Wood Compound Angle Connection
preview006018.jpg
preview006017.jpg
preview006016.jpg
preview006015.jpg
preview006014.jpg
preview006013.jpg
preview006012.jpg
preview006011.jpg
preview006010.jpg
preview006009.jpg
Dome Kits no connector connection. We don't believe there is anything prettier made of wood than the spherical geodesic structure connected with the compound angles cut on the ends. This connection method shows all the geometric angles and done correctly is truly a piece of art.
preview006008.jpg
preview006007.jpg
There are different types of geodesic geometry and different frequencies. They all have the basic concept to finding the angles at the node points (connection of the struts). From the center of the sphere (ball) a line is projected through the outside surface. This gives you the radial and axial angles. Where these intersections take place depends on the geodesic geometry and the frequency of the intersections.
This is definitely the most labor intensive and difficult connection system to cut with all the proper angles. Most all geodesic dome kit manufactures will not attempt this connection method and instead try to sell you a $5000 steel connectors. Dome Kits uses the 4 frequency Icosahedrons geodesic geometry. This only adds to the complexity of the manufacturing process but simplifies the construction method.
There are a few inherent advantages to this connection system over the steel bolt together hub connectors. You are not drilling big holes down the center of your wood strut. With the compound angles cut to properly fit under compression, as the wood swells and contracts it does not move or change the connection angle as the steel bolted hubs. 3" wood screws have great holding power without undermining the integrity of your wood strut.
The geodesic geometry Dome Kits uses has been changed from the original 4 frequency Icosahedrons geometry and any other geodesic dome manufactures use. The changes were made to simplify the manufacturing and construction methods. There are 5 different cord lengths and different angles on each end of the 5 struts.
This web page is created to share a generic connection for an all wood connection system. There are three saws I have used over the past 30 years that can cut a 60 degree angle and a 9 degree angle at the same time. The radial arm saw, a modified miter saw with the stops removed and drilled out and Sears sells a 60 degree worm drive skill saw. This is a special order item and cost near $300. This is a must if  your a dome building contractor. 
All the wood geodesic dome kits manufactured by Dome Kits are cut with a radial arm saw. All the different angles are cut within one-tenth of one degree. You can not be this accurate with a skill saw. A bolt together steel hub system may move in and out fifteen degrees or more. If your geodesic structure gets to far out of round at the lower levels it can become difficult and even impossible to complete.
All these compound angles were cut with my 60 degree Sears worm-drive circular hand saw. You don't need a tape measure or level to put together your geodesic frame together. If your connections are not as perfect as the pre-cut kits from Dome Kits your exterior plywood may not fit as accurately. This also holds true with the drywall on the inside of your geodesic structure.
In the hemisphere of the 4V geodesic structure there will be 6 pentagon connections and all the others will be hexagon connections. There will be 5 deferent triangles if you use the construction method that Dome Kits uses. If your connections come together accurately you can cut 4 to 5 pieces of plywood at a time. This is one of the advantages of using the 4V Icosahedrons. Your plywood and drywall can be mass produced and easier to handle by one person.
The pentagon connection angles are 72 degrees and 9 degrees. The hexagon angles are 60 degrees and 9 degrees. You will be cutting 54 degrees off each side of the pentagon strut. REMEMBER! The A lettered strut is one directional. The one end is the pentagon and the other is a hexagon. I mark my A struts with an arrow (A>) so I know what end is the 54 degree pentagon and the other will be a 60 degree hexagon cut.
The lower levels of your geodesic dome structure carry all the weight of the structure. This adds a great deal of pressure pushing outward on your connections. Adding a 18" or 24" steel strap on the outside of your horizontal struts is one off the best way to enhance the structural integrity of your connection and geodesic structure. All hardware stores offer Simpson Strong -Tie galvanized engineered strapping.
If you have any spherical design, engineering or building code questions please send us an e-mail and we will try to reply as quickly as possible. info@sphericalstructures.com

This is the Simpson Stronge-tie Gazebo connector #GT6Z. If you don't like the way your connection looks or fits together this connector can be a nice compliment to the rigidity of your connection and structure. The plywood is the most important structural part to any structure not just geodesic structures. The building code requires nailing around the outside edges no more than 6" apart. In many areas you have nailing inspections for your plywood and drywall.
preview006006.gif
On the geodesic structures you are relying on end nailing or perimeter nailing. OSB and particleboard have poor shear quality and should NEVER be used on geodesic dome structures. Multi layer plywood is your best choice for a lasting structurally strong geodesic wood structure. If you are building a structure to live in you will want to use 2X6 material. This will give you the minimum insulation R-value of R-19 using fiberglass bat material. The roof area of geodesic structures are not vented. Dome Kits recommends you use spray on foam or rigid foam insulation. This gives you a moisture barrier and triple the R-value.
Geodesic Structures
 
Building Services
Prefab Structures
Design Engineers
Fiberglass Designs
Electric Vehicles
preview006005.jpg
DOME KITS
  HOME

 index
compound angle connection
Dome Kits construction
diagrams
Dome Kits
kits & prices
Dome Kits
advanced
materials
Dome Kits
ecological links
.info
preview006004.gif
Dome Kits
4V steel T-bar
Dome Kits
3V greenhouse
light gauge steel
Dome Kits
Dome Kits
steel connector
Dome Kits
plans & services
Dome Kits
plans & services
HOME
owners options
Dome Kits
4V steel T-bar
Dome Kits
3V greenhouse
light gauge steel
Dome Kits
compound angle
connection
Dome Kits
steel connector
Dome Kits
kits & prices
preview006003.gif
construction
diagrams
advanced
materials
Dome Kits
eco links
preview006002.gif
preview006001.gif
1-704-701-5331
info @sphericalstructures.com