Connecting joists

I’m designing a little firewood shed, and I’m trying to figure out how to connect the joists in the base. I would use some of the various brackets that are available, but they would run into the deck blocks I’m using. I could move the deck blocks further in, but that will make the whole thing less stable and put more pressure on these joints. Is it enough just to put a few screws in from the outside? I could put in a dowel. Is that better than screws?


The joint I’m concerned about:

Similar joint in another spot:

Tim, there is nothing wrong, and it is absolutely code compliant (if this were a house and it applied) to face nailing that connection (opposite side of the receiving joist into the end grain of the intersecting joist). Since you will be sheathing over this the subfloor (or floor) will prevent the joint from separating so you only need to worry about vertical shear.

In fact, I’d be tempted to assemble the bulk of the floor framing as a separate/independent model then drop it into place. Face nail everything, no joist hangers needed.

Am I missing something?


I agree with Craig, forget the fancy stuff, use 12d sinker nails and face nail everything, you don’t nee any hardware.
Build the deck with 2 end 2X4’s and face nail into the ends of the long joist,make it full sized.
Set it on top of your pier blocks and deck it with plywood.
You don’t want to use those slotted piers, they will hold water and rot out your wood joist.
Just use regular pier blocks.
After the deck is built, build your walls with a top and bottom plate nailed thru into the ends of the studs.
Stand the walls on top of the deck and nail them down through the bottom plate to the deck.
Tie the walls together with another 2X4 top plate. If you leave one side open you will have to run a long double 2X6 header across that side and nail a trimmer studs under the ends to support it.
Or you can make it long enough to set on top of your end walls ,and toenail it down. this will support the rafters across the front, if it is on top of the walls, it will give you slope for your roof front to back.
The reason you don.t want to make it like the picture is that, you have no support on the ends of your deck plywood unless you notch the decking around the vertical studs, and that is a lot of unnecessary work.
The weight of the whole thing should be enough to stay in place.
The sheathing on the walls should give the walls plenty of shear strength .
Some other thoughts, I would cut some tar paper squares and put them on the pier blocks to set the wood on. If the pier blocks have a hole in them you can use a short rebar pin to stick in the hole then drive nails on both sides and bend them around the rebar.
Do a search online for “Lean to tool Sheds” and get some good ideas,including plans.


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Thanks for the comments, guys! My overall take-away is that I don’t need to make the frame here as bomb-proof as I was thinking. Oh, and of course I should have run the whole design by this forum before buying any materials, of couse. :slight_smile:

That said, some of your comments sound like you think I’m making a shed with proper floor/walls. This is just for firewood. Here’s the full frame (as planned, so far):

And here it is with walls/floors/etc:

So for instance this floor will provide some strength to the base, but not as much as a sheet of plywood wood. Same for the sides etc. It’s not going to be that big. 5’ tall in front, 6’ wide, 3’ deep. So it doesn’t need to be as strong as a shed would be either. (Firewood has weight, but not like having one or two people walking around.)

In any case, I’m going to do some more reading and planning, and see how many of those brackets I can replace with simply nails.

The first diagram didn’t include some of the information the second one shows. Like you say, it is just a wood shed, it should work the way you have it drawn.

@rtwfroody Agreed it would work just fine as drawn. You might consider running all the joists in the short direction for a simpler floor.

Also, I have a framing nailer if you’d like to borrow it Tim. Not a huge project, but especially all the 1x boards would be a lot of nailing.

Also, I have a framing nailer if you’d like to borrow it Tim. Not a huge project, but especially all the 1x boards would be a lot of nailing.

Thanks for the offer. I was planning to screw them because I have an impact driver and I’ve never had much experience with nails. Are nails better for this application?

I would offer a resounding heck yes they are! Screws are of course structurally superior, but they’re overkill here and they are much, much slower (even with an impact driver). Especially with the siding the nail gun is probably 4x faster or so.

Do you have a compressor? If not you’d need to borrow that as well.

Happy to assist @rtwfroody , even up to some on site assembly. Just let me know.

Alright, sounds like a great excuse to use a nail gun. I’d love to borrow yours when the time comes.
This weekend will probably be spent leveling the ground for the new location of the blocks, then putting the base frame on it. I might finish a bit more of the frame. I’ll probably use screws for the frame, and then borrow your nailer for the siding etc.

Sounds good @rtwfroody , just give me a bit of a notice ahead of time and we’ll work it out

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