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  1. #1
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I'm starting from this:
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeL View Post
    Mike,

    Take a look at the Camo hidden deck fastening system. It is less expensive than the Kreg jig and does not require pre-drilling.

    http://www.camofasteners.com/

    George
    George or others:

    Do you have an opinion on using the hidden screw jigs/systems with wet PT lumber?

    I'm considering the CAMO, but then I noticed that it creates a 3/16" gap. I haven't bought any lumber yet, but I've always been told (and experienced with the ONLY deck I've helped build), that if the PT lumber is moist, you should butt the edges of the decking up against each other. As they dry, you'll get a good gap.

    On the flip side of this, I've seen several PT decks where they gapped the wet boards, and they wound up with 3/8" (and up to 1/2"!) gaps.

    I haven't been at Lowes or HD to look through their decking stock, but last time I was there for PT 2-bys and fence pickets, they were all sopping wet. I just read that some "real" lumber yards may carry kiln-dried PT decking.

    Opinions/experiences???
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    You could always buy your lumber and let it dry for a few weeks prior to your build.
    "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."~ Sir Winston Churchill

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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by NCTurner View Post
    You could always buy your lumber and let it dry for a few weeks prior to your build.
    +1 or maybe way more. Stop by my house and look at my deck after a rain. In some cases, the construction guys were idiots and it is obvious that the wood might cup the way it did because of the grain orientation and in other cases not so much. But I have several boards that even those morons would have flipped over had they been allowed to dry a bit first.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by sushinutnc View Post
    I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I'm starting from this:


    George or others:

    Do you have an opinion on using the hidden screw jigs/systems with wet PT lumber?

    I'm considering the CAMO, but then I noticed that it creates a 3/16" gap. I haven't bought any lumber yet, but I've always been told (and experienced with the ONLY deck I've helped build), that if the PT lumber is moist, you should butt the edges of the decking up against each other. As they dry, you'll get a good gap.

    On the flip side of this, I've seen several PT decks where they gapped the wet boards, and they wound up with 3/8" (and up to 1/2"!) gaps.

    I haven't been at Lowes or HD to look through their decking stock, but last time I was there for PT 2-bys and fence pickets, they were all sopping wet. I just read that some "real" lumber yards may carry kiln-dried PT decking.

    Opinions/experiences???
    Only time will tell, I just finished putting a new deck floor down today. I used the camo fastener system. The wood I used wasn't sopping wet but to be sure it wasn't dry. Anyway, I'm hoping it doesn't go to crap down the road. I don't intend on putting down another one so it will just have to do.

    Mike
    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    http://carolina-heirlooms.ncwoodworker.net/

  7. #5
    Returning Member AmishWarlord's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    OK these look good, but. If you have a board that goes wild in the middle of the deck and needs to be replaced do you have to unscrew the entire row of boards to get to that one board?

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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by AmishWarlord View Post
    OK these look good, but. If you have a board that goes wild in the middle of the deck and needs to be replaced do you have to unscrew the entire row of boards to get to that one board?
    If you can get under the deck, you can cut/break out the board that needs to be replaced and then secure the new board with pocket hole screws.

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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by AmishWarlord View Post
    OK these look good, but. If you have a board that goes wild in the middle of the deck and needs to be replaced do you have to unscrew the entire row of boards to get to that one board?

    According to the mfg. it is possible to remove the screws in the bad board, put a new board down, reattach. Hope I don't have to but based on how the system works, I don't see any problem doing the removal.

    Mike
    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    http://carolina-heirlooms.ncwoodworker.net/

  10. #8
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by NCTurner View Post
    You could always buy your lumber and let it dry for a few weeks prior to your build.
    It's taken me weeks to plan this thing still... then I have HOA approval and permitting. My wife just wants it done already. Maybe I should buy all the decking as soon as my plan is finished... and it'll be drying while I wait for the HOA/permit.
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

  11. #9
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by mshel View Post
    Only time will tell, I just finished putting a new deck floor down today. I used the camo fastener system. The wood I used wasn't sopping wet but to be sure it wasn't dry. Anyway, I'm hoping it doesn't go to crap down the road. I don't intend on putting down another one so it will just have to do.

    Mike
    Great to hear you used the CAMO. What was your impression of it? Comments/feedback very much appreciated.
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

  12. #10
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by mshel View Post
    According to the mfg. it is possible to remove the screws in the bad board, put a new board down, reattach. Hope I don't have to but based on how the system works, I don't see any problem doing the removal.

    Mike
    I guess this is a follow on to my other request for comments....

    I'm glad you mentioned this, Mike. I noticed the screws in their videos aren't totally hidden. They're screwed in from a fairly high angle, and in some photos look like the heads might be visible from above (they may stick out slightly from the side into the gap between decking boards). How do you like the final look? Any regrets in using the CAMO?
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

  13. #11
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by sushinutnc View Post
    Great to hear you used the CAMO. What was your impression of it? Comments/feedback very much appreciated.
    I really liked how the system worked. It works very easily and the thing I like about it is that you don't see the holes unless you look for them. I had to face screw a couple boards because the railing prevented me from getting the tool on the board. But all in all, I was satisfied with how everything went down. Since my existing deck was built on 24" centers, I went back in and added additional joists so I really beefed up the structure. I went through 700 screws on the project. Considering I added all the new joists, and I screwed into every joist, it should stand up pretty good. Btw, if you are considering getting this system, let me know, I'll make you a deal on the tool.

    Mike
    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    http://carolina-heirlooms.ncwoodworker.net/

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  15. #12
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by sushinutnc View Post
    I guess this is a follow on to my other request for comments....

    I'm glad you mentioned this, Mike. I noticed the screws in their videos aren't totally hidden. They're screwed in from a fairly high angle, and in some photos look like the heads might be visible from above (they may stick out slightly from the side into the gap between decking boards). How do you like the final look? Any regrets in using the CAMO?
    Installed correctly, the heads are sunk. I had a couple that did stick out a bit but I think that was because I didn't drive it the full depth. If you have one that doesn't sink, you can remove the tool, and then just drive it a little deeper. The driver bits are made to sink the screws below the surface so driven properly, you shouldn't see any heads. Using the tool, you can't overdrive the screws.

    Mike
    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    http://carolina-heirlooms.ncwoodworker.net/

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  17. #13
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by mshel View Post
    Btw, if you are considering getting this system, let me know, I'll make you a deal on the tool.

    Mike
    PM sent!
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

  18. #14
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by sushinutnc View Post
    It's taken me weeks to plan this thing still... then I have HOA approval and permitting. My wife just wants it done already. Maybe I should buy all the decking as soon as my plan is finished... and it'll be drying while I wait for the HOA/permit.

    Have you checked to see if there are yards near you that sell dried PT wood?

    I know HD/Lowes sells it wet but there are others that stock the dry stuff. Not sure of the cost differance.

  19. #15
    Returning Member sushinutnc's Avatar
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    Re: Hidden screw systems for decks and wet PT lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
    Have you checked to see if there are yards near you that sell dried PT wood?

    I know HD/Lowes sells it wet but there are others that stock the dry stuff. Not sure of the cost differance.
    I mentioned that... yes, I still need to check.
    **Committing 100% legal acts of woodworkery since, well... the 70s**

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