Author Topic: SPAX length and head types, which one to use (for joining to horizontal beams)?  (Read 1181 times)

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Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Hi!

I'm lost in the SPAX screws(heads) :-[.

I need to join to 2 timber beans, one 120x200 mm (w*h) and on top goes a 80x140 mm (w*h) (the length is ~ 3 meters). So total height is ~ 340 (metric).

I was looking at SPAX screws and see different head types, but to understand which one to use is getting academic  [scared]. I hope someone can get me some advice which screws to use. I was thinking of 200 or 220 length  :-\

Headtypes:
- cylindrical
- washer
- countersunk

https://www.spax.com/uk/products/construction/cid-8/

Much obliged,

--
Rog.

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Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
What is that going to be used for?

Rule of thumb is, if you want the two pieces of timber being pulled to each other, you use a partial threaded screw. The length is determined by the thickness of the piece you want to be pulled to the other. So the determining factor is the length of the unthreaded part = thickness of the piece getting pulled to the other.

For maximum pulling force you go washer head. Counter sink if you need the heads to be sunk/flat. Cylindrical is more or less special application.

Check sizes/diameter, the German page is more specific than the english one you linked. It misses that not all the screw types are available in all diameters ... For example those counter sink head screws are available in 8, 10 and 12mm diameter only.


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6636
The flat countersunk head is the most common type used with wood because it allows you to sink the screw into the wood so nothing sticks out.

With the other types the head always sticks out, and sometimes you want that, depends on what you're making.

The washer head is for when you want to fasten materials that can break more easily, the extra size of the head distributes the clamping force.

The cylindrical head is more for when you want to use metal plates. Same as the "bolkopschroef", sorry, don't know the english name for that.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7521
For heavy duty structural applications, I prefer the washer head style. It distributes the load more evenly. So for connecting 2 timber beams, I'd initially go that route.

HOWEVER...not knowing your exact application you may be wanting to secure the beams without having to see the large washer head, obviously the countersunk version is easier on the eyes and if you really want to hide the head, countersink it deeper and add a timber plug.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer

The cylindrical head is more for when you want to use metal plates. Same as the "bolkopschroef", sorry, don't know the english name for that.

In this very instance, no. The cylindrical head type screws linked above are: Spax-Iso (for insulation) and In.Force for wood construction. They are not for fixing metal plates to anything.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
For heavy duty structural applications, I prefer the washer head style. It distributes the load more evenly. So for connecting 2 timber beams, I'd initially go that route.

HOWEVER...not knowing your exact application you may be wanting to secure the beams without having to see the large washer head, obviously the countersunk version is easier on the eyes and if you really want to hide the head, countersink it deeper and add a timber plug.

You can buy pre fabricated plugs in common diameters as well for hiding the washer head type screws. It's done all the time. ;)

-> https://shop.layer-grosshandel.de/_verbindungstechnik/duebel/holzduebel-holzverbinder/holzduebel-konusplaettchen/konusplaettchen-querholzplaettchen_58070.html?s_volltext=&s_group_id=020012007&newvariants=yes

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7521

You can buy pre fabricated plugs in common diameters as well for hiding the washer head type screws. It's done all the time. ;)
 

Interesting Oliver...never knew those existed...from 15-40 mm.  [smile]   

I've always made my own.


Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4108
I do love me some Spax.  Is there a way to get them in larger quantities than what is usually available at HD?
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Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 234
I do love me some Spax.  Is there a way to get them in larger quantities than what is usually available at HD?

McFeelys carries them in quantity
https://www.mcfeelys.com/screw-fastener-web-store/shop-screws-by-brands/spax-branded-screws.html

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
That's regular quantities, at least around here. Up to 1000 screws/box.

Then you can have a "Master box" which - in many instances - consists of 10 boxes.

And then you can have a pallet.

Short but informative example:

Flat countersunk head, T-STAR plus

3.5x12mm box = 1.000, master box = 10.000, pallet = 1.120.000
4.0x50mm box = 500, master box = 5.000, pallet = 140.000

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 843
Oliver,

Are screws like Spax approved for framing in Germany?  That is the issue here,  they advertise them implying they are for framing, but in the end, they are not code approved.  If you contact spax, they basically dodge the issue.

They are great, but they are expensive, and come in just small boxes. 

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
To the best of my knowledge:

Regular/universal type Spax screws for the longest time have not been approved to be used on/for load bearing timber construction. They are also not to be used on wood/timber connectors. To the best of my knowledge, that has not changed.

Expressly the screws linked above (by @threesixright ), are approved for use on load bearing timber construction. Thus framing. Especially Hi.Force and In.Force screws - as well as the so called threaded rods. Speaking only for Germany/ probably Europe.

Besides that, there is a fairly new approval (ETA) document available (7/2020) -> https://downloads.spax.com/index.php?open=f61be045f56481f0a45a184bed20c79f

I have no idea, how American/ state bulding codes treat Hi.Force/In.Force and the threaded rods made by Spax.

