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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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Thanks, Noah.  I have been thinking about using longer screws.  Do you happen to have any brand name and store were these can be bought?  Kreg only has the one size.  I'll try sourcing it here in Canada after the holiday weekend.

I thought about using the deck jig myself, and in fact came very close to purchasing one, but like you the 1/4" or greater gap is far too great to use with Pressure treated lumber.  I'm not sure how many decks you've built Gary, but I'm sure not many in Canada where it's best to but the boards tight and let the gap build as the boards dry out.  At the end of one season you have a consistent 1/4" gap... that's 1/4" Canadian, Gary



Gary I completly agree with Ken to butt the boards with treated, when you buy a treated 5/4 board it is saturated, and if not it is warped.  If you butt the boards together within 1 month you will have a 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap when it shrinks.  So space it 1/4 if you want a 1/2 inch gap, your water will escape well?

Gary roofner said:
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 am use to 2 x stock never have used thiner stock. So you are correct. Only one deck in old days just screwed through and into the joists. Learn something new everday. You are aso right you ended up with a gap of about 3/8 to half inch no problem still strong. 

In the northern country, it may be common practice to start with a 1/4'' gap, between the deck boards.

After the boards dry, a 3/8 - 1/2" gap appears---

which would allow snow to fall thru the cracks, resulting in less snow to shovel from the top side.



So basically the common / majority concensus seems to be butt the boards - which by default means that the Kreg Deck Jig is not required unless using manufactured boards

George, I get three inch screws that work with the deck jig here, but I don't know if they ship to Canada:

But any #7 trim head screw should work with the jig as long as the head is 1/4" or smaller. 

And to address the spacing issue, it is easy to slice or grind down the nubs on the back of the locating bar on the jig get spacing down to 1/8" if that is desired, although a deck board should always have at least 1/4 spacing so that debris does not get stuck. I have never used perforated, wet, pressure treated lumber for a deck. Here in WA there is a product called sunwood, amongst other names, which is treated, non-perforated and dry. I prefer to use 2x or 5/4 cedar, which is also dry. Putting down wet wood introduces too many variables, and especially when edge-screwed, can move and split when it dries.

George Godfrey said:

Thanks, Noah.  I have been thinking about using longer screws.  Do you happen to have any brand name and store were these can be bought?  Kreg only has the one size.  I'll try sourcing it here in Canada after the holiday weekend.

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