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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A DECK FASTENING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/179838
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fastener and fastening system for fastening decking boards to a substantially horizontal surface such as joists of a deck frame or a concrete pad. The fastener has a base member with a plurality of receiving portions extending upwards that receive decking boards therebetween. A locking member is provided to be received by the receiving portions which, when inserted, pries engagement portions of the receiving portion into a longitudinal groove of the decking boards to retain the decking boards in place.

Inventors:
CHESTER, David (61 Clifford Street, Stafford, Queensland 4053, AU)
Application Number:
AU2014/000511
Publication Date:
November 13, 2014
Filing Date:
May 09, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CHESTER, David (61 Clifford Street, Stafford, Queensland 4053, AU)
International Classes:
E04F15/02; E04B1/18; E04B5/12; E04F21/20; F16B5/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008011684A12008-01-31
Foreign References:
US5950377A1999-09-14
AU2005202812A12006-01-19
US8256614B12012-09-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISHER ADAMS KELLY (Level 29, 12 Creek StreetBrisbane, Queensland 4001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A fastener for fastening decking boards to a substantially horizontal surface, the fastener comprising:

a base member that is adapted to be attached along the substantially horizontal surface, the base member having a receiving portion extending substantially perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the base member; and a locking member having a locking portion that is receivable by an opening in the receiving portion of the base member,

wherein the receiving portion of the base member is adapted to engage with a receiving portion of the decking boards.

2. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the base member has a plurality of receiving portions that each have an associated locking member.

3. The fastener of claim 2, wherein the receiving portions are spaced apart the same distance as a width of decking boards and are arranged to receive decking boards between them.

4. The fastener of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the receiving portion has a gripping portion for securing the received portion of the locking member therein.

5. The fastener of claim 4, wherein the locking member has a corresponding gripping portion.

6. The fastener of claim 5, wherein the gripping portions are in the form of corresponding sawtooth portions.

7. The fastener of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the receiving portion of the base member includes engagement portions that are adapted to engage with the receiving portion of the decking boards.

8. The fastener of claim 7, wherein the shape of the engagement portions substantially corresponds to the shape of the receiving portion of the decking boards.

9. The fastener of claim 7 or 8, wherein the engagement portions are wedge-shaped.

10. The fastener of any one of claims 7 to 9, wherein the engagement portions are separated by the opening.

11. The fastener of any one of claims 7 to 10, wherein the engagement portions pivot about a lower portion of the opening.

12. The fastener of any one of claims 7 to 11 , wherein when the locking member is received into the opening of the receiving portion, the engagement portions pivot about the lower portion of the opening into rigid engagement with the receiving portion of the decking boards.

13. The fastener of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the base member has longitudinal wings.

14. The fastener of claim 13, wherein the wings are disposed at an angle to the base member.

15. The fastener of claim 13 or 14, wherein the wings are removable from the base member and/or flexible relative to the base member.

16. The fastener of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the base member has recessed and/or weakened portions to receive a fastening member.

17. The fastener of claim 16, wherein the recessed and/or weakened portions are located between adjacent receiving portions of the base member.

16. A deck fastening system comprising:

a fastener as claimed in any one of the preceding claims;

parallel decking boards with a receiving portion that includes a longitudinal groove; and

a substantially horizontal surface; wherein

the base member of the fastener is affixed to the substantially horizontal surface; the parallel decking boards are located between adjacent receiving portions of the base member; and the locking member is engaged with the receiving portion of the base member such that at least a portion of the receiving portion of the base member is received by the longitudinal groove of adjacent decking boards.

17. The deck fastening system of claim 16, comprising a plurality of fasteners, each base member having a tongue portion and a seat portion featuring a recessed portion such that tongue and seat portions of adjacent base members overlap.

18. The deck fastening system of claim 16 or 17, wherein the base member is affixed to the substantially horizontal surface by a fastening member that penetrates the base member.

19. The deck fastening system of claim 18, wherein the fastening member is located underneath a decking board.

20. A method of building at least a portion of a deck over a substantially horizontal surface, the method comprising the steps of:

placing a base member over at least a portion of the horizontal surface; affixing the base member to the horizontal surface;

locating a first decking board adjacent a first side of a receiving portion of the base member;

locating a second decking board adjacent a second side of the receiving portion of the base member; and

inserting a locking member into a receiving portion of the base.

