How to Groove Your Own Deck Boards (It’s faster than you think!)


You might think that you need to have grooved deck boards to get a fastener-free deck surface with the TigerClaw TC-G fastener. But you can cut your own grooves in regular decking boards–and you can do it quickly!

The main tool required is a handheld router using a 5/32” bit (the video below shows the TigerClaw TC-G Slot Cutter). You’ll also want some safety glasses, a few clamps to hold down the decking boards on the deck surface, a tape measure, and a pencil.

As you see from the video, only a few steps are required:

  1. Measure 13/32” from bottom of board and mark with a pencil
  2. Adjust the router and do a sample cut at the pencil line and test to make sure the TigerClaw TC-G clip fits tightly in the groove as shown in the video
  3. After ensuring a correct measurement and cut, cut your grooves in the boards either at the location a groove is required or groove the entire board
  4. Install the TC-G clips as directed

The FastenMaster cut 8 slots in 12 seconds–only 24 seconds additional labor on every 20’ deck board and an extra 16 minutes for a 400 square foot deck. Much faster than installing deck boards with screws. (Not to mention those extra DIY bonus points you get for cutting your own grooves!)

Check out DIY Home Center for the TC-G clips and the slot cutter router and get this project started!

Guest Post: Know When to Use TigerClaw Butt Seam Clips


By Greg Hartman, National Account Manager, FastenMaster Division

Most deck builders will try to avoid having two boards butt end to end on any deck project. However it isn’t always possible. Decks that are more than 20 feet long, and most decks built with random length lumber will always require boards be joined end to end. Hidden deck fasteners cannot always accommodate these butt seams. In the past, builders would either have to sister a joist below the butt seam, create their own solution or bridge the seam with a single fastener. Attaching a sister joist below every butt seam is time consuming. A homemade solution can be equally time consuming and may be questionable in its integrity. Bridging two board ends with a clip meant as a single board/joist fastener is never going to hold as well as it is meant to.

TigerClaw Sister Joist

Butt Seam with TC-G and Sister Joist (Old Method)

Tiger Claw has developed a solution for the butt seam issue – the TigerClaw Butt Seam Clip. The Butt Seam Clip is a mirror image of the TC-G. Using this clip in conjunction with the TC-G allows a builder to install the two clips side by side on a single “2 by” joist. This TigerClaw Butt Seam Clip is equal to the TC-G in speed, ease of use and strength.
Tiger Claw TC-G is one of the most widely used hidden deck fasteners for all types of grooved deck boards. The speed and ease of installation, the versatility, the strength and hold down power make this a builder’s favorite clip.

The Butt Seam Clip comes in handy for two other applications.

Butt Seam with TC-G and Butt Seam Clip (New Method) – No Need for Sister Joist!

Butt Seam with TC-G and Butt Seam Clip (New Method) – No Need for Sister Joist!

  • When the ends of the deck planks are going to be cut flush to the joists for a flush fascia or trim. Use the TC-G on your right outer joist and the Butt Seam Clip on your left outer joist to keep the fastener well inboard and out of the way of your circular saw.
  • When the builder runs out of TC-G clips and only needs a couple dozen clips to finish the job. Instead of having to buy the 90 clip bag of TC-G he can now buy this less expensive bag of 55 Butt Seam Clips to finish the job.

Every bill of materials for a grooved deck installation should include at least one bag of TigerClaw Butt Seam Clips.

TigerClaw is available now at www.diyhomecenter.com — or, if you have any questions, call 888-349-4660 or leave us a comment below.

Why You Should Be Using the Tiger Claw TC-G this Upcoming Deck Season


For the last five years, we’ve witnessed the incredible growth of the hidden fastener market. It’s no wonder why. A deck that uses hidden fasteners gives a more polished look—and the fasteners hitting the market are getting easier to use, which is great for DIYers.

Even though there many new fasteners hitting the market, when it comes to grooved boards, we’re still big fans of the Tiger Claw TC-G because of its versatility and ease-of-use.

TigerClaw TC-G

TigerClaw TC-G Hidden Deck Fastener

Who wants to fumble around with multiple different fasteners for different applications when one durable and reliable fastener—the Tiger Claw TC-G—can meet all your needs?

In fact, we 100% guarantee that the Tiger Claw TC-G is a direct replacement for the following fasteners:

  • Fiberon Phantom
  • Ipe Clip Extreme 4
  • Invisi-Fast Hidden Deck Fastening System
  • EB-TY Hidden Deck Fastener
  • Mantis Deck Clips or Crown Clips
  • Deck Clip by Grabber
  • I-CLP System Fasco
  • Truemark Deck Fasteners
  • KleerKlip

The Tiger Claw TC-G will replace the following fasteners, but will leave a different gap:

  • Oasis for Kodiak (leaves 1/8″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)
  • Lumber Loc (leaves 1/4″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)
  • Equator (leaves 1/4″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)

Aside from versatility, the Tiger Claw TC-G gives you automatic 3/16″ deck board spacing, allows for some expansion and contraction, and it’s straightforward to install.

When you’re considering tackling your deck projects this upcoming deck season, we recommend the Tiger Claw TC-G as a drop-in replacement. Streamline your deck installs and build beautiful, fastener-free decks.

The TigerClaw TC-G is available now at www.diyhomecenter.com — or, if you have any questions about compatible fasteners, call us at 888-349-4660 or leave a comment below.