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Author Topic: Peg Material  (Read 2251 times)

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Offline S.Hyland

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Peg Material
« on: February 16, 2014, 07:55:10 PM »
Hello Everyone,
We rive all the pegs that we use, using primarily W.Oak, sometimes Ash for interior joinery. I got to thinking, Hickory has a lot of properties that would lend itself to being a strong peg, probably more so than Oak. Why is Hickory not typically seen as a peg material? I was also wondering if the cross grain nature of Hickory would make it a royal pain to draw shave? I will probably get a couple chunks of butt log to try.
Any thoughts?
By extension, what are everyone's favored riven peg material?

This is also on the TF Guild forum, so I apologize to those who check out both...
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 11:30:07 PM »
If the powderpost beetles get to hickory, goodbye pin. Probably fine if you bugproofed it first or soaked it after with a preservative. ;D 8) 8) 8) :snowball:
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline S.Hyland

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 08:02:29 AM »
Good point on the powder post beetle! I suppose this would be true of Ash as well.
I wonder if the small amount of peg material in a frame would be enough to attract powder post? If they did, it sure could be catastrophic. Has anyone seen this in older structures?
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
― Wendell Berry

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 08:37:57 AM »
I've seen oak pins, probably red, that were chewed into a powder by ppb.

The last pins I made were white oak.
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Offline jueston

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 09:18:08 AM »
at a timber framing conference here in MN, they did some joint busting demonstrations. they used turned red oak pegs. in the majority of the joints, the pegs were the weak point which failed first. the conclusion i draw from that is that timber framers should be paying more attention to the pegs they are using.

to make a stronger building, we must constantly find the weakest link in the chain and find ways to improve on that part. so what is the hardest wood available to make pegs from?

that being said, each joint performed admirably and held the weight which was expected of it, so assuming you engineer with the limits of each joint in mind, then maybe there is no reason to try and make a stronger peg...

just my 2 cents...

Offline Thehardway

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 09:46:37 AM »
Peg material not only needs to be hard and durable but also fairly stable.  I believe one of the reasons white oak was historically chosen as a premium peg material is 1. Rot and insect resistant, 2. straight grain and easily riven, 3. Closed cell design makes it more stable to moisture change, 4. Shear strength when dry is very high.

My first choice for Peg material is Black Locust for the same reasons listed for white oak.  For decorative interior use I like high contrast,  Black walnut, persimmon and Cherry are nice in  light colored beams, Ash, Beech, Hard Maple, are all nice in dark colored beams.

my 2 cents
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Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 09:50:50 AM »
Locust, locust and more locusts!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinia_pseudoacacia

Bruce

Offline dukndog

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 10:03:56 AM »
Anyone try Osage Orange? I know it is very hard and durable, much like locust. I've made handles and mallets out of it before, just never thought of pegs.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 10:18:21 AM »
I've made pins from osage. Very stringy grain in the billet we had. Maybe there were better pieces to make them from, but this one wasn't very nice.
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Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 10:59:16 AM »
Osage is stringy and twisting by nature. But if you are patient enough to deal with it, it's the strongest thing you will find and bugs cannot touch the dry heartwood.

Most joints are designed knowing that the pegs are the weak point. They are usually designed so the pegs don't get loaded, but not always. Some latter tie beam designs for example used 3 heavy pegs to resist thrust.

Most of the time, the joinery is designed to act in compression so that the pegs will not shear. I've never really seen the need to engineer the pegs up, but rather to engineer the rest of the joint.
A lot of what I do, we don't even use pegs in most joints.


Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2014, 06:34:53 PM »
So what all you guys are saying red oak is not good for pegs?
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2014, 06:36:33 PM »
I'd want to have pegs regardless in the event of an earthquake when stresses get reversed or worse.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2014, 07:23:41 PM »
Pegs, it seems to me, aren't the best thing to counteract earthquake stresses. Sudden dynamic, fluid loads and pegs do not get along together.

I pulled a bunch of red oak pegs out of a barn I am tearing down. They seem to have held up just fine.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 10:34:55 PM »
Maybe not, but better than no peg I would think. ;D
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2014, 11:24:41 PM »
The post and beam  barns in this area were primarily framed with white oak and pinned with black locust .

It's probabley now twenty years since  I made a friend a driver of steel to unpin a small carriage barn .Of the several 5 gallon buckets of pins he drove out in the disassembley he damaged no more than half a dozen and never broke out a joint .Which I found amazing .

