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I remember seeing a Simson Strong Tie product at HD that looks like it would take the place of a birds mouth cut on a rafter. I'm building a small 8 x 10 building with a gable roof. Has anyone used these in place of a birds mouth cut before? It looks like the piece sits on top of the top plate and accepts the rafter at various angles. Thanks.
 

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The Strong Tie or Hurricane clip should be used in conjunction with a properly cut birds mouth. This tie is mainly intended to forestall hurricane wind updrafts and is not replacement for a properly seated rafter. A Birds mouth on the other hand creates a proper seat for download.
 

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I guess they would work ok for a small utility building like your project, but I don't think they would be allowed on a major addition or new construction. I agree with jiggyback, they are primarily to resist wind uplift. The seat of the birdmouth will distribute the rafter load over the entire width of the top plate, whereas your method will concentrate all of the weight to the very outside corner of the plate, as that will be the only point where the rafter and plate will contact each other.
 
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