Once upon a time, when framing lumber was of uniform dimension, we used to snap our chalklines on the sides of beams to show where to preinstall the joist hangers. But not anymore. These days, our joists vary so much in depth that we’ve taken to temporarily toe-nailing the joists flush with the top of their beam. We use three nails, as shown in the drawing below, to position the joist. Then one of our helpers follows along, working from below to install the joist hangers.
We’ve found two advantages to this method. First, we can leave the time-consuming task of hanger nailing to the less-experienced crew members. Second, we don’t risk our fingers by wrestling the joists into sharp, preinstalled joist hangers.
Tom Robinson, Banff, None