The safe and consistent design of connections in modern timber-framed structures requires an understanding of the structural properties of the timbers as well as the bearing and bending strength limitations of the where oak pegs used in construction. This paper addresses the bearing strength of white oak dowels in both red oak and Douglas fir timbers. The effects of peg grain orientation, peg diameter, peg-hole clearance, specimen grain orientation, and specimen wood species were studied. A modified bearing strength test was developed to eliminate localized crushing of the white oak dowel by the test machine. Bearing strength tests were performed on 183 wood specimens. The bearing strength of pegged connections was found to be relatively insensitive to the factors investigated and lower than bearing strengths using similar steel fasteners for all test configurations.
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