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I'm inquiring about the use of this jig before I buy it. I need to determine if 1/4 " gap is the minimum possible. The spacers included with the kit are 1/4 and 5/16. I'm assuming this relatively wide gap is necessitated to allow fastening of the inside (adjacent to installed board) edge. That gap is too large for my plans. is there a way to reduce the size of the gap to 1/8 or even 3/16? Thanks for your help.

Jack G.

 

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Using the spacers that come with the jig the answer is no. The gap was acceptable to me using Azek decking which will not shrink, but I feel it would be much to wide for pressure treated lumber.

Pressure treated lumber/deck boards should be butted.

A gap will occur as the wood dries.

A 5/4 x 6 size deck board will shrink 1/8 to 1/4'' in the width.

 

The pressure treated boards need to be installed/secured in-place, while they're still wet.

 

I'd suggest getting the deck boards installed within 2-3 days, after you get them to the job site.

 

I recently bought one of these jigs and to be honest once I watched the DVD - and looked at the job a couple more times in the light of that, this was going to be more trouble than it was worth. Unlike the amazing workshop Kreg Jig this is simply too unforgiving and not scalable - by that I mean you cannot change wood thickness you use or screw depths or anything, its a one size fits all [my way or the highway] option. Not impressed at all - NB was using this in UK where decking timber sizes can vary greatly - cannot speak for US market standardizaton.

Decks in the US have always been built this way there's a reason you leave 1/4 inch gap it to allow water to escape . utter nonsense to butt the boards.
I just finished a deck 14 x 20 using the Kreg  deck jig. with a composite decking  material, In the very beginning first 2 boards, 14' lengths, 16 oc,and 5/16th spacers. (pine needles are sticky) and protec kote screws,  the stop collars kept coming lose. But I was determined on no surface screws. The problem was the set screws in the collars only had 3 threads tiny. shame on Kreg Tools poor quality controls. I replaced all the set screws with 10 x 32 x 1/4, also marked the collar with a black marker pen, made collar slip easier to spot. also had a drill bit snap in the shank, I bought extra drill bits they were much better quality. I used the deck screws on the railing they look great hidden, Over all I am very happy with the end result, deck looks great. I worked alone with my music. My advice,,, Take a lesson in Zen moments, replace set screws, buy extra driver and drill bits, and get use to pilot and drive. I like this jig set. Hope this helps.  PS, if you can get extra spacers do so, jig only comes with 3 of each size. Marty
Ultimate gap too wide. Going with Tiger Claw. Sincere thanks to all. Great help. Jack

Jack,

 

The 1/4" gap is the minimum for our system.  The reason for this is the angle of the drill bit.  If you have a smaller gap, when you go to attach the back side of your material it will drill some into your previous board.  Also a smaller gap will not allow you to fit your jig onto the backside.  Hopefully this helps explain the reasoning behind the spacing.

Gary,

 

When working with pressure treated material it is recommended to butt your boards up against one another during installation.  The reason for this is with pressure treated lumber it will drastically shrink over time.  If you butt your boards against one another, when the boards shrink it will leave you with about 3/16-1/4" gap like you would like to see.  You are correct if you are using other materials that you do not want to butt them up against one another.  You will want at least a small gap for water drainage. 

Marty,

 

It sounds like you received one of the first batches of Deck Jigs.  The reason that I say this is is that we did have some issues with the drill bits.  The hex shank portion of the drill bit would twist off with much torque.  Since this was discovered we have changed manufacturers and solved the issue.  This is why the extra one you purchased have worked just fine.  We have been replacing the defective ones as a warranty item.  So if you would like to provide me with your address I would be more than willing to send you a replacement.  It also sounds like you have received a set screw that is too soft causing it to slip.  I can send you a replacement of this as well. 



KregCS said:

Marty,

 

It sounds like you received one of the first batches of Deck Jigs.  The reason that I say this is is that we did have some issues with the drill bits.  The hex shank portion of the drill bit would twist off with much torque.  Since this was discovered we have changed manufacturers and solved the issue.  This is why the extra one you purchased have worked just fine.  We have been replacing the defective ones as a warranty item.  So if you would like to provide me with your address I would be more than willing to send you a replacement.  It also sounds like you have received a set screw that is too soft causing it to slip.  I can send you a replacement of this as well.  Thank you very much kreg cs . I enjoyed working with this deck jig, great idea, Marty

I have to agree, John.  I've built many decks and have had to replace these so-called 5/4 boards (1 1/4", not 1 1/8" - I measured) and I've always used the 2x material (1 1/2") pressure treated lumber.  Composites need to come down greatly in price.  Using 2x material makes the decks/docks much more sturdy and last much longer then anything made with the thinner material.  This jig should have been designed with that in mind.  Now, if these screws were at least a  1/2" longer...


George Godfrey said:
I have to agree, John.  I've built many decks and have had to replace these so-called 5/4 boards (1 1/4", not 1 1/8" - I measured) and I've always used the 2x material (1 1/2") pressure treated lumber.  Composites need to come down greatly in price.  Using 2x material makes the decks/docks much more sturdy and last much longer then anything made with the thinner material.  This jig should have been designed with that in mind.  Now, if these screws were at least a  1/2" longer...
Just buy 3" screws. There are a number of different brands of these kinds of screws that will work in this jig. I have used it with 2x4 and 2x6. Works fine. I have also laid a number of decks with the 5/4 cedar that are still in good shape. Start with good wood and seal it on six sides.

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