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Kreg hits the deck

Kreg has introduced a new method of securing deck boards to the framing without unsightly screw heads poking up from every board. The method works similar to Kreg’s pocket hole jig. The deck jig has three holes to guide the drill bit and driver: the two outside holes sit  45 degrees to the center hole.

Kreg Deck Jig

Kreg Deck Jig

To use the jig, first place a couple of spacers (the red items in the photo below) between the deck boards to get the proper spacing.

DeckJig2

Provided spacers position deck board perfectly

A rib on the bottom of the jig fits in the groove you just created to position it for drilling. Just as you would for a pocket hole, drill a hole with the special bit. The next step is where it gets a bit different from pocket hole joinery. The jig stays in place and the screw is inserted into the same hole you just drilled through. Using a square-drive bit (provided with the screws) equipped with a stop collar, drive the screw home. The stop collar prevents driving the screw too deeply. Just like with their pocket hole jig, the deck jig has templates molded in to help position the stop collars perfectly on the drill bit and driver bit.

DeckJig3

Scott Schaaf of Kreg demonstrates their deck jig

The drill-guide holes set at 45 degrees are for drilling and driving next to the house, a deck post or other obstruction. Once the screws are driven in, they aren’t quite invisible, but the small holes leave a fastener-free face on the deck boards.

The jig is designed for use with solid composite decking material like what you see in the photos. Scott Schaaf of Kreg said they’ve also used it on cedar, but don’t recommend it for treated lumber because after treated lumber shrinks, the gap can become undesirably wide. The kit includes 1/4″ and 5/16″ spacers, along with the drill and driver bits, and stop collars. Screws come in tubs of 700, and each tub includes a fresh driver bit. You can find the kit in Lowe’s by May 1st.

Craig Ruegsegger

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