Deck Screws

Why can't I use deck screws instead of nails in fastening joist hangers for my deck? It seems to me that screws will hold much better than nails. I know that shear strength has to be taken into consideration. I wrote to McFeely's about this and they said the shear strength of a #8 screw is 400 lbs. With four of these screws in a joist hanger that gives a total of 1600 lbs per joist every sixteen inches. I know that our county code says that nails are to be used but it doesn't say you cannot use screws. The inspector is trying to convice me to replace the screws with nails. What happened to common sense?
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Eldon Armstrong wrote:

You can use screws, just not deck screws. This has to do with the shear strength of the screws.
The SD8x1.25 is the screw for your application.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/screws.html
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Screws are better, but more expensive and time consuming. I don't know what the inspector is talking about.
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Every project I've done, screws are a lot faster. Zip with a drill driver is faster and easier than bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang with a hammer.
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Sounds like you need to get a decent size hammer. 16oz standard hammer is a play toy.
Harry K
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Well, not exactly, but it's called a "finish" hammer for a reason. You should use a 22oz or bigger framing hammer for framing work, (and won't those treads do a job on your thumb?) and a 16 oz finish hammer for trim. And an 8-10 oz tack hammer, just for the hell of it.

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Seems to me that the deck screws , if coated, would also last longer and hold better in almost all ways. However, I can see where a body might be tempted to unscrew a deck screw and that could be disastrous if done once a heavy load is imposed. Nails offer a more permanent fastening.
There's bound to be some thinking like this in the code decision.
In aircraft, the standard is the "minimum standard" and can always be changed with a superior repair/replacement if it can be proven to "meet or exceed" the minumum standard. There are hoops to jump through, but it can be done.
Maybe that is how to make it OK to use screws. Jump through some hoops and prove your fasteners to be superior. If you can afford it time and dollars. Otherwise I'd be buying some nails. Hell,......they're probably a lot cheaper than bucking the system anyway.
My opinion was free, so if it's not satisfactory, I offer a full refund.
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MUADIB
http://www.angelfire.com/retro/ssterile/MAIN%20PAGE.html
one small step for man,..... One giant leap for attorneys.
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What specs (or even brands) should I look for in regards to ph screws and bits that are durable...i.e. don't wear out.
correct email is snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Frank Thompson wrote:

For what application?
I have almost completely converted over to square drive screws. Try 'em, you won't go back.
http://www.rockler.com/articles/display_article.cfm?&cookietest=1&&story_idS
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Contractors use nails because they are penny pinchers. Eventually their ways become the standard because that's what people are used to. Find another inspector that knows what their stuff. And I hope you used stainless steel...
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Contractors use nails because they are penny pinchers. Eventually their ways become the standard because that's what people are used to. Find another inspector that knows what their stuff. And I hope you used stainless steel...
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I wouldn't worry too much about bits that don't wear out - I'd just get several of them. That's why they sell contractor packs.
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Phillips is a standard, sized in numbers. #0 through #3. #2 being the most common. Robertson (square drive), and Torx are others.
Screws are made of materials, I can get cheap steel ones, galvanized, stainless, etc depending on the application and requirements.
Yes, the #2 that you use will be come stripped if you let it rotate in the screw, which is why they are sold in bulk bags, and just used up like everything else.
A double ended drive bit, with #2 Phillips and square would be really handy here in North America.
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A good source for high quality tools and bits is
http://www.wera.de/cgi-bin/vshop?HTML=wera.htm
Dave L

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Go to www.mcfeelys.com They carry the best brands of all types of screws and have reasonable prices.
As for bits, are you looking at replaceable bits? Most are rather cheap and can be discarded as soon as they start to show wear or slip.
Consider using square drive screws as they are even better than Phillips or Posi-drive screws. If you are using a cordless driver, set the torque correctly and it will save on the bit and give a better fit of the screw.
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Bondhaus makes a ball end square screw drive that is very handy in tight access spots. Like their ball end hex drivers.
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