I’ve just about given up installing hidden fasteners by hand. Now I use a semi-automatic or automatic pneumatic tools to mount grooved decking fasteners or specially designed fasteners. And I can’t wait to see production models of fully automated installation tools where grooved board fasteners and pneumatically driven screws are fed to the nose of a nailer – they’re just in prototype versions now. It’s a fast-changing part of the deck business and one to keep your eyes on.
Whether semi-automated or fully integrated, these systems speed installation dramatically. You can expect to increase production at least twofold and may even install decking four or five times faster with fully automatic installation.
If you aren’t ready to drop several hundred dollars on a new tool, ask if your local lumberyard loans or rents out tools. And if they don’t, maybe you can talk them into doing so.
For the most part, each tool is designed to work with specific fasteners so I posted separate blogs describing each tool. Just click on the tool name to redirect to each tool blog post:
HIDfast – a modified flooring nailer that drives 5 specially designed fasteners
Tiger Claw Installation Gun – a metal connector style nailer with special nosepiece that fits Tiger Claw’s TC-G Fastener, CONCEALoc Clip (TimberTech), HideAway Fastener (Trex), Gardian Ghost Grip fastener and InvisaDeck I-CLP Clips. The tool drives a pneumatic screw through the decking fastener hole.
InvisiDeck #F36 RHN33-38 DT – Fasco America’s tool is essentially the same as the Tiger Claw tool and will drive the same fasteners.
The RCS Eliminator – a metal connector style nailer with a sliding channel on the bottom of the magazine that shuttles the Mantis fastener into the board groove and drives a pneumatic screw.
The Eliminator – a metal connector style nailer for installing the Mantis and some other hidden fasteners with a pneumatic screw.
Grabber PowerDriver (blog entry to come) – a pneumatic tool with a specially designed nosepiece drives a pneumatic screw to fasten Grabber’s G5 clip.