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NDS- Nails

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The Commentary to the 1997 National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood
Construction outlines spacing, end, and edge distance requirements for wood
screws and nails in Chapters 11 (Table C11.4-1) and 12 (Table C12.4-1),

For the particular application outlined below, Table C12.4-1 would show the
following assuming no "preboring":

2.5d	Edge distance			
15d	End distance - tension		
10d	End distance - compression 	
15d	Spacing between fasteners in a row - parallel to grain
10d	Spacing between fasteners in a row - perpendicular to grain
5d	Spacing between rows of fasteners - in line
2.5d	Spacing between rows of fasteners - staggered


Buddy Showalter, P.E.


From: "Andrew D. Kester" <andrew(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: NDS- Nails

According to the 97 NDS, Section 12.4.1, Placement of Nails and Spikes -Edge
Distance, End Distance, and Spacing- "..for nails and spikes shall be
sufficient to prevent splitting of the wood."

Well, that seems logical and easy enough for when I am building shelves for
my garage or adding on a deck to my house, but putting that on a detail
makes me a little uneasy. Also, I have a decent sized load on a connection I
am designing. What I need is a numerical rule of thumb. What I have decided
to do, besides basing this on my own experience in carpentry, is to use the
min. values based on the diameter that are given for bolts and lag screws.

This gives some pretty small but rather logical numerical values. The only
reason I could think that these would not directly apply is that bolts and
lag screws usually use pre-drilled holes, while nails almost never do. So
for splitting purposes, this would not necessarily apply. But if the wood
does not split, then the spacings and edge/end distances derived from the
bolt/screw guidelines should logically apply to another circular, steel
connector, a nail, if I use the same diameters.

I am particularly concerned with this connection as it involves a parallel
to grain tension member connected at the end. I am planning on using 6+ 16d
nails for this connection. It is a 2x8 and a 2x6, with the 2x8 vertical, and
the 2x6 at a diagonal connected at the center of the 2x8 (the 2x6 is a
diagonal brace for the 2x8 which is a gable end stud).

Does this make any sense? Any recommendations or suggestions? When you guys
get back from your New Year's parties I will look for an answer, but take it
with a grain of salt due to the "Champagne Factor" :)

Thanks in advance,
Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL

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