Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

How do you guys feel about 15 gauge nails for a small wooden deck?

The deck would be sitting directly on the ground. Think the 2x4s frames sitting on the 2" edge on the ground. The deck would be something like 12'x12' with a tree in the middle.

I've read I should use the thicker framing nails, but was wondering if a small job like this can get away with the 15 gaugers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
you have to use framing nails if you want the thing to hold together. 15 ga nails are nothing more than finish nails and are not meant to have any true structural strength.

I have done quite a bit of construction including building some houses and I am urging you to take a step back and think if you have enough skill and experience to tackle a deck by your self.

If you decide to do the deck make sure that you at least read up on the proper building methods ,pull a permit and find out if you have any friends who have build a deck before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Experience, no. Skill? Well, I'm not shy around my tools, and I am most certainly willing to learn. If I have to, then I'll get a framing nail gun as there are a lot of other things I'll be tackling some day like a pool pump cover/pool storage mini shed.

This is pretty much what I had in mind:



You can see it is not a very big job, but I would like to be able to take a couple of chairs and sit on it. If 15 guage is a no no for something so small, then framing nails it is. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
You need to use weather resistant screws or nails for this nails or screws should be 3 inch or 16 penney nails depending on wood type will determine what type of coating the nails or screws should have. The length for your decking should be around 2 inches depending on thickness of your material.
Put it together with the nails your talking about ant you won't be able to stand on it if it even holds together while you build it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
For that small of a deck and if I didnt have a gun I would use a impact driver and 3 in deck screws for the sides and 2.5 to put the boards down
 

·
Half a bubble off.. {Θ¿Θ}
Joined
·
548 Posts
Coupla comments...
I'd raise the deck up off the ground on some patio blocks a few inches to allow air circulation & ease in "weed whacking". If it sits directly on the ground expect it to rot out in a few years. Even the treated lumber will deteriorate faster with direct ground contact.

Second point... Make the "holes" around the trees 3-4 inches away from the trunk. Those trees are gonna grow & they'll bust the deck up in doing so.
Look at trees in an urban area with the steel grating around them.. It's made so the grating can be broken away as the tree grows.

As for nails.. at least 16d galvanized for the framing & 8d galv. for the decking. Or 3" & 2" galv screws..

Good luck.. it looks like a cool project and DO take some fotos to share.

..Jon..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Understood. TY

I am a newb, and I have no shame admitting it. lol :) I signed up here to make sure I can get things done right, and this forum has been a great help. It makes total sense to use the framing nails for a load bearing structure, but I wasn't sure if something so small would hold up with finishing nails. Thanks again all. :)
 

·
Really underground garage
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
Nuthin like a framing gun for..........framing.But seriously consider screws(as mentioned above).Little neater job,and way less tendency to pull out.Good luck,and have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,302 Posts
Understood. TY

I am a newb, and I have no shame admitting it. lol :) I signed up here to make sure I can get things done right, and this forum has been a great help. It makes total sense to use the framing nails for a load bearing structure, but I wasn't sure if something so small would hold up with finishing nails. Thanks again all. :)
just get ready for every cricket for miles around to take up residence under it when it's completed. my brother built one just like it years ago (sans trees) and it was an absolute magnet for insects being that close to the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
You mention getting a framing nailer, because you will have other projects you mentioned, in the future. Instead of a nailer, I would get an impact driver, and use coated screws. An impact driver drives screws, without rounding the heads off, and will be of a lot more use for future jobs.
Good luck with your deck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
I would make sure I got fasteners certified for treated wood (AQC). They are normally hot dipped galvanized or SS.
Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The torx were already in my mind before reading it here. Thank goodness I'm on the same train of thought as you guys. :smile:

I have an old Craftsman 1/2 HP 4 amp drill I'm going to test with a few test wood pieces to see how it does. I've never had anything stop this drill, and it has broken more bits than I can count. I might not even have to buy an impact, but I'll see.

Thanks again, all. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
The torx were already in my mind before reading it here. Thank goodness I'm on the same train of thought as you guys. :smile:

I have an old Craftsman 1/2 HP 4 amp drill I'm going to test with a few test wood pieces to see how it does. I've never had anything stop this drill, and it has broken more bits than I can count. I might not even have to buy an impact, but I'll see.

Thanks again, all. :smile:
If you're going electric...pre drill your holes, and don't hold the trigger all the way down when driving your screws....makes a huge difference. I pre drill even with impact drivers. All it takes is one split to ruin your project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,239 Posts
Hi all,

How do you guys feel about 15 gauge nails for a small wooden deck?

The deck would be sitting directly on the ground. Think the 2x4s frames sitting on the 2" edge on the ground. The deck would be something like 12'x12' with a tree in the middle.

I've read I should use the thicker framing nails, but was wondering if a small job like this can get away with the 15 gaugers.
at least 16 gage nail's coated or use dry wall screw's the kind for outside the white one's ??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I'll add my vote for deck screws rather than nails. Much better if you ever need to replace a piece.

I put down a ground level deck, about 12' x 16' in back of our house in around 1985. I laid pressure treated 4x4's directly on the ground, and screwed 2x6 boards onto them. Last year I replaced the deck boards due to weathering, splitting, etc. (I never cleaned, stained, or sealed them) For the most part, the 4x4's were still solid. A few soft spots, but not enough to make me remove & replace them.

The first time, I used galvanized spiral nails recommended by the lumber yard where I bought the wood, and it was a lot of work prying up all of the boards. This time I used deck screws; less work to install, and I expect it'll be easier to disassemble someday when it becomes necessary. I used a Bosch 18V cordless drill to run all the screws without a problem, so I'm sure your drill will work fine. And I didn't find pre-drilling to be necessary, The screws went right into the wood w/o splits.

As another poster suggested, keeping the framing off the dirt will prolong its life; probably last forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
As mentioned by others, hard to beat an impact driver & deck screws. For a project that small you could go with the SS square drive screws and totally avoid any issues with treated wood.

Someone mentioned a permit. Obviously depends on jurisdiction. Where I live a permit is not required for a deck less than 18" high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
Even bricks as footings on gravel would be better than nothing. PT lumber all the way.
5/4 deck boards and stick 'em down with 2 1/2" or 3" deck screws = made for the job.
Built some new fence with that stuff hung on 4x4 posts in 3' holes.
50mph winds all night is no big deal.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top