Author: Susan

Dai goes to the source

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From Daizen News 1 March 2012

Part of an exchange Dai had with Max Closen, of My-Ti-Con Timber Connectors.

“Hi Max, at December’s CWC engineer workshop in Kelowna, I was surprised by your placing of anchor screws from the main posts. I would always insert screws from the floor beam side, like a spike, but your method makes more sense.

I believe others think as I do. Can you explain for my readers why it’s better to send the anchor screw in from the main post that receives the floor beam?”—Dai

Max says,

Here’s why. Fig. 1 below shows a typical joist-to-beam connection with ASSY structural wood screws installed at an angle. Installing screws on an angle uses their strongest property: withdrawal resistance.

Fig. 1. Insertion, at angles, of ASSY wood screws.

Commonly, screw-type fasteners are not driven into the wood on an angle but instead positioned perpendicular to a member’s surface. In perpendicular insertion, the weakest property of a screw-type fastener, its dowel action, is in force. A simple experiment can explain the difference.


  1. Take a ¼ x 4-in. wood screw and drive half of its length into the wood. Now bend the screw over. Notice how easy it was to bend the screw.
  2. Take a second screw and drive it into the wood under the same conditions. Now try to pull that screw out. As you saw, the screw didn’t want to come out from the wood. The same principle applies for the connection shown in Fig. 1, where the screw is driven in on an angle to the wood grain of the joist.

The two blue arrows in Fig. 1 indicate the correct direction for screw installation in order to maximize its capacity in this connection. The starting point of installation—whether from the top of the beam or the bottom of the joist—is up to the installer.

The red arrow indicates the least efficient installation direction. Installing the fastener as shown in red will not put the screw in tension and therefore will not use the screw’s high withdrawal resistance.

The range of the installation angle  between the wood grain of the joist member and the screw axis is typically  (Fig. 2). Here you see an application of the basic trigonometric functions we all learned in high school (a2 + b2 = c2).

Fig. 2.  Definition of angle  .

I caution against installing screws at angles smaller than 30°. As the angle decreases between the wood grain and the fastener axis, end grain application occurs and reduced capacities must be considered.—Max

ASSY structural wood screws are made in Germany by SWG Production, a  member of the  WURTH Group. Statements made here are to the best knowledge and understanding of the author and shall be confirmed by the structural engineer of record of the project. My-Ti-Con Timber Connectors Inc. and its owners assume no liability.

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Timber accents: brackets

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From Daizen News 1 March 2011

The new Daizen timber accents system is proving out very well. Our Timber Accents Design Guide has been much-requested and well-received.  Accents available include beam ends, brackets, and trusses. Here is a look at the brackets section of the guide.

For an idea of how to use it, here are a few excerpts from the Brackets section. The page above shows the four basic bracket designs available; once you choose the bracket, you then choose from a wide variety of sizes, and from five different beam ends.

To order a bracket, you simply specify (1) the bracket design, (2) the size you want (for your convenience, recommended sizes are included), and (3) the beam end type.  We do the rest.

What a great way to incorporate timber into your project with the least amount of extra work. For a PDF of the Daizen Timber Accents Guide, email [email protected].

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Daizen at BUILDEX Vancouver

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From Daizen News  1 February 2012

BUILDEX Vancouver is one of Canada’s largest tradeshows/conferences, with over 13,000 design, construction, and real estate management professionals each year. This year it happens February 8 and 9.

Daizen will be at Buildex Vancouver with the BC Wood Specialty Group, in booth 1809. We are launching our new timber accent system and will be displaying this exciting new product at the show.

There’s always a big crowd, so it’s a good idea to register in advance. The show is free for attendees if you sign up before February 6, but you must register too. (You can register online.)  UPDATE—when registering, put in discount code BXV12 for free admission to the trade show.

See you there!

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Nanoose: a study of elements

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from Daizen News  1 February 2012

The 20 units in the Nanoose townhouse development (Vancouver Island) were spruced up with timber elements that Daizen supplied to the site. The accents added rhythm, perspective, interest, and the beauty of natural timber without costing an arm and a leg.

