I take pride in the work I do... and it's disappointing when someone in the trades charges full price and doesn't do the same. A few weeks ago, a fencing project wrapped at my friend and neighbor's house. Most of the job was decent looking at 50 feet, but when you got close, some sloppiness began to show.
And then you looked at the back of the gate (and sloppy doesn't begin to describe the hack-job).
I stopped by today to give it a proper fix. The previous job had a rough-cut 2X4 screwed in with dozens of crooked screws, already rusted hardware and all-in-all terrible job. In less than two hours (and $40 in materials), it was finished properly and was adjusted to close as it should with self-closing hinges and an properly trimmed and crimped support cable.
This weekend found us finishing the tearout of one deck and the beginning of the other... We'll replace the top-decking around the pool with either stone or wood, but in the meantime, I got a head start on the deck for the approach to the pool house. Special thanks to Blaine for the supply of the wood (left over from his fence project.)
We recently tore out a hardwood mahogany deck (cumaru) that used Ipe-Clips as the fasteners... the hidden part was nice, but the installation was painful — cutting slots for each of the clips, aligning it all, etc. ... it was a labor nightmare. Worse were the gaps which somehow ended up being tighter than the clips themselves — and when the wood got wet, it swelled and buckled. Removing it wasn't fun, but necessary.
Now, I'm installing another, smaller deck using a softer mahogany (cambara) and using the Camo system... and it is fantastic.
Since the boards are 3.5in wide, I got the NB model made for narrow boards (3.5in - 5in). It's a very well engineered and sturdy piece of kit.
Granted, had the cumaru been grooved, the installation with the clips would have been easier, but it would have left a water-collecting groove and a very weak point in the board.
You can research the Camo system and read what it does — that's not the purpose of this post. Instead, I wanted to chime in on how well it worked and how much easier it was that the Ipe-Clips. If you're contemplating an install, the Camo is worth a look and in the end, a lot cheaper and provides a far more secure installation.
The holding power of the Camo system comes from screws fired at an angle straight through the side with no clips involved... it's very quick to install and leaves only a small hole that's easy to fill with caulk, filler, etc. (or leave as is, but it is a weak point for water to collect and cause issues). In my installation, I was able to caulk one side after the install of the board after each install and I will go back and fill the other side). Oddly,the installation of the adjacent board leaves a bit of sawdust in the groove that I was able to mash in with the caulk. I'd imagine that you could fill with type-3 glue instead of caulk (or a mix) and have a nice filled plug in the end (a popsicle stick helped with the smoothing).
Although pre-drilling isn't supposed to be necessary, I found it to provide a cleaner hole and fewer install issues... which actually saved time in the end as a single misfire would take longer to repair than all of the pre-drills combined (it's really only a second or two per hole). A driver with the Camo-bit and a drill with the drill-bit was good to have in this case.
The gaps (3/16) that the jig leaves is generous, but given our past experience with gaps, a bit more is likely better and it will ultimately let the deck drain and dry a bit better.
With a 2 year old and, well, life... being an Etsy seller has taken backseat for a while and we've amassed quite a collection of vintage goodies. ModApple, will be liquidated (as best as able) this Sunday...