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Thread: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

  1. #1
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    Default What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    I'm trying to decide what kind of screws to use on BlackJack's deck. They will need to attach 1.25" thick AYC planks to white oak deck beams.
    I found that torx and Phillips head screws are pretty hard to clean out versus just the good old fashioned slotted heads. So I'm thinking slotted flat head wood screws for shape.
    Butt as far as material, I'm very open to suggestions. The original deck was fastened with galvanized steel screws and they seemed to have faired pretty well, despite the rotten plywood in between the planks and the deck beams. Only very few broke off on extraction.....should I use the same again? The rest of the boat is iron fastened......Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Soni

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    I like slot screws. I hate philips, Pozidrive, hex head.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    I prefer Robertson or Torx, because they are so much easier to drive. This is especially true if you choose silicon bronze or stainless steel - which are softer (and more prone to stripping out) than galvanized steel. This is especially true is you plan on sinking them all the way, or most of the way, with power tools. However... a drill/driver with a clutch on the chuck can relieve much of that concern. Yes... they ARE much harder to clean out later - esp. the Torx. But as cognizant as I tend to be regarding reversibility/repairability... it's a tradeoff that seems reasonable to me. YMMV, of course.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
    I hate philips, Pozidrive, hex head.
    Well you're in luck, because none of those are typically found in marine grade screws intended for wooden boat construction.

    I think for a workboat, galvanized should be just fine, and those are typically going to be slotted anyways as that is the only drive that is all that practical with the heavy, hot-dipped galvanized marine grade boat screws.

    Make life easy on yourself and use the proper Fuller tapered bit and countersink. Put a little tallow or beeswax on the screws to make 'em more friendly to drive into the white oak beams. Keep your slotted bits sharpened/filed properly.

    Be be sure to budget for at least a fifth of scotch per thousand screws to help with the knee pain and backaches from deck re-fastening. (Yep, for some reason it's almost twice as grueling as a bottom, )

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Thanks guys for the good input!

    I think maybe I will go with the slotted galvanized wood screws, they do seem to resist stripping out better then the stainless and silicone bronze. I will go ahead and order a box and see how they do.

    Soni

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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Take the time to match your screw driver with the screws. The tip should fit nice and snug in the slot and should bottom out. I know this sounds really obvious but the proper snug fit will make your life infinitely easier. Melt equal parts beeswax together with linseed oil and let it set up. Keep the screws stuck in the goo. It keeps them handy, keeps them from rolling around and will make driving them nice and easy. Tuna fish cans make good containers and you can put about fifty screws threads down in one.
    Get good knee pads and BIG bottle of Aleve....I'd go with McMullens advice about the scotch too.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Make sure you get top quality galvanized steel fasteners if you go that route. I myself would go for silicon bronze if I could afford it, as I understand that the quality of both the steel and especially the galvanizing has decreased in the past few decades.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Make sure you get top quality galvanized steel fasteners if you go that route.
    Yes, hot dipped galvanized (may be hard to find).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    If it is an iron fastened boat, it should remain an iron fastened boat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by kc8pql View Post
    Yes, hot dipped galvanized (may be hard to find).
    yes...it may be difficult to find hot dipped in small sizes. at my local supplier only large wood screws, bolts and Lags are hot dipped. Smaller sizes are plated. Be sure your wood screws are hot dipped and remember that hot dipping increases the diameter of the screw. You may need to alter your predrilling size.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    These are what you want. Standard Fastenings.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by workboat View Post
    Thanks guys for the good input!

    I think maybe I will go with the slotted galvanized wood screws, they do seem to resist stripping out better then the stainless and silicone bronze. I will go ahead and order a box and see how they do.

    Soni
    If you want galvanised steel for your deck, why use screws, galvo boat spikes of the correct size will be fine.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    I would use stainless phillips. If you don't have one already, buy an impact driver. They work fine with phillips screws and will seldom strip one. Silicon bronze isn't needed for a deck.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Stainless is more expensive, yet not as tough, more likely to cam out or twist off the heads when driven into white oak frames. Save the stainless for little boats; this is full-size work.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Stainless is more expensive, yet not as tough, more likely to cam out or twist off the heads when driven into white oak frames. Save the stainless for little boats; this is full-size work.
    I would not mind spending the extra $$$ for stainless or bronze if it would make the deck better, but I think you have a valid point. Between the rest of the boat being iron fastened and the screws being stronger in hot dipped galvanized steel, I will go with that route.

