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 11-15-2006, 13:21 Post: 136952
MacDaddy



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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I will be putting down 5/4x6 cedar decking down on a new deck that I recently built. I have a pretty large surface to cover. I was originally planning on using stainless steel screws as recommended but I recently purchased a framing nailer and would like to use that instead if nails will work just as well. Anyone have thoughts or advice on this?






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 11-15-2006, 14:06 Post: 136953
Peters

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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I would only do it if you can get ss nails for the framer. Cedar deck boards do not work the heads out as pine will, but the nail heads will discolor the boards.






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 11-15-2006, 14:35 Post: 136956
earthwrks

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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I dunno about a framing nailer---I've got a Paslode 30 degree and it has a pointed tip that when it shoots a nail tends to bounce enough to scar the wood; on a fence which is what I bought it for it's not that big of deal but on a deck, I would use a screw. There are ceramic-coated screws now too (at Lowes), and/or you might want to try using the type of screw used for composites which have a different under-head-design that looks like a bugle. It is supposed to not shred the material around the hole so badly. Galvaized nails might be the ticket too.

I your back gives you problems and you want to use screws, and the screws are the right kind, there's a unit (I think) made by DeWalt that either attaches to the screw gun or is a dedicated unit that has about a 3 foot extension on it that allows you to screw standing up. It uses collated or similar type of screws.

I would also go with a square-drive head screw vs. a Phillips.






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 11-15-2006, 14:41 Post: 136957
Murf



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 Decks - Nail or Screw

There is a couple of different ways to do it. Several even involve using non-stainless fasteners.

The first way to do it is to fasten the deck from below. There are several companies out there making a similar product to do this, primarily "Deckster" (see link below) and "Deckmaster", which is just a bent strip of metal, sort of like a drywall corner protector, b ut with an extra bend, making a sort of an opened Z shape. You fasten the metal strip to the joists, then fasten each board to the strip from below where it meets each strip.

The big advantages to this are, you can use regular plated hardware in contact with Cedar or Redwood with no risk of discolouring your deck, but most importantly, for ANY type of wood, there are no perforations in the top side of the decking material. This prevents both accelerated rotting, and the "splinter in the foot" hazards.

There is another type also which I have used before, many companies make them, they are just a folded peice of metal with a couple of holes in it, and two sharp brads facing out sideways. You set one on each joist and tap one brad into the side of the deck board, then nail or screw it down to the joist, then set the next board down and tap it into the remaining brad, then start over with more fasteners. They are a little cheaper since there is less material than the ones above, and work better, IMHO, with nails too.

Best of luck.






Link:   Deckster Decking systems. 

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 11-15-2006, 15:10 Post: 136961
SG8NUC



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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I have built two decks at my place I bought the boards and screws from Home Depot. The screws are coated and are of good quality. If I had to do it again I would pre-drill the boards. Sometime the screws seating into the boards popped up splinters, bad on bare feet. The bits for the drill came with the screws and I used a 1/2 hp drill. Not one screw broke off. I think if the bit was long enough the screw would go all the way through a 4 X 4. I used a pump up sprayer with water seal and coated both decks I try to re apply once every two years. I am not the best wood worker but the decks are 5 years old and doing fine.

hope this helps






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 11-15-2006, 16:13 Post: 136966
earthwrks

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 Decks - Nail or Screw

SG, have you used the special screws used for composites on regular wood? Just wondering if that would reduce micro-splintering.






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 11-15-2006, 16:28 Post: 136968
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 Decks - Nail or Screw

No, that cost would have doubled my deck money. I have been told that they stopped using arsonic as a wood treatment. They use copper and something else now. This calls for a special screw, one made out of stainless steel or with a special coating. If you use this new wood and old screws they wont last 6 months so I have been told. I checked out the composites and they are real nice and should last for ever. If money was not such a great concern for me I think they would be the way to go.

Something that I did not know until I got into the deck and dock work. Was that you need special treatment for Fresh water. Fresh water had more bacteria or worse bacteria than salt water. For a pond like mine it was about $2.50 more a board for water contact.






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 11-15-2006, 18:19 Post: 136969
earthwrks

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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I've heard that the lower end composites need more structure beneath them (joists) because they can't span the typical 18" spacings.

And the copper treatment; it used to be with the old stuff any thin aluminun touching it was quickly eaten away like trim work.






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 11-15-2006, 19:29 Post: 136977
oneace

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 Decks - Nail or Screw

I would not use a framing nailer to fasten decking as the holes are not to aesthetically pleasing.






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 11-15-2006, 19:38 Post: 136978
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 Decks - Nail or Screw

No two ways about it. Use deck screws period. I had a very large redwood deck on my last house and the from the process of weathering the nails gradually worked out a little at a time allowing the deck boards to flex up and down on the nail. The nails did not pull all the way out but enough to loosen the boards. I had to go back and secure them with deck screws. They take a lot more work but are the ONLY way to go in my opinion. I will probably use them on barns and work buildings on the ranch here as well.






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