Do you Need a Pole Building Bolt Stretcher?

One of our clients is currently constructing his Hansen Pole Buildings kit package, in Colorado.

Colorado is one of those unusual geographic locales in the United States where the availability of any pressure treated timbers larger than a 6×6 is pretty much….not at all.

It IS possible to get glu-laminated columns, however. In this particular case, the client has a 16 foot tall sidewall, which put the building into the “glu-lam zone”.

A three ply 2×6 glu-laminated column, measures approximately 4-1/8” in width towards the wind. At the top of the column, a two ply prefabricated roof truss must be notched into the column. Ideally, the double trusses are notched fully into the column, however in this particular case, the client notched away two of the three glu-lam plies (leaving the trusses hanging off the side of the column by about 3/8”).

This left 1-3/8” of column plus the approximate 3-1/8” thickness of the double truss. The trusses are connected to the column by means of a 5 inch long 5/8” through bolt.

Doing some quick math, with 4-1/2 inches of wood, only ½ inch of the bolt will project through the column, without any flat washers in place.  There was no “room left” for the double washers and nut.  This is where I talk about getting out the old “bolt stretcher”.

How to make this work?

Insert the bolt into the hole from the side of the column opposite the trusses, without a washer in place. On the truss side, use a washer and the nut. With a wrench on each side, tighten the nut on the bolt until the washer is recessing itself into the surface of the trusses.  The lumber will “give” leaving an impression for the washer to embed itself and yes, will create more “room” for the nut.

Take the bolt, washer, and nut assembly apart. Reinsert the bolt, placing a washer on each side, and again re-tighten until both washers are fairly flush with the surface of the column and the trusses.  You can put the “bolt stretcher” safely back in its carrying case!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *