I am building a small (14'x12') detached deck to be placed directly on the ground with some gravel under it. I am using 4x6 pressure treated boards (UC4B) for outside frame.

I intend to use 6" TimberLOK screws from FastenMaster to stitch the frame together. All resources suggest that it's as good as lag screws.

As I put boards together, I noticed the bent on one 14' board. That makes about 1" gap between outer frame and inner joist in the middle (also 4x6).

I wonder if it's ok to use couple 6" TimberLOKs to just pull the outer board to the middle joist.

This picture is to give an idea of the project.

enter image description here

  • Sure. Lumber is rarely perfectly straight. A bigger concern is the bulk of the weight of your deck and its occupants being supported by one (not very tall) joist.
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:07
  • I would think that that amount of bow in a 14' run could be pulled together with a couple of TimberLOKs, and 2 1/2" into the center board is probably enough. When you draw the pieces together, alternate between the screws, tightening one a little, then the other. In terms of flooring, I assume that this is just a leveling frame and that you will use appropriate joists on top.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:08
  • @fixer1234, that won't work unless the rim joist is pre-drilled to completely let the screws slip. Otherwise the threads from one screw lock the gap in place.
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:09
  • And what's a "leveling frame"?
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:13
  • 2
    If you're going to fill under those boards for support, I would use gravel. Even wood treated for ground contact will eventually rot if you pack dirt under it.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 2, 2017 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


It shouldn't be too difficult to pull that bow out, and the screws should hold it in place. I'd use a rope with a cinch loop or a ratchet strap to pull it all together, then run your screws in.

Seeing as you're pulling from end-grain you may have a hard time doing it with just screws. They might strip.

  • 1
    Pulling it together first with a rope or strap is a good idea.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:26
  • This is a really good advice! I didn't think about pulling it with strap first. Thanks.
    – Uncle Meat
    Jun 2, 2017 at 19:40
  • I would use bolts 3/8" or 1/2" bolts and washers or carriage bolts and 1 washer to pull the boards together to remove the bow. They will never come loose
    – d.george
    Jun 3, 2017 at 10:53

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