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RE: Site Built Wood Trusses

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If there is on-site fabrication, I have the tendency to drop wood material
entirely and go with steel.  This goes back to my comfort level and it is
still fairly easy to incorporate steel with wood construction.  The
connections are easier to detail and even easier for the contractor to
understand.  This isn't to say that the contractor isn't capable of
fabricating wood joists, but there is still a concern.  Furthermore, going
with steel, you can certainly cut down on the amount of trusses needed for
the roof.  I also think that you will get a longer lasting roof than with
conventional wood construction.  Just my opinion, though.

If you want to stick with wood construction, my advice would be to detail
the snot out of your trusses and their connections.  Normally, when
detailing a wood truss to be shop fabricated, axial loads are supplied and
the fabricator uses machine graded lumber.  You don't have the luxury of
this should the contractor "field assemble" the trusses, as you will now
have to specify material type and size.  Also, maybe consider using exterior
steel plates and bolts instead of nails for your connections.  I think this
would simplify the connection and eliminate a little bit of worry that you
might have.

That's what I've got.  Not knowing exactly what you're dealing with (details
and such), I can't really sink my teeth into it.  I hope what I have said
helps, though.

Dave Maynard, PE
Gillette, Wyoming

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Acie Chance [mailto:achance(--nospam--at)lacsd.org]
> Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 9:50 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Site Built Wood Trusses
>
>
> Hi
>
>      I am designing the roof for a small agricultural building where the
> owner want no interior walls or columns.  This is a perfect place to  use
> wood truss.  The owner has not been able to locate a local truss
> manufacture
> who is interested in doing the work.  First if any one has contacts for a
> wood truss manufacturer in the Bakersfield Ca., I could use the name and
> phone number.  Second the owner wants the option to have his
> contractor make
> the wood trusses.  The calculations for the members is straight forward
> however the connections are not.  Connection plates made from sheet metal
> and nails seams the best way.  I am concerned with the ability of the
> contractor to make the sheet metal connection plates and there cost.  The
> plates seam large due to the number of nails required.   I would like to
> know what others have done for the connections for on site built trusses.
>
>     Thanks in advance
>     Acie Chance
>
>
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