All-in-one Ipe deck drill/screw/plug system?
I'm just getting round to putting in a very small hardwood deck (8' x 4' 8") in an atrium garden I've been designing/constructing for a while. Very exciting. I don't mind the sight of unobtrusive screw heads and was planning to go with brown headcote trim head screws, but just noticed that a certain company (which I think is supposed to remain nameless by the forum rules, but has been mentioned previously) is now making a single bit system that predrills with a countersink hole for headcote screws that exactly fits a glue applicator (also sold in the kit) and then pre-cut plugs (you guessed it...). I wasn't going to plug, but since there will only be 140 holes to plug in my little deck and now there *may be* a faster and more idiot-proof way to plug, I may be interested in trying it out. However, I don't really want to be an ipe guinea pig, as prior posts seem to indicate that ipe guinea pigs don't tend to fare so well.
Has anybody out there come across this type of product? (maybe more than one company makes it, but I've only come across one so far). Does it really save much time over other plugging processes, and are there any downsides (aside from the downsides of plugging in general, mentioned previously)? Any pros or homeowners with experience in this area care to share advice?
Another question: with only fourteen 1x4's to secure (8-ft long each), will I need to buy a bowrench (or other board straightener), or will it be enough to simply muscle the boards into place?
BTW, I should state the obvious, that I'm not a pro, just a motivated homeowner with a little bit of experience and a small job that could be easily-enough redone if I butcher it. I'll be working with a friend who's a structural metal contractor and also does some carpentry professionally and has built a number of decks, but none with hardwood.
The deck will either be ipe or cumaru (a local distributer has a bunch of correctly-sized cumaru boards at a good price that have been weathering in our dry climate for several months, so I'm going to have a look at those - hopefully, they'll be more stable than freshly arrived cumaru and I'm told they look very good). I'm assuming that ipe plugs in cumaru won't be a problem, aside from slightly different color and perhaps grain, which wouldn't bother me.
Thanks! I've enjoyed reading the posts on ipe decks in this forum, and look forward to more useful info.
- Dave in Albuquerque