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Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

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  • Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

    I have several sections of composite deck which are under a very large boulder angling up and toward the major deck area. There are 2"x8" joists underneath and some restricted space underneath as well. I can leave the last two or three feet of these composite deck boards ( 5/12" x 1 1/4" ) unattached if necessary but would prefer to drill and drive deck screws into the joists from above. The Ridgid R82233 Right angle Impact Driver looks like the most affordable, compact and strong tool to get in the tight space to do this job. Is this tool sufficient to pre-drill and drive 2 1/2" or 3" deck screws as described? Are there any better alternatives? I have considered right angle drill adapters, but those with quick fit chucks are larger than the Ridgid Impact Driver. Any creative thoughts on this?
    I can also try to secure these sections from underneath, but the soft composite material does not lend itself well to a toe-nailing approach.

    Tom B.
    St George, UT

  • #2
    Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

    I have the RA driver you noted. It will not drill pilot holes terribly well. It will drive 3"deck screws into PT lumber with no problem.
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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    • #3
      Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

      I have the tool you are referring to it is the 12 volt right angle impact driver. I have used it to drive screws into places where I could not get any room to use a cordless drill or angle to use a manual screw driver. The R82233 would require a chuck in order to predrill those holes, but it is strong enough to drive those screws. The only problem you may have is battery life. I only have one battery and it doesn't last very long. Give the tool a try, I think you'll be surprised with how easy it makes the job. I think if Ridgid offered a 12 volt lithium ion battery they would sell a lot for this tool alone. Please let us know how you make out.

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      • #4
        Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

        Thanks for the positive replies. I will give it a try shortly and report.

        Tom B

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        • #5
          Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

          An impact driver laughs at 3" deck screws. Piece of cake job for an impact driver.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

            I was lucky enough to pick one up with a hard case before they changed to the bags. I don't use it much so I like to keep it in the case. But when you need it there is no substitution. I learned the hard way after stripping out one of those right angle adapters.

            Ern

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            • #7
              Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

              If you check around, you should be able to find short drill bits with 1/4" hex shanks that should work for the pilot holes. An impact driver is not a drill, but it should be a little better than nothing. Can you by any chance post a picture or two and include a ruler so we have some idea of how much work room you have? You might like a little right angle drill attachment for drilling holes and then the R.A. Impact driver to drive in the screws.

              Please take a look at this. I have one and it is very handy, but it's no good for high torque applications as you have to hold it in your hand. For drilling say 1/8" pilot holes it may be just what you need. I must warn that this is a rather junky tool but when needed it has come through and let me get work done. First thing I did was to remove and replace the crappy chuck with a keyed check that I had on hand here. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92188

              Hex shank drill bits: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=1800
              Last edited by Woussko; 10-10-2007, 07:41 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

                There are also L angle brackets available for fastening the deck boards from underneath without an angled "toe-nail" approach. I, myself personally would not miss the opportunity to get another tool though.
                A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

                  I think the way to go is a jacobs chuck with the 1/4 inch adapter in the Ridgid right angle impact driver if you can't get the 1/4 shank bits. The variable speed and strength of this tool make it a dream to use. Still would buy a couple lithium ion batteries in a flash if Ridgid would sell them! Great tools, give us great batteries...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

                    I thought about posting a pic (with some props to show a space reference) and will try tomorrow. I just got a Milwaukee bit kit at HD ( the $30. one) and it has a few 1/4" bit drills which should work. The Ridgid tool seems like the best way to do this properly ..... although I am considering the L-bracket underneath approach too. Probably no more than 20 needed to hold things down securely un this relatively small area.

                    Many thanks,
                    Tom B

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tight space for deck screw drill and drive

                      An impact driver makes a poor drill....especially for larger bits that require higher torque. You really don't want to go into impact mode. It makes controlling the tool that much harder and drill bits aren't designed for impact.

                      I bought an inexpensive Ryobi 18 volt right angle drill. Mostly used it for situations like drilling wiring holes in 2x4 studs, with a spade bit, through a small access hole. Worked great for that. Not sure how it would do with composite decking material.

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