t&g osb: how to get it to connect?

I'm installing 1 3/4 t&g osb for a basment floor on 2x4 sleepers. This is my first subfloor project.
How do I get the tongue of one 4x8 sheet to mesh with the groove in the adjoining one? Pushing doesn't seem to do it (although I found out that construction glue is really, really sticky), and hammering just smashes the hammered side. Kicking it didn't work.
I'm wishing for something like a come-along that would PULL the two sheets together, but I have no idea if such a thing exists.
I'm doing this myself, so I'm wondering if the normal method is to have several beefy guys just lean into each sheet to make it snap in. If so, the damn book neglected to mention that in the "needed tools" list!
Maybe use a hydraulic jack to push, & a 6' 2x4 along the edge?
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Darryl wrote:

The usual method is to use a scrap piece of the T&G edge. mate it to the big sheet then pound on the the scrap. You can do the same thing by scabbing something to the sleepers back a bit and then prying againsst the t&g scrap. It helps to have a helper who can step on the edge you are trying to mate to make the t meet the g right.
Harry K
Harry K
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Darryl wrote:

If you can't beat it in after protecting edge with a piece of matching scrap, try a couple of pipe clamps.
--

dadiOH
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Place a 2x4 flat along the "hammer" side of the OSB. Hit the 2x4 with a sledgehammer. Take care not to get overly aggressive with your hammering. Most subfloor panels specify 1/8" gap at all sides for expansion.
Shannon Pate

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Having a gap on T&G subfloor kinda defeats the purpose of using T&G, don't it?

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You'd think that, wouldn't ya?
However, if you nail it tight and it gets wet, the wood will try to swell. If it has room, it will expand in the gap you left around the edges. If you left no edge, it will expand anyway, raising the seam, and probably delaminating the sheets.
Then you call the supplier to complain of this horrible product he shipped and demand that it be replaced. So he sends the rep to your jobsite and thirty seconds later the rep shows you the stamp on the panel that says to maintain 1/8" gap.
After the rep leaves, you learn how difficult it is to remove screwed and glued sheets of subflooring.
Therefore, although it may "defeat the purpose," I follow the instructions as much as possible.
Shannon Pate

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Darryl wrote:

I will bet that you mean 1-1/4" as I have never heard of 1-3/4". But to get back to your question, lay a 2x4 along the free edge, then tap the sheet into the groove with a sledge hammer. Doesn't take much effort.
For future installations, I always use the tongue as a leading edge and tap the groove onto it. It is easier to install that way.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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