Exterior elements include a header on the garage and some porch details.

Knee braces are traditional joinery: mortise and tenon pegged through the horizontal member. To make on-site work clear and easy, the assembly screws into the wall.

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Our new timber accent system launches

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From Daizen News  1 February 2012

Timber accents are a great way to add value to either a new house or an existing one. But creating the design and specifying details can be tedious and difficult—and, therefore, expensive.

Here’s where Daizen is stepping in.

We have invented a system of design components to adorn the façade of a building that still offers the flexibility to modify them as your project demands. You simply choose accent type (end, bracket, beam, truss), style, size, pitch (if appropriate), and quantity. We do the rest.

Here’s a quick look at our system.

This is the perfect use of your time. The designer, contractor, or building owner can select and order building components with ease. More complex requirements are an indication that

the variety of timber needed has “graduated” to a custom design. In this case, just send us your plans and we’ll develop a custom proposal for accents.

The Daizen Timber Accent System is fresh and new. We’ll be refining it for a while, so please visit our web site frequently to keep informed.

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A look at timber connections

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From Daizen News, 1 January 2012

In the Whistler round-to-square home, we saw some timber and heavy steel together. Now, let’s talk about joining timber to concrete. When frame posts have concrete bases–not uncommon–there must be a way to connect the timber to the concrete. Key factors are stability: prevention of horizontal movement, vertical

movement, and pivot; uplift; gravity; and moment. Further, since concrete retains moisture, a vapor barrier is needed between the two materials.

Daizen focuses on three methods: epoxy to epoxy, epoxy to mechanical, and steel plate.

As part of our epoxy testing, we compared four epoxy samples, two with a ¾-in. ready rod into timber of 6- and 12-in. sides and then two with a 1-in. ready rod into timber of 6- and 12-in. sides.

We’re summarizing our ideas about connections–an issue right at the heart of timber framing–through a series of articles: the Timber Connection Series. The first, Post to Concrete, is now available as a download

from the website.

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Valdes lighthouse in Cottage magazine

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From Daizen News, 1 January 2012

The designer Carl Willms, a frequent Daizen collaborator, worked with Daizen to build a lighthouse-style dwelling onto an existing cabin on remote Valdes Island. All of the timber was transported by boat, and it needed to be of manageable size for a hand-raising, since there was no way to get a crane or other heavy machinery to the island.

Not only can you read of this project in the Daizen portfolio; it’s also on the cover of the January–February 2012 issue of Cottage magazine.

A photo from the magazine: Carl Willms, standing, in the main room with his son Kyle, back left, and Kiyo Hagiwara, a friend and employee of Daizen.

The wood appointments in the cabin’s kitchen–the first floor of the lighthouse–were created by master carpenter Jim Willms.

The magazine article tells a slightly different story from the Daizen portfolio; both are interesting. To read the Cottage magazine article, download it here.

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Whistler round-to-square home

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from Daizen News, 1 January 2012

Combining log and timber framing is an interesting blend of two different joinery systems and even basic shapes–in this case, round, organic logs serve as the upright structure (posts), with timbers for the rafters and roof.

Such a spacious house (in a marvelous setting, overlooking the Blackcomb ski hills) can easily feature the massive logs and timbers. In this photo, the house may look something like a hobbit house, but it’s got 23,000 board-feet of wood in it!

The project was a collaboration with Nicola Logworks, in Merritt, B.C. Daizen did the timber framing elements. Such a mix can be tricky at the point of connection between the two framing methods, but we are accustomed to these challenges and prepare well.

The job also featured the use of steel. Heavy steel I-beams may seem intimidating, but when combined with structural timber, it’s not hard to use them. Three-dimensional hidden steel connectors are designed to receive the ridge and the valley, and steel I-beams are inserted into the log purlin.

Learn more about this, other exquisite timber structures, and how Daizen approaches timber framing in our new portfolio. You can download a full-color PDF by clicking the link in the right column on the Daizen website. You can also obtain a beautifully-printed version of the 82-page book for $15 (shipping/handling); email us for more information.

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