Description:
A FASTENER AND FASTENING SYSTEM

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a fastener and fastening system. In particular, the invention relates, but is not limited, to fasteners and fastening systems for securing decking boards to joists during deck construction.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Reference to background art herein is not to be construed as an admission that such art constitutes common general knowledge in Australia or elsewhere.

[0003] Decks are typically constructed of wooden decking boards being affixed to a decking frame which typically includes joists. Various methods of affixing the decking boards are known, the most straight forward being to nail or screw the decking boards to the frame. However, these deck fastening systems all suffer from drawbacks.

[0004] For example, nails and screws require the upper surface of the decking board to be penetrated. This can damage the decking board and, in any event, means that unsightly nail or screw heads are visible from the surface of the deck. Moisture also tends to travel through the fastener into the decking board and joist via a capillary action, which can lead to oxidization and rust of the fastener as well as rot and deterioration of the decking board and joist.

[0005] Furthermore, vibrations through the decking boards from general use (e.g. people walking on them) can cause the fasteners to unfasten. In this regard, nails often raise out from the boards and screws can unwind. The raised heads of these fasteners are unattractive and can be dangerous. Exacerbating these problems is the fact that as the decking boards weather they can warp, and if the method of affixing is not strong enough the decking boards can lift. [0006] Other decking systems which do not require putting nails or screws through the decking boards are known. One includes a tab or 'biscuit' which is received in a groove in the side of the decking boards. The biscuit is fastened to the frame, holding the decking boards to the frame via respective sides received in respective grooves of adjacent decking boards. However, the biscuits are costly and time consuming to install. A separate biscuit is required for each fastening point, and they must be lined up and located in the grooves of the decking boards manually. The additional cost of the biscuits together with the additional labour cost in installing them greatly increases the cost of constructing a deck. Furthermore, to remove a broken or damaged decking board, all the decking boards adjacent to one side of the broken or damaged decking board must be removed. This again is a timely and costly process.

[0007] Some other known fastening systems include attaching a perforated strip of angle iron to the side of a joist and fastening the decking boards from the under side with a screw. Another uses screws that are skewed through the edge of the decking boards. However, these are even more difficult and time consuming to use than the previously mentioned biscuit type fasteners.

[0008] A further issue with these known fastening systems is that they do not allow for natural movement of the decking boards. The decking boards react to their environment, for example in relation to humidity and dampness (e.g. if they get wet). This causes the boards to move. Known fastening systems prevent, or at least significantly limit, the natural movement of the boards. This places unnecessary strain on both the decking boards and the fasteners, and can even cause damage to either or both of them.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It is an aim of this invention to provide a fastener and fastening system which overcomes or ameliorates one or more of the disadvantages or problems described above, or which at least provides a useful alternative. [0010] Other preferred objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0011] According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a fastener for fastening decking boards to a substantially horizontal surface, the fastener comprising:

a base member that is adapted to be attached along the substantially horizontal surface, the base member having a receiving portion extending substantially perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the base member; and

a locking member having a locking portion that is receivable by an opening in the receiving portion of the base member,

wherein the receiving portion of the base member is adapted to engage with a receiving portion of the decking boards.

[0012] Preferably the substantially horizontal surface is an upper surface of at least a portion of a frame. Preferably the frame is a decking frame and the portion of the frame includes a joist. Alternatively the substantially horizontal surface may be a level surface such as a concrete pad.

[0013] Preferably the base member has a plurality of receiving portions that each have an associated locking member. The receiving portions are preferably longitudinal. The receiving portions are typically spaced apart the same distance as a width of decking boards and are arranged to receive decking boards between them.

[0014] Preferably the receiving portion has a gripping portion for securing the received portion of the locking member therein. Preferably the locking member has a corresponding gripping portion. The gripping portions are preferably in the form of corresponding sawtooth portions. Preferably, the locking member can be released from the receiving portion by sliding the locking member out of the receiving portion in the longitudinal direction of the receiving portion.

[0015] Preferably, the receiving portion of the base member includes engagement portions that are adapted to engage with the receiving portion of the decking boards. Preferably, the shape of the engagement portions substantially corresponds to the shape of the receiving portion of the decking boards. Preferably, the engagement portions are wedge-shaped and the receiving portions include a groove that is wedge-shaped.

