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Timber connections

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Is there a rule of thumb on depth of penetration for fastening decking to
stringers?  I'm using 3x8 planking supported on 4x12's.  Do I just need to
check the withdrawal value?  
And, what if a member is only in compression?  How does one go about
determining the amt of penetration necessary to secure the connection?

Thanks for any assistance.

Candi Anderson, P.E.

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