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RE: heavy timber frame

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Thank you.  I’ve never designed a timber frame without some kind of bracing… I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t “way off base”.  We’ve suggested the cantilevered column option, but they are trying to work with an existing slab and want to avoid cutting it out.





-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Yousefi [mailto:Ben.Yousefi(--nospam--at)SMGOV.NET]
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 3:36 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: heavy timber frame


Lateral bracing is not only an issue for seismic loading. This type of structure (Like the patio cover in my backyard) could easily move and seem unstable by a good hand shaking. If the client doesn’t want knee bracing, you can embed the posts in deep footings and make them cantilevered columns.


Ben Yousefi, SE

Santa Monica, CA


From: Bruce Holcomb [mailto:bholcomb(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 1:26 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: heavy timber frame


I have been asked to review a heavy timber frame which will be located inside of a retail store and will serve as a canopy over a snack bar.  The drawings I received showed 8x8 posts, 8x12 beams and 4x10 purlins… all of Cedar.  I see nothing providing lateral stability for the structure.  Even though it is inside another building, I want to make sure it doesn’t fall over when the first tired customer leans against a post, so I added 6x6 knee braces, lag screwed into the beams and columns.  The knee braces extend 2’-0” from the inside of the beam / column joint each way.  The client had a fit… they don’t want any additional bracing.


The beams and columns are typically connected with ¼” steel kerf plates.  Has anyone built this kind of structure without additional bracing?  Basically, the ¼” kerf plates create a moment joint?  The timber framer has said he wanted to change the kerf plates to mortise and tenon joints… will that create some lateral stability?


I’m not too concerned about seismic… it’s in the Midwest, but I may have to produce calcs to provide to the city reviewer.  I want to make sure I can “prove” the structure is laterally stable.



Bruce D. Holcomb