[0016] Preferably, the engagement portions are separated by the opening. Preferably, the engagement portions pivot about a lower portion of the opening. Preferably, when the locking member is received into the opening of the receiving portion, the engagement portions pivot about the lower portion of the opening into rigid engagement with the receiving portion of the decking boards.

[0017] Preferably the base member has longitudinal wings. The longitudinal wings are preferably disposed at an angle to the base member. Preferably the longitudinal wings are removable from the base member. Preferably the longitudinal wings are tearable or frangible to be removed from the base member. Additionally, or alternatively, the longitudinal wings are sufficiently flexible such that they can be flexed parallel to the base member.

[0018] According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a fastener for fastening decking boards to a substantially horizontal surface, the fastener comprising:

a base member that is adapted to be attached along the substantially horizontal surface, the base member having a receiving portion extending substantially perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the base member;

an interlocking member adapted to engage with a portion of the decking boards, the interlocking member having at least one aperture; and a locking member having at least one finger that is receivable by the at least one aperture of the interlocking member and the receiving portion of the base member. [0019] Preferably the base member has a plurality of receiving portions that each have an associated interlocking member and locking member. The receiving portions are preferably longitudinal. The receiving portions are typically spaced apart the same distance as a width of decking boards and are arranged to receive decking boards between them.

[0020] Preferably the receiving portion has a gripping portion for securing the received portion of the locking member therein. Preferably the locking member has a corresponding gripping portion. The gripping portions are preferably in the form of corresponding sawtooth portions. Preferably the receiving portion has a plurality of slots separated by ribs. The locking member preferably has a plurality of fingers that are received by the slots. The interlocking member preferably has a plurality of apertures that each correspond with a slot and finger.

[0021] The at least one aperture of the interlocking member is preferably offset from a central axis of the interlocking member. The at least one aperture is preferably configured to allow the interlocking member to slide laterally when receiving fingers of the locking member. Preferably the interlocking member is shaped to be received by, and engage with, longitudinal grooves in the sides of the decking boards.

[0022] According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a fastening system comprising:

parallel decking boards with a longitudinal groove;

a base member attached to a substantially horizontal surface, the base member having a receiving portion extending substantially perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the base member;

an interlocking member having at least one aperture being received in grooves of adjacent decking boards; and

a locking member having at least one finger that is receivable by the at least one aperture of the interlocking member and the receiving portion of the base member to secure the decking boards to the substantially horizontal surface.

[0023] Preferably the substantially horizontal surface is an upper surface of a frame. Even more preferably the frame is a decking frame and the portion of the frame includes a joist of the decking frame. Alternatively the substantially horizontal surface may be a level surface, preferably a concrete pad.

[0024] Preferably the base member is attached to the substantially horizontal surface by a fastening member that penetrates the surface. The fastening member is preferably a wood or masonry screw. The base member preferably has predetermined recessed and/or weakened portions to receive the fastening member. Preferably the recessed and/or weakened portions are located between adjacent receiving portions of the base member. More preferably the location of the recessed and/or weakened portions is below a decking board when in use.

[0025] According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of building at least a portion of a deck over a substantially horizontal surface, the method comprising the steps of:

placing a base member over at least a portion of the horizontal surface;

affixing the base member to the horizontal surface;

locating a first decking board adjacent a first side of a receiving portion of the base member;

locating a second decking board adjacent a second side of the receiving portion of the base member; and inserting a locking member into a receiving portion of the base.

[0026] Preferably the steps are repeated for further decking boards. Preferably the base member has a plurality of receiving portions, each adjacent pair of receiving portions straddling a decking board. [0027] According to a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of building at least a portion of a deck over a substantially horizontal surface, the method comprising the steps of:

placing a base member over at least a portion of the horizontal surface;

affixing the base member to the horizontal surface;

locating a first decking board adjacent a first side of a receiving portion of the base member;

aligning an aperture of an interlocking member with the receiving portion of the base member;

locating a locking member through the aperture of the interlocking member and securing the locking member in the receiving portion of the base member;

sliding a first side of the interlocking member into a groove of the first decking board; and

locating a second decking board adjacent a second side of the receiving portion of the base member including locating a second side of the interlocking member into a groove of the second decking board.

[0028] Preferably the steps are repeated for further decking boards. Preferably the base member has a plurality of receiving portions, each adjacent pair of receiving portions straddling a decking board.

