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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All.

What are you using for structural screws. We go through them like crazy. Save a boat of time by not using the traditional lags and carriage bolts were can be avoided.

For the last year I’ve been using simpson sds flat head torx 30 3” and 5” .
Prior to that I was using fasten master ledger lok and lok head but switched to simpson to avoid swapping back and forth from hex to torx bit drove me insane.

I’m requesting bulk purchases from various suppliers now for grk and spax 1/4” x 3 & 5” washer head t-30 bit. All I need is there #10 or #12 after checking out there structural report but there head is too small and goes right through our sleet post base. Major saving on these. but would have to add a he hassle of adding a washers... not really to excited about carrying one more thing or dropping and so on. Also check out spax and grk spec page they tagged as not recommended for ground use PT because the copper is higher. So I’m not all that pleased with that detail. They say it will show rust in 3-5 years. They do make a SS but unless it’s by a beach there’s no way I’m getting in that price bracket.

What are your thoughts on Grabberman lag-master and tie-master is very aggressively priced mostly due to mfg in China. . It looks like there washer head would work, but I’m not sure if I ever used a ceramic coated screw before. Our main framing is PT ACQ. Is there any issues with ceramic and acq? They say PT approved so I’m hoping they mean all acq as well pt?

Thank you all for the time in advance.
Yannis
citydecksinc.com
 

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Artist and not a curator
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We use ACQ for the most part cadmium is supposed to be okay with ACQ. Not sure about ceramic coated, ACQ sucks balls because everything but stainless starts to rust in 3 years. Most the manufacturers of coated fasteners will say okay but wont say recommend for ACQ.

Sidebar here, does anyone know if the MCQ is just as bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I spoke the GRK guys in Canada dam there nice up there. They pointed out that the ground approved pt will rust there crews but not make them fail. It's mostly surface rust in 3-5years. What happens next?? is hole other story. My structural warranty is for 3/yrs. That does not mean it should fall apart either. Is MCQ for ground? At least I use what's approved for ACQ. Either way this copper things is big pain in the balls. I'm frozen over again tomorrow so I'll call grabberman.
 

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I was using all Fastenmaster structural and ledger fasteners until my main supplier, a local store with very sharp pricing, switched to Simpson. I still prefer Fastenmaster as a company/product but I'm not going to HD for it. So now I use a mix of Simpson and Fastenmaster. I still use carriage bolts for my post and beam connections when they're very visible just because I like the way they look.

I'm pretty sure that most of the yards around here are carrying anything larger than 2x in ACQ and 2x and thinner in MCQ. We have a lot of salt water around so that might be just a regional thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was using all Fastenmaster structural and ledger fasteners until my main supplier, a local store with very sharp pricing, switched to Simpson. I still prefer Fastenmaster as a company/product but I'm not going to HD for it. So now I use a mix of Simpson and Fastenmaster. I still use carriage bolts for my post and beam connections when they're very visible just because I like the way they look.

I'm pretty sure that most of the yards around here are carrying anything larger than 2x in ACQ and 2x and thinner in MCQ. We have a lot of salt water around so that might be just a regional thing.
Waiting on compliance docs from grabber. They keep sending me codes loads and every thing but exterior/ acq use. We use a few thousand of these things last. Looking to shave the cost. Im really pissed about grk#12 not coming with washer head. There perfect.
 

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I would stay away from structural screws manufactured in China.

Purely to assist you, and not out of self-promotion, I think you owe it to yourself to check out construction lag screws from Big Timber. These are top of the line, ACQ compatible, and have a washer head like you desire. This brand is best known in the west and midwest, but it's really spreading.

You can find these for sale on many websites. I myself carry this brand, but I am not telling you this to earn myself business, but to help you solve a problem. Where you choose to get the screws is completely up to you and your research. I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Should have all my numbers in tomorrow.
Grk.
spax.
grabber.

Used to fastenmaster and the rep is great but cant waste time switching out bits. There different heads for the 3" and 5".
Spoke to rep there just wrapping up testing on there new line they all have the same bit. Won't be out till end of this year.
 

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Me too but I bet it's a liability issue with the sharp points.
Could be fixed with just a deep nut option and longer screws available. For example it could be a 2.5" deep nut and then sell screws in 6,8, and 10" lengths.

Even better idea would be to retool the headlok line so all you do is buy the nuts to work with those, then you can drop a few skus and products, gives versatility to the builder so he only stocks the headloks and adds nuts when he needs them.
 

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I remember a number of years ago (think I may have seen em at a deckexpo) a similar product where just below the lag/tip threading was a score, and once driven through, you just knocked off the tip and the shank had threading for machine nut/washer. Never took off, but good idea. I have in some instances, where I counter bore for a flush to framing railpost situation with fascia over the head/washer, just knock off the end of the nut with bolt cutters, so when I bite down on it, it doesn't bottom out in the nut:whistling
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
My purpose for the this post was to get some feed back from you all which I thank you for taking the time.
I buy 2-3 nice size orders per year and want to considerate my vendors, time and hassle.
Fasten master is no no doubt GRADE A all the way. And will sill continue there tags and thru loks and I wish there did have an open end nut.

As of now it looking tight between grk and grabber. I'll be saving about 30% across the board.
I have gotten the driver / tip bit down 1 for 85-90% of the time.
Picked up tico's for almost 1/2 off.
All thread down about 12%
Epoxy down more then 1/2.
3" framers down 15%.

Over all a nice chunk change is left in my pocket.

For Rob I have a couple of metal decks in the pipe and designed my own adjustable footing similar to the helical pier which will save a lot of labor when it comes to building masonry piers on roof tops. On a 16 x 20 deck I'll be able to install 8 of them in 2-3 hrs. level (solo) and frame right away. Add the metal pre ordered framing cuts out the waste, a lot of tools, clean up, set up and labor on the job. :thumbsup:

It's been frozen over here and I'm bored out of my mind but have working on a ton of designs and cutting fat of out things. Trucks, shop, tool packages, prefabricating roof access dog houses to be faster and leaner in all the things that get you stumped and seem to bring the clock to stop in the field. Remember were not on the ground were it' safe fast and easy. I'm glad to have to time to work out the details of my business because I like others won't have the time when it's busy.
Booking the year nicely looking forward to a proper thaw and getting back in the field. ;)
 
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