We’re Up and Running!

13 May

We only got 4 boards done today but it’s progress. There was a lot of thinking, figuring out, and jig-making, so it was a long process to get the first board down, but the rest of the decking references off that board. It’s a little tedious but as of now we are pre-drilling for all the screws. We are using a Starborne Smart-Bit to do the pre drilling, and it is a nice tool, the bit drills very quickly and has a depth stop to set the counter sink at the perfect depth.

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I’m fortunate enough to have a separate drill and impact driver so I don’t have to keep switching bits. We use one for pre drilling and one for driving the screws.

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The impact driver is kind of like an impact wrench you’d see in a NASCAR pit crew but a lot smaller and battery operated instead of pneumatic. The bad thing about an impact driver is that it is LOUD, the good thing is that it doesn’t strain your wrist like a regular drill with a screw bit. The 18Volt lithium ion batteries are very light, the impact driver is especially light, I’d guess it’s half the weight of my old 12Volt Dewalt drill.

We decided, finally to go with standard 10×2.5″ screws rather than trim head screws. The point of trim head screws is to be as small as possible but the small heads seemed to too easily sink too deeply into the counter sunk holes, it seemed like you could drive them all the way through if you wanted. The trim heads were only available in a number 7X2.25″ so the regular head screw we got are thicker as well, which I think should hold stronger into the joists. The screws we settled on are made Simpson and are 316 Stainless, which is the highest corrosion resistance. They are also torx (star) drive, which I prefer to square drive (Robinson) for their easier engagement and the fact that the don’t look like they’re rotated wrong like square drives can if they’re not square to the surface.
Anyway, it’s a bit of a tedious process, but the little bit we have done is very encouraging and we’re pretty excited about how it’s turning out so far.

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