[0029] Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] By way of example only, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

[0031] Figure 1 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of a fastener in use with decking boards over a horizontal surface; [0032] Figure 2 illustrates an exploded view of the fastener illustrated in figure 1 ;

[0033] Figure 3 illustrates a cross sectional elevation view of the fastener in figure 1 ;

[0034] Figure 4 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of an alternative fastener in use with decking boards over a joist;

[0035] Figure 5 illustrates an exploded view of the fastener illustrated in figure 4;

[0036] Figure 6 illustrates a cross sectional elevation view of the fastener in figure 4;

[0037] Figure 7 illustrates another fastener design; and

[0038] Figure 8 illustrates yet another fastener design.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0039] Figure 1 illustrates a fastener 1010 for fastening decking boards 1020, 1022 to a substantially horizontal upper surface of a joist 30 which would typically form part of a decking frame. Alternatively, the fastener 1010 may be used on other surfaces, such as to fasten the decking boards 1020, 1022 to a concrete pad (not shown).

[0040] The fastener 1010, which will be discussed in further detail in relation to figures 2 and 3, has a base 1100 and a plurality of receiving portions 1102 that extend upwards perpendicularly from the base 1100. The receiving portions

1102 are adapted to engage with a receiving portion of the decking boards 1020, 1022. That is, in this embodiment, the receiving portions 1102 include engagement portions in the form of wedge portions 1103. The wedge portions

1103 engage with the receiving portion of the decking boards 1020, 1022 via grooves 1020', 1022', which are located in the sides of decking boards 1020, 1022. The shape of grooves 1020', 1022' corresponds to the shape of the wedge portions 1103. [0041] Although the engagement portions and grooves 1020', 1022' are wedge-shaped in this embodiment, it would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that the engagement portions and the corresponding shaped grooves 1020', 1022' may take a variety of shapes. Advantages of the wedge-shape in this embodiment however, include that it allows boards to be inserted and removed relatively easy from the fastener 1010. Furthermore, this wedge-shape is relatively easy to manufacture.

[0042] The base 1100 is affixed to the joist 30 by screws (not shown) which are received in recessed portions 1101 of the base 1100. The base 1100 may be provided with both wood screw recesses 1101a and masonry anchor recesses 1101 b, with the masonry anchor recesses 1101 b being generally larger. The recessed portions 1101 have a weakened portion which is punctured by the fastener being used. A seal is substantially maintained between the base and the joist 30 when the fastener is punctured through the recessed portions 1101. In addition, the recessed portions 1101 allow the fastener to be countersunk, and as such, the head of the fastener do not protrude beyond an upper face of the base 1100.

[0043] Each receiving portion 1102 is, in use, located between two decking boards (e.g. 1020, 1022) and, therefore, is typically not visible in use. Figure 1 illustrates an exposed portion of the fastener 1010 where the receiving portion 1102 is visible adjacent a single decking board 1020.

[0044] While figure 2 illustrates a single receiving portion 1102, it will be appreciated that in preferred embodiments the base 1100 is elongate with a plurality of receiving portions 1102 arranged to facilitate fastening of many decking boards to the joist 30 at once.

[0045] In figure 2, the receiving portion 1102 is more clearly seen to extend perpendicularly to the base 1100. Furthermore, the receiving portion 1102 is aligned substantially parallel with the longitudinal direction of the decking boards, when in use. The receiving portion 1102 includes an opening 1104. The opening 1104 extends through the receiving portion 1102 (i.e. the opening 1104 extends through the receiving portion 1102 in the longitudinal direction of the decking boards, when in use). Wedge portions 1103 are either side of the opening 1104. In this embodiment, the opening 1104 includes two walls that are tapered towards the base 1100. The two walls have a gripping surface in the form of sawtooth portions. The two walls, and as such, the wedge portions 1103 are able to pivot around a lower portion of the opening 1104.

[0046] Each receiving portion 1102 of the fastener also has a locking member 1120. The locking member 1120 has a longitudinal head portion 1122 and a locking portion 1124. In this embodiment, the locking portion 1124 has two tapered sides. The tapered sides of the locking portion 1124 have a gripping surface in the form of sawtooth portions which engage with corresponding sawtooth portions inside the opening 1104.

