• Technical Blogs
  • May 07, 2020

ICC-ESR approved 45-Degree Washer Detailing and Installation Tips

MTC Solutions

This blog post will offer designers and installers several tips on properly detailing and installing inclined ASSY self-tapping screws in steel-to-wood connections, utilizing ICC-ESR approved 45-degree wedge washers. This post will provide a step-by-step solution to avoid common installation issues.

Approximately 8-minute reading time.

What is the MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer? 

The MTC Solutions 45-Degree Wedge Washer is an ICC-ESR approved cast iron washer, engineered for steel-to-wood connections with screws installed at 45-degrees. The wedge washer is available in three different sizes and is compatible with countersunk head screw types such as the ASSY Ecofast and ASSY VG CSK.

MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer

Why use the MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer?

Designing connections using inclined fully threaded screws with the MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer into a steel plate is a great way to develop a high capacity, high stiffness connection. Utilizing a wedge washer for inclined steel-to-wood screw connections eliminates the complex milling otherwise required to house the countersunk screw head in the steel plate. Furthermore, a thinner steel plate may be used, as there is no need for previously required extra thickness to house the screw head. These advantages lead to a more cost-effective steel-to-wood connection solution.

How to detail connections utilizing the MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer?

The designer detailing the steel plate connection must consider several different aspects of the steel plate geometry.

Steel plate thickness. The steel plate must be sized to conform with the minimum and maximum thicknesses according to the size of the 45-degree wedge washer used:

MTC_Solutions_Steel plate thickness

Slotted hole dimensions. The following table presents the design requirements based on screw diameter. More information and design considerations for coated plates can be found in the Structural Screw Design Guide

MTC_Solutions_Screw Diameter

Spacing requirement. The fasteners must meet the spacing requirement presented in the Structural Screw Design Guide. It must be noted that the spacing between two fasteners in a row shall be measured perpendicular to the screw axis, which results in larger spacing requirements at the surface of the wood member for inclined screws.

MTC Solutions_Fastener Spacing Requirement

Additionally, it is recommended that designers specify drilling positioning holes on two opposite corners of the steel plate to allow the installer to achieve greater installation precision.

How to install the MTC Solutions 45-degree wedge washer?

Before we begin, the installer should utilize the proper tools and equipment. This includes:

  1. Complete personal protective equipment.
  2. A low RPM, high torque drill. Impact drills must be avoided as mentioned in our blog post on the subject, “How to Install ASSY Self-tapping Screws”. (In the video, a commonly available RIDGID Brushless 18V Drill was used) 
  3. A multi purpose drill bit if a pilot hole is used.
  4. A measuring tape, a framing square, and a pencil to mark up the layout.

The following video demonstrates good practice for the installation of ASSY VG CSK 5/16″ x 6-1/4″ screws at a 45-degree angle with the appropriate MTC 45-Degree Wedge Washer as outlined in the ICC ESR 3178.

Step 1,
Secure the steel plate’s position on the wood member. For these types of connections, alignment is crucial as the connection may be subject to high design loads and misalignment may result in reduced connection performance. For this reason, it is recommended that designers specify drilling positioning holes on two opposite corners of the plate. (In the installation video, the  ASSY Ecofast 1/4” x 3-1/8” screw is used to hold the plate in position)

  1. Plum and level the steel plate to its position on the wood member.
  2. Install the first locator screw at a corner without fully setting the screw. It is suggested to leave the screw about a 1/4” proud to allow for later adjustment if necessary.
  3. Once the plate is in its final position, a second locator screw can be fully installed at the opposite corner and the proud screw can be tightened to fix the plate in position.

The steel plate is now ready for the installation of the 45-degree wedge washers and the inclined ASSY self-tapping screw. 

Step 2,
This installation step is optional; however, it will ease the fastening process. Pre-drilling a pilot hole will aid in guiding the screw in the right direction and accelerate the wood bite process by the screw tip.

MTC Solutions’ installation accessory: The pre-drilling jig, as shown in the video, allows for simple and precise pilot hole drilling, which helps to mitigate misalignment.

Pre-drilling Jig for Installation of screws at a 45° angle

After drilling the pilot holes, it is important to clear any saw dust or drill shavings created. It may seem trivial but saw dust can retain humidity which can damage steel connections over time. Removal is an easy task and a good habit to keep.

Step 3,
The final step is wedge washer and fastener installation.

  1. Place the 45-degree wedge washers firmly in position and verify that the shoulder of the washer fits properly in the slotted hole.
  2. Position the fastener in the wedge washer and verify the installation angle. A pilot hole facilitates proper screw angle installation.
  3. Begin to drive the inclined screw into the wood. Once the threads are engaged with the wood fiber, avoid applying pressure on the drill.
  4. Avoid over-torqueing the screw by slowing down the rotation speed about 1” away from complete installation. This may be more difficult and require practice when installing larger diameter screws as the torque required to install will be higher. Over-torqueing can damage the screw or result in injuries to the installer. To avoid this, we suggest using a drill with a torque-limiting clutch or if not available, limiting the torque manually at the end of the installation, as shown in the video.


Sign up for MTC Technical Blog

Sign Up

Register for a Technical Learning Session


Sign up for MTC Newsletter and keep up to date with all our progress.