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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.

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  • 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 '17 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 '17 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 '17 at 18:09
  • And what's a "leveling frame"? – isherwood Jun 2 '17 at 18:13
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    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 '17 at 20:31
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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.

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    Pulling it together first with a rope or strap is a good idea. – fixer1234 Jun 2 '17 at 18:26
  • This is a really good advice! I didn't think about pulling it with strap first. Thanks. – Uncle Meat Jun 2 '17 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 '17 at 10:53

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