[0047] Due to the shape of the sawtooth portions, the locking portion 1124 of the locking member 1120 is relatively easy to press into the opening 1104 of the receiving portion 1102 but are relatively difficult to be removed in the opposite direction. However, the locking member 1120 may be removed from the receiving portion 02, if needed, by sliding the locking member 1120 out of the opening 1104 in the longitudinal direction of the decking boards, when in use.

[0048] Turning to figure 3, a cross section of the fastener 1010 in use between two decking boards 1020 and 1022 is illustrated. Although not shown, the base 1100 is affixed to a substantially horizontal surface, such as a joist 30 as shown in figure 1. The decking boards 1020, 1022 are then located on top of the base 1100 adjacent opposite sides of the receiving portion 1102 of the base 1100. As such, the wedge portions 1103 of the receiving portion 1102 are received into the grooves 1020', 1022' of the two decking boards 1020 and 1022, respectively.

[0049] The locking member 20 is located securely in the receiving portion 1102 of the base 1100 with the corresponding sawtooth surfaces gripping against each other. When the locking member 1120 is inserted into the opening 1 104, it drives the wedge portions 1103 to pivot outwardly about the lower portion of the opening 1104. As the wedge portions 03 pivot, they are further received into grooves 1020', 1022' of the decking boards 1020, 1022.

[0050] When the locking member 1120 is securely located in the receiving portion 1 102 of the base 1100, the rigid engagement between the wedge portions 1 103 and wedge-shaped grooves 1020', 1022' substantially prevents the decking boards 1020, 1022 being removed from the fastener 1010. For example, if the decking boards 1020, 1022 lift perpendicularly to the base 1100, the wedge portions 1103 and wedge-shaped grooves 1020', 1022' will bear upon one another and resist such movement. Accordingly, as the locking member 1 120 prevents the opening 1104 from closing, the decking board 1020, 1022 are prevented from being leveraged past the wedge portions 1 103.

[0051] As shown in figures 1 and 2, the base 1 100 has wings 1 108 which are angled downwards. The wings 1108 are spaced apart by the width of the joist 30 and provide additional protection to the joist 30 from above. The wings 1 108 are removable, by tearing, from the base 1100 where they are not required. The wings 1108 are tearable by having a weakened portion in the form of a groove 1108', as shown in figure 2. For example, the wings 1 08 are typically not required when the fastener 1010 is used on a concrete pad or other substantially level planar surface (not shown). The wings 1 108 can therefore be removed from the base 1100 during the installation of the decking fixing system prior to fitting the decking boards.

[0052] In alternative or additional embodiment, the wings 1108 may be sufficiently flexible. As such, the wings 1 108 can be laid flat if desired. Accordingly, in this embodiment, the wings 1108 may not have to be removed if the fastener 1010 is required to be used on a concrete pad. That is, the wings 1108 will flex to be substantially flat on the concrete pad.

[0053] The base 1 100 also features a tongue portion 1105 at one end of the base 1 100 and a seat portion 1106 at the other end of the base 1100. The tongue portion 1 105 and the seat portion 1106 both feature a recessed portion. The tongue portion 1105 or seat portion 1106 are used to connect the base 1100 to a further base. When the tongue or seat portions 1105, 1106 of respective bases are overlapped, the bases remain substantially flat and the recessed portions align. Accordingly, to connect the base 1100 to a further base, a fastener is driven through the substantially aligned recessed portions into the joist 30.

[0054] A deck is built using the fastener 1010 by first affixing the base 1100 to a substantially horizontal surface, such as a joist 30 as shown in figure 1. A decking board 1020, 1022 is then located on the base 1100 between two receiving portions 1102 of the base 1100, or where the decking board is at an end of the base 1100, adjacent the endmost receiving portion 1102 of the base 1100. When the next decking board 1020, 1022 is located adjacent the existing decking board 1020, 1022, via grooves 1020', 1022', the locking member 1120 is then located in the opening 1104 and forced downwards, typically with a tool, such that the locking portion 1124 of the locking member 1120 travels further into the opening 1104. The decking boards 1020, 1022 are then unable to be lifted from the joist 30 as they are held down by the wedge portions 1103 which have pivoted towards the walls of the wedge-shaped grooves 1020', 1022'. This process is continued to fasten further decking boards to the joist 30.

[0055] Figure 4 illustrates an alternative fastener 10 for fastening decking boards 20, 22 to a substantially horizontal upper surface of a joist 30.

