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HSS column splice

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OK, my two cents worth:
I have called for and had executed, welded butt splices for HSS shapes.  They put straight backer bars in, as long as they could be between the rounded corners.  The flats of the sides thus got a full-pen weld.  At the rounded corners, they ground a bevel on one piece (the top piece), and executed a partial-pen weld.  If appearance matters, I would recommend this.
If the splice will be hidden, I would use 4 angles, L2 1/2x2 1/2x5/16, fillet welded all around.  This completely eliminates fit-up concerns.  Two angles can be shop welded on each piece, and will serve as alignment guides for field erection.  This is by far the simplest splice if looks don't matter.
The idea of fitting a tube inside to act as an all-around backup bar, I'm sure, could be done.  But I don't think the pain is worth it.
Mike Hemstad
Minneapolis, Minnesota
From: "Dave Gaines" <>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: FPW - HSS column splice
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Why not do a full pen weld of the two sections?
----- Original Message -----=20
From: Joe Grill=20
To: 'seaint'=20
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 3:05 PM
Subject: HSS column splice
I'm doing a column splice detail. I'm told that lengths over 20' in a =
5x5 tube steel aren't available around here. The splice will be just =
above a floor diaphragm, and I will be able to block the column into the =
floor framing pretty well. I'm considering using a sleeve from a =
section of HSS that is larger than the column section.
Anyway, will an HSS 5x5 fit inside an HSS 5.5x5.5x1/4 sleeve? Has =
anybody else out there done this?=20
A better fix would be a sleeve inside your column that would serve as a
backup bar. You could do a CP joint from the outside. The sleeve could be an
HSS section or a bent plate.
I have seen HSS columns CP welded to girder flanges without a backup bar but
not a column splice. I'm sure it could be done, though.
Another option would be a cap plate between the lower shaft and the upper.