FAQs

What Gauge Steel Do You Use?

We use 11 gauge, 1/8″ thick steel, which is the same as we use for 99% of our brackets. (We make some custom brackets using 16 gauge (1/16″), and some others at 3 gauge (1/4″), but mostly everything is our standard 1/8″ thick– super heavy duty, and able to take whatever project you throw at it!)

Is Upgrading to 1/4″ Steel Brackets an Option?

Yes, we can make everything with 1/4″ if you want. Typically we do that when reinforcing something like a failing basement beam or other high-weight-load application. When adding/improving strength to pergolas and other structures, we normally go with 1/8″ because the wood beam and bolts normally become the weakest points.

The information we used to design our brackets is based on the strength of 1/2″ bolts (over 8,700 pounds for a single bolt) and the yield strength of 1/8″ thick steel (over 32,000 pounds). (We use the Engineering Toobox website, and others).

The pull-out strength of an average 3/8″ bolt and it is over 5,000 pounds, for a single bolt. Due to numbers like these, I would think the wood would fail before the steel/bolts. For weight comparison, 1/8″ thick steel weighs 5 pounds per square foot and 1/4″ weighs 10 pounds. Our regular 6×6 Bent L weighs 2 pounds and our regular Flat T weighs 4 pounds, so those weights double when going to 1/4. Goes from beefy to super beefy!

Do Your Brackets Fit True 6″x6″ and 4″x4″ (aka “True Dimensions”), or Are They 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ (aka “Actual Dimensions”)?

We make them to fit standard posts which are actual dimensional, so they are 1/2″ smaller (3.5×3.5 and 5.5×5.5, respectively). So, for example, our standard 6×6 Outside Corner Bracket is sized for standard 5.5″ x 5.5″ lumber, but we CAN make them actual 6″x6″ for you if needed. The photo to the right is the Outside Corner with the standard dimensions.

Because we personally make our own products on-site, however,  we can also make custom shapes for true-dimensions. We have made 4’s, 6’s, 8’s and 12’s! Just tell us what you need.

Are Bolts Included with My Brackets Purchases?

No, currently the bolts are not included. We plan on offering some kits with fasteners, but do not have the listings up yet.

All holes are sized for 1/2″ Lag bolts, which you can find at Home Depot, but you can use 3/8″ if you pick up washers when you get your bolts.

What Are the Weight Capabilities of Your Brackets?

We are not structural engineers, so are not sure on the weight capabilities. Hopefully you can find something helpful in the internet. We don’t think the issue will be with the brackets; more of what the wood can do without sagging. The information we used to design our brackets is based on the shear strength of 1/2″ bolts (8,700 pounds for a single bolt) and the yield strength of 1/8″ thick steel (over 32,000 pounds). Here is a link to an engineering toolbox website we use www.engineeringtoolbox.com/us-bolts-tensile-proof-load-d_2066.html and to a bolt manufacturer on the bolt strength www.nucor-fastener.com/Files/PDFs/TechDataSheets/TDS_013_Shear_Strength.pdf.

Since I’m not an engineer, I personally tend to overdo it. We were hired for a rush job to build a set of modular stairs which needed to be able to be carried into an existing building and assembled. We were told it had to hold 400 pounds per step. We met the deadline and they were installed. When the engineer reviewed the design, it turns out it’s good for 22,000 pounds. :)-

What Brackets Do I Need to Build the 4×4 Posts Pergola Pictured?

Using 4×4 posts to build a pergola like the one pictured uses:

* 4 Outside Corners
* 2 Flat T’s
* 8 Bent L Inside Corners
* Our Optional Black Powder Coat (extra charge)

If you also need to bolt it down, rather than set the upright posts in concrete, then you also will need 6 of our 2-Piece Post Bases.

And if you’re thinking of using 6×6 posts, just let us know and we can quote that as well to get your project on its way!

Do You Make Custom Brackets to Order?

Yes! We make custom shapes all the time. Just start a conversation with us about your vision, send over a sketch of what you would like for a particular project, layout, or simply a corner (nothing fancy or to scale is necessary), and let us know if your posts are standard [for example, 4×4 posts (3.5″ x 3.5″) or 6×6 posts (5.5″ x 5.5″)] or another size– and we’ll work with you to achieve your desired results!

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