Category Archives: Deck Tools

The DeckWise Drill & Drive™ – The Perfect Stocking Stuffer for Pros & DIYers!

Looking for a great stocking stuffer for the handyman or woman in your life? Or do you just need a really good tool to save you time when installing hardwood decking?

To properly install hardwoods you need to use screws, not nails. Thanks to today’s technology, you have the option of using tools that will significantly reduce the time for installation. One such stool is the DeckWise Drill & Drive. This tool has reduced the need to swap out drill bit for a screw head by combining the whole mechanism in a quick release locking collar.

The DeckWise Drill & Drive tool is more than just a gimmick; it’s a money saving investment. With the Drill & Drive tool, you will be able to:

  1. Save money by drilling and countersinking in one motion.
  2. Reduce the strain on you or your worker’s back by making the process faster and more efficient.
  3. Sell services to clients at a lower cost than other contractors.
  4. Build large projects or decks at a fraction of the cost and time.

For projects that require cost efficiency, speed, and quality craftsmanship, the DeckWise Drill & Drive is the perfect tool. Whether your project is big or small, the Drill & Drive tool will make working with hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru and Tigerwood a pleasant experience.

How to Properly Use End Seal

Here you can see exactly what happens to your hardwood decking when you don't end seal the cuts.
Here you can see exactly what happens to your hardwood decking when you don’t end seal the cuts.

In the past there have been some miscommunications with how to properly use End Seal & Ipe Oil. These are two equally important deck protectants, and when used properly, they will prolong the life of your deck.

End Sealer may sound a bit confusing. On traditional wood decks, a sealer is what encases the decking, it’s what protects it. That’s not the case with End Seal. If you happen to end seal your entire deck, you may find that it’s a bit slippery. I’m sorry you’re going through this; I believe Ipe Oil is what you’re looking for.

The end sealer is for the end grain cuts of the decking. Hardwood decking contains a significant amount of moisture, when you cut the decking and leave those ends exposed; the hardwood can dry rapidly. This can cause cracking and splitting.

To protect the end grains on your decking apply end sealer, or any approved wax based emulsion. This helps control the moisture gain and loss in decking and keeps the movement to a minimum. After you cut the decking, apply the end sealer to the fresh cuts. Make sure you don’t get any end sealer on the deck board surface, if this happens, promptly wipe it off.

When the proper steps are taken before the initial installation, you can be sure you have taken all the necessary measures in prolonging the life of your deck. Check out this video to learn more:

Proper Installation will Prevent Decking Problems

Installing Ipe Decking
Learn how to Prevent Problems and Future Decking Maintenance

The best way to prevent decking problems is to ensure that your deck was installed correctly in the first place.

Here are five crucial steps that will prolong the life of your deck:

1) Buy decking that is premium grade. When shopping for exotic hardwoods like ipe, it’s important to know the difference between premium/clear grade and common grade.

  • Common/Select Grade – Contains sap wood and visible knots & worm holes. Common grade also can be poorly milled (called hit and miss planing). Common grade also has a huge color variance from very light blond to almost black wood.
  • Premium/Clear – Best grade, period. All heart and no sapwood. Carefully milled material which highlights the well-blended colors with some boards showing their natural accents.

2) Use an  end sealer prior to installation. This is a critical part of decking installation and will help prevent future problems. Learn more about end grain sealer.

3) Apply deck oil. Choosing the right deck oil finish for ipe or any other hardwood decking will be prevent many problems including warping, checking, splits, and cracks.

4) Use a deck fastening system. Using hidden deck fasteners not only make your deck surface more attractive, but they also allow your new deck to expand and contract throughout the course of its life without much impediment.

5) Properly straighten bowed deck boards. Installing bowed boards, or forcing them in with flimsy tools and methods might save you some install time, but in the long run, you might also be decreasing the overall structural integrity and look of your deck. Nothing is a bigger pain that having to repair boards that get loose from the joist. Using deck tools like the Hardwood Wrench® will save you the headaches (and backaches) of having to make future repairs.

6) Don’t rush. When you take care in the installation process, you’ll find that you:

  • Get more enjoyment out of installing wood decking
  • End up with a stronger, and better looking deck
  • Gain years of personal enjoyment out of using it

If you breeze through any of these steps, or skip one of them, you might end up having to put more time and work into maintaining your deck. Ultimately, these decking products will greatly enhance the look and performance of your future deck. If you have any other questions, or would like to speak to a professional, contact us.

Ipe Deck Screws

ipe decking screws

What are the best screws to use on ipe decking? Star drive screws work great when installing ipe decking.

Remember, with hardwoods as dense as ipe, we highly recommend pre-drilling. Trust us, it will save you loads of time and aggravation and will prolong the life of your deck.

We recommend Star drive screws for many practical reasons:

  • Excellent durability
  • Extreme holding power
  • Long-lasting corrosion resistance
  • Easily resists cam out & stripping

Another great reason to buy Star drive screws? You less of them and end up saving more in the long run.

Check out our selection of premium stainless steel deck screws.

Deck Calculator – Convert Square Feet to Linear Feet

Do you need to convert square feet to linear feet?

Check out our handy Wood Decking Calculator. It works perfectly for both standard & pre-grooved decking. You’re also covered covered when it comes to converting square footage of tongue and groove decking into linear footage.

When completing your deck design, having decking calculators and square footage converters at your disposal will save you time, and money.

At AdvantageLumber.com our goal is to always make your buying experience smooth and easy. This is why we provide the tools you need to build your deck successfully. If you can think of any deck tools that you’d like to see us create, contact us and let us know!

How to Install Deck Fasteners from the Ipe Clip ® Company

I’ve talked about deck fasteners before and why they are the best tool you can use to ensure a long lasting and clean deck for years to come. I have gotten some wonderful feedback emailed to me from people who wanted to learn more and to see a demonstration of how the Ipe Clip® brand of hidden deck fasteners work. The guys over at the Ipe Clip® have been kind enough to share with me a video they posted that shows just how one of their exclusive brands of deck fasteners, the Ipe Clip Extreme™, makes installing air-dried wood easier than ever before. Without further adieu…


If you’re getting ready to build a deck, I can’t recommend these hidden deck fasteners enough. They have helped a great number of deck builders and homeowners save time and money. Best of all, they all have a blemish free deck surface that looks clean and elegant.

Deck Fasteners Will Save You Time & Money

Building a deck is something that you want done right the first time without any regrets. One sure way to have a deck that you can look at years from now and still feel great about is through making sure that your initial deck installation is done correctly and efficiently.

Let’s face it…how awesome would it be to take that first step out onto your deck and see a clean

and smooth deck without any nails or popups?

If that’s the deck you want to have, then using deck fasteners are highly recommended. One of the most cost-efficient and effective deck fasteners systems on the market today is made by the Ipe Clip® brand.

Ipe Clip® deck fasteners have the following features: Continue reading