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

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I totally agree that diameter and length are foolproof for
specs/calcs/plan review.  

However, in the field they are suspect - many framing contractors prefer
to stick to penny designations, even if they don't know what common vs.
box vs. sinkers are.

I think it's wise to translate on the drawings (either from penny to
size or vice versa).  I at least do it for shearwalls.

Ed Tornberg
Tornberg Consulting, LLC
503-551-4165

-----Original Message-----
From: Thor Matteson, SE [mailto:matteson(--nospam--at)yosemite.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:18 PM
To: SEAINT
Subject: Wood-frame construction: Life in the real world

The latest from my ongoing remodeling project:

Pressure-treated sill stock:
Wood treated with Ammonium Copper Quat (ACQ), Copper Azole (CA) and
Ammoniacal Copper Zinc Arsenate (ACZA) is not suitable for use with
plain
steel or "regular" galvanized fasteners because the copper attacks the
steel
very aggressively.  Borate-treated lumber appears not to corrode
fasteners
appreciably.  Knowing this, I told my contractor to use borate-treated
sill
stock.  He called his supplier and was informed that this would take an
extra week as a special order.  No problem--we wait a week for the
lumber
delivery.  What should appear but Copper Azole treated wood??  The
entire
lumber supply chain immediately became suspect.  The lumber yard did not
know (or care) how to tell the difference in treatment chemicals, and
their
supplier didn't either.  But at least now the contractor does, because I
showed him what to look for on the little plastic tags that are stapled
to
the end of each piece of PT lumber.  (Hint:  Look for the initials
listed at
the beginning of this paragraph.)  When I went to another lumber yard to
get
borate treated lumber, I found that it does NOT have those little tags
on
it--I assume because it is not toxic to humans and the EPA does not
regulate
it (?)

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
nails
required for these archaic straps?  I know what the overwhelming answer
would be in  MY  area!

It's always interesting to see whats happening outside of the office and
the
manufacturers catalogs.  When you get some spare time, try calling
around to
see if the stuff you commonly specify on your drawings is readily
available.
You might be surprised.

Thor

www.shearwalls.com







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