Barrel Bolts

1. Post to Beam Option One

Barrel Bolts in Post to Beam
post and beam barrel bolt

Using Barrel Bolts is a great way to take the tension out of  a joint as well as being popular in Post and Beam Construction.  

  • It is easy to install and drilling holes in the timbers is all that is necessary.   
  • One possible down side is that you will occasionally see the nut and washer, but adding a decorative washer and a square nut will dress it up.
  • You will need the barrel bolt, all thread, washer, nut and a plug to hide the hole for the barrel bolt.  

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2. Post to Beam Option 2

Barrel Bolts in Diminished Housing

While this does hide all the steel from view it does have its limitations in regards to raising and assembly.  Without cutting a through hole in the post (not shown) you will need to slide the beam along the all thread in order to assemble the joint.  

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3 - Beam to Post

Barrel Bolts Post to Beam

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4 - Rafter to Tie Beam - 2 Ways

Barrel Bolts Rafter to Tie Beam

With the ability to take sustained tension,  using barrel bolts in the roof joinery is a natural employment of these connectors.  Here we show using both a single and a double barrel bolt connection.   

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8 thoughts on “Barrel Bolts”

    1. Brice Cochran

      There is a little play/forgiveness that you can give the holes by up sizing your bits by a size or two. That and a little practice and I know you can achieve good results with them.

    2. If highly accurate drilling is a concern, stay away from the Timberlinx system, which is the ‘Gold Standard” in hidden connector/tensioner products. This barrel-bolt connection is exactly what I have done for over 30 years by drilling and tapping a piece of round stock. Since it was only used for repairs, drilling and tapping a couple of pieces and beveling the receiver side (and sharpening the seeking end of the all-thread) was no big deal. This production system seems to be perfect for it’s intended purpose and drilling oversize holes will not affect it’s performance at all. This looks as easy as pie.

  1. Wish I would have discovered this before, it would have saved a ton $ vs. the bracketry and tools required to do it the way many of us have. This is so simple it’s stupid.

    Thanks Brice!

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