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Re: Wood-frame construction: Life in the real world

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Thor Matteson, SE wrote:

Simpson/USP/KC Metals straps:
A few years ago Simpson realized that 16-penny common nails were not readily
available (only a decade or two after this was the case....) and came out
with their "MSTC" series of straps.  Their MST  (without the "C") series
calls for 16-penny
commons to achieve full catalog values--the MSTC straps are intended to use
16-penny sinkers.  Great idea.  I called or visited four major lumber yards
in my area, in addition to two Home Depots.  None of them carry the MSTC
straps--they all carry the old MST straps.  Not wanting to pound dozens of
full-length 16-penny commons into both sides of a 4x6 from the MST straps
(which don't have nearly as good a staggering pattern for the nails) I
looked for Simpson "N16" nails (0.162" x 2-1/2").  I asked at two yards;  I
found clones of the N16's at one yard;  I found 16-penny commons at another
yard.   The question is:  are the contractors buying the 0.162 inch diameter
required for these archaic straps?  <snip>

Based on feedback from carpentry crews in my area, I expect that any connector I specify will be installed with positive placement guns with under-diameter nails. When nails are involved (and not specified by someone else), I usually give the diameter and length. The penny designation may have been useful when everything was nailed by hand. With most framers using guns I go with the diameter because that's what is printed on every box of gun nails.

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