Today we’re going to look at how Steel is used in Timber Framing. While the traditional joinery techniques that are used in Timber Framing are strong and secure, sometimes steel connections are used to reinforce connections in particularly large structures or when there’s a heavy wind or snow load. Other times, steel connections are added purely for their aesthetic value.
From a purely visual perspective, steel connectors on a wood timber frame evoke a certain industrial style that some people enjoy. They definitely add a different look and feel to a traditional rustic timber frame, by channeling a vintage, industrial factory aesthetic. The steel connections can be galvanized or powder coated in a variety of colors to change their look and style further.
Steel connector plates also allow heavy timber to span great distances by supporting a large amount of structural load. The gusset plates are bolted together and connected to the timber with 3/4” and 1” bolts. Sometimes shear plates are placed behind the steel to increase the structural capacity of the connection. All the steel connections we use at Vermont Timber Works are custom designed and engineered to fit the requirements and specifications of each project.
For all our steel connections, we work closely with a local Vermont steel fabricator that we have had a relationship with for years. unfortunately, We do not individually fabricate or sell custom steel plates or gussets here at Vermont Timber Works unless we are also supplying a heavy timber package. If you are looking for steel plates or gussets for your own project, you can try The online retailer, Simpson Strong-Tie. Or you can do a google search for local steel fabricators near you.
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