There’s More to Framing Hardware than Good Looks
I’ve looked at a lot of technical drawings and specifications over the years, and have learned that there are often not-so-subtle differences between apparently similar structural products. For example, when I’m in the lumberyard looking at framing hardware, the design distinctions between one piece of hardware and another isn’t always obvious.
Take the case of 4×4 post bases. Simpson makes three that look pretty similar, the ABA44Z, ABW44Z, and the ABU44Z. While they don’t look very different, their performance varies by a factor of four from one to the next: The ABA bases are rated to resist 555 lbs. of uplift, the ABW 1005 lbs., and the ABU bases 2200 lbs. If the designer spec’ed ABUs, you need to use them.
Be careful out there.