Monday, July 9, 2012

To See Or Not To See

Good design is as much about what you don't see as what you do. In this post I'm talking about hidden fasteners, using mechanical means to secure visual grade construction materials without drawing attention to the sometimes unattractive fasteners themselves. When working with log enhancements (in this case covered porch posts) the last thing your eye wants to see is the bulky metal fasteners typically required to secure the logs to their foundation piers.

10" concrete pier & 'Methow Valley' tiedown
My favorite means to this end is a concrete to wood tiedown that was developed here in the Methow Valley by a long time manager at the local lumber yard. By putting together two  3/4" bolts welded to the bottom of a 6x6 steel plate and an 2"x 8" steel plate welded to the top we have a perfect solution.

Joined to plunge cut 10" log post
 By putting a deep plunge cut into the bottom end of a log post we are able to join post to pier in a simple yet substantial way. The addition of a horizontal 5/8" lag or bolt penetrating the log and vertical steel plate completes the tiedown in an completely unobtrusive manner.

Equals clean, unobtrusive transition
Dipping an off the shelf plated bolt or lag into gun bluing gives a nice blacksmithed appearance to the required fastener without the rust stains from untreated steel or the chipped paint look inherent in a painted fastener.

Finished post
I'll bring you along on the next phase of this covered porch in a future post.


  1. It’s hard to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  2. Help! So what are the log post holders called that your buddy invented? Where can I buy? Do they have a generic name. Thx