Hidden Decking Fasteners

Who came up with the first hidden decking fastener is open to debate. Weston Leavens remembers first seeing them in a magazine sometime around the end of the Reagan administration.

Prongs, tracks, biscuits, or clips, these attachments are here to stay

by Andy Engel


Who came up with the first hidden decking fastener is open to debate. Weston Leavens remembers first seeing them in a magazine sometime around the end of the Reagan administration. A screw or nail affixed the clip to the first board and to the joist, and the second board was driven onto a prong protruding from the first clip.

At the time, Leavens was the owner of one of the largest deck-building companies in San Diego. Intrigued, he ordered a box of the fasteners and used them to build a display deck for the annual home show. "The deck moved and squeaked," says Leavens. "It was embarrassing. I thought we'd done something wrong, so I called the magazine and eventually got in touch with the author. It happened that the deck featured in the article wasn't far away, so I arranged a visit. Well, it squeaked and moved, too, but the owners didn't seem to mind." That experience led Leavens to invent the Deckmaster, a track system that he began to use in his own business in about 1989.

That was a fertile time for the hidden-fastener industry. Sometime in the early '90s, Harry Eberle was working on a high-end house in Hunterdon County, N.J., and as seems common with busy builders, his mind was in two places at once. While he was using a biscuit joiner to put together the cabinets, he was also noodling out the best way to fasten down the furniture-grade ipe for the deck.

Click here to read full article from Deck Magaziner

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