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Left Over IPE (Brazilian Walnut) Table Top, Help.

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Forum topic by Kristof posted 08-11-2015 04:18 AM 981 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


08-11-2015 04:18 AM

Hi,

I have a bunch of left over IPE 3/4” (1×6) and some (2×4s) and 2×18” (4×4s).

I am planning a 2’x4’ table top.

So, I am very inexperienced in woodworking, but I have an open mind ready to absorb like a sponge.

Things I am worried about:
1.) Expansion
2.) 1×6 are a little bent, as all wood, need advice on flattening.
3.) Design, joints, screws
4.) FINISH< I really want the deep red to come out, but I cannot have it stain my papers… I will study on this.
I was really thinking about an epoxy finish(wet look), but Penofin is an oil based stain… What do I do?

Its a little more difficult than I first thought. Especially, Ill have to borrow tools.


18 replies so far

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Rick M

7921 posts in 1844 days


#1 posted 08-11-2015 07:15 AM

Yeah if you think it’s difficult now, wait until you start working with the stuff. Ipe is one of the hardest woods in the world, harder than brass in fact. You’ll want carbide blades to work with the stuff as it will dull ordinary carbon steel in a minute. Also a 2×4 table from ipe will be very heavy but I’m sure you realize that. My advice would be don’t tackle this as a first woodworking project otherwise you’ll probably come out the other end very unhappy.

But if you are really stubborn and want to try it anyway … are you looking to build a dining table, coffee table, end table, deck table, or what size and kind of table are you building? What tools do you have available? In general, you build the base first, then attach the top. Many beginners try it backwards—attaching the legs to the top (which can be done but is less common).

A lot of beginners like Ana White: http://ana-white.com/plancatalog

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


#2 posted 08-11-2015 12:57 PM

Like I wrote, its 2’ (foot) by 4’ (foot) table top for every day use. Like studying, using the computer, etc.

Tools are not an issue.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#3 posted 08-11-2015 01:19 PM

“1×6s are a little bent” I see this as your biggest problem. Are they cupped, twisted, curved lengthwise, or??? You really need to start with flat,straight stock for a table top. This is not the best wood for a beginner woodworker as it is very hard, splintery on the edges, and screws will be hard to drive even in predrilled holes.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


#4 posted 08-11-2015 01:47 PM

So, the two 4’ pieces that I have are a little bit curved from end to end(lengthwise). The rest I have in 18” pieces which are pretty darn flat. But, I’ll have to get a straightedge and really see how flat it is.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#5 posted 08-11-2015 02:10 PM

Like Rick M said Ipe is a very hard wood and the fact your material is”end to end bent”( called twist) more than lightly makes those pieces not useable (at least for a table) .Think about using it for something else.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


#6 posted 08-11-2015 02:13 PM

Its not twisted, its curved, from 0 to the other end 4 ft away.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 08-11-2015 08:11 PM

If end to end curve is the only problem, you will need a jointer to straighten the concave side and then a tablesaw to straighten the convex side.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Stewbot

195 posts in 548 days


#8 posted 08-11-2015 08:35 PM


Its not twisted, its curved, from 0 to the other end 4 ft away.

- Kristof

Try a google search and post an image demonstrating the issue you are having with your boards. Then you can get advice on how to fix or use it, in case your terminology of the issue is not understood. Also an image of a style desk you would like but also feel comfortable creating yourself, then you will be able to get much more specific advice on how to go about making your desk.

I am assuming your 4’ Ipe is bowed, based on my experience doing Ipe decks and your descriptions. We rarely got straight lengths of Ipe and spent much of our time correcting the bowed peices to have uniform spacing between deck boards.

-- Hoopty scoop?

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2102 days


#9 posted 08-11-2015 08:47 PM

Here are some pictures of lumber defects. This is on another web site, so I’ll not post the photo here, but a link to it.

Lumber defects.

Look at the picture and tell us if it’s crook, twist etc.

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Rick M

7921 posts in 1844 days


#10 posted 08-11-2015 09:23 PM



Like I wrote, its 2 (foot) by 4 (foot) table top for every day use. Like studying, using the computer, etc.

- Kristof

Do you want the whole table or just the table top? I’m not being a smart ass, you might already have a base. Tabletops are usually glued together but they can also be attached to battens and leave a space between.

Also, curved is not a wood defect that anyone here will recognize, take a look at this list : http://www.scrgeek.com/woodwork/woodDefects.html

Your questions are deceptively simple, you probably don’t realize it but are asking for a book’s worth of information. Really the best way to go forward is find a plan similar to a table you want and then you can ask specific questions.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


#11 posted 08-12-2015 12:37 AM

This is something I’m after:
With breadboard ends, but I might change my mind.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29614

My 4’ pieces are bowed. Thank you all for the lumber defect terminology.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#12 posted 08-12-2015 12:59 AM

As a woodworking instructor I’m glad to see people challenge themselves with more advanced projects than they have done before but for someone who knows little of woodworking terminology and states he is” very inexperienced” and has to try and borrow tools, I think you’re rushing the learning curve a bit much.To make breadboard ends requires some experience use power and hand tools to make properly,especially when using Ipe to build with.
I don’t say this to discourage you ,I would hope you can make the Ipe useable to build with and you can make the table you want to make.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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JayT

4783 posts in 1675 days


#13 posted 08-12-2015 02:42 AM

I just wanted to add one piece of advice to the above. Make sure you are completely up front with anyone you borrow tools from. Personally, I don’t loan tools, but if I did and found out after the fact that a novice was using them on ipe (which is incredibly tough on cutting edges and motors) I would not be a happy camper and that person would never touch one of my tools again. Someone else may feel different and be perfectly fine with it, just be clear from the beginning.

On the other hand, while I won’t loan my tools, I have invited beginners to my shop and helped them out with parts of projects and learning to use the tools correctly. You would be ahead to find someone in your area that can help you out and be a sounding board for ideas—if there is a woodworking guild in your area, that would be a good place to start. You might also consider building a prototype table out of some inexpensive lumber, like poplar or even pine. That would give you a chance to practice new skills and learn on much less challenging wood than ipe.

Good luck.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Kristof

7 posts in 484 days


#14 posted 08-12-2015 02:52 AM

Thank you for your input.

I am highly mechanically experienced. I know how to use power tools, etc..

I just need guidance on what to research. I can make up my own mind if its doable or not.
Given time, tools, and money. Anything is possible.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#15 posted 08-12-2015 03:04 AM

Ok my friend here’s the how to. Good luck

https://www.finewoodworking.com/media/TabletopsFlat.pdf

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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