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RE: Connections

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I have recently rejoined this list and missed most of the connection thread so I will add my $0.02.


I have been a structural detailer for the past 42 years. I served a government sponsored 5 year apprenticeship, did the school, shop and field learning and was granted certification from the Department of Labor.


            During my apprenticeship and for some years following, I was taught connection design and all the required formulae needed to produce economical connections. I doubt there is anything in the Steel    

            Construction Manual that I was not taught.


            In those days, it was a requirement that the detailers do all of the connections on a project, regardless of complexity. The connections would of course be checked, usually by the checkers (former detailers).

            If a connection was in doubt, it would be reviewed by a designer and if there were still an issue, it would be sent to an Engineer for resolution.


            With the end of the apprenticeship program and the advent of the computer guru with his 3D software, the quality of detailing has taken a nosedive and detailers can no longer be trusted to design

            connections. With my passing and the passing of those who were trained in the same manner, it will be mandatory for Engineers to show all connections on their drawings.


              Regards, Dave                           


-----Original Message-----
From: THunt(--nospam--at) [mailto:THunt(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 11:46 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Connections


One thing I would caution is the statement that the fabricator will provide the most economical connection.  This is only moderately true when the structural fabricator is also the erector.  Where the fabricator is only suppling the steel (erection by others) they will design the connections so they are economical to fabricate in the shop but not necessarily to erect in the field.  I remember a Texas fabricator who came up with a set of standard connections which were basically weldless.  Every connection was a nightmare of bolted angles and plates.  One connection had 26 pieces!!  This was great for the fabricator since he only had to cut and punch.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting

"Gary Hodgson & Associates" <ghodgson(--nospam--at)>

11/27/2003 05:43 AM

Please respond to






Re: Connections





Having the fabricator's engineer design and stamp shop drawings is a
plague up here.  Many consultants specify this under the mistaken
impression that this relieves them of responsibility for the design
of connections.  There is something to be said for having the
fabricator choose his own connections because he will choose the most
economical, easy to install connections suitable for his schedule.  
However, it is important, crucial even, that the designer review
these connections.  I do so but there are others that do not.  To
those people, I usually say one thing: "Kansas City Hyatt Hotel".  
They need to read their building code and their performance

Gary Hodgson, P.Eng.
Niagara Falls, ON

On 26 Nov 2003 at 13:03, John P. Riley wrote:

> What are the thoughts about the EOR leaving all structural steel
> connections, including moment connections, up to the fabricator,
> requiring design by a registered structural engineer, of course?  I
> used to think this was shirking one's duty, but I'm in the process of
> rethinking it.
> For me, moment connections can be time-consuming.  And since the
> fabricator may desire a different scheme than I present, due to his
> in-house capabilities, I might have to revisit the connections during
> the shop drawing phase, effectively designing them twice.
> My personal feeling is that structural engineers expend greater
> technical effort per dollar fee than some design professionals; it
> almost seems justified to split the connections off.  It's certainly
> not significantly different than letting someone else design our
> trusses for us, joists and joist girders.  You have to draw the line
> somewhere.
> And I need to make up my mind about this quickly; I'm about ready to
> do this dirty deed on a current fastrack project.
> JPRiley
> PS:  I've been away from the list for quite some time.  Sorry if this
> has been adequately covered in the past.

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