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Deck Board Straightening Tool

This topic contains 28 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  DirtyWhiteBoy 1 year, 5 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 29 total)
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  • #673719

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Looking for recommendations on a deck board straightening tool. There are at least a half dozen of them on the market, all claiming to be a great solution but the reviews tell another story.

    The idea is that they grip a joist and apply pressure to the bowed deck board and push it into place.

    Does anyone actually own one of these?

    Here are the ones I’ve seen thus far:
    BoWrench: https://www.amazon.com/Cepco-Tool-BW-2-BoWrench-Decking/dp/B0000224UP

    Deck Devil: https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Building-Products-Devil-Straightener/dp/B005V2VPVK

    Board Bender Deck Tool: https://www.homedepot.com/p/26-in-Board-Bender-Deck-Tool-93-310/203753633

    Hardwood Wrench: https://www.amazon.com/DeckWise-Hardwood-Wrench-Stainless-Straightening/dp/B0085Y9RX4

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #673724

    brianpeters
    Pro
    Murray, KY

    I’ve wished at times I had a tool for this. I’ve always made do with screwing a 2×4 across a couple of joists a few inches from the board to straighten, at a very slight angle, and driving another board in to wedge the deck board over. If I did a lot of decks, I think it would be worth investing in a proper tool for the job.

    #673742

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Well, that’s better than my method! I have just been using my shin to apply pressure….and if that didn’t work, I would hammer the claw end of another hammer into the top corner of the joist and pull the board into place. That method only worked about 25% of the time though. many times, the bow was too much for the hammer or the claws would slip off of the joist. Neither the hammer or my shin is very effective.

    Frankly, I have a couple of second-story decks lined up that the shin method is useless for, being that I would need to stand on the ground to generate leverage anyway.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #673747

    brianpeters
    Pro
    Murray, KY

    When I build a deck using treated boards for decking, I put them tight together. As they dry out they shrink a little in width, leaving a perfect gap between the boards. I like to lay out about 4 boards at a time, then use the wedge method to push them all tight together, screw them down, then move on . Also i have found, at least with the wood we have here, thay the ends of the boards are often slightly more narrow than the rest of the board, so I don’t worry if the very ends aren’t tight together. They seem to run straighter that way.

    #673771

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Hardwood Wrench.
    I have this one and what I like the most about it is the fact it can be used on 2X joist and 4X joist or even doubled up 2Xs.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #673797

    KeeganC
    Pro
    Bloomington, IN

    I went searching for one of those a couple years ago when I was in the midst of a deck and couldn’t find one locally, so I cobbled one together with 2×4’s that basically used the same action as those wrenches, it just didn’t grip the joist like those, rather I had to screw it down with a lag screw to get a bite. It worked well enough for the job but wore out pretty quickly so it wasn’t worth keeping.
    Totally in agreement with @brianpeters about installing treated decking tight and letting the shrinkage form the gaps between boards. He’s also right on the money about the ends being dried out and “preshrunk”, I’ve certainly fought way too hard to get those tight only to find out it’s just making my coursing squirrelly.

    #673801

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    When I install pressure treated lumber, I gap the boards pretty tightly (1/16th” I believe it is). And you’re correct, the spacing does turn out great when you do it that way. I’ve been staying away from face screwing and using CAMO edge screws which has a minimum gap of 1/16″, otherwise I might try butting the planks directly against one another. The CAMO system drives the screws on opposing angles which prevents the board from popping up and down as it shrinks.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #673806

    xtsallad
    Pro
    Dallas, TX

    Much better than my ratchet straps. I shim the tight spots for the proper gap I’m after and then working from the outer edge Han the strap hook on the outer deck board and pull the gaps closed with the ratchet and fasten. Worked pretty well on the last deck working alone and it was fastened form underneath.

    j

    #673814

    Doobie
    Pro

    Hardwood Wrench.
    I have this one and what I like the most about it is the fact it can be used on 2X joist and 4X joist or even doubled up 2Xs.

    I like that one too. I think it’s the best one out there.

    https://www.hardwoodwrench.com

    Gonna be buying it soon myself. How is it with Ipe @dirtywhiteboy?

    #673874

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    From what I’ve read, the Hardwood Wrench only works from one side of the board. Unlike a few of the others, you have to “push” the board into place, rather than pulling it from the opposite side.

    Any truth to this? Is it an issue? For literally 3x the price, this little issue may be a deal breaker.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #673876

    Doobie
    Pro

    Deck Devil: https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Building-Products-Devil-Straightener/dp/B005V2VPVK

    Taking a closer look, I kinda would want this one also for where there is no joist to grab onto also that other styles can’t deal with.

    It also has some useful accessories….

    https://shop.titanbuildingproducts.com/deck-devil-tool.php

    From what I’ve read, the Hardwood Wrench only works from one side of the board. Unlike a few of the others, you have to “push” the board into place, rather than pulling it from the opposite side.

    Any truth to this? Is it an issue? For literally 3x the price, this little issue may be a deal breaker.

    Not exactly sure what you’re referring to, but the handle is reversible for when you are trying to push a board against a vertical wall and doing the first few rows.

