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A Guide to CAMO Hidden Deck Fastening System

Discover the innovative CAMO Hidden Deck Fastening System.

The CAMO Hidden Decking Fastening System is an innovative method of installing decking screws that places them at the edges of the boards, rather than into the surface. This is not only more attractive to look at, but it is also safer for bare feet and paws to cross without fear of injury. The screws are secured directly to the joist, which helps to reduce board movement.  

Tip #1: If you need to replace decking boards, they can be removed one at a time by reverse drilling the screws out of the material using the CAMO tool.  

CAMO can be used with all types of decking material including:  

  • Composite  
  • Treated woods  
  • Hardwoods, this includes IPE, Teak, and Tigerwood  
  • PVC  
  • Cedar  

Tip #2: CAMO is a system, and each part has been engineered to work exclusively with other parts of it for the best performance. Using screws or tools from other brands may not produce the results you expect. 

Which CAMO Marksman Tool?  

The tool is the core of the system and we currently offer three 

Narrow Board Marksman Pro. Suitable for use with boards that are 80mm to 125mm wide, the Narrow Board tool includes 5mm spacers on each side.  

Wide Board Marksman Pro. Suitable for use with boards that are 126mm to 145mm wide, the Wide Board tool includes 5mm spacers on each side.  

Marksman Edge. Suitable for all sizes of board, the Edge can be used when you don’t want any gap at all between your boards.  

When is a gap needed?  

If your decking is made from timber, this is a natural material that expands and contracts with temperature changes. The 5mm gap allows for this movement to occur without causing problems.  

Which Driver Bits?  

When you purchase a box of Hidden Deck Fasteners, you will receive one complimentary CAMO Driver Bits, of which is suitable for use with smooth boards, however, there are also Driver Bits for grooved boards. 

Tip #3: When you read about smooth and grooved boards, in relation to CAMO, we are not talking about the top surface, but rather the edges of the boards, as shown in the image below:

Most decking is typically smooth; however, some types of composite decking have a grooved edge that is designed to allow a clip to be fitted and a grooved bit should be used instead.  

Which Screws?  

The Deck Screws that can be used as part of this system come in two finishes:  

Protech Coated. These are the standard screws and are highly resistant against corrosion, for up to 1500 hours of salt spray. They can be used in all types of decking board and are available in two sizes:  

  • 48mm. Suitable for use with 19mm to 28mm deep boards  
  • 60mm. Suitable for use with 32mm to 50mm deep boards  

Stainless Steel. These are recommended for use in areas where resistance against corrosion is important, for example, coastal areas and around swimming pools and water. Stainless Steel screws are only available as a 60mm option 

Tip #4: When using Stainless Steel screws, we would recommend pre-drilling.  

Screws Explained 

Each screw has a reverse rake tip that removes the material from the deck as it bores. This allows it to penetrate without causing the wood to split. The reduced trim head produces a point of entry that is less visible. It also has a reverse upper thread that pulls the board tightly to the joint, ensuring that the finished entry is clean, whilst the aggressive lower thread provides superior holding power.   

Using the Tool 

  1. Start by squeezing the Trigger Handle and position the tool at least 25mm from the end of the board.  
  2. Release the Trigger Handle to set the tool in place. If it is placed properly, when the Trigger is released, the tool should clamp securely to the board.  
  3. Push the board so that it is against the previous one (a gap will be automatically created by the Spacer) and place screws into the Screw Guides.  
  4. Set the drill to the highest RPM speed it will allow and work the screw into the deck board.  

Tip #5: The handle of the tool is not designed to be weight-bearing. As such, you should set the drill running and simply let the screw do the work. Putting too much pressure onto the tool will result in the screw being forced into the surface of the deck which could cause it to split or mushroom.  

 

 

How to know when you can stop drilling 

The great thing about the CAMO system is that you cannot overdrive it, because the depth is set automatically. This means that once the Driver Bits shoulder reaches the Screw Guide, you can stop.   

Check out our full range of CAMO Hidden Deck Fasteners and Tools and start your journey to decking awesomeness today. 

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Kat Musselwhite - Howarth Blogger.