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1) Depending, the joists aren't 'thick' enough to 'accommodate' the nail. The only way to make sure the nail doesn't penetrate the BACK side of the ledger is to toe-nail. 2) Toe-nailing somewhat 'restricts' the movement of the joist from left to right. This method kinda 'stretches' the hanger so that when it wants to move left, it can't because the nail on the other side is 'pulling' the joist back. 3) The nail is less likely to pull out (by Mother Nature) when it's on an angle. As wood expands and contracts, a nail that's hammered STRAIGHT in will move more than one that's not since the weight on the nail is coming straight down.
I can't see the illustration you're referring to. Could they be screwing the hanger in???
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: God Bless America!
Try this, take some 2x4's and make a "T". Toe nail them together with 3- 12d galvanized nails... 2 on one side (4") and 1 on the otherside (4"). now try to pull them apart. Toe nailing is the strongest method of nailing this kind of joint.
When you nail the hangers to the ledger make sure that you use "Teco" Nails they are slightly larger than Joist hanger nails. Toenail thru the hanger into the joist into the ledger with at least 12d common nails, avoid box nails if possible. If this is for outdoor construction use galvanized nails