    #673885

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    How is it with Ipe dirtywhiteboy?

    It works fine with Ipe, that’s what it’s made for or any hardwood.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #674017

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Not exactly sure what you’re referring to, but the handle is reversible for when you are trying to push a board against a vertical wall and doing the first few rows.

    Apparently, the reviews I read were wrong! It looks like it works from either side without issue.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #674020

    Doobie
    Pro

    Not exactly sure what you’re referring to, but the handle is reversible for when you are trying to push a board against a vertical wall and doing the first few rows.

    Apparently, the reviews I read were wrong! It looks like it works from either side without issue.

    It just won’t work where you no longer have a joist to work with near the end of a deck.

    I wonder if a fairly simple jig can overcome this issue in using the Deckwise Hardwood Wrench rather than have to buy another tool like the Deck Devil to deal with that. I’ve spent a few minutes trying to work something out in my head, but really, for $75 dollars more, it’s a lot easier just getting the Deck Devil to deal with this shortcoming.

    I think I may get both of them myself. That Deck Devil may be useful for a host of other things that I’m not thinking of right now. But I think I’ll just spend some more time for now looking for more reviews on it. Can’t trust what may be shills promoting a tool on the net. The only YT videos I found on it are all from the same guy in 2012. Gotta see if there’s negative experiences out there maybe looking for written reviews online. I have a bit of apprehensiveness with a tool that is an Acme screw driven by a drill. How sturdy/durable is this thing. For $75, it makes me wonder.

    The only written stuff I’ve found so far written are the Amazon reviews. There is one embedded video in it by a fellow other than the other aforementioned fellow on it. You’ve probably already looked at that Jon, but here it is anyways.

    https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Deck-Devil-Board-Straightener/product-reviews/B005V2VPVK

    I’m not 100% sure, but now I think that the Titan Building Products link I posted earlier is maybe actually the people that developed this product. Funny that the only place I can find this product anywhere other than on A.com shipped by Titan as the seller is thru them direct and nowhere else. Might be a red flag of sorts. I also tried doing a search on JLC and got nothing.

    EDIT: Now I’m even thinking I could make something using my Bessey K-Body clamps that accomplishes the same thing I need from the Deck Devil tool. Might take a few hours, but with some scrap angle steel and some wood, it may not be that hard.

    #674092

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    thej lumber yard down in chester where ive been working… 1 hr outside of town has the board bender.. i was very tempted to buy it until i saw the price tag of $76

    are they really worth it… ive always gotten by with a chisel driven into the joist then prying ont that

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #674152

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Not exactly sure what you’re referring to, but the handle is reversible for when you are trying to push a board against a vertical wall and doing the first few rows.

    Apparently, the reviews I read were wrong! It looks like it works from either side without issue.

    Yes it works from both sides and I really like it.. I’m glad I bought it. I don’t care how much it cost… I’ve wasted a lot more money on things I can’t even remember…

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #674212

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    thej lumber yard down in chester where ive been working… 1 hr outside of town has the board bender.. i was very tempted to buy it until i saw the price tag of $76

    are they really worth it… ive always gotten by with a chisel driven into the joist then prying ont that

    @jkirk, if you think That is bad…the Hardwood Wrench mentioned above is currently selling for $219 on Amazon!

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #674229

    Doobie
    Pro

    thej lumber yard down in chester where ive been working… 1 hr outside of town has the board bender.. i was very tempted to buy it until i saw the price tag of $76

    are they really worth it… ive always gotten by with a chisel driven into the joist then prying ont that

    @jkirk, if you think That is bad…the Hardwood Wrench mentioned above is currently selling for $219 on Amazon!

    Everywhere I found it on US sites it was at that price. I can only imagine what I’ll get quoted for it at the few places that carry it here in Canada. Gulp!

    But it does look lioe it is by far the best made tool in its category.

    You decided you’re gonna get it Jon?

    #674251

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    thej lumber yard down in chester where ive been working… 1 hr outside of town has the board bender.. i was very tempted to buy it until i saw the price tag of $76

    are they really worth it… ive always gotten by with a chisel driven into the joist then prying ont that

    @jkirk, if you think That is bad…the Hardwood Wrench mentioned above is currently selling for $219 on Amazon!

    Everywhere I found it on US sites it was at that price. I can only imagine what I’ll get quoted for it at the few places that carry it here in Canada. Gulp!

    But it does look lioe it is by far the best made tool in its category.

    You decided you’re gonna get it Jon?

    I’m leaning towards the BoWrench actually. It is slightly longer (more leverage) and is a lot cheaper. From what I’ve gathered, its well built…so I’m not seeing the point in paying triple for the hardwood wrench.

    The chrome collar between the wood handle and the head on the hardwood wrench looks like a potential weak spot too. The BoWrench is a solid steel tube….maybe not a big deal, but it seems like the solid steel tool is probably better.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #674304

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    jkirk, if you think That is bad…the Hardwood Wrench mentioned above is currently selling for $219 on Amazon!

    No dwelling on money,,, just get the good one.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

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