I am using self-tapping, Ledgerlok fasteners to attach my deck ledger to the house. I tried them out on some scrap wood and they went in fine with no splitting. However in doug fir, they seem to have a mind of their own and follow the path of least resistance, not always where you aimed them. This would make me nervous shooting them into a stud or top plate. Is there any loss in holding power if I were to drill snug pilot holes first? Would this apply to self-tapping screws in general?
You should not have any issues using ledgerloks for your deck ledger boards. There is no need to predrill holes either.
"LEDGERLOK" BOARD FASTENER Designed to attach deck ledger boards to a house structure Stronger design shear values than 1/2" lags No pre-drilling Large washer head design for increased holding power Highly corrosion resistant Bucket/250 5" New, no pre-drilling fastener for ledger board.
Faster and Stronger Than 1/2" Lags
FastenMaster’s new engineered fastener is the first designed to attach a deck ledger board to a house without predrilling. These heat-treated screws provide higher shear values than traditional 1/2" lags. Use a 5/16" hex nutdriver....A proprietary multi-coat finish is guaranteed not to rust for the life of your project, even in ACQ treated lumber (saltwater applications excepted). A 5/8" dia. washer head prevents the fastener from countersinking into the wood. Consult your local building codes for appropriate use. LedgerLok meets ICC AC233.
Check your local code to see if a ledger supported deck is permitted where you live. The number of places that allow them is shrinking.
Make sure you seal, flash (most important) and seal the connections to eliminate the possibility of moisture/rot/mold.
Once you start screwing them in, they shouldn't have any "mind of their own." Hold them steady as you start the hole, then hold the shaft steady until they bite and start sinking in. They won't move around after that point.
What do you mean "shooting them into a stud or top plate?" These should be used to secure your ledger to your house rim joist or full-height blocking between your house floor joists - nice large pieces of wood.
If you want, you can drill 1/8" pilot holes for them.
Thanks for the responses. Yes those are the screws. I probably as you said needed to start them in slower. When I powered them in too fast with my 1/2 drill, they tended to follow soft grain and would deflect up to 10 degrees.
I am connecting a 2x10 ledger to 2x8 house band so about 4" of the ledger sits below the house band. For insurance I thought I would secure the lower part of the ledger into the top plates using 5" ledgerloks. Of course when screwing 3 1/2" into 2x material correct aim is more of consideration. With a drill firmly in the chuck I assumed you could more accurately control placement.
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