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#241010 - 11/15/10 11:16 AM Nails or Screws
Boatman Offline


Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 23
Loc: GA
I am about to start putting the joists together for my dock. Most docks that I have seen use nails for this but I was wondering if screws would be better in this application.

Any opinions appreciated>

Thanks

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#241015 - 11/15/10 11:48 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Boatman]
Dwight Offline

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Definitely screws. Make sure you use the ones that are coated for use in treated wood (if that is the material you are using).
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#241018 - 11/15/10 12:00 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Dwight]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
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Registered: 09/08/09
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Loc: Illinois, St. louis area
Use deckmate screws not galvanized..
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#241034 - 11/15/10 06:33 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
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I went with ring-shank nails in my dock after deck screws started snapping off on the deck around my house due to the deck boards shrinking when it got dry. My dock is only 5 years old but is holding up well. Use double-dipped hot galvanized nails rated for pressure-treated wood.

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#241068 - 11/16/10 07:49 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: RAH]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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That's a good point. I recently built a picnic table out of 2 x 10's from Home depot. Of the 5, 2 of them bowed significantly and actually broke the screws.
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#241070 - 11/16/10 08:43 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
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/\ cheap screws, use deckmate that's what there made for.
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#241071 - 11/16/10 09:25 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
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Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
The screws all break if the sheer force is sufficient. Nails bend.

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#241079 - 11/16/10 11:13 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: RAH]
esshup Offline
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Originally Posted By: RAH
The screws all break if the sheer force is sufficient. Nails bend.


Or pull out. Bigger screws, or more screws so the fastner tensile (or shear) failure force is more than the the force that the wood can apply to the fastner(s).

Brettski had to tighten up the fastners on one of his treated wood projects because of wood shrinkage. If the wood shrinks away from the nail shank, the holding power is gone. Personally, I prefer screws, but ringshanks are a close second.
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#241082 - 11/16/10 11:52 AM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: esshup]
jeffhasapond Offline
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I'm certainly no expert but I watch them on HGTV. laugh

Seems like all the push lately is to use construction screws and adhesives (although I have no idea how adhesives would hold up in a dock environment).

Deck fastner discussion.
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#241085 - 11/16/10 12:00 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: esshup]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
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I've never had a deckmate break. Compare a deckmate screw to a bulk double dipped galvanized it's obvious the beefiness difference in the 2. I've used 1000's if not 10,000's of the deckmate screw i can't even remember breaking one putting it in with a drill I have stripped the head. I built a 750' privacy fence for a couple (treated) i used bulk double dipped galvanized needless to say with the way treated bows and curls I popped many of screws. The owner paid to have the fence re-screwed with deckmates (like I originally suggested) haven't heard a peep from him in almost 3 yrs..
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I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

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#241098 - 11/16/10 12:53 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Shrinking wood will not be held by fasteners; they will snap or bend or the wood will split. If you refasten it after it dries then, of course, the screws will hold. Screws are fine, but they will snap off if the wood shrinks.


Edited by RAH (11/16/10 01:35 PM)

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#241131 - 11/16/10 08:11 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Boatman]
FarmerCharlie Offline
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Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 132
Loc: Auburn, AL
I used galvanized lag screws to attach the beams to the square posts and used galvanized nails to attach the galvanized joist hangers. For attaching 2x4 cross braces to the posts and attaching the outer joists to the beams I used 5/16 x 3 1/8 RSS structural screws. http://www.grkfasteners.com/en/RSS_1_2_information.htm. The structural screws work better than regular screws or lag bolts for me; they drill their own hole, and they installed easily without splitting using a battery drill. I could not find the structural screws at the local home centers, but was able to order them through my local Fastenal dealer. The project was described at http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=185709#Post185709

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#241135 - 11/16/10 08:44 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: FarmerCharlie]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Nails may be better than screws but once I got my screw gun years ago I never went back to nails!
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#241353 - 11/20/10 01:36 PM Re: Nails or Screws [Re: Cecil Baird1]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
I personally like to use construction adhesive. Urethanes are water proof and very strong.

Screws are nice, but there are some real crummy ones available, so go with high quality.

Screws will actually clamp up your project while your glue sets, but I always use clamps if possible.

I really like the Paslode products. I picked up an Impulse Nailer and that is really Sweet, and a great time saver. The nails are a bit pricey, but they have excellent holding power due to the adhesive coating on the nails.

Cecil,

I'll bet if you had my nail gun, screws would be a distant memory.

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