Power Hand pulls and pushes deck boards togethercomments (1) September 28th, 2010 in Blogs
The Power Hand is a specialized bar clamp that pushes, pulls and draws deck boards together depending on how you arrange the attachments. In its simplest configuration, the Power Hand’s padded Y shaped steel base plate hooks over the top and edge of the last installed deck board. A medium sized hook plate mounted at the end of the bar grabs the outside edge of a loose board and pulls it towards the mounted board. The knee-high lever arm walks the bar through the clamp mechanism just like a bar clamp. Release the lever arm and the clamp stays tight until you step on the release lever.
The clamping and locking features set the Power Hand apart from most other deck board installation tools plus it also has an attachment to grip the joist for pushing and pulling. The cross bar attachment has two pins that grip the sides of a joist in the same fashion as the pins on the BoWrench and Hardwood Wrench do. The cross bar can be loaded onto either end of the bar so the base plate can push or pull boards.
The lever arm has a knob at the top that pulls outward to disengage the handle from the bar clamp mechanism detents. This lets you reposition the lever arm for low angle operation or close it down parallel to the bar for compact storage and carrying.
I have a couple of Power Hands and use them in conjunction with a Tiger Jaw for installing pin and grooved board style hidden decking fasteners. The clamping action of the Power Hand is great for holding boards in place. This is especially useful when straightening out warped boards or drawing decking onto hidden fastener pins. But the clamp action slows the operation by the couple seconds it takes to unlock the clamp each time I need to move it. So I usually clamp one end of a board with the Power Hand and either use a dead blow hammer or the Tiger Jaw (which does not lock) to draw boards together along the middle part of the board. If the middle of a board is bowed out, the Power Hand tames it straight and frees my hands to install fasteners. The Hetra website has a short video showing the Power Hand in action.
Power Hand is made by the Danish firm HetraWorks and is now marketed and distributed in the US by Grabber Construction Products. Until Grabber ramps up availability, you can get a Power Hand at Amazon for $135.
posted in: Blogs, Deck Board Tool, PowerHand, Power Hand, Hetra, HetraWorks
The primary connection between deck and house read more
BUILDING A DECK
Catch the latest on how to design and build a deck from the editors of Fine Homebuilding magazine.