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building garapa deck

Posted by abuzz (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 28, 10 at 16:30

I am in the process of re-decking an existing deck. I have received my gorgeous garapa wood from East Teak and its waiting for me to get started.

Before I start laying the boards, I have a few simple questions that Im hoping someone can provide quick answers. I have searched the internet and this forum, but have not found direct answers to these questions. Please help if you can!

What is the proper gap between 5/4 x 6 garapa boards? Ive seen 1/8, 5/32 and 3/16 listed as proper.

What is best to use to simplify keeping that spacing between boards when putting the boards down?

Is gluing to joists recommended? Can boards still be pulled up and reused if needed, or does the gluing make that impossible?

What is the best material to use to shim boards? Parts of my existing frame are warped (board goes up and down); Ive planed down the high areas but if I need a small shim for a board or two, what is recommended? Is it best to use a piece of wood, or can a metal washer suffice? My gap is about 1/8 of an inch.

I plan to run an outline around the deck and I hoped to glue the outline together to make it look continuous. Am I creating a problem by gluing the ends together? I still plan to have the gap on the sides of the board.

Thanks all for your contributions to this forum, Ive learned an awful lot in the last couple weeks.


Thanks,
Rick


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: building garapa deck

Weed, if your out there field this one. J.


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RE: building garapa deck

Not a big fan of the garapa personaly, seems it can be a bit more squirely than some of the other hardwoods out there. However the lighter coloring does make it more attractive to some who prefer that over the most of the darker colored hardwoods.

Do you know if you have kiln dried or air dried garapa? This could make a difference on what spacing should be.


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RE: building garapa deck

thanks for the response. It is kiln-dried garapa.


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RE: building garapa deck

I was hoping Weedyacres would show up they built a large garapa deck and posted the whole thing over here. The Folks used twp dark oak on it not a bad look at all.

All Garapa is kiln dried. 3/16 gap is good. Make some spacers land them on the joists during install use a bowrench. Not real sure on the reuse thing sounds like your planing on taking them up sometime. Any butt joints can be glued up no gap is needed.

J.


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RE: building garapa deck

thank you john! any comments on the shimming? also, i do not plan on taking them up, just wondering if i need to lift a board for any reason. do you recommed gluing to the joists?

i have seen the weedyacres thread, i learned a lot from that, too bad so many posts were lost.


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RE: building garapa deck

Man I have never shimed the joists,I have power planed them but never had them bow down before. I am thinking a thin rip of pt if anything, that would be tricky do do with an 1/8'' mabey use tightbond 111 and a small brad nailer.

I use construstion adhesive on the joists with all South American lumber TightBond is my curent favorite. You will get some hold down power but mostley I do it to add a layer between the decking and the green pt frame. I do it with a reskin as well even though its probley dried out by now anything that protects the decking from underneith is worth it to me.Geting the decking back up now might be a little more trouble that stuff really takes to dry wood and sets up fast but backing out the trim head ss screws makes a biger hole anyway.

Its a good pratice to keep the Garapa off the ground tarped up before install.Of course thats true of all S A material but Garapa and Masenranduba are bad about movememt left out in the rain or have the top dry and the bottom wet. After its fastened its good to go for a very long time. J.


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RE: building garapa deck

I have seen both air dried and kiln dried garapa here in atlanta area, that was a couple years ago though. The kiln dried definitely seemed more stable, so that is good.

I agree with John, 3/16" gap would be what I recommend. You can either make your own spacers easily out of some scraps of wood, or look online and you will find cheap spacers you can purchase just for this purpose. Another option is hidden fasteners, they will space the boards for you as you install. Check out the ipe clip extreme4 if you are interested, this will give you the gap spacing you are looking for.

I would also recommend the construction adhesive on this job. Since your joists are not all level, this will help eliminate any squeeks.

Instead of a shim, try putting a nailer next to the joists where it bowed down. This will probably last longer in the long run and be easier to install this way anyway.


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RE: building garapa deck

Sorry, I've been in China. :-) We planed down our joists as well, so didn't need to shim up, but did shim some of the pergola and railing posts to ensure plumb. We used composite shims. PT would work as well. I'd avoid metal washers, as they'd rust.

We did 1/8" gap, and used strips of 1/8" plywood to space them. We did a trim edge all the way around, but didn't glue at the miters. They do have a gap, but it's not horrid looking.

Make sure you post photos!


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RE: building garapa deck

Thank you all, your input is much appreciated.