    Thanks everyone for all the great input and thanks James for the tip on 'Standard Fastenings'.....a great connection!

    Soni

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    To second those who have already mentioned it, Galvanised slotted screws will work just fine. The dipping of the tips in melted bee's wax will make a world of difference in easing the driving process. Fuller taper drills and counterbores are pretty much the best standard choice for pre-drilling. An electric driver is ok but finishing off with a Yankee driver will avoid the frustration of stripping out and breaking fastenings or, overdriving and splitting a beam or plank. A handy hint is to grind the straight slot Yankee bit so that the taper is removed from the sides to avoid scraping the counterbored hole out of shape. Easing the sharp from the edges is a good idea as well. If you choose to spike the planks down, make sure you have a helper to back up the beams with a bucking iron.
    Jay

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    ...........If you choose to spike the planks down, make sure you have a helper to back up the beams with a bucking iron.
    Jay
    Thanks Jay!
    So I have a question about the use of galvanized boat nails. Some of the planking on 'BlackJack' is attached with traditional galvanized boat nails and the recessed hole is plugged with a wooden bung.
    I don't think I have to remove any of them, but how would a person go about removing them if necessary? Is there a trick to pulling them out of the countersunk hole? It seems like an impossible task, specially since they seem to hold extremely well in the oak frames.
    The same question applies to the deck; how would one go about removing a spike from the recess of a deck plank? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    Soni

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Google Search for Antique nail puller.
    It works.
    But the boat nails might make a mess of your planks coming out, they are wider in the middle.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    If for some reason you want to use bronze screws, I wouldn't worry about the fact that the hull is fastened with steel. There's not much of an electric couple between deck and hull fastening. As an example, L.F. Herreshoff spec'ed galvanized iron bolting at the shelf and clamp of at least one boat. (Neriea? Marco Polo?) while the hull and deck fastenings were bronze.
    For removing a ship spike, the best method I've seen is to get some short lengths (1-2") of bronze rod that has the same o.d. as your plank fastening bungs. Chuck the rod into your lathe (you do have a lathe), and then chuck a drill into the chuck on your tailstock. This way you can drill a hole dead center in the rod stock, making what's known as an anulus. The hole should be some size around 1/8". The idea is to take the bung out, tap the anulus into the bung hole, and then use the center hole as a guide for a drill to make a hole into the head of the nail. I'd probably re-grind the drill tip so it's a little flatter than usual, use high speed and light pressure to start in. Drill the hole maybe 3/8" deep, and then take out the anulus and run a self-tapping screw into the back of the nail, which gives you something to set up a nail puller on. This works pretty well.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Very difficult , almost impossible to remove a sunk nail. Recently the shipyard broke up an old German built heavy trawler yacht. This boat had massive teak decks, teak covering boards, teak sheer clamp and teak sheer plank.

    The local boys eyeballed that valuable teak and asked if they could remove it before they broke her up. Everything was Monel nailed, countersunk. The boys simple could not remove the valuable teak surgically. The boat was broken up and put in a dump truck


    imag

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    The kind of galvanized fasteners you would want to use cost about the same as silicon bronze. I like bronze for a lot of reasons -- cost and durability chief among them. Drive them carefully, or you'll be fighting snapped off fasteners. Good taper bits and back off on the clutch on your driver. If you have the time, you can drive them with a bit and brace. I like frearson heads, which look a bit like phillips but are not. Phillips screws were developed specifically to strip at a given foot-pounds of torque. It was something valuable to the aircraft industry at the time, I've been told. Frearson, with the correctly sized bit, are a pleasure to drive home.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Oh yeah,
    No real magic in bee's wax. We always bed the screws in a tub filled with a toilet gasket ring. Much cheaper, keeps the screws at hand and works a champ.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by paxtonm View Post
    The kind of galvanized fasteners you would want to use cost about the same as silicon bronze...
    Here in Maine, as a comparison, #10-1 1/2" Silicon bronze- $44.52 per 100
    #10-1 1/2" Dipped Galv. - $14.96 per 100

    Why so much more expensive in Ca,?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?

    Whoa! That's amazing. The industry that handles galvanizing is going offshore, big time. There's one place left in Seattle that does the work, and employees are required to have blood work done monthly. It's another "dirty" industry that will move to the Third World.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What kind of screws should I use on my deck?


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