Kreg Deck Jig – Getting Jiggy With Deck Boards

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We’ve been playing around with some new pocket hole products and that reminded us we we’re slacking on posting our Kreg Deck Jig video we shot at the 2010 National Hardware Show. Kreg won a Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice award at the show for it, so it must be at least semi-decent. I’ve expressed my love for hidden deck fasteners in the past when I reviewed the Eb-Ty deck fastener system. Unlike relying on biscuit joiners as the Eb-Ty does, the Kreg Deck Jig promises to simplify installation for many types of solid decking (the hollow stuff won’t work with it, and it’s cheesy anyway). Who really like’s hollow stuff anyway (other than drug smugglers)?

Here’s the Kreg Deck Jig in Action at NHS:

From Kreg directly:

Works with a wide variety of decking materials.
For the best results, we recommend composite deck boards which prevent shrinking/swelling/splitting. Select a solid composite material with no machined grooves. Also works great with native softwoods such as Redwood and Cedar, along with certain Tropical Hardwoods like Ipe, Red Balau, and Ironwood. Works exclusively with 4/4 to 5/4 (3/4″ to 1-1/8″) stock. Not designed for use with 2x material including 2×4’s, 2x6s, 2x8s, etc.

Deck Screws
Kreg Deck Screws were designed specifically for use with the Kreg Deck Jig™, although they can also be used as simple face-screws for a variety of outdoor projects. All Kreg Deck screws feature a KTX #1 Square Drive to reduce cam-out, a flat-bottom head which resists splitting, and a self-tapping tip which drills its own hole as it’s driven.

Deck Screws are available in two weather resistant finishes; Protec-Kote™ and Stainless. Protec-Kote™ screws feature three anti-corrosion layers which protect against rusting in a wide variety of decking applications. A good choice for a wide variety of decking applications, including ACQ treated lumber. For even more protection, choose Stainless. Kreg Stainless screws provide the best protection against corrosion in the long-term.

The one bummer I see with this is that’s it’s not compatible with 2x material, still the preferred dimension for many folks building decks. We used 2x on a recent project so we could bridge a wider span across beams installed for the decking. We’re not sure if Kreg has or will consider a version for 2x material, but we’d like to see it.

While probably worth it if you’re intrigued by this kind of simple fastening setup, the kit seems slightly spendy to us. However, I’m all for any tool that makes for a more beautiful (and probably longer lasting) deck. You can find the KREG Deck Jig for just shy of a Benjamin on Amazon. Or, you can find the Kreg Deck Jig via our sponsor Rockler.

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About Marc Lyman

Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.

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10 thoughts on “Kreg Deck Jig – Getting Jiggy With Deck Boards”

  1. I have already purchased the kreg deck jig and ready to start. I am using 2″ cedar planks. Now i see that the screws are too short. Can i just use a longer (2″) screw and get the same results?
    Thanks,
    Tim

    Reply
  2. I just used this during our renovation of a 20’x25′ L shaped porch last week, and I’m pretty pleased with it overall. A couple observations:

    I wish the handle was padded. After 2 days of leaning on that thing my hands were pretty beat.

    Having 2 drivers is essential. For each screw you drill the hole, drive the screw, then move on to the next joist. If you only had one driver you’d either be switching bits between every operation, or drilling a couple holes, switching, then trying to line the jig up with the hole again to drive the screw. With 2 I could get into a pretty good rhythm, especially when I got into the habit of putting the drivers down where I was going to use it next. (As an aside this brings up a tool buying consideration I had never thought of before. My Ryobi cordless drivers stand up on the battery when you set them down, which saves time when picking up & putting down repetitively. Tools with small batteries like the new Rockwell 3rill have to lay down on their sides, requires you to be more careful putting down, and make a twisting motion every time you pick it up.)

    The depth stop on the driver bit slipped a number of times, and once on the drill bit. You might want to try filing a flat on the side of the driver bit to get better contact, and/or replace the setscrew.

    Once you’ve finished setting the decking, you’re not done, you still have to go back and screw down the other edge of every board. And I found using the 1/4″ spacing that the ones I did that for (I still have to do this step for most of the porch) the drill bit cut a divot in the adjoining board.

    Still, all in all I’m happy with the results, you can see how it came out on my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unstoppabledrew/sets/72157627208648329/

    Reply
  3. Any one intersted in the kreg system should look into the Camo system. I saw it at store here that had a deck expo. It uses the same concept but the jig is metal much better built. Pre drilling is not required. It’s also half the cost.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for mentioning the 4/4, 5/4 board requirement. I saw this when it first came out but had no idea on the 2x limitation. I would think that adjusting the collar on the drill bit would allow the fastener enough thread into the joist but the fastener would also be a little closer to the middle of the board. Enough that cupping could be an issue? Maybe.

    Reply
  5. I’ve used the Kreg Jig for pocket hole joints in furniture but this is the first I’ve heard about it w/ deck boards. I like decks with hidden fasteners and the jig keeps everything nice and consistent.

    Reply
    • I agree Ethan. . . seems like a good option as long as you’re not working with 2x. Definitely easier and faster than some of the other hidden deck fastener options out there.

      Reply

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