Ipe butt joint treatment and screw distance from edge
First off, thanks to all the contributors on this site. I wouldn't even have attempted to build my own Ipe deck without this site.
First, the background:
I am about to start laying the 1x6 Ipe on my 24x16 deck. I will be screwing and plugging the boards (2 1/4 #10 SS 305 screws, 3/8 plugs, 1/8 board spacing). The decking pattern will be such that a single board will be perpendicular to the house and split the deck in half (two 12x16 sections). The rest of the boards will be parallel to the house.
Now a few questions:
1. Butt joint treatment between perpendicular boards. What do the pros recommend to treat these ends to minimize end cracks/checks? Anything? I was planning on leaving no gap here as with a normal butt joint. Good idea?
2. I am also unclear about how far from the butt end of the board to put the screw/plug. Will I need a piece of framing (screw block) to meet this requirement? Is it possible to put the scew in at an angle, but keep the plug straight?
3. Any tips on what people use as a spacer would be appreciated.
4. My countersink bit is the kind that has a tapered bit in the middle. Should I use this and go into the joist slightly or do I need a countersink without a pilot hole?
Ok, I have more questions than I thought, but I'll hold off...
Thanks in advance!