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Teco nails for joist hangers

kclarson's picture

I was just wondering how many of you out there use the 1 1/2" teco nails for nailing on hanger brackets. Is this really the right fastener to use?

This is just a little quiz, I already know the answer

(post #62319, reply #1 of 35)

Your a home inspector and I think some kind of Engineer, so I'm going to say that I use sheetrock screws!

I build cabinets and millwork so I don't get the chance to use hanger brackets to much, but I like to do it right when I do!



(post #62319, reply #19 of 35)

Well, I know you're joking about the sheet rock screws but a couple weeks ago I actually found a gentleman using sheet rock screws to hanger a couple of his decks.

The reason I asked the question is that we've been finding a lot of people that don't realize that Tico nails aren't a direct substitution for joist hanger nails. Simpson indicates that a majority of their hangers be fastened with 16d common nails. If Tico nails are used, there could be as much as a 60% reduction in hanger capacity. This is important information for those of us who like to build on the safe side.

(post #62319, reply #22 of 35)

You probably got a lot of the smart-assed answers because of the way you phrased your question.

Most of the regulars here are pretty "high end" contractors, as far as their knowledge and experience go. I think your post was taken as challenging their knowledge, and it wasn't incredibly well recieved.

If you had phrased the post more as a "just in case you didn't know" you probably would have gotten some more civil responses.

Also - The name "Teco" nail is regional. Some poople use that, others don't. Not all brands of 1.5" nails use that term.

And don't forget - Posting a "test" without a prize is bad form here on Breaktime.


Personally, I haven't seen many hangers with the stubby nails. But I've seen more than one with drywall screws. Sometimes it's hard to convince guys that drywall screws aren't better than 16D commons.

Probably 99% of the hangers I see are installed with 16D sinkers, not 16D commons. But no one enforces it, so the contractors don't care.

Mary had a little lamb, her father shot it dead.
So now it goes to school with her between two hunks of bread.

(post #62319, reply #28 of 35)

Yeah, I agree...about the time I hit the post button, I realized that I could have reworded the answer a bit. I, by no means, intended to insult anyones intelligence or abillities and I apologize if I did.

Anyway, this Tico nail (or joist hanger nail) issue is something we see a lot of here and I thought it would make for a good discussion. Most people I mention this issue are shocked that a 1 1/2" joist hanger nail doesn't result in the same capacity as a 16d common nail


(post #62319, reply #2 of 35)

Now that you mention it, I think that blindly using 1-1/2" Tico nails in metal framing connectors is a widespread problem....  I see this done everyday and nobody is the wiser!

Edited 8/20/2004 7:10 pm ET by AKENGINEER

(post #62319, reply #3 of 35)

I use regular nails that the hanger calls for unless I can't nail all the way through the board. For example, when I hang a ledger for a deck on a framed house I use standard nails, but when it's hung on the foundation I use teco nails.

(post #62319, reply #4 of 35)

If you know the answer, spill.

I have used high quality screws instead of the specified hardened nails for certain applications but don't pretend they carry the load promised on the cut sheets.

(post #62319, reply #5 of 35)

I use them little blue carpet tacks..with a little bitty magnetized tack hammer.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #62319, reply #7 of 35)

I like push pins cuz it's easier to make changes or swap out joists after the plumber leaves.

(post #62319, reply #8 of 35)

Laugh Out Loud

(post #62319, reply #6 of 35)

The teco nails are fine, as long as you use the reduced values for the hangers with that length of nails.

I think Simpson says you can go up to 64% of the published values

Of course - Your building inspector may not go for it, regardless of what the book says.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

(post #62319, reply #9 of 35)

Lurch: I'm gonna be serious because I don't know any better! Don't know what a teco nail is; but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night! OK, don't laugh!

I ran into a Simpson design Injunier at a construction show here in Etlanner, Jawja, and asked about nails - specifically if I could use common nails in thicker pieces of lumber vice those cute little sawed off galvanized thingys they sell. She said - sure - the only reason for the short galvanized thingys was to keep from having a stilletto sticking out of a 2X to stab yourself on and give you corrosion resistance in treated lumber. She said just don't use sinker sizes, use full diameter commons for shear strength.

There - did I screw up a good thread or not?


The GlassMasterworks - If it scratches, I etch it!

The GlassMasterworks - If it scratches, I etch it!

(post #62319, reply #10 of 35)

Hey Lurch, it looks like you got a winning answer in there somewhere. Would the man who said, "with the proper reduction in load capacity for the reduced nail length" please step up and claim your prize!

What did he win, anyway?

Edited 8/20/2004 10:03 pm ET by AKENGINEER

(post #62319, reply #11 of 35)

Thanks for your informative brain teaser.  But what was it all about.  And what does it mean?

Les Barrett Quality Construction


(post #62319, reply #13 of 35)

"But what was it all about.  And what does it mean?" Lifes greatest question(s). And here on a forum for.... (I was going to say, "ignorant carpenters", the "working man", or such attempts at humor, but they didn't seem as funny as insulting, so I'm not saying anything.) Anyway, pretty philosohical! ;-) I also like the answer to use push pins to make changes easier. Now if someone could just make an air hammer for push pins!

(post #62319, reply #14 of 35)

I mistakenly addressed my previous comment to AKENGINEER.  I meant it to go to Lurch - am still waiting for the answer.

