An Elegant Border for Your Deck
Herringbone corners and hidden fasteners require slight framing modifications, but the results look spectacular.
Synopsis: When you’re building a deck, you need to pay attention to the fasteners. When you’re using beautiful wood, you might learn from the lessons John Michael Davis shares from his experience building an ipé deck with hidden fasteners. Davis chose hidden fasteners because he thought stainless-steel deck screws would have detracted from the beauty of the wood. He further enhanced the beauty of the deck and the wood by creating herringbone corners. Davis began the project with two boards in one square corner. He continued by weaving in the herringbone pattern. This article includes a sidebar about the EB-TY hidden-fastener system that Davis used for this project.
There are a lot of parts in a deck, but in the end, it’s the decking that everyone notices. One thing I’ve learned building decks in new Orleans’s brutal climate is that of all a deck’s parts, the decking also takes the most serious beating.
My default method for fastening deck boards is to use stainless-steel screws run in such dead-straight lines that they become part of the design. On this project, however, the homeowners wanted ipé decking, so I decided to upgrade to a hidden fastening system to showcase the wood. I speculated that the time and material expense for using hidden fasteners would not be much costlier or labor intensive than screws.
At the time, everything I knew about hidden fasteners came from a Fine Homebuilding article (“Deck-Fastener Options”). I remember being impressed by the EB-TY system (www.ebty.com), even in a field of other innovative products, so I decided to give it a try on this project.
EB-TY fasteners come in different sizes for various thicknesses and types of decking. Here, I used the EBE004, which has a built-in spacer of 3⁄32…