Column-to-beam connection hardware options - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-12-2016, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Column-to-beam connection hardware options

I'm designing my own patio cover. This will be freestanding, with four 6x6 or 8x8 columns (posts) and two 6x10 or 8x10 beams. It will be about 12'x15' in overall size. I'm planning to use off-the-shelf connection hardware (mostly Simpson), And I'm wondering which type of connection hardware is "best", or at least, what are the pros and cons of each. We have the T and L plates, the column cap, and the heavy gusseted angle to consider. I've attached pics of each to illustrate. I like the look of the heavy gusseted angle, but I can't seem to find many examples of these in actual structures so I'm wondering why they aren't more popular. And yes I'm going to use knee braces, but I'd still like to use the connector with the best lateral force capacity. The T and L straps, and the heavy gusseted angles are rated for lateral force, but the column caps are not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-18-2016, 07:44 PM
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Whats "Best" is to not use hardware but instead use joinery. (not what you wanted to hear I'm guessing)

The few projects I worked on that used hardware on timber frames were all custom made heavy steel, I don't think I've ever seen simpson brand of the same robust quality (I'm not doubting they make acceptable hardware for your application, I'm sure it would work for a time) But the right way to join Posts into girts/connectors is mortise and tenon joinery, pegged.

That hardware is for "pole barn" quality building. It may last as long as you need but it will not look as well. I don't know if its because of lower quality wood often used in pole barns (?), but I've never seen an old pole barn that was not pretty twisted.

This is just an old ex-timber framers opinion...use proper joinery.
(I spent some of my best yrs cutting frames, pounding pegs and praying I never fell off the rafters.)
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 01:41 AM
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I agree with Rdog, mortise and tenon joints are your best option. Use two dowels per joint and glue to make a permanent & unbreakable connection. It also looks better than hardware brackets.

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post #4 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 07:23 AM
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You do not say where you live. That is important because you need to know if this structure is going to be subject to high winds or other external forces. You say it will be free standing so I assume you do not live in hurricane country.

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
I'm designing my own patio cover. This will be freestanding, with four 6x6 or 8x8 columns (posts) and two 6x10 or 8x10 beams. It will be about 12'x15' in overall size. I'm planning to use off-the-shelf connection hardware (mostly Simpson), And I'm wondering which type of connection hardware is "best", or at least, what are the pros and cons of each. We have the T and L plates, the column cap, and the heavy gusseted angle to consider. I've attached pics of each to illustrate. I like the look of the heavy gusseted angle, but I can't seem to find many examples of these in actual structures so I'm wondering why they aren't more popular. And yes I'm going to use knee braces, but I'd still like to use the connector with the best lateral force capacity. The T and L straps, and the heavy gusseted angles are rated for lateral force, but the column caps are not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Not a structural engineer but once built a cabin for which I had to hire one. The cabin used actual trees for the main posts to support the ridge beam, and we wanted the simplest connection that would meet code. That turned out to be a 'kerf plate', where a steel plate was inserted into the top of the tree (post) and then morticed into the beam. We used 2 bolts in the tree and 2 in the beam, so all you saw was 4 bolts each tree-to-beam connection.
The first image is the can, I don't have a good image of the connection. The second I pulled off Google and it is similar except we didn't have the gap to show off the steel plate- we wanted to see the most wood and the least steel.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 10:26 AM
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You didn't say what materials you were using. Generally with a structure like that the only real problem is how you have it fastened to the ground. You could use joints or a lot of different fasteners to prevent the wind from pulling the roof off but not fastened well to the ground you would soon see the structure leaning. I prefer to set posts 3' in concrete in the ground
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 10:54 AM
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free standing patio "cover" ?

Will it be open to the sky or roofed over? If it's open, then no need to worry about any type of wind or weather. If it's roofed over, then wind may play some role as far as lifting off under certain conditions. If you tie it to the posts as you describe, that probably won't be a huge issue. I would not go to all the bother to make mortised joinery, it's just a patio cover. The H-D Simpson Strong Tie braces and brackets I find have a nice appeal, and I've seen plenty of high end timber frame houses where they are used OR hand wrought blacksmith made types. It's just a patio cover......

So, is the 12' X 15' free space OR are the posts going to be inside that? because the span will be less if that's the case. A sketch would be helpful.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 10:56 AM
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Brian J

That's a very contemporary looking design. What I don't get is why the beams are"floating" above the posts, rather than resting on them????


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-19-2016, 02:44 PM
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[QUOTE=woodnthings;1413362]That's a very contemporary looking design. What I don't get is why the beams are"floating" above the posts, rather than resting on them????


The first image is my cabin, and there the beam sat right on the post, no floating.
The second image, from google, only reason for the floating detail is because the designer thought it would look cool. It is slightly weaker than if they were in contact. Earlier posts suggested mortice and tenon and a kerf plate is a metal 'loose tenon' into two mortices, so it's similar.
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