Driving around southern Missouri we found another sawmill this time for hardwoods dealing with mostly pallets and flooring. They let us pick out some beautiful 2×6 and larger boards for $1 each.
Above is my bedroom loft before the beam and below is after. We planed the hardwood boards and cut them down to the 3″ thickness of the panel. We sandwiched the beam between two other pieces of wood and drilled / screwed and glued them together. Instead of staining the wood I decided to bring out the natural grains with a conditioning wood wax oil product. I used teak oil on some of the cedar.
We used the router to cut a small notch on either side of the beam for the wires. It took some work to get them all aligned in the notch, but it looks much cleaner now.