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In the early '80s, new codes in California began calling for a variety of metal brackets and straps to help resist earthquake damage to woodframed houses. These metal connectors work together with plywood shear walls to hold the framework of a house together at the weakest points of the structure (see "Shear Wall Basics," 1/93). Though very much needed, metal connectors can be a nightmare for framers. Depending on the type of connector used, special nails, machine bolts, washers, and threaded rods may be needed. When nailing together and lifting walls, the last thing a framer wants to do is break the rhythm of the job to drill bolt holes and ratchet down a lot of nuts. Instead, many carpenters choose to ignore these connectors until