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joint hanger vs wooden joint strength

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member) Chopstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default joint hanger vs wooden joint strength

    Not sure any anyone is able to comment about this but I am currently looking at building a pergola and I prefer the aesthetic look of having the rafters recessed into the beams, but I am a little concerned it would then be reliant on the strength of a few skewed nails vs the strength of the preformed joist hangers.

    Can anyone suggest any alternative fixing methods that would maintain the 'wooden' look (one so far was to angle the recess similar dovetail type joint, but my understanding is this would only assist with lateral movement rather than uplift).

    Any ideas appreciated.

    PS I purchased the alan staines book for assistance with design and spans etc and highly recommend it.

  2. #2
    A Member of the Holy Trinity echnidna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    We just used skew nails in the old days before steel brackets.
    Skew nail joints are quite strong
    If you want to make a skew nail joint a bit stronger there are several options
    1. Put a coachscrew through the fascia from the back.
    2. Use woodscrews instead of nails - drill the holes so the screws dont split the timber
    Bob Thomas

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  3. #3
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Kuranda, paradise, North Qld


    If it's exposed to the weather I'd avoid any type of rebated joint as it will just preovide a point for water to collect and cause rot. If it's protected from the weather then like Echidna says, screws will be fine.

    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  4. #4
    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Kilmore, near Melbourne, Australia


    Hi and welcome to the forum! You'll find a huge amount of knowledge here and should have fun!

    what kind of look are you wanting to achieve with your Pergola? If Arts & Crafts or Post n Beam look, then there is a range of books available to make it truly a thing of beauty. Do you have a pic of a finished one that you would like to copy, that you could post?

    What material do you want to use? and what is the span of the structure?

    Have fun!
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)

    ....catchy phrase here

  5. #5
    Apprentice (new member) Chopstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Well, at this stage it is intended to be a L shaped hip roof attached to the house, with a span of about 5m, the the lengths of the L being 10m and 8m repectively. I was originally leaning towards wood that I could stain and get some nice wood colour happening, maybe cypress, but I think realistically it will end up being treated pine and I will just paint it especially from a maintainance perspective.
    The structure will be roofed so exposure to the weather should be minimal.

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