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RE: Wood design values for vintage building

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For species determination get in touch with the Forest Products Lab:
Send them a sample.

The main web site is:

Once you know the species, you can get a copy of the appropriate grading rules. The grading authorities are listed in the NDS.

I have found that professional graders doing a visual grading are no better than anyone else just using the appropriate grading rule book.

Once you have the species and the grade, you can use the NDS to determine properties.

Regarding connectors, I am not familiar with the Gupley Model 75R. I would suggest that you look at "Wood Structures A Design and Commentary", ASCE 1975, Chapter 9. They list resources for all of the connectors I have ever researched. You can also talk to the Forest Products Lab. They can help you with anything related to wood.

I used the FPL many times over the years. They were even helpful on some wood structures I assessed in Germany.

Harold Sprague

From: "Sherman, William" <ShermanWC(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Wood design values for vintage building
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 12:49:46 -0400

Can someone who performs wood grading provide a realistic assessment of
wood species and grade for design purposes for existing in-place timbers
- e.g., by visual examination of circa 1910 heavy timber construction?
And is there any source for estimated capacities of old proprietary
timber connectors (e.g., "Gupley Model 75R")?

William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

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