In several carpentry books I saw ring joints for connecting framing members
with bolts. They look like short pieces of 2" pipe with a split. They are
centered in a groove around the bolt to carry more load than the bolt
itself. I have not been able to find them.
I need them to build a flat truss to span 32'. After reading much about
failing nail plates in commercial trusses and having trouble finding a
reasonable source for it I decided to overbuild it and make it myself. I
want to connect the pieces of the top and bottom cords from 2x6x16 (three
layers) with staggered joints in points of minimum stress. I will glue the
layers as well.
Split rings have become less popular with the advent of modern adhesives,
but if you are using rough sawn lumber they can give you a much stronger
joint. They are pretty labor intensive.
Your idea about slicing a pipe was right on the money. That is how you
make split rings. Then assemble your joint, drill it for a bolt,
disassemble it and use the bolt hole as a pilot for a ring cutter,
cutting to 1/3 the wood thickness. A split ring to attach a pair of
finish 2x12s would be 1" x 3" x 1/4". 1/2" of the ring would be bedded
in each 2x12 when the joint is assembled and bolted back together.
If you have smooth wood surfaces, just slather some weldwood in there and
bolt it, adding a few nails to clinch up any loose spots. The result
will be just as strong, and it will only take 1/3 the labor. You are
right not to trust clamp nails. If you want to use conventional nails,
you can use a nail that penetrates through 1/2" and clinch it over cross
Some truss manufacturers still use the old style plywood gussets and
glue. The disadvantage of plywood was if the truss took a lot of weather
before the roof went on. Sometimes the plywood would start to
delaminate. A really modern truss manufacturer would use engineered
members for the cord and rafters, so there would be no joints in the cord
and the only joint in the rafters would be at the peak.
You can trust a quality commercial truss. Of course, you can trust a
home built truss too, though it is likely to cost more.
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