The National Design Specification (NDS)  provides lateral capacities for “Bolts”, “Lag Screws”, “Wood Screws”, and “Nails and Spikes.”  The Connection Calculator makes it so you don’t need to look up in a book.
Here are some instructions on how to use this calculator.




First, open another window on your browser and go to the Online Calculator.  At the bottom of the box, you will see a tab that says, “Submit Initial Values”.  Open this tab.  The webpage will now look like the image above.  The drop-down menus allow you to pick the type of connector whose shear strength you want to determine.   Use the drop-down arrow to pick certain characteristics as described below.


CONNECTION TYPE: Lateral Loading

FASTENER TYPE: Pick bolt, screw, or nail from drop down menu.

LOADING SCENARIO: Single Shear-Wood Frame Member

The Main Member is wood that the side member is being attached to. For example, if you nail a block onto the mudsill, the block is the side member, and the mudsill is the main member.

MAIN MEMBER: Use drop down menu to select type of wood.  In the Bay Area it will either be Douglas Fir Larch or Close Grain (old growth) redwood.

MAIN MEMBER THICKNESS: Use drop down menu to pick thickness of main member.

ANGLE OF GRAIN: remains Zero

SIDE MEMBER TYPE: Pick Wood on drop down menu.

SIDE MEMBER THICKNESS: Pick the thickness.  If you are bolting through the side of a 2 by 4, the side member thickness would be 1.5.