I did a quick search, and the screws linked above are sold in the US under the name: PowerLags Structural Wood to Wood Screws for Framing. ( https://spax.us/products/powerlags ) Doing another quick search, this document comes up: https://spax.us/uploads/resources/ICC-ES_Report_ESR-1782.pdf

Which to me is an indicator that these would be approved for framing. Might be

Again, these are different type screws made by Spax. This is not the "famous"/ often referred to standard "Spax universal screws".

Hope this helps. :)

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Hi All, @six-point socket II and @Alex, thanks!

Olivier, you asked for a better description. I made a little sketch what I plan to do, hope it helps  [big grin]

The beam on top (140 mm heigh) needs to be screwed to the bottom beam (200mm). Now the later is load baring, the top I'm not sure. Its for sure not only decorative, but the function is limited. I tried the SPAX (project) tool, but tbh didn't get much wiser from that.

The green  rectangular (with red border) are the "spax" screws (staggered), joining the beams.

On the right you see: floor board, insulation, floor-heating (Schlüter), cement, finished floor.

Since the beams will be visible (want to oil them of some sort), its important it looks good [big grin] and needs to be strong  [blink]





Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
When I start reading beam connections, my first thought is brackets...


Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1381
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Are you going to see the top of that beam that this sitting on the other?

I'd use the washer head (Hi.Force). Start by drilling with a Forstner bit so you can cover the heads/ get a smooth look.

If you don't get results with the tool, run it by Spax via E-mail. They are very helpful.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Are you going to see the top of that beam that this sitting on the other?


Yes, indeed visible. Thanks! 

The tool wasn’t particularly clear about this type of joining.


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Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
When I start reading beam connections, my first thought is brackets...


Yeah.  But these are 2 beams horizontal. I looked at some angle brackets. Just for a bit of lateral strength.


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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
Yeah.  But these are 2 beams horizontal. I looked at some angle brackets. Just for a bit of lateral strength.
I will admit I am not fully understanding your drawing or needs.

Did you pull building permits? Was this engineered? Building codes should come into play. Here in the USA California we have earthquakes so everything is beefy, with brackets and tie downs required. Mortising in some form adds strength.

Offline fuzzy logic

  • Posts: 357
Didn’t want to write that I didn’t understand either. 
(Just decided my brain not working properly…  If so, please bear with me…  [embarassed])

Looks like most of the given measurements might be one decimal place out.
(I get it that the floor could be 21mm.)
For example:
Is the top ‘load bearing’ measurement (horizontally) 80mm or 800mm?

As I read the drawing, the ‘beams’ are vertical – not horizontal. 

I’m not even clear why you need to join the beams at all. 
Are they ‘stand-alone’, or, to be fixed to the ‘load-bearing’ material itself?
(For sure – that seems a really, really stupid question; but that’s indicative of how massively & thoroughly I’m not understanding) 

Enough – can you help me out – or am I doomed?  [scared]

Richard (UK)
Decent people do the right thing - always?

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
@Peter_C  @fuzzy logic

The drawing is a profile, the lower beam is (load baring, calculated by an engineer) 200(h)x120(w), the one on top of that (non load barring) 140(h)x80(w) (not calculated). All in millimeters.

The beams are ~ 3300 mm (3.3 meter) long.

I added 3D view for better understanding. What your are looking at is the side of the staircase.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
What does the engineer that calculated it recommend? That is who I would recommend asking. What is the point of the second non load bearing beam for? Is it structural or cosmetic?

Still I gotta admit I am lost on your drawings, maybe because I can't see the bigger picture. Does "floorboards" mean joists? Or stair treads? Are the beams not sitting on top of each other, but with the "floorboards" and a spacer in between?

Either way they should have some strapping going from one to the other. The engineer should have put it into plans.

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 749
For the ‘muricans reading this, no Spax does not go hardcore with certifications and providing literature the way Simpson and Fastenmaster do.  However, they don’t really have many products that fit in with our post simpson strong-tie and paslode way of doing things.  Framing wise, I believe (but don’t take my word for it) that their power lags can replace conventional legs and carriage bolts.  Fastenmaster’s various task specific “LOK” products are all code compliant and they’re all pretty similar to the Spax power lag.

Concerning price, the USA made Spax are insanely cheaper than the other brands (all made by the same plant in Taiwan, last I checked) in my parts.  Is it possibly a regional thing?  This doesn’t help the cat in New York but the powerlags are sold by the case at Menards for much cheaper than the onesies they sell at HD (half the price). 




Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
What does the engineer that calculated it recommend? That is who I would recommend asking. What is the point of the second non load bearing beam for? Is it structural or cosmetic?

Still I gotta admit I am lost on your drawings, maybe because I can't see the bigger picture. Does "floorboards" mean joists? Or stair treads? Are the beams not sitting on top of each other, but with the "floorboards" and a spacer in between?

Either way they should have some strapping going from one to the other. The engineer should have put it into plans.

My house is an hour drive from where I live and I don't have any pictures of this, to illustrate whats going on. I can imagine, not knowing the situation its bit complex to understand...