Building Tips For a Great Looking Tebo Deck
... The goal of every deck builder is to build a great looking deck with as little effort as possible. The only thing more important is the over all quality of the deck in order to avoid nagging callbacks. Therefore, good building practices are important. For this reason, we are offering some tips to get you off on a better foot and to insure a quality deck the first time.
.... Installing Deck Boards with the Tebo
Prior to installing deck boards - To lengthen the life of the deck boards completely seal all wood deck boards prior to installation.
Installing the first board - Currently, the first board should be fastened with a nail or screw on the starting edge (usually against the house).
Placement of the tool - The Tebo Decker should be placed into the corner of the deck board and joist making certain to have good contact with both boards. It is most important that the wedge block on the tool make full contact with the deck board to insure the Tebo’s 3rd leg results at a 90 degree angle to the deck board.
Tight contact with joist - Step on the edge of the deck board as close to the tool as possible or step on the foot plate. Lean with all of your weight over the board edge and strike the driver with the rubber mallet. Install a fastener at every joist intersection.
Driving on the next deck board - Place the heel of your foot close to the edge of the installed deck board and first pointed prong. The ball of your foot and toes should be overhanging onto the next deck board. Keep most of your weight on the edge of the next deck board that is being driven on the first pointed prong. This pressure will insure that the next deck board is installed tight to the joist.
Working left to right - We have found that working from left to right works best for most deck builders. Move ahead of the next prong (to your right) to make contact with the deck board and keep your weight on the board (as mentioned in paragraph above). Lean to your left while striking the deck board onto the next prong. Always reach out to the left as far as you can comfortably reach.
* The most important goal of driving on the deck board is to look for a tight fit to the joist.
Butt Joints - While Tebos should normally be driven on the right side of the joist, they can also be driven on the left side. This allows you to drive one on each side of a joist and bend the leg of the Tebo on the left side to a perpendicular position. Both pieces of a butt joist can be tapped on to the Tebo. By fastening two more on the other side of the deck boards you are able to anchor both pieces properly.
Ipe deck boards - Since Ipe is such a dense material, pre-drilling a pilot hole may be required to insure that there is minimal checking and the third leg maintains its 90 degree orientation. The Tebo drilling fixture allows you to drill pilot holes that properly align with the Tebo coming out of the tool.
Framing Tips - To minimize visible fasteners, there are certain framing methods you should consider that may make your installation easier.
Lumber Selection - As always, it is much easier to work with lumber that is in good condition and is straight. Minimize the use of lumber with crooks, crowns, or damage to the top edge of the joist. Do not use pressure treated deck boards with a width dimension of 5-5/8" or greater due to excessive shrinkage
Framing on a Beam - Whenever possible, we recommend resting the joists on a beam. This will allow you to use the Tebo Decker all the way out to the end of the joist. After the deck surface is completed, the "band" or "rim" joist can be installed.
Bracing - We recommend using a diagonal brace nailed to the underside of the deck to hold the frame square. We also suggest using spreader boards every 4 to 5 feet on the top surface of the joist to maintain your joist spacing. Of course the spreaders can be removed as your deck surface approaches the spreader and the diagonal brace can be removed once the deck surface is completed.
Bridging - Bridging installed prior to deck board installation can obstruct the Tebo Decker. Therefore, we recommend installing your bridging member between the joists once you have installed the decking surface up to that location. You can install the bridging right in front of the deck board just installed. Then next deck board will then cover over the bridging and will not obstruct the Tebo Decker.
Additional Tips - for Driving the Next Deck Board On to the Tebo 3rd Leg.
Tapping Block - For softer woods, you may want to consider using a tapping block. This will protect the wood and will spread the impact of the blow. We recommend a 50" (4' 2") minimum length with 1" minimum thickness.
Place the tapping block against the deck board at the fastener points on which you want to drive. Use the front of your foot closest to the starting point to hold the tapping block while applying your weight to the heal of the same foot that is over the board edge contacting the points.

Your second foot should be at least a joist space ahead of your first. Your toe or heal should always keep pressure on the edge of the board that is in contact with the Tebo points.

Sledgehammer - When using a sledgehammer, it is easy and much faster with two people. With two people positioned on the tapping block and deck board, you can drive the decking on more points at one time before moving the tapping block forward.