Steel Manufacturing Blog: Keeping it Steel

Hillside Washers

Posted on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 09:39 AM

Hillside Washers are used when connecting braces that pass through structural members at any angle other than 90°. Unlike inside connections requiring Clevis Rod Assemblies (Fig.1), when the brace passes through the structural member it eliminates the need for Clevises and Clevis Pins.


Fig. 1 Turnbuckle Rod Assembly With Hillside Washer 350 x 375

As shown in Fig. 1 a Clevis Plate welded to the I-beam acts as the anchor to secure the clevis.

Fig. 2 shows the same Turnbuckle Rod Assembly but in this case the design allows a hole to be drilled or punched in the steel member and the rod to pass through. If the rod approached the steel member at a 90° angle a simple washer and nut on the outside would be sufficient. This will not often be the case. The purpose of the Turnbuckle Rod is usually as a sway brace. As such it only functions at an angle, and requires an opposite sway brace to be effective. (Fig. 3)


 Fig. 2

While the angle is require for the rod to function it presents a second anchoring problem. The washer and nut require a solid and perpendicular surface to seat properly and provide the desired strength without deflection.Turnbuckle Rod Assembly

This can be accomplished with a bevel washer or specially fabricated angled plate, but both of those idea have difficulties, and also require predicting the exact angle prior to erection. This is not difficult, but is another variable that may create a problem.

The easiest, fastest and least expensive way to anchor a pass through angle connect is with a Hillside Washer. (Shown in Fig. 2) The flat bottom sits firmly on the steel surface. Its half-moon shape allows it to present a  perpendicular surface to the rod regardless of what angle it comes in at.



Fig 3.

Of particular importance is the Hillside Washer has a tab that slots into the hole in the steel I-Beam. This tab locks it in place so that when the assembly is tightened the Hillside Washer does not slide in the direction of the tension. This would cause the Turnbuckle Rod to contort

Note, when a pass through rod is used Clevises are not. There may be a Turnbuckle but it is not required. All the necessary take-up can be achieved by tightening the nut at the Hillside Washer. If all threaded rod is used the take-up is unlimited. If round bar is used take steps to assure there will be adequate threading for the necessary take-up.
 Hillside Washer



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Tags: Hillside Washers, braces, Clevis, I-Beam

Stainless Steel Clevis and Turnbuckle Material and Standards

Posted on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 04:15 PM

Stainless Steel Turnbuckle Rods and Clevis Rods have some variations in material that will affect the design and production. The first point to note is the difference in material between the round bar and the hardware. Stainless steel round bar comes in a wide variety of grades. For Structural and Miscellaneous steel fabricating the fundament grade is 303 or 304. Often Clevis Rod and Turnbuckle Rod assemblies are specified leaving the fabricator the option of using either.

The higher grade stainless round bar is 316 or 316L. While there are still many grades above that they are used only for special purposes.

Clevis and Turnbuckle Hardware, on the other hand, is all 316 stainless steel. For assemblies calling for 303/304 round bar the hardware is superseded to 316. This is an efficiency step that allows the manufacturers to limit the range of products they carry and hopefully reduce the cost.

Surface Contamination / Rust

Regardless of the stainless steel grade used for the rod, Turnbuckle or Clevis, the fabricator should be aware that stainless steel contains surface contamination that will rust. This is cause by the tooling used to make the stainless steel. Whether cast, forged or rolled the tools and forms are all carbon steel. In the process of forming the stainless steel, particles of carbon steel wear off and embed themselves in the surface of the stainless steel. Once exposed to the elements these particles being to show oxidation.

To prevent surface rust from occurring the stainless steel Clevis Rod or Turnbuckle Rod Assembly should be pickled, passivated and electro-polished. Or in simple terms, thoroughly cleaned and treated so the outer surface is more resistant to reactions. This includes the Stainless Steel Clevis Pin.

Grinnell Standards

Grinnell Standards are a set of dimensions that can be used as “standards” by the designer of the Turnbuckle Rod or Clevis Rod. They are intended to simplify the process of specifying and manufacturing Clevises by limiting the endless combination of variables to a few practical combinations.

To view the Grinnell Standard Clevises, click here:

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For the manufacturer of Stainless Steel Clevises and Turnbuckles the advantage of following Grinnell Standards is limited because the hardware is not made in large lots but is more made to order. Nonetheless the Grinnell Standards are still very useful to the Engineer in that the capacities of each component remain consistent.

Note: All load bearing Clevis Rod and Turnbuckle Rod Assemblies should be designed by a Licensed Engineer.


Steel Supply Co. provides a free Turnbuckle Assembly Worksheet & Guide


stainless steel clevis and turnbuckle material and standards

Tags: Clevis Rods, Clevis, steel supply, clevises, clevis pin, turnbuckles