I am hoping to get the first boards down today, have a little more framing to do first. Question about the screwing. I am using #7 2 1/2" stainless screws. George from East Teak said to drill, then screw them down, then move the driver around a bit to seat them. I'm a little concerned that I may not have this right. I'm not going to put the covers over them. Do I screw them flush with the wood or down? If down, how much? And I'll call George when he's back from his trip, but does anyone know what he meant to move the driver around? I think this was to get the screws to be hidden under the wood, but not sure.

And I need to give George and East Teak a plug. George was incredibly helpful in working me through the process, and we spent a lot of time making sure the order was right. He caught some errors in my estimating and helped a lot in answering my questions about railing construction, and general construction with garapa. And the wood I received was GORGEOUS. I was a little hesitant to order sight unseen but out of 4000 lbs of wood, I only saw one or two boards that had any imperfections at all. Price was great, service was great, and product is outstanding.


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RE: building garapa deck

He might have ment to give the screw some cool down time.

Even though the ss trim head screws are good for the weather they are also a little soft. After the pre drill,thru the garapa only not into the pt frame, as your runing the screw pause for a mili second then run the screw the rest of the way. Using an impact driver like the 18 volt Makita its easy to work too fast that is put a lot of preasure on the driver and run the screw in without a break. This builds up heat in the middle of the screw and,sometimes, snapes it off in the middle.

Just slow down your not killing snakes. The torx head is a little more mistake proof than the square drive but the important thing is to Slow Down when driving the screw after a while you will get the hang of it. I use a 5/32'' bit for the predrill using the 7 x 2 1/2'' screw. A person can make a wood stop,chuck it in to the right depth and the predrill will always be the same.

Using the 5 / 32 '' predrill bit will allow you to countersink the screw. It also will allow you to drive the screw in too far. Just snug it down 1/8 '' or so and stop.

Fastening to an older pt frame sometimes requires a pre drill into the frame. Not always but sometimes the wood has dryed out to the point that its really hard,like syp is naturaly,and driving the screws in without another predrill snapes the screws off anyway no matter how easy you go. The pre drill into the Frame has to be done with an 1/8'' drill bit 5/32'' is too big and the screw will just spin.

East Teak is hands down the best Business I have ever delt with. The George has taken on a big part of the outfit. His trip down south has left them short handed for sure, He is a good solid straight up Man after all the years knowing him I can honestly say I would be hard presed to run my business without Him and East Teak.
J.


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RE: building garapa deck

I like to use the smartbits for predrilling the holes. You can't drill too deep cause the bit is short, it also give you a countersink hole for the screw head to seat into.

With the kiln dried you might be able to get away with flush, but since all the garapa/hardwoods I've worked with have been air dried I knew the wood was going to shrink so I sink the heads slightly.

I know a lot of the other deck pros like the impact driver. I use low rmp corded drills, it seems not to snap screws as much as the high speed drills. Plus guys who are inexperienced will strip the heads out with the faster drills too much. Not much aggrevates me as much as hearing screw after screw getting stripped by a helper, a good way to get on the poo poo detail.


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RE: building garapa deck

I am also a big fan of the smartbit. It's perfect for predrilling and countersinking a trimhead screw. I also like their brown headcote screws, but that's for an Ipe deck. They might have a color to match Garapa.

John,
I never snap SS screws, and I send them all in with my 14.4 makita impact. Maybe your 18 volt has too much power.

Al,
I can't believe you are still using a corded drill. That's so last century. Get an impact driver dude. I used to strip screws with my cordless drill. Not anymore, since I switched to the impact. With my Makita, I could set a deck screw while doing a headstand.

steve


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RE: building garapa deck

I agree with Al and Brooklyn, get the smartbit system.

We still break a few screws, now and then, but not nearly as much as we used to. Maybe because we switched to the 18V models.

cordless impacts are the way to go.


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RE: building garapa deck

Steve I dont snap them but my workers do. Just trying to give the Dude a heads up on a few things no telling what he knows or dosent know.

I would rather say something and be silly because
he already knows it than say nothing and have him make a mistake and not know why. On the other hand the smart bit is too slow for my work. Could be thats why they snap them off I do push them for production but keep telling them thats not the same thing as speed. J.


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RE: building garapa deck

Thank you all, I really appreciate ALL the help and little tidbits. Going to ask for a cordless impact driver for Christmas. For this job though, will be making due with my trusty corded Black & Decker. I have a separate drill (also corded) to drill the holes. I figure I will be moving at a snails pace, so the tools should have plenty of time to cool off.
I will look at the smartbits; I thought with the screws I got from George I didn't need to countersink, since their head is so small. But hoping to give it a shot tomorrow!


