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Ipe, finishing and gluing

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Forum topic by Warren posted 08-19-2010 06:33 PM 5797 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Warren

57 posts in 2742 days


08-19-2010 06:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ipe glue finish gorilla glue titebond iii

Chaps, (and chapess’s)

I am in the process of making an exterior table and a set of for stools out of Ipe which now has me somewhat puzzled!

Besides the fact that Ipe gives of some horrible green/yellow dust it is also proving to be a royal pain the %^#%$ to glue or finish!

I have laminated together a table top, 4 boards wide and before gluing, (with Titebond III), I wiped down the joints with a generous amount of Acetone. Next day I cut the circular table top from my glue up and tossed the excess material to one side. I was horrified to see that immediately upon hitting the floor all of the boards split right down the glue line! I am obviously not confident of the strength of the table top now and can see a horrible decision being reached over the coming days.

On top of this, I thought I better see how it takes finish so I practically bathed a section of it in Acetone and then applied a coat of Sikkens Cetol Satin, which is a really high quality exterior finsish. Four days later and it still hasn’t cured!

Please God, tell me someone knows something I dont!

I have heard reports of gorrilla glue being a good choice for Ipe but if I am honest I hate the stuff, I can never work out how much it is going to expand by, how long to leave it before mating the jiont and then the clean up afterwards…....... I have to make 4 stools that fit together in a circle under the table and there will be ALOT of glue!

Please bless me with your wisdom oh Lumberjocks!

Thanks

Warren

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture


9 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3588 days


#1 posted 08-19-2010 10:40 PM

I’ve used Penofin for Hardwoods on my doorstep that’s milled out of Ipe, and it looks pretty darned nice! Of course an oil like that stays “in play” for months, you give the first application, wait a month, do it again, and then do it every year or so ‘til the finish really takes, but it seems to have worked!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#2 posted 08-19-2010 11:55 PM

I’m an ipé fan and I have built a lot of stuff with it.

When you talk about the green/yellow dust, I wonder how dry your wood is. I’ve received shipments of ipé and noticed that some boards were much heavier than the rest. Those extra heavy boards still had too much moisture in them and I set them aside for a while. If you happened to get a random extra moist board, it could impact your gluing.

I’ve glued up quite a few boards with no problems to date. Ipé may be one wood where the glue bond is not stronger than the wood around it, simply because the wood around it is SO strong.

Regarding the finish. You have the option of leaving it bare. It will not rot and it will hold up forever but it will turn gray (some people like that). If you want it finished I recommend the Penofin preservative that Dan mentioned. All of my ipé outdoor furniture and my ipé deck are over 10 years old. I now apply the Penofin every 2 years.

As an FYI – Outdoor furniture will acquire a build up of dirt and grime. Before applying the Penofin I blast the ipé with my power washer. Works great.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3588 days


#3 posted 08-20-2010 12:17 AM

Rich, when I milled my threshold out if Ipé from the scrap pile of a high end deck place, the stench from the green yellow dust was horrendous, but indeed: That board was really heavy (like “probably wouldn’t float” heavy), so it could have been too wet. That’s good to know.

Warren, on reinforcing the glue-lines, can you Domino or dowel them? I’m the sort of person who doesn’t trust a glued butt-joint outside at all. Give that some mechanical reinforcement, though, and we’re talkin’!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#4 posted 08-20-2010 01:13 AM

Almost all ipé board will sink in water. The normal specific gravity is 1.08. While every board is heavy, I know from experience that some will be noticeably heavier than others and that is because of additional moisture.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#5 posted 08-20-2010 01:26 AM

I like Rich have been building with epi for a number of years. I’ve had no problem using Tite bond III and polyurethane glues. As Rich stated it’s not necessary to finish it for outside use. An yes it sinks in water because of it’s specific gravity.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View swirt's profile

swirt

2117 posts in 2435 days


#6 posted 08-20-2010 04:50 AM

I’ve noticed that if you put Cetol 1 on (never used it on Ipe, but have used it alot on pine, pressure treated crap, and red cedar) that if you put it on while very humid, it can take a week to dry where normally it only takes a day. I got impatient and put a coat on a chaise lounge while the air was super humid and it was tacky for a week. I won’t make that mistake again. Keeping that in mind, I still love the stuff.

I wonder if, as Rich describes, that your lumber is wetter than it should be, it may be impeding the finish from drying.

Gorilla Glue (polyurethane expanding variety) is pretty bad for glue-ups like that and is not know for its strength in that use. I’d avoid it. Again if your wood is wet, it may cause for a weaker joint with TightbondIII

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#7 posted 08-20-2010 04:55 AM

Note on Gorilla glue. Don’t confuse regular gorilla glue with Gorilla wood glue. They are 2 different glues. DO NOT use regular gorilla glue on wood. Gorilla wood glue will behave like Titebond but they claim it is stronger.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 3005 days


#8 posted 08-20-2010 06:07 AM

One thing that has not been addressed yet is how many clamps you are using. With a specific gravity of over 1, you will need a butload of clamp pressure…

And, even though you rubbed with acetone, did you mill the wood before glue up?

-- Childress Woodworks

View Warren 's profile

Warren

57 posts in 2742 days


#9 posted 08-20-2010 02:34 PM

Rich,

I am going to check the moisture next time Im in the shop. I hope it is that! I would be surprised though, I live in Madrid which is extremely dry and I have never received a board of any description from my lumber yard with a moisture content over 6%. That said, I hope I am wrong.

As for clamps I laminated a couple of boards on Wednesday and used 12 Bessey clamps on a 2’ long section, so I am fairly confident that isn’t the issue.

I will report back on Monday once I have been able to test the moisture

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

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