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Ballistic Screwnails - opinion and where do you get them in NY/NJ

1359 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  JGowrie
I have a re-deck coming up and I'm determining the fastening method I want to use and suggest to the HO. They want hidden which I have been looking at, but haven't used before. They have chosen ACQ PT as the material because, like many people in NY, they don't see themselves still living here in 10 years when kids are done with school.

Looked at the CAMO system but there is no way I want to use the tool for PT lumber since it only does one side of the board at a time and it looks clumsy. The other system I looked at is the TC-1S but that looks slow too and unless the material is left lying around to shrink for a couple of weeks, I see potential issues with boards not being tight enough to the decking and the pointed tabs not being embedded deeply enough after the wood contracts in a few weeks time.

SO, I am back to looking at alternatives which will appeal to the owner and provide the speed of installation for me. The Ballistic Screwnail systems looks promising as I have an appropriate stick framing gun and they offer colored heads. I was also looking at the TRIO decking screw as another alternative. The TRIO is readily available so I can try them but the Ballistic Screwnails don't seem to be local and their website doesn't help find a dealer by zip code and I've tried calling them and emailing with no answer ( maybe they took an extended Memorial Day holiday that started yesterday ).

I am in Suffern, NY which is on the boarder of NY/NJ and I see there are a few guys that contribute here that are in this area. Does anyone have a location that these can be obtained?
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I have the CAMO tool.

I only have used on PT a couple of time, it seemed to work
ok/ good without splitting the edge.
Which tool did you use? The single tool meant for the PT or one of the tools where you drive both screws with one placement of the tool... I see they now have one that allows 1/16" gap but even that seems too loose for wet PT lumber. Did you allow the lumber to dry before installing? This job will have to start within only a few days of the lumber drying and we don't have the best forecast for the next couple of days so not sure how much shrinkage I can count on over the next 3 days.
I have the CAMO tool.

I only have used on PT a couple of time, it seemed to work
ok/ good without splitting the edge.
I'd make sure the hidden fastener held like a mutha if I was using it on pt. I would face screw PT just becuase it moves so much. Face screwing doesnt seem to effect the look of PT.
I have used the clips made by timbertech on their composite. Requires a slot or biscuit slot for the fastener though. I like these. Hold well and is stainless I believe. Pre-determined gap of that works well with composite. Probably not so good with PT now that I think of it.
camo tool pro.

both sides with one placement

Put plastic spacer next to previous board to add a little more room
I don't own a Camo tool, it looks like a great repair tool.

How on earth does anyone make money doing whole decks with it?
I don't use PT for decking anymore but I think a good color matched face screw will look good and hold much better than the hidden fastener systems on most PT. If your supplier has good, dry PT then a HFS might hold up well but most of the stuff around here has very high, and uneven, moisture content.

What's the point of using a cheap material like PT and then spending extra dough on the fasteners? If people want to save some money I recommend STK cedar with face screws.
I heard from the UFO rep and there is a supplier of ballistic screwnails in my area but not close enough to make it down before I start the job. I'm probably going to use screws as I already rules out the HF systems advertised to work with PT decking.

Originally the customer wanted to go with Timbertech or Trex but the price turned them away and the lack of porch posts that matched also had a part in killing that. I thought they would go for cedar but the cost of the turned posts and spindles killed that idea also. In an area where people's property taxes are averaging 15-18g per year, not many customers are looking at long term investments cause taxes only go one way and it's never down and many of them are only sticking around until kids are done with school and getting out after that happens.

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