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Community and Q&A

Nail holding power, when building your own trusses

wjrobinson | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I have taken several homes apart over the years that were constructed with green western fir two by stock. And I noticed something quite alarming. One when you tried to reuse the wood it was so hard that air nailing was the preferred way to send a nail home. But the other part is what really concerned me. The old existing nails could pull out so easy that many would almost drop out of the wood.

After finding this out, I started to find rafter collar ties peeled loose in many attic spaces.

So what I started doing next and do now is use bolts (along with nails) much more often in areas where things need to stay together.

I bring this up here because so many now are trying to go green. And one of the green ideas is to build your own trusses. Larsen Trusses, or whatever. I just am reading the JLC article here;

If you look at these drawings there are many plywood gussetts. They are all nailed in place most likely though there is no mention that I found of attachment methods.

Anyway… most likely there is little going on at this plate area to work the gussetts loose but I don’t know myself. And don’t know how much load is going through any of this area. Mostly used to keep things spaced and not really loaded highly.

Oh… and I have not found kiln dried SPF to be nearly the same though I only find SPF framing wood to be supplied here in the Northeast and not anywhere else I have built.

Anyone else notice how easy it is to pull a nail from dry western wood when reconstructing a home?

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  1. Dan Kolbert | | #1

    Set your mind at ease - those gussets are purely to deepen the rafter space and aren't structural at all.

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