[0056] The fastener 10, which will be discussed in further detail in relation to figures 5 and 6, has a portion received in standard square shaped grooves 20', 22' in the sides of decking boards 20, 22. Similar to fastener 1010, the fastener 10 has a base 100 and a plurality of receiving portions 102 that extend upwards perpendicularly from the base 100. The base 100 is affixed to the joist 30 by screws (not shown) which are received in recessed portions (not shown) of the base 100. Figure 4 illustrates an exposed portion of the fastener 10 where the receiving portion 102 is visible adjacent a single decking board 20. [0057] Turning to the single interlocking portion of fastener 10 shown in figure 5, the receiving portion 102 is more clearly seen to extend perpendicularly to the base 100 and is aligned substantially parallel with the longitudinal direction of the decking boards, when in use. The receiving portion 102 has a plurality of slots 104 separated by ribs 106. The ribs 106 provide additional support and strength to the slots 104, preventing any deformation of the receiving portion 102 when in use.

[0058] Each receiving portion 102 of the fastener also has an interlocking member 110 and a locking member 120. The interlocking member 110 has an aperture 112 corresponding to each slot 104. The apertures 112 are the same width as the slots 104 but are longer than the slots 104, and are offset. This allows the apertures 112 to be located over the slots 104 when the interlocking member 110 is moved laterally (i.e. perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the decking boards, when in use).

[0059] The locking member 120 has a longitudinal head portion 122 and a plurality of fingers 124. The fingers 124 are arranged such that they are received by, and pass through, the apertures 112 of the interlocking member 120 and then are received by the slots 104 of the receiving portion 102 of the base 100. The fingers 124 have a gripping surface in the form of sawtooth portions on each side which engage with corresponding sawtooth portions inside the slots 104 (not shown in figure 5, see figure 6).

[0060] Similar to fastener 1010, due to the shape of the sawtooth portions, the fingers 124 of the locking member 120 are relatively easy to press into the slots 104 of the receiving portion 102 of the base 100 but are relatively difficult to be removed. However, unlike fastener 1010, the locking member 120 cannot be removed by sliding the locking member 120 in the longitudinal direction of the decking boards. That is, once constructed, with a decking board 20, 22 located on either side of the receiving portion 102, the fingers 124 of the locking member 120 are held securely in the slots 104 of the receiving portion 102 of the base 100. [0061 ] Turning to figure 6, a cross section of the fastener 10 in use between two decking boards 20 and 22 is illustrated. The interlocking member 110 is received in grooves 20', 22' of the decking boards 20, 22 and is held in place between the locking member 120 and the receiving portion 102 of the base 100 by the fingers 124 of the locking member 120. The fingers 124 are located securely in the receiving portion 102 of the base 100 with the corresponding sawtooth surfaces gripping against each other to lock the locking member 20 in place. The ribs 106 (shown in figure 5) between slots 104 of the receiving portion 102 provide support to the sides of the slots and prevent the slots 104 from deforming which may release the fingers 124.

[0062] Additionally, when in use as illustrated in figure 6, the decking boards 20, 22 can provide additional support (albeit minor) to the outer sides of the receiving portion 102 further preventing the slots 104 from deforming. However, this additional support is relatively minor as it is preferred that there is a small gap between the edges of the decking boards 20, 22 and the receiving portion 102 to allow for natural expansion and contraction of the decking boards caused by varying moisture content and temperature.

[0063] Similar to fastener 1010, as shown in figures 4 and 5, the base 100 has removable wings 108 which are angled downwards to provide additional protection to the joist 30 from above.

[0064] Building a deck with fastener 10 shares a number of similarities with building a deck with fastener 1010. The interlocking member 110 and locking member 120 are loosely located on the receiving portion 102 of the base 100 such that the interlocking member 110 is positioned to one side and can move relatively freely and such that the locking member 120 is not fully located in the receiving portion 102 of the base 100. It is envisaged that the base 100 could be provided with the interlocking member 0 and locking 120 already in this position.

[0065] A decking board 20, 22 is then located on the base 100 between two receiving portions 102 of the base 100, or where the decking board is at an end of the base 100, adjacent the endmost receiving portion 102 of the base 100. Where an existing decking board 20, 22 has already been placed the interlocking member 110 that will be located between that existing decking board 20, 22 and the next decking board will be centred relative to the receiving portion 102 of the base 100.