Les Barrett Quality Construction


(post #62319, reply #20 of 35)

I think some one in this thread hit the nail on the head.

First, for those that don't know, a Tico nail is a 1 1/2" nail commonly used for joist hanger installation.

The reason I posted the question was because I have noticed a majority of people using these tico nails for hangers ranging from joists to girder truss hangers. These people are well meaning but they just don't realize that the capacity of the hanger dramatically drops when using Tico nails. I inspected a home last week that required a hanger to support a substantial girder truss. The hanger was not specified on the truss sheets and therefore the contractor guessed. Well, he guessed with a hanger that had 1000 lbs. of capacity. The truss sheets indicated that the reaction at the end of the girder truss was a bit more than 5000 lbs. I told the contractor that he needed to change the hanger to the appropriate size...(a hanger with about 6000 lbs capacity) and that he must use 16d common nails. His response was..."I always use Tico nails for all my hangers". If he would have used Tico nails after changing out these hangers, the capacity would have been about 3000 lbs which is less than what is required for the load.

Answer, you can use Tico nails as long as you make the appropriate adjustment in hanger load capacity. If you need full capacity used the nails indicated in the hanger tables...typically 16d common nails.

Those of you that got it right, give yourself a pat on the back.

Those of you using push pins, stick to building doll houses :)

(post #62319, reply #24 of 35)

When I buy a box of hot-dipped galvanized joist hanger nails, are you saying that these are teco or tico nails?  I just call them joist hanger nails.  On a recent project while working for someone else as a lead, the folks there called the Hitachi joist hanger nailer the teco nailer.  Nobody knew why that was.  Is teco a brand?  I have worked under the assumption that I must use 1.5" joist hanger nails on 2X joists.  longer nails would bang up against the other side of the hanger.

While I am hearing good things about Simpson on this thread, I will make one comment that perhaps someone can answer.  Why do joist hanger manufacturers place the hole on both sides of the hanger in the same location.  Quite often, this results in two nails trying to occupy the same space at the same time, with a bent nail as the result.  Most folks I have observed do not bother to remove the bent nail to redrive at a different angle and this is not a good situation which seems avoidable with a small design change.

Les Barrett Quality Construction


(post #62319, reply #27 of 35)

"I have worked under the assumption that I must use 1.5" joist hanger nails on 2X joists. longer nails would bang up against the other side of the hanger."

We're talking about the nails that fasten the hanger to the supporting member - Not the ones that hold the joist in the seat.

I'd rather laugh with the sinners, but I wanna do business with the saints. They seem like they'd be easy to screw over. [John Dobbin]

(post #62319, reply #25 of 35)

It's been something like 13 years since I looked at this, but when we did our deck I used Simpson hangers and their "Special Nails". The particular hangers we used (all small dimension) SPECIFIED using the special nails, with 10d common nails "optional".

Of course, like I said, these were all 2x hangers and assorted angle brackets. Certainly I could see that heavier hangers would specify something different.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #62319, reply #26 of 35)

PS: When I went looking for some of the "Special Nails" once at a local lumber yard, the guy there said "Everyone around here just uses roofing nails." I damn near choked.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #62319, reply #12 of 35)

AKENGINEER has a point -

It isn't good form here in the tavern to ask technical questions without offering some sort of a prize.

Discretion is the better part of valour, but stupidity goes everywhere.

(post #62319, reply #15 of 35)

Nails? I thought that's what those hammer in prongs were for.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

(post #62319, reply #16 of 35)

years back I was taught that if the structre is built right that with the joist or truss in a hanger that the main forse was down, and that Tecos are only working with down forse and sheer. this was for single hangers. so  doubles or specials got full 16s.

why I am not sure cause the sheer strenth of a teco and 10d is near the smae as a 16 sinker or so I was told

arent tecos just short 10d

Headers we would use 10s or 16s.

However the materils getting placed in the hanger would get tecos, regardless of what it was

and if a floor joist a  gob of glue too


here locally Ive never had an inspector question our practice

(post #62319, reply #17 of 35)

for what its worth, attached is load recommendation for Bostitch teco nails in load adjustments when using hangers.

(post #62319, reply #18 of 35)

"why I am not sure cause the sheer strenth of a teco and 10d is near the smae as a 16 sinker or so I was told"

The shear strength is based on the diameter of the nail, and how far it penetrates the wood. Once you get up to 12 times the diameter of the nail, there is no added benifit to longer length.

At least that's how I understand it.

Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

(post #62319, reply #21 of 35)

To put in my two cents worth, I am on a project this week and getting ready to install 100 hangers.  If it weren't for my pneumatic palm nailer and my TrusMate Joist hanger available at Ace I would be dreading it.  It has been my experience that Simpson 8d or 10d nails, whichever type is called for, work awesome.  I fully trust Simpson and their products and their technical support is second to none.  There has never been a situation that they couldn't handle.

(post #62319, reply #23 of 35)

Use the specified nail for the hanger. If there would be a failure and you did not, you'd soon be working for someone else, living in a rented apartment, and eating dog food cheeseburgers.

Never serious, but always right.

Never serious, but always right.

(post #62319, reply #29 of 35)

this thread is hangin..prospero sux..please just respond to this and lemme open it,so it goes away...if yer new you will soon find out what I mean,,

taanks Lurch


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #62319, reply #30 of 35)

Here's the response...I am new and I don't understand. Don't these threads just "go away" when everyone's done?