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The 6x6 vertical post in my garage has a 1 inch gap between the top and the main beam running through the center of my house, making it mostly useless for supporting anything. Someone shoved a few screws in at some point.

I'd like to make this truly load-bearing again. I might think to replace it entirely, but it's embedded within the concrete floor.

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Can I just shove some steel shims in the top until it's tight? Maybe raising it a bit with a jack post and lowering it onto the shims once more? Or should I replace the whole post, I guess jackhammering the log out and re-cementing that area?

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    I would insert some wood wedges
    – Traveler
    Dec 1, 2022 at 2:44

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Rip a 2x6 about 12 inches long from corner to corner (of the 1.5"x12" face) so you have two wedges tapering from essentially nothing to 1.5 inches thick, 5.5 inches wide and 12" long. Use a 2x8 if your 6" post is actually 6", not 5.5" as "modern" ones are, and trim it down to match the post.

Place the pointy ends of the wedges into the gap, and drive the ends in evenly from both sides until tight. Then reinforce with steel plates and/or brackets nailed in, tying it together.

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  • Would you affix the steel plate/bracket between the shims and the post, or from the post itself to the beam? Dec 1, 2022 at 4:01
  • The plates/brackets should be on the sides of the post and beam.
    – longneck
    Dec 1, 2022 at 4:52
  • if in seismic zone ensure a good post to beam connection. simpson strongtie has good retrofit connectors Dec 1, 2022 at 4:57
  • Most of the "post cap" products assume no space between the post and beam, so the longer generic repair plates on the side may be better for that part. Angle brackets from the post to where the wedges stick out, with nails long enough to go through both wedges into the beam would supplement that on the other faces.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 1, 2022 at 13:03
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    @podcastfan88 The lag screws that were inserted as an attempt to fix this will, of course, need to be removed first.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 1, 2022 at 13:39

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