Millboard have launched the DuoFix Side-Fixing Guide that delivers fast and accurate decking installations with a clean finish.
The finished surface of the deck is completely clear of screw holes or any other sign of the fixings used.
For Millboard’s network of Approved Installers, a lost head surface is achieved by using Millboard’s own Durafix screws and driving them out of vertical to a consistent five millimetres below the top surface.
Whilst this traditional fixing method is very simple, maintaining consistency while fitting what could amount to hundreds of fixings can sometimes be a challenge for apprentice workers or DIY installers.
To make sure that a perfect fit could always go with the benefits that their decking offers, Millboard set about designing a tool that would bring consistent, attractive results for any installer.
The first prototype was made of metal. Its heavy weight made it both awkward to handle and expensive to produce. It was useful in setting the principles to be developed.
As the concept was refined, the metal body was dropped in favour of hard-wearing and light ABS. The number of parts was reduced with the aim of simplifying manufacture and keeping the end cost to the customer as low as possible.
After three years of research and refinement, the result is the DuoFix Side-Fixing Guide. In use, it sits over the decking board to be fixed and a thumb-operated control is then adjusted to align the tool with the width of the board.
Once positioned, Durafix screws are routed with the designed driver bit through the aligned guide holes into the sides of each board. All at the perfect angle to go through the board and secure it to the sub-frame. The correct depth is achieved by reference to a collar on the driver bit.
There are three guide holes on either side of the tool, with the central one being used most of the time.
For this reason, it has a metal insert sleeve built in to extend its longevity – one of the refinements made during prototype testing.
The two less-used outer guide holes enable boards to be fitted even where they butt up against walls or other boundaries.
The DuoFix can be used in conjunction with board widths of 145-200mm. This makes it compatible with all Millboard decking boards, and even some softwood alternatives.
A consistent gap of 6mm between boards is maintained, which ensures the fixings’ heads are accommodated.
As the fixings have gone through only the sides of each board, there is no trace of them at all on the top surface of the finished deck, even when lighter coloured boards have been used.
Before its official launch, DuoFix was tested by several of Millboard’s Approved Installers in real world situations.
This was very positive: they felt the simplicity of use, combined with the speed and accuracy it offers, make the DuoFix a useful addition to any deck installer’s toolkit.
It also holds out the prospect to many more would-be installers without the benefit of extensive experience.
The DuoFix Side-Fixing Guide was not only conceived and developed in the UK but is manufactured here too.
With a guide retail price of £41.63 plus VAT, the small cost on top of decking boards and subframe components makes the DuoFix a worthwhile buy, even when a single deck installation is being undertaken.
More information about the product, including an illustrated guide to its use, can be found on the company’s website, millboard.co.uk.