For Part 1, we can discuss the importance of post caps when bearing a girder on a beam. See the photograph above. Reasons to use a post cap for this condition include:
- Increases lateral strength of the connection.
- Eliminates use of toe-nails, which when improperly installed can split the top of the post.
- Contains movement of the wood girders relative to the top of post that results from the shrinking, swelling and twisting of wood as it reaches its equilibrium.
For more information about deck design, please see my previous post here.