What Details Need to Considered When Designing with Internal Knife Plates?

When designing connections with internal knife plates using our Self-Drilling Dowels, there are a few important details to keep in mind to make sure your connection is efficient and simple to install.

  • Before selecting a plate depth you should confirm with your wood material supplier to make he can route a slot long enough for the plate you are thinking of using. For example, depending on the CLT panel thickness, a 23 inch saw cutting into CLT could have a minimum penetration depth of 6. This needs to be taken into consideration when designing your knife plate.
  • Furthermore, you need to reserve extra space for the plate, with the compression on the connection, the knife plate could act like an ax if it touches the timber, and split the wood member in two.
  • You need to check if your steel plate has rounded corners or welded corners at the connection with the base of your knife plate (like in a hot-rolled T-section). If so, in both cases, you’ll need to Bevel the corners of our wood member, to make sure it fits perfectly on your steel plate.
  • Another important detail to remember is that saw blades are round. This might sound elemental but we often receive the comment from installers. If you have a square steel plate it may not fit in its slot because of the slot’s rounded corners caused by the round saw blade. Our solution is to either design the plate with rounded corners or over design the slot to account for the curvature radius.

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