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Author Topic: Girts and Fastening Method  (Read 814 times)

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Offline CJSteves

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Girts and Fastening Method
« on: April 01, 2022, 12:25:47 PM »
I知 building my first frame on my own and I知 taking care of some of the last things I need to do before I start sheathing and I have a question about girts and fastening.

To be clear (and as will probably be evident from my photo 😂 ) I am not a professional timber framer. I have a day job in the heavy industrial/power construction world and I haven稚 worked as a timber framer in almost 15 years, back when I was in college.

I mortised in my horizontal girts on the main floor of my frame mostly so I could use them for temporary support during assembly of the frame without having to hold them up with braces and fasten them immediately.

I am now getting ready to set my last few rafters, plumb and tighten everything up one more time, make any last adjustments, and peg the final joints and I want to fasten my girts from the outside in before I start sheathing. The company I first worked with where I started learning about timber framing would sink a 5 ring shank nail through the post and tongue of the girt before we started hanging exterior sheathing. That痴 what I planned to do on my frame, then started having second thoughts.

What would you all do in this situation? I知 debating using a 5-6 GRK type structural screw in lieu of the ring shank nail for superior 塗olding power, but I知 not convinced of which would be better for the future in the event that someone ever needs to remove it years and years down the road.

I will attach a photo with some red circles around the joints in question where I知 considering fastening them girts to the post.

Please note that there are many things left to do on my frame and I知 still working on setting the last pieces, making final adjustments, pulling things together, and putting in the final pegs. I say this to warn you that I知 sure you experienced framers are going to find many, many deficiencies in my project. But I知 single handedly doing it all myself, so hey, I知 happy with it so far.  

Any suggestions from the group?

Offline CJSteves

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2022, 12:36:24 PM »
 

 Hopefully this time my photo will show up

Offline CJSteves

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2022, 01:32:35 PM »
I also just wanted to clarify that I did some searching to see if I could find a similar question already posted, and I came across this thread form the past:

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=42133.0

Unfortunately, I don稚 think it addressed the exact question I知 considering, so I figured it was OK to proceed with posting. 

Offline rusticretreater

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2022, 04:40:13 PM »
Theoretically, your girts should be pretty snug in their mortises as they sit.  But hey, we know how that goes.  Don't worry about future issues.  Do you doubt that your work will stand the test of time? :)

Tree nails(wood spikes), large pegs, round shank nails, or lag bolts will all suffice.  I hardly ever use nails anymore as they tend to pop over the years.  The purist in me says tree nails or large pegs.  As its gonna be covered, you can go with lag screws and a flat washer under the head.

And if still worry about future issues, a lag bolt can be removed or tightened down even more.
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Offline CJSteves

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2022, 07:59:17 PM »
Thank you @rusticretreater ! 

Haha, I have faith in my work, but I also know I知 still a rank novice and have made so many mistakes that I知 also trying not to screw whoever owns this place in 100 years if they need to 都ervice something. 

Thank you for the advice, I think I値l probably go with a threaded fastener after your comments about nails popping. 

Offline Don P

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2022, 08:49:55 PM »
Of the easy to drive stuff Ledgerloks have I think the largest diameter, which should translate to higher shear numbers.

If you're going into the weeds deep, google the "ESR", engineering services report for any of the fancy newer screws, old school lags, bolts and nail numbers are on the awc website in the NDS.
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Offline CJ

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2022, 01:40:57 PM »
Personally, I would worry less about the girts than I would the rafters. However, if you are looking for input, I would use the either the GRK's or the Simpson Strong-Tie structural screws. They have plenty of tensile strength and for future reasons would be easy to extract. Nails? Not so much. Furthermore, from your photo it looks as though the posts are well secured to the foundation wall and the top plate being one piece is good and solid holding everything in place. What more would the girts do other than maybe possible bowing from the posts? That's how I would do it, but everyone else has their own ideas. Cheers!

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2022, 02:08:05 PM »
Call these guys: Leading Manufacturer of Steel Backed Timber Guardrail Systems in Knoxville TN, ask for the log sales guy. They have great prices and that guy sells what he knows. Also, amazon has about half dozen, or so brands to play with. Simpson screws are the highest price brand sold from my own searches. GRK seems close to SPAX in screws, price & specs. Others are just as strong and less bucks in same sizes-IMO. ;D 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2022, 03:36:41 PM »
You know what happens when you assume. Look for that ESR # on the box, there is junk out there.
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2022, 08:40:07 AM »
I tried some no brand, long log screws and they broke. All of the epoxy coated timber screws I've used seem OK.  Today I'm building the White Oak top on my hay wagon running gear. The 6' top boards are screwed with bulk bought #14x 3", epoxy exterior, torx, self-drilling, lag screws. These ones came from Jakes's who sells via a web store and Amazon too. They are one of several sellers I alluded to previously and sell well below box store prices. No doubt they by in bulk, repackage them into various consumer packs ranging from small to large. Once removed from the original bulk box there is no certification on them left. They are made in Taiwan. In my shop I have more Jakes, SPAX, Power Pro(often sold in hardware stores and box stores) Timberworks from Billings MT and all function fine. 
The only screws have had issues with are two: One I bought from ebay is SS but magnetic, has a painted head which matched the extruded alu I used for my screened in porch job. They tend to easily pop the heads, but realtively light duty, 1" screws which I could angle a 2nd screw using the same hole. The other screw I had issues with was a non-magnetic SS, sq drive screw bought to fasten 1" actual ERC flooring to an old oak porch floor. They are soft and it became obvious a pre-drilled screw hole was badly needed, but not wasted, just a PITA with the 4x4 railings and the larger, same source screws.
As a former aviation mechanic I'm very much aware of fastener grades but have had zero issues with the screws I've bought and saved money with over the overpriced box store fasteners.  
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Offline Don P

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2022, 11:05:08 PM »
There's been a few threads recently where we seem to be talking apples and oranges. For the uses you describe, yup, I'll use anything. If it fails a bale of hay might die. My comments were about building with them... no way. It doesn't matter what you "think", no documentation, that is not a safe fastener for load bearing construction. The difference can be sub 36ksi to well over 100ksi steel. If I'm using the tables for a real structural screw and saving a few cents to get 1/3 strength, we have a problem.

When it doesn't matter, yup cheaping out is fine. I rarely have them on hand. I think I pay around a buck a screw for Fastenmasters locally. It is listed, I have approved documentation and easy to use tables. All this sizing of beams, as if that was the gorilla in the room ;). Look at most building failures, it is at or related to the connections. The beam math gives me the loads I'm looking to exceed in those tables.

The reason I usually don't have cheap structural screw look-alikes around is obvious, mix ups. But, right now I have 2-300 rated screws floating around the job. Most have Multiple uses on them, we've been shoring and reshoring our tails off. They are my cheap screws, if I need to hold 2 parts together with no real load, that is their final resting place. If it is a location that needs a rated screw, that designed beam or whatever needed a connection of a known capacity. That is not cheap or used. That connection gets a new screw. Where you are holding somebody else up several stories in the air, this stuff does matter.

I was in the building supply one morning. The owner was talking to a fastener salesman, introduced us, and handed me a pretty gold plated structuralish screw.

"What do you think of that?"
"I dunno, its pretty. Is there an esr for it?"
The salesman of course sells pretty gold screws, I could have been speaking greek.
I explained the situation to them both. I cannot use an unlisted fastener in a building. There it is folks, now I know and that is how I respond... what you do about what you know is what really matters. So now you know.
I had to go but the salesman was busy talking to the home office when I left.

I saw the pretty gold screws in the bin one time, and then I saw a new display of real fasteners with the esr# on the box. I know what the owner of the building supply did with what he knows. So I trade with him whenever I can.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2022, 08:35:24 AM »
Remind me again, what is an esr#?

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Offline Southside

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2022, 08:48:31 AM »
Funny, I read "Grits and Fasting" as the title and was about to toss this in the woodshed for being inappropriate content, then I recognized the true craftsmanship in how those timbers were sawn.  :D Looks great.

You found the experts for your question. I will return to the saw now. Great job! 

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Offline Don P

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2022, 08:55:47 AM »
An Engineering Services Report, code approval.
Don't trust the term "code approved" read the report, approved for what.
Here is one I use often;
https://www.fastenmaster.com/?file=tl_files/fastenmaster2015/documents/files/_catalog_files/ESR-1078.pdf
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2022, 06:42:40 PM »
DonP:
Thanks for post that. I downloaded it.

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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Girts and Fastening Method
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2022, 10:45:53 AM »
In the interest of being helpful & informative, I took a look at several of my shop's wood screw containers. I then googled the ICC-ES report facts for the brands lacking any indication of the screws being what I'll call a tested screw. Of the ones I have on hand that aren't marked but having ICC-ES  approvals: SPAX, Big Timber, Midwest fasteners & Hillman Groups screws are all OK. 
My larger point is that containers often don't say they are ICC-ER fasteners. 
Jakes Screws- (I have some of these) an online seller has many screws listed, but not all from the same mfg. source and I don't see the ICC-ES report thing but they do list engineering specs that exceed the values I see for similar screws that are ICC listed. 
In skimming through and ICC=ES report on a screw I've been using these past few days, it's instructive that proper installation of a screw matters for the fastener to perform at it's best. 
A great e.g. for use or misuse of a tested screw is the joist hanger screws.
 
 From what I've found, only two companies make a proper screw, per labelling, for metal joist hangers:
 Simpson SD Connector screws and MITEK LL915 & LL930 screws. They are pricey so I looked at these screws from Jake's on hand. 
 These Jake's are #9, exterior coated, torx, wafer/washer head screws and their shear, pullout and bending factors are listed on the website. They show numbers that exceed what Simpson and Mitek call for on their own tables for their hangers. Just saying, not advocating you should use them to build a dog house or whatever.  ;D 

Bad screws: I began to tear down a set of stairs on one of our porches yesterday. I built them from PT wood over 15 years ago and used what were sold as bulk deck screws for PT wood at a local lumber yard for the treads.  Many of the screws were rusted so badly as to break or lack full threads when I attempted to pull them out. I've seen hot dipped nails hold up much better in PT.  One stringer was broken in half at the point I'd used a SS bolt to hold a hand-rail post made from ERC. 
 
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