Print reference Laboratory Tests Dovetail Connection

Laboratory Tests Dovetail Connection, Annen, Goldau / Bucher, Kerns



The dovetail joint is a traditional, metal-free timber joint. Due to the high amount of work involved, it has fallen somewhat into oblivion in recent years. The companies Annen Holzbau (Goldau, Switzerland) and Holzbau Bucher AG (Kerns, Switzerland) produce it with the modern, computer-controlled joinery machine (Krüsimatik G1) and give it an unexpected renaissance.

Failure of the Connection due to Cross-Tension Exceeding the Limit zoom
Failure of the Connection due to Cross-Tension Exceeding the Limit
Experimental Arrangement zoom
Experimental Arrangement
Failure of Transverse Tensile Fracture zoom
Failure of Transverse Tensile Fracture
Lateral Break-out zoom
Lateral Break-out
Load Arrangement zoom
Load Arrangement

The Application 

The dovetail joint is mainly used for the connection of secondary to main girder. Since no design values for this connection could (yet) be found in the technical literature, the two companies decided to determine these values by means of tests. They commissioned the Timbatec engineering office with the planning, execution and evaluation of laboratory tests.

The Experiments

At the Freiburg School of Engineering, suitable testing equipment was found. The tests were carried out in April 2001.  

1. Shear Force Tests

In this test, the maximum permissible transverse force of the dovetail connection is determined. Since the connection of secondary beams to main beams hardly ever results in pure shear forces, this test was integrated into a bending test with a main beam connection on both sides. Thus, 12 connections were tested in 6 tests. 

2. Tensile Tests

In the case of ceiling elements, it is not only the transverse force introduced into the main beams by the secondary beams that is of interest, but also the axial tensile force. For this reason, 6 tensile tests were carried out.

Construction Data

- Tensile Tests: Series 6x1

- Shear force tests: Series 6x2

Timber Construction Engineer
Timbatec Holzbauingenieure Schweiz AG, Thun
3600 Thun
Client 1
Annen Holzbau AG
6410 Goldau
Client 2
Holzbau Bucher AG
6064 Kerns
Laboratory 1
Ecole d'ingenieurs
1705 Fribourg


Print reference



Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Niesenstrasse 1, 3600 Thun

Tel: +41 58 255 15 10

Zürich Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Ausstellungsstrasse 36, 8005 Zürich

Tel: +41 58 255 15 20

Bern Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Falkenplatz 1, 3012 Bern

Tel: +41 58 255 15 30


Headquarters Vienna (A) 

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers GmbH
Im Werd 6/31a, 1020 Wien 
Tel: +43 720 2733 01


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