Big Box Hardware Store and a Happy Knucklehead

I was at Home Depot today looking for some strap or L style shear bracing for walls. I had been looking for a while and a store clerk approached me to see if they could be of assistance. I explained what I needed. Cheerfully chatty, he walked me to the drywall section and handed me some drywall corner edging. hmmm. Did he hear what I said? Did he know what I was talking about?

Simpson Strong Tie Wall Bracing

I explained that this was a structural element so it was unlikely to be so flimsy. I again described the application, but he talked over me, “Oh, I know, I know, it’s on aisle 28…” He took me, with rosy cheeks and a smile, to the shelving section and showed me the rails that you screw into walls for adjustable shelf brackets.

Finally he took me to the plumbing section and showed me hanger strap for pipes.

All of these would have failed. They would not have passed inspection, but the studio doesn’t get inspected, so it would have gone un-noticed if I had just followed along and gotten any of these mal-applied things.

I suppose this post serves as a warning: If you’re doing structural work, know what the part is called, have an idea what it should look like, and be very careful not to make do with products or techniques that won’t hold up.

Don’t use pipe strap for wall bracing.


I own a small business, I have degrees in Sculpture, Forestry, and Soil Science. I like nature, I love to learn.

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