by Greg DiBernardo
Premium synthetic decks are the heart of my deck-building business, and I use hidden fasteners on all of my projects. In fact, I’m so familiar with hidden clips and screws that I almost wince just typing about them. Tedious and slow, my standard method of installation had been to place the clip in a groove on the deck board, then drive a small screw into the clip and joist using either a cordless drill or an impact driver. That is, until recently, when Tiger Claw, a maker of hidden deck fasteners, introduced the TC-Gun.
Tiger Claw Hidden Fasteners
Street price: $279
This innovative tool was designed to speed up the installation of the company’s own TC-G clips as well as TimberTech’s CONCEALoc clips (manufactured by Tiger Claw and privately labeled by TimberTech). Tiger Claw’s clips work with Fiberon, Latitudes, Portico, TimberTech, and Trex deck boards, and with pregrooved ipe, teak, and meranti.
The pneumatic TC-Gun, a relatively lightweight and compact modified joist-hanger nailer, installs clips dramatically faster than the traditional way. The user places the clip on a holder built into the nose of the gun and, in one motion, inserts the clip into the groove on the deck board while laying the gun’s nail magazine flat on the joist. A squeeze of the trigger fastens the clip with a screw — not a nail.
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