[0066] When the next decking board 20, 22 is located on the base 100 its groove adjacent the existing decking board 20, 22 and already centred interlocking member 110 is positioned to receive the free side of the already centred interlocking member such that the interlocking member 10 is centred and located in both grooves 20', 22' as shown in figure 6. The next interlocking member 110, which is offset (i.e. not centred), is then slid laterally into the groove 20', 22' on the other side of the decking board 20, 22.

[0067] Once the decking boards 20, 22 are located as desired, the locking member 120 is forced downwards, typically with a tool, such that fingers 124 of the locking member 120 travel further into the slots 104 retaining the locking member 120 therein. The decking boards 20, 22 are then unable to be lifted from the joist 30 as they are held down by their grooves by the interlocking member 110 which is held down by the locking member 120 which is secured to the base 100 via the receiving portion 102. This process is continued to fasten further decking boards to the joist 30.

[0068] Further fastener designs 12 and 13 are provided in figures 7 and 8, respectively. Both fastener designs have a base 200, 300 and a protrusion 202, 302. Use of the fasteners 12 and 13 in figures 7 and 8 both require the grooves 20', 22' of the decking boards 20, 22 to be shaped, with at least one bevelled edge.

[0069] Turning specifically to the fastener design 12 illustrated in figure 7, the protrusion 202 has a head 204 that includes flexible portions that allow the head 204 to deform. Gripping portions 206, 208 located inside the head 204 are shaped to grip each other when the head 204 of the protrusion 202 is depressed downwards. This downward action causes outer edges 210 of the head 204 to slide outwards into the grooves 20', 22' of the decking boards 20, 20 which retains them in place.

[0070] The fastener design 13 in figure 8 has no moving parts, but rather requires the grooves 20', 22' of the decking boards to be shaped correspondingly to the head 304 of the protrusion 302 and relies on the decking boards being placed against the head 304 at an angle. The head 304 is general frustroconical in cross-sectional shape.

[0071] In use, the fastener 1010 provides a quick and easy fastening system to seamlessly build a deck without the need to puncture the decking boards 1020, 1022. The base 1 100 and wings 1108 further provide sealing and weatherproofing to the joist 30. Furthermore, the recessed portions 1 101 allow the joist 30 to remain substantially weatherproof when fasteners attach the base 1100 to the joist 30. Conveniently, the same base 1 100 can also be used to affix decking boards 1020, 1022 to concrete pads.

[0072] The fastener 1010 also provides a strong engagement with the decking boards 1020, 1022, while also allowing for some natural movement of the decking boards 1020, 1022. The locking member 1 120 is readily located in the opening 1104 of the receiving portion 1102 of the base 1 100 and easily locks the assembly together during construction. Similar advantages also apply to the other fastener systems describe herein.

[0073] Fastener 1010 also allows individual decking boards 1020, 1022 to be removed from the deck if needed. If an individual decking board is required to be removed, the locking member 1120 is first removed from the receiving portion 1 102 by sliding the locking member 1 120 out of the opening 1 104 in the longitudinal direction of the decking boards. With the locking member 1120 released, the individual decking board can then be leveraged past the wedge portions 1 103. That is, as a leverage force is applied to the individual decking board, a force is applied to the wedge portions 1103 which causes the opening 1104 to close and the wedge portions 1 103 to pivot out of the way of the individual decking board. As such, the individual decking board can be removed and subsequently replaced. During replacement, the wedge portions 1103 will again pivot out of the way of the new board being inserted into the deck.

[0074] In addition, as multiple receiving members 1102 are provided on a single base 1100 it is not necessary to have to locate and fasten numerous individual parts. The decking boards 1020, 1022 are simply placed between the receiving portions 1102 of the base 1100, and locked into place by securing the locking member 120. Furthermore, the locations of the receiving portions 1102 of the base 1100 are used to position and locate the decking boards 1020, 1022 which ensures that they are aligned and located properly. Similar advantages again also apply to the other fastener systems describe herein.

[0075] In this specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one element or action from another element or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order. Where the context permits, reference to an integer or a component or step (or the like) is not to be interpreted as being limited to only one of that integer, component, or step, but rather could be one or more of that integer, component, or step etc.

[0076] The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

[0077] In this specification, the terms 'comprises', 'comprising', 'includes', 'including', or similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a method, system or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include those elements solely, but may well include other elements not listed.