Builder Darren Brown installs hardwood boards using Buildex self-drilling decking screws.
Finding the balance between speed, clean countersinking and a quality finish is the key to laying a deck. But even with the best tools and years of experience, a skilled tradesperson can strip screws or split boards.
The solution is to use a fastener that avoids this. “I’ve found using Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screws instantly minimises the usual splitting and breakout problems. They halve the installation time because there’s no need to pre-drill or pre-countersink,” says builder Darren Brown, who cut and installed the boards for this 36m² deck in just a day and a half.
“On this job, I used Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screws to install red ironbark, one of the densest hardwoods, and didn’t split a single board.” – Darren Brown, builder
Other standard decking screws require pre-drilling and pre-countersinking that can cause breakout and often split the boards
ISSUES WITH LAYING A DECK
Timber splits when the screw applies too much outward pressure, too fast. To overcome this, especially when working with hardwood, builders traditionally pre-drilled and countersunk holes. But drilling first, then driving screws doubles the time it takes to lay decking.
The other issue is stripping, caused when the torque forces the drill bit to wear down the grip in the screw head, making it difficult to remove.
“But this is solved with the Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screw,” says Darren. “It’s specifically designed for fastening hardwood and treated pine deck boards to treated pine joists.” – Darren Brown, builder
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”I love the speed that these allow me to work. I’ve used other decking screws and found they’re not as efficient, and the finish is no where near as neat.” – Darren Brown, builder
The self-centering recess star-drive head allows for twice the torque than square drive screws while reducing cam-out.
WHY THIS SCREW WORKS
According to Darren it’s the clever design of the Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screw that halves installation time. “It addresses the three stages of installing a screw – self-drilling, driving and countersinking – making each stage faster and more accurate.”
From the quick-drive point to the trim head, every element of this screw is designed for efficiency, speed and a clean finish.
Here’s the breakdown…
➀ QUICK-DRIVE POINT allows for exact positioning and stops the screw from walking. The drilling point penetrates more than halfway through the board before the thread engages, so there’s less resistance.
➁ SUPER THREAD draws out the fibres to reduce driving torque, resulting in smoother installation.
➂ COURSE CUTTING THREAD slices timber into tiny fibres to reduce the potential for splitting the board. Darren says, “It also increases the pull-down strength for a faster drive.”
➃ CLEARING THREAD enlarges the hole to reduce friction on the shank as the screw begins to countersink.
➄ CUTTING NIBS under the head cut away the surface fibres, preparing a recess the same diameter as the head for a flush finish that self-sets the screw, eliminating the need for separate pre-drilling and pre-countersinking.
➅ TRIM HEAD minimises pressure on the board when embedding to sit flush with the surface. “It’s neat and discrete and really enhances the overall finish of the deck,” says Darren.
➆ T20 STAR DRIVE RECESS reduces cam-out by providing a firm grip and is less inclined to strip the head than a recess square drive. It requires less torque and less pressure on the drill to maintain contact with the screw.
The decking screw does all the work, so no need to apply heavy pressure on the drill.
PRO DRIVING TIPS
When drilling, Darren recommends using an impact driver at a fast speed. “Drive the screw continuously, without breaks, slowing down towards the end when the head is about to embed.”
He says, “The trick is to let the screw do the work for you, there’s no need to push down too much on the drill.”
TIP An impact driver combines a hammer action with rotation to create more torque than a regular drill, so you don’t need to press down hard to keep the bit in contact with the screw or to drive it through hardwood. This reduces fatigue and can be used one-handed, great for hard-to-reach areas.
Each box of Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screws includes a T20 star driver bit.
Made of stainless steel 304, the Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screw is corrosion-resistant and won’t break if there’s movement in the deck.
Choose 10G x 55mm or 10G x 65mm stainless steel screws, in packs of 50 or a box of 500, each with a T20 star driver bit. All you need is an impact driver.
Not just for decking, Buildex Self-Drilling Decking Screws make light work of timber cladding and built-in hardwood structures.
“The screws are handy for working vertically to put up screening, trellises and lattice. They also slice construction time off building pergolas and fencing,” says Darren. “And the trim head adds a nice, professional finish to handcrafted outdoor furniture.”
Delivering improved productivity and superior performance. Get the job done right – first time, every time. Choose Buildex® Self-Drilling Decking Screws for your next project!
WORDS Natasha Dickins
PHOTOGRAPHY Onsight Films