This statement has come up recently on technical support, during a webinar and on the Advance Steel forums. A joint won’t do exactly what you want so you then delete the joint box and manually make the changes, but we lose the intelligence of the joint by deleting the joint box.
Especially with joints such as the staircase, railing & ladders, you won’t get 100% of what you need via the joint dialogue box. A lot of people will get the joint as far as possible then delete the joint box and manually manipulate the elements as required.
You don’t always need to do this, many times you can edit the elements of the joint manually without having to delete the joint box. For example, you have modelled a staircase with the staircase macro, but you need to manually model a top stringer and then mitre the stringer from the macro with the manual one.
You can use the mitre command on both of these elements without deleting the staircase joint box, as shown below.
There will be times when you do have to delete the joint box, for example, if you need to split the stringer on the staircase the split beam command won’t work as the stringer is controlled by the joint.
My advice is always try to make your modifications before deleting the joint box, if Advance Steel won’t let you make these modifications then you will need to delete the joint box.