Shear Plate Timber Connectors

What are shear plates?

Shear plate timber connectors (also called timber washers) are round, malleable iron discs that are inserted in precut grooves and are completely imbedded in the timber when in position, being flush with the surface of the timber. Shear plates are intended primarily for wood-to-steel connections or for wood-to-wood connections in demountable structures when used in pairs.

Shear plates provide greater load-carrying capacity in shear than can be achieved by a bolt alone. Simply put, shear plate timber connectors are devices for increasing the strength of the joints in timber construction and reduce the number of bolts required.

What are shear plates used for?

Shear plates are used to attach columns to footings through steel straps, fastening of steel gusset plates to wood members, and connection of steel heel straps and splice plates in bowstring trusses, glued laminated arches, and beams. In wood-to-wood applications, shear plates are used where demountability is desired.

What varieties of shear plates are available?

4 inch shear plates and 2-5/8 inch shear plates are available either plain finish or hot-dip galvanized. The 4” and 2-5/8” dimension corresponds to the outside diameter of the shear plate. Special dapping tools cut grooves in wood in which the shear plates are inserted. This video demonstrates the proper installation of a shear plate.