Offline Jayson

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2014, 11:42:18 PM »
Locust and osage are great. Anybody know anything about Walnut for pegs.   Both a little ornery on the cutting.  But you want something a little tenacious for that part of the joint I think.  I often find myself with a draw knife and a big spoke shave on the shaving horse. The spoke shave being handy when the grain goes nutty.  Especially in locust which I use alot because I can find it laying around the woods already seasoned.   I would have to agree on the bug thing as far as hickory goes.  I bet the folks at Northcott Pegs could answer your question with the most knowledge based info though.  They been making pegs a long time.
    Just remember peg integrity depends heavily on the grain run out and dryness. You don't want any run out and you want them well seasoned with the tightest grain you can find.  Remember to place the annular ring of your pegs parallel to grain of your tenoned piece for the most integrity as far as the peg goes.  Think like an ax handle...   
Anybody know anything about Walnut for pegs?
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2014, 08:17:34 AM »
Unfortunatley the barn never worked out .He did get it disassembled ,numbered all the frame work,took pictures .Then worked for two years treating the oak timbers for possible vermin .

Then ironically suffered a blood clot which caused a stroke .Sometimes you just get dealt a hand which is pretty tough to play.I saw him about two weeks ago and he doesn't even recognize who I am . :(

On a lighter note several years before we hauled a 24 by 36 timber  framed building down an 18 foot wide country road with a John -Deere 620 .That's another story though

Offline S.Hyland

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2014, 10:50:09 PM »
Thanks for the ideas everyone! I would certainly use Osage Orange, but I just don't really have it around here. Locust would be great, but it is hard to find big enough and straight enough for peg material. If I come on to any, I'll make pegs for sure. I don't know about Walnut for pegs, myself. I would think it too soft and weak to make a reliable peg. I will probably get some chunks of Hickory to try it. I'll report back...
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
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Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2014, 10:55:33 PM »
Walnut can be very brittle. If subjected to sudden shock, it can fail quite drastically. I wouldn't use it for pegs.

Oak, elm, hickory, hornbeam, and ash should all be reasonable peg materials

Offline S.Hyland

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2014, 11:02:04 PM »
I was thinking about hornbeam too, but I have never seen it larger than perhaps 8" around me. Usually smaller. It does make good handles though!
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
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Offline Remle

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2014, 11:54:46 AM »
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but was wondering. Most traditional timber framers seem to draw shave their pegs. Wouldn't sawed out pegs be just as strong if sawed parallel with the grain ? Steve, Osage orange can be found 30 miles north of you in Livingston Co. Might be able to find some for you if are interested.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2014, 06:10:27 PM »
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but was wondering. Most traditional timber framers seem to draw shave their pegs. Wouldn't sawed out pegs be just as strong if sawed parallel with the grain ?

When you rive (split) the peg blanks and then use the drawknife, you ensure the pegs run true to the grain since they will split with the grain.   If you saw the blanks, the grain is not necessarily parallel with the peg.  Therefore, riven pegs are usually stronger and more true than sawn ones.
e aho laula

Offline S.Hyland

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 02:44:08 PM »
Ditto to what Brian said. I used to make octagonal pegs on the table saw with KD W.Oak. It certainly works, but the pegs are much stronger when riven, especially important when draw-boring joints. With sawn boards it's impossible to get the grain as straight as when riving, and a little run in the grain of a peg can weaken it dramatically. Once the riven pegs are fully dried, we keep them soaking in linseed oil for ultimate flexibility and lubiness! 8)
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2014, 07:56:54 PM »
I know of one church, built in 1860s, that had the pegs eaten in the floor structure.  The tenons are pulling out of the middle beam, and the floor spreading.  It was built really close to the ground.  I don't know what the pegs were made of because they were gone.  White oak outer sills are still hard as a rock.  All the rest of the floor timbers are pine, and bugs have been all through it, but still mostly sound otherwise. Joists are half dovetailed into rim sills, so no movement there.

Just telling this because obviously wood choice for pegs is important.

Offline Tom King

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2014, 07:59:18 PM »
Also, I replaced some floor beams in a 1780s house, and have some of the pegs.  They were heavily drawbored.  I'll see if I can get them in the next few days and post some pictures.  I think they were White Oak.

Offline S.Hyland

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2014, 09:46:46 PM »
Thanks Tom! Good information. I would love to see those pictures if you find them...
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Peg Material
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2014, 05:16:56 PM »
I picked up some of the pegs from the old house, and have them in my truck.  I'll get some pictures in the next few days.

 


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