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Thread: Sugar house loft joists size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Arcade ny
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    281

    Default Sugar house loft joists size

    Does anyone have sap tanks in a loft? I’m building a new sugar house it will be 24x36.
    I need a 500 gallon concentrate tank, probably store line and empty barrels in the loft. What centers on the joists and what size lumber for the joists?
    2019:250 gallons
    2020:324 gallons
    2021:?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
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    1,286

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    I used 4x8 rough sawn Hemlock 2' on center. My sugarhouse is only 20' wide. Wish it was 24 . Lol good luck with your design/build. If you use dimensional lumber i would just go 2x8/0r 2x10 , 1 foot on center.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    159

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    We built ours in 2019 and is a timber frame. We have a 300 gallon head tank and designed it to have two of them, one on each side of the loft. The joists are 8x8 three feet on center and clear span a 16’ opening. The 8x8s rest on a 8x14. The timberframer said tanks would not be an issue upstairs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wardensville, Wv
    Posts
    119

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    I have a set of plans with a timber frame loft, they call for 4x8 on 2ft center. I'd like to see pictures of people's head tanks in their lofts. I have a 200 gal zero tank to use, but I have room to go bigger. My shack will only be 14x16 though, might be snug, but wood storage, and equipment will be separate
    2021 - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    352

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    500 gallons is about 4500 pounds which is a lot of weight to have over your head. I got my concentrate tank in the loft over the kitchen-RO room at the end of our 16x34 sugarhouse. We used the UVM sugarhouse design and added 10 ft to the end for the heated kitchen room with the cold loft above. The loft joists span the 10 dimension for greater weight capacity supported by an internal bearing wall and the gable end. I was still concerned about the weight so I installed three pairs of heavy back-to-back steel angle sections for carrying the load. The angles are used 5x3x3/8 from a railroad bridge rehab project.
    Last edited by TapTapTap; 04-05-2021 at 06:35 AM. Reason: Corrected angle size
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    352

    Default

    20180305_165042.jpg

    Photo of my framing during construction.
    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,941

    Default

    As Ken said that is a lot of weight to have in a loft so proper design is key. I have a 250 gal. head tank supported by 4x8 rough hemlock but the span is only 7 ft. as I incorporated the framing of the heated room in my building to support the 4x8 joists. Spanning 24' without any posts or load bearing walls would require some very significant framing.

    So, perhaps you could consider the overall design of the building and whether or not you really need a completely open floor plan or if you could incorporate some other support to reduce the overall span distance.

    Another thing to consider is it can get pretty warm in a loft so it may be worth considering exactly how you plan to use the 500 gal. tank.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,286

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    My span is only 10 feet to the center, I have an approximate 1000 gallon tank up there , even at 8000lbs, that is only 55lbs per square foot with a 12x4 tank... there are plenty of calculators online that will help you determine what you need.

    https://www.awc.org/codes-standards/...tware/spancalc
    Last edited by n8hutch; 04-05-2021 at 12:06 PM.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canaan NH
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by calvertbrothers View Post
    Does anyone have sap tanks in a loft? I’m building a new sugar house it will be 24x36.
    I need a 500 gallon concentrate tank, probably store line and empty barrels in the loft. What centers on the joists and what size lumber for the joists?
    Not enough information. You need to specify the span and where the weight will be (middle vs. edges vs. all over.) Suggest an online calculator, they abound.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    150 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,579

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap
    Photo of my framing during construction.
    Like Ken, we have a couple of steel I-beams running under the rafters to avoid the need for posts, to support a few point loads (refrigerated bulk tank). and for a trolley system to lift and move the evaporator and accessories.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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