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Icefishww 08-02-2008 07:32 AM

Installing fiber cement panels - lap gauge
1 Attachment(s)
Anybody ever use these gauges when putting up fiber cement lap siding? I'm working alone and wondering how well they work.


AtlanticWBConst. 08-02-2008 09:31 AM

I haven't used that tool before. We use these when installing Hardieboard:

More information on the clips:

RickyG 05-27-2011 10:43 PM

Like you I will be working alone tomorrow putting up Hardi siding on my home. I purchased the same gauge from Amazon for a little over $19.xx. I will let you know tomorrow what I think about it.

Tom Struble 05-28-2011 06:35 AM

the malco guage works well ,once you get the hang of using them you will find you only need one to hold up the opposite end while you hold and nail the other

i always snap lines for every course

kwikfishron 05-28-2011 06:56 AM

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I like these better than a helper, they get it right every time and don’t talk back.

jklingel 05-28-2011 08:44 PM

Ron: Can't read the name of those "helpers". thanks. j

rock16 05-28-2011 08:53 PM

I like the Malco gauge it is inexpensive and easy to use. Kwik's pict is Gecko gauges.

jklingel 05-28-2011 09:01 PM

got in on the geckos. thanks.

kwikfishron 05-28-2011 09:01 PM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jklingel (Post 656930)
Ron: Can't read the name of those "helpers". thanks. j

Here you go

There kind of spendy but you get two.

Gary in WA 05-29-2011 11:41 PM

I use the free ones from a short length of metal strap bent on site in less than 30 seconds. But I'm frugal......


kwikfishron 05-30-2011 07:22 AM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by GBR in WA (Post 657476)
I use the free ones from a short length of metal strap bent on site in less than 30 seconds. But I'm frugal......


Those steel straps are getting harder to find these days Gary. Although the old school tool will hold the other end just fine you canít trust it to be perfectly on layout every time. Any tool that will pay for itself by lunch and start making money after that is a good value IMO. You would think frugal would like that.:)

Gary in WA 05-30-2011 10:33 PM

Good point. I don’t use it for layout, my siding coil nailer has an exposure gauge for that along with the chalk lines every third course. Only to support the end of the piece until I work my way along, nailing to within arms reach of it, then remove it –never using it for more than support and a close gauge. Be hard to remove, otherwise. I started making them when installing cedar bevel siding in the ‘70’s, when I framed and sided houses alone. I also have a bent/refigured siding carrier out of a metal closet shelf/pole support for single-person installing T-1-11 siding panels on a standing wall. In 2003 or so, my mobile nail supplier told his boss about my (3”) keel/pencil holder (used from the ‘80’s) from a washing-machine supply hose- with-in 2 months later his company and H.D. and Lowe’s came out with them. Missed the boat on that one……

I’ve cut a piece of roofer’s flashing (readily available) to 1”x 2-1/2” (for 1-1/4” lap) and bent that for a gauge, works better than plumber’s strapping, (too light-weight). I do have to put the board on the wall within 3” or so of where it belongs, otherwise it may come down when sliding the board over any more than that, as it is holding up the other Ĺ the board opposite the joint end where I start nailing. Can’t really see the need for two gauges-one at each end as you would waste time installing and removing the second one.

I set a gauge on the previous course about 10’ away (if 12’), pick up a new board at middle, set the end on gauge (judging joint end as said), step over to joint while raising gun from hook on nail-bags and holding board from tipping out/down, set reveal, nail it, working/nailing back to the gauge using gun gauge as said. To each his own, whatever gets the job done effectively and accurately.


RickyG 05-31-2011 09:02 AM


The Malco gauge worked well for me. Once the first row was up and leveled, the Malco keep each row level. To make sure I checked each board prior to and after nailing.

Locally, everyone I called for the Malco gauge, they had to order it. Lowe’s has the Gecko gauge in stock. I played with the Gecko gauge at Lowe’s, and it does work well. But, as usual I research my tools before I purchase. In this case the Malco gauge is an excellent alternative to the Gecko gauge.

This was my first time installed Hardi Siding, it is easy to work and very easy to break.

Have fun.

rookrpd 01-16-2013 07:00 AM

Gecko Gauge. The PacTool Gecko gauge does not seem to work well with beaded siding. (SA903 Model). When the cam is applied, the top of the gauge comes away from the plank and the new plank falls between the gauge and the previously applied plank. Basically, the gauge isn't tight against the siding so the next piece doesn't have anything to rest on while you attempt to hang/nail it.

Has anyone found a GECKO model that works well with beaded siding. Here in NC, the beaded siding is eerywhere. Thanks

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