|Review by knothead||posted 06-28-2010 04:36 PM||11571 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
I was very excited to get the Kreg Deck Jig this summer as I am replacing the deck at my home. The new deck is a 10’ X 16’ floating deck, framed in the usual manner with PT lumber for the structure and Western Red Cedar (5/4×6) decking and trim. I have a most favorable opinion of Kreg tools generally, however in the Deck Jig they might have missed the mark just a little bit. I have a few observations…....
1. The jig is formed of the familiar blue plastic, but I find it to be pretty lightweight,and very flexible. If your decking is not absolutely flat and true there is not enough structure in the jig to really bear down on it while positioning and drilling for the fastener. consequently the fasteners WILL NOT pull the decking down tight to the structure. I have tried various methods of persuasion, and finally resorted to Bessey “F” clamps and various blocks of scrap to hold the decking down tight to drill it and insert the fastener.
2. The concern I have about the fastener is the very very small head and it’s holding power in the decking. Only time will tell if they are capable of holding down the decking or if the seasonal movement of the wood will just split the wood where the fastener goes thru on the angle. I have supplemented with countersunk galvanized deck screws in strategic locations and then cut plugs and plugged the screw holes to hide the screw heads. (I was unable to locate a photo of the deck screws to post with this review).
3. The driver bit with stop collar seems hit and miss, I have settled on what I think is the correct torque setting on my cordless drill motor, but basically you run the fastener down till the adjustable stop collar stops the driver bit which then spins in the screw head or trips the clutch on the drill motor, this is about 50/50 which one will happen. After installing most of the decking I was walking across it and noted that several boards are NOT pulled down tight, they move or creek under your feet. That was easily remedied by chucking the driver in a handle and tightening each fastener a little by hand. But now you have driven the screws yet again (drill,drive,done?)
4. The stepped drill bit does not drill a clean hole, it leaves very large tears or splinters where the drill bit enters the decking on the angle near the top of the decking, I think about barefoot kids on the deck and those splinters. This may just be the nature of the beast and may be something you just have to live with by sanding each and every hole to eliminate the splinters, which is what I have done.
5. The price for the jig was $99.99 and each bucket of 700 screws is $49.99 (protec- cote) or $109.99 (stainless)
I was not looking for a cheaper alternative to traditional hidden fastener systems, just a better one. KREG really seems to have missed with this one! I purchased this based on their reputation for quality solutions, but after using it and seeing that it DID NOT save me any time or effort and with it’s cost I would be hard pressed to recommend this tool. Sorry KREG :o(
-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --