Hopefully they will get back to me today.


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    Default Re: Shim between Girder and Floor Truss okay?

    Funny how it's OK for one person to be condescending and berate somebody for looking for answers and leave said posts up on the board. But then thanks the person he has been berating for being a better person and removing his comeback post.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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