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RE: building garapa deck

abuzz - I bought my wood (ipe) and screws from George/East Teak as well. I don't recall what he told me about countersinking, but I followed the advice of all the pros on this board and did it. Using the Smartbit or something similiar (I got a couple from McFeelys) doesn't take any extra time because the pilot bit/countersink are all one tool. They are relatively inexpensive as well.


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RE: building garapa deck

Have learned a lot in this project! Taking forever and battling the cold and darkness. Will post specifics another time, but wanted to give a plug to McFeely's. I finally broke down and ordered the SmartBit from McFeely's online on Tuesday morning. I came home from work early today - Wednesday - and my SmartBit was here! I don't know how that is possible, one day via UPS Ground from Wisconsin to North Carolina? What incredible service. The SmartBit itself is phenomenal, I highly recommend it.


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RE: building garapa deck

OK, on to the railings. I have a couple questions and I hope the deck experts can help.

I have garapa posts that will hold garapa top/bottom railings with Deckorator metal balusters in between. The railings will attach to the outmost side of the posts, and a top rail will cover the upper sub-rail and posts.

My question is, what types of fasteners do I need to attach a) the posts (4x4 garapa) to the deck and b) the rails (2x4 garapa) to the posts? I was going to go with galvanized carriage bolts to attach the posts to the deck frame, but I understand that will cause black marks on the garapa. Since the carriage bolts will be covered by fascia and not seen, is it ok to use galvanized or do I need to splurge for stainless carriage bolts?
Likewise, the 2x4 subrails will need to be attached to the posts. These WILL be visible (though hopefully discretely so); I was going to look for 3" stainless screws here. Is that sufficient, or do the rails need to be lagged or bolted to the posts? And can I use trimhead screws here or are those solely for decking?


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RE: building garapa deck

I never fasten the rail posts to the outside of the frame.

J.


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RE: building garapa deck

Let me summarize my questions a little better.

If i'm attaching a 4x4 garapa post to a 4x10 pressure-treated beam, can I use galvanized bolts? The bolts will not be seen, they will be covered with fascia.

If I'm attaching a 2x4 garapa deck rail to the side of a 4x4 garapa post, can I use #7 3" trim head stainless screws? Or do I need to use full headed screws, or do I need to bolt it?

Please help - I need to order the hardware in the AM so I will be able to work on my deck this weekend.

Thanks,
Rick


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RE: building garapa deck

Rick,

I set my posts like John does...boxed in inside the rim joist.
I've never worked with Garapa, so I don't know about the staining, but if they won't be seen, use 1/2" galv. bolts.
About attaching the subrails to garapa posts, I wouldn't use #7 3" trim head screws (if they even make a #7 in 3"). There's a good chance they'll break. I'd use a #8. They can still snap if you aren't careful. When I'm screwing into S.A. hardwoods, I always countersink, pre-drill, and then put some wax on the threads first. I use wax from those wax rings that seal the toilet bowl. I bought one years ago...a lifetime supply.

steve


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RE: building garapa deck

Thanks Steve. That's what I needed. Appreciate it very much!
Rick


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RE: building garapa deck

When I do roof top decks with a modified roof,stringers with the decking fastened to them I actually do bolt the posts to the outside of the frame.

I have found during the winter they would stay tight in the summer they would be loose. I went with glav all thread rod one nut/washer siting in a counter sink on the outside two nuts one washer on the inside using loctite.

As they get tightened the post has to be shimed to keep it plumb.

This worked out a lot better than lags or carrige bolts.

Going with a sidewaze or toenail type of angle its all in the counter sink and the predrill. Done corectley using a # 8 tork drive screw there is no snaping off, usually . Make the pre drill 1/4'' or so deeper than needed,go slow and back the bit out as you go to clean it off South American lumber has a lot of oil in it that will combine with the shavings to clog up the bit and build up heat. If you dont back the bit out every now and then as you drill its very possible to snap the bit half way in and cleaning it off makes for a better predrill.
J.


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RE: building garapa deck

John, when you say make the pre drill 1/4" deeper than needed, you mean 1/4" deeper into the post than the screw itself will sit? If I'm using #8 screws, what size bit should I use to pre drill?
Thanks,
Rick


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RE: building garapa deck

Ya see Rick, the whole idea is to fasten the material without snaping the screw. SS is soft and builds up heat quickley. Thats why I am telling you to go slow and stop for a sec so the heat build up loweres and gives you an even chance.

As you predrill some of the drilled material is going to go in the hole as you go. So drill the hole farther than you need to give it a place to go and not effect the screw.
Its all in geting to know how it goes you will figure it out. For me the # 8 screw goes in just fine with a 1/8 '' bit for you it might take a 5/32 '' bit.

John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com


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RE: building garapa deck

Thank you John. It all makes sense, I really appreciate the help.


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