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Old 03-14-2011, 08:27 AM   #1
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


Hi All,

My wife and I are working up plans for a deck. We'd like to use Ipe for the decking, and the most affordable thickness we've been able to find is a 1"x6" (which is actually 3/4"x5.5", or thereabouts).

We're also looking at different hidden fastener systems, and one that seemed (to my novice mind) that it would work great is Deckmaster.

However, I've got one item that causes me pause is that with our 3/4" thick boards, we're only going to be able to drive the screws in about 1/2" of an inch.

Is a screw going in 1/2" going to have enough strength to hold all the decking boards in place? Or do we need a thicker board if we're going to use the Deckmaster system? Deckmaster has a pack they say is for hardwood decking as thing as 3/4", but I noticed that it says the screws are 1" long? I guess you have to drive them in at an angle?

Anybody here used Deckmaster on 3/4" hardwood decking? Does it hold things in place properly?


Last edited by jbeall; 03-14-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #2
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


Keep in mind that IPE usually requires pre-drilling prior to putting a screw into it.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


Yes, I know. I was wondering about the holding strength and how you could use a 1" screw on 3/4" decking.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


I recently installed an ipe deck using 2 inch long stainless steel trim screws, driven vertically through the decking. My decking is 1x4, similar to yours it is dressed to 3/4 inch thick. I investigated half a dozen "hidden" fastening systems, and concluded that for 3/4 inch thick ipe, I was not confident that any of them would hold. Ipe is very hard, and very stiff, and you are almost certainly going to have to bend at least half the boards to be straight, based on my experience.

For the bending, I used a tool called the BowWrench, which worked quite well, however there are other similar tools. Once you bend the board, the screws really need to hold very well, or they are going to rip out of the joists. I had no trouble with the trim head screws tearing out, but in retrospect I am glad I did not use a hidden system, since they all have less grip on the ipe, and most of them have less total grip on the joists. Your call, I understand the desire to hide the hardware, but if you get trim screws that are coated brown on top, they do not show up badly, and if you purchase a combination countersink/drill bit you can install them fairly quickly.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


....cant help with deckmaster. Looks kind of flimsy to me. Ipe is hard stuff and you need a good fastening system to hold them in place. Have used Ipe clips and counterbore/plug.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


Grabber (Deckmaster manufacturer) asserts that because the screws go into the deck at an angle, it holds sufficiently, even when it's only 3/4" thick.

They also assert that you don't have to predrill Ipe... which I find hard to believe, but this guy says it worked for him...

Deckmaster's FAQ with the assertions about the angled screws and the pre-drilling requirements:
http://www.grabberman.com/FAQ.aspx?ln=2
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


....ok....you've done a fair amount of research. Sounds like you answered all your own questions. Get back to us how it goes. I'd be interested in the no predrilling part and how that works out for you.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


Well, I haven't totally made up my mind about going with Deckmaster yet. I'm hoping I can get ahold of "MikeHennessy" who had that post over at forums.finehomebuilding.com. That's the thread I linked to where he said Deckmaster worked for him. That post was in March 2007, and it's now 4 years later (March 2011), so I'm thinking if he can give some feedback on how the deck has held up, that would be a good boost to my confidence in that Deckmaster's system will really work.

-Josh
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:05 AM   #9
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Deckmaster--will it work with 3/4" hardwood decking?


I got an email from Mike Hennessy, and here's what he said:

Yes, the system has worked out fine -- no problems in over three years now. I’d use it again. I was a bit tentative about using the powder-coated instead of the stainless with the combination of ACQ and ipe, especially in areas that are not under cover, but there have been no problems. The ipe has held up well, as has the fastening system.

At this point I'm strongly leaning towards giving it a try... I'll have to discuss some more with my wife.

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