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There are a lot of tricks and tools for spacing deck boards evenly, but how many of them give you perfectly aligned screw heads too? Jason Lindquist designed FastCap’s DeckMaster to help the amateur and pro alike build professional-looking decks.

The Deck Master can be used to provide a consistent 1/4″ gap when putting down either 4″ or 6″ deck boards. It straddles the joist to consistently align screws over the entire deck. There are two sets of guide holes: one for fastening the board mid-field and the other for attaching two boards to the joist edge to edge.

It looks like currently the only place you can find the Deck Master online is FastCap’s store. There you’ll pay $20 plus $8 shipping.

Desk Master [FastCap]

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12 Responses to Deck Master: Accurate Board And Screw Placement

  1. aaron says:

    the great thing about products like these is that, provided you have the ability, copy the design using plywood scraps for just a few minutes of time.

  2. DMP says:

    Who still puts deck screw in top?

  3. aaron says:

    how else can you do it?

  4. John says:

    Amateurs space deck boards. If you space them 1/4″ like this device does, you will have a huge gap once the boards dry out and shrink. Then it won’t look so “professional”.

  5. matt says:

    I’m an amateur.

    When I built my deck I used a 6 inch c-clamp, along with an irwin spreader to jam every board as tight as I could to the next. (c-clamp on the joist, spreader pushing against it).

    Now that everything’s dry you can just barely see light through the cracks.

  6. Dave P says:

    yep, use a bow-wrench and get ’em tight. Plus “perfectly aligned screw holes?” I like a lot of Fastcap stuff but this screams Bill-and-Suzy-Homemaker.

  7. Robert Dezendorf says:

    “Who still puts deck screw in top?”
    “how else can you do it?”

    Here’s How-From Toolmonger

    Kreg Deck Kit
    Friday, April 2nd, 2010

    Kreg may have a winner with their new Kreg Deck Kit™. Recently introduced, and to be available May 1st, the Deck Kit™ provides an easy way to build a new deck or refinish an old one, and without exposed fasteners. The Deck Jig™ has hardened steel drill guides that you use to drill holes in the edges of your deck boards with the Kreg step drill. Typically these holes are located to attached your deck boards to the joists using the center guides, but the jig also provides two other angled guides for attaching deck boards in “hard-to-reach areas.” Once the hole is drilled, a deck screw is inserted into the same drill guide and driven into the joist using a square driver bit with a stop collar.

    (more…)

  8. fred says:

    While Fastcap makes some tools that facilitate commercial work, this jig looks to me to be aimed at the DIY’er market or folks who do very limited decking. The approach looks to be good but time consuming. We do lots of decks – and offer our customers as many options as we can within limits. This provides for different functionality, appearance, price and time to construct. Not every deck needs to be constructed out of Brazilian hardwoods, look like fine parquet flooring, have other intricate patterns and irregular edge treatments – or use a concealed fastening scheme. We’ll show clients pictures of some of our work – starting with modest decks first – and see what they want without pressing them or up selling. Many perfectly nice looking and functional decks then get constructed out of western red cedar decking – and yes we still use top screws (prefer stainless steel finish-head screws that fit our Senco Guns) if that fits the client’s price point. We eyeball screw placement and a skilled installer sets screws at pretty consistent spacing that looks pleasing to the eye – albeit – not within mm accuracy.

  9. Josh says:

    Most people do not want a 1/4″ gap space. Especially since after the wood dried it will shrink. That is unless you are using some of the KD hardwoods, they tend to expand sometimes.

    I prefer to use the Ipe Clip Extreme fasteners. No surface screws, and plenty of hold down strength. Plus they gap the baords for you as you install…its an all in one process.

    Dave, you said you like the BoWrench? Have you ever tried using the Hardwood Wrench? Its a bit more expensive, but worth its weight in gold when dealing with some bowed planks.

  10. fred says:

    @ Josh

    The Hardwood Wrench looks like a nice tool to add to the kit. We have used form time to time various tools to straighten deck joists and pull decking into alignment these include:

    CEPCO QJ1 FLOORING JACK SET
    CEPCO BW-2 BOWRENCH 2
    CEPCO BW-8 DECKTRACK JOIST GRIPPER
    CEPCO BW-3 ADJUSTABLE JOIST GRIPPER
    DEAD ON AN18 ANNIHILATOR
    MAYHEW 41500 TWEAKER BAR
    STANLEY 93-310 BOARD BENDER
    STANLEY 55-119 22 OZ FU BAR
    STANLEY 55-099 40 OZ FU BAR
    STANLEY 55-120 8.5 LB FU BAR
    VAUGHAN BJ-11 BOWJAK

  11. David G. says:

    Those IPE clips look pretty nifty. I think I like the look of those better than the Kreg system.

    Does anyone know if you can buy green deck board and air dry it yourself? Say, I want to build a deck so I buy the wood and air dry it for a year under a lean to or something?

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