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Week 4 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis In this week’s studio we visited the workshop where we were asked to construct a beam out of certain materials, that would then be tested later in the studio to see how much weight it could hold. Our group was given two pieces of timber and two plywood boards, as well as an array of nails, screws and tools. We decided to begin constructing our beam by sawing off one inch off each end of the timber pieces in order to use the subsequent blocks as reinforcement. This can be seen from the picture on the bottom; we decided to use the blocks in such a way that they sat between the bigger pieces of timber and were secured to them by screws. These blocks were put there to reduce major bending of the wooden beams.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

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Week 4 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis

Next we nailed on both the plywood boards onto the timber frame, putting four sets of nails on each side of the board all aong the frame, as can be seen from the picture to the left. We only did this on the side that would be receiving all the compression forces (i.e. the top side that can be seen in the picture on the right). The bottom side of our beam had much less nails, This is because we learnt that nails were strong under compression as opposed to tension, and that they caused splits in the wood, which under tension would be very likely to cause failiure in the beam.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

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Week 4 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis

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When we finally tested out beam, it was found that it could hold a load of about 250kg before failing. In the end, it was only the timber beams that actually broke as opposed to the plywood boards, which were only bent out of shape.

From the pictures above it can be seen where our beam failed and subsequently broke. In the picture on the right, it can be seen that the failiure was a direct cause of one of the nails on the bottom of the beam, which already made the wood weaker as they essentially presplit the timber in certain places.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

Upon reflection, we decided that it would have been a better idea to have compressed the materials of our beam into a more dense structure, thus making it more rigid and not leaving the gaps between the frame as possible weak spots. As well as this, we discovered that the less nails used, the better.

Studio Journal 4_640888  

Week 3 Studio Journal Constructing Environments University of Melbourne

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