Gluing Ipe

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Forum topic by Lumber2Sawdust posted 06-26-2012 02:42 AM 5054 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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139 posts in 2863 days

06-26-2012 02:42 AM

I built an ipe deck and i’m finishing up the last few details on the railings now.

I have a 45 degree angle between 2 posts of the rail. The railing uses stainless steel cable instead of wood to fill in the open area. The cable will be under tension and I want to support the posts where the cable goes to a 45 degree angle. My plan is to put a couple of pieces of ipe below the top handrail mitered so that they sit across the inside corner of each post to keep them from collapsing toward each other.

I plan to use screws to attach 2 or 3 boards, face to face, which will span between the posts. I’m thinking that gluing and screwing them together would be better. Knowing that ipe has some unique properties, can anybody recommend a good glue to use to put them together, or a glue that you have tried that you know won’t work?

Thanks for your ideas.


9 replies so far

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2561 days

#1 posted 06-26-2012 02:50 AM

Usually TB3 is my go to for anything that would come in contact with water, but idk if that would work for you

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Ted's profile


2846 posts in 2209 days

#2 posted 06-26-2012 03:06 AM

Titebond III is what I use. Ipe has no problems adhering with it.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2379 days

#3 posted 06-26-2012 04:35 AM

Yes Titebond 3 should work, the key is making sure your joints are absolutely clean (it’s the number 1 mistake people make). I glue Ipe with other woods all the time (mainly Bamboo, even though that’s not technically a wood). I clean each wood/joints thoroughly with Acetone right before glue up. It’s the oils in Ipe that can be a problem. I glue up bows in laminations this way usually using this glue called urac 185 which I heat cure but before I had an oven to glue them up in I used titebond 3. Good luck.

View dkg's profile


30 posts in 3083 days

#4 posted 06-26-2012 04:51 AM

I have used an epoxy with an adhesive additive (West system) that failed after about 1 year in the sun. I would not recommend gluing Ipe that will be exposed to the elements. I think that the glue joint will fail no matter what you use. That being said, I have installed a similar system as you have described and instead of a 45 angled hole on the interior posts, I came at both sides with a 22 degress hole. It was a little trickier threading the cable thru the hole, but it left more material to prevent a blow out once the cables were tightened up.

View David's profile


198 posts in 2661 days

#5 posted 06-26-2012 08:12 PM

My father has used gorilla glue (the foaming type) on Ipe with no trouble.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2863 days

#6 posted 06-27-2012 03:03 AM

Thanks for the responses everyone. I’m going to go with TB 3. I have some on hand so it’s worth a shot. I’m hoping that with some TB 3 and screws, this should hold up for a while. The weather in CO may have something different to say about that…

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2983 days

#7 posted 06-27-2012 03:10 AM

Ipe glues just fine with TB3. I also wipe it down with acetone—don’t know how poorly it would work without doing so as I’ve not yet tried. I also wipe down other hyper dense and oily woods, maybe it just makes me feel better, but the glue holds.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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Chris Nolan

1 post in 2156 days

#8 posted 06-28-2012 08:53 PM

We have not had great success over long time periods with either TiteBond or West System epoxy. The glue joints have deteriorated in a year or less for several of our projects.
A furniture company we work with in California built some incredible Ipe tables, glued up for outdoor usage. They did not have great success with many glues in the past so they tested 5 or 6 and then literallly beat on them all with a hammer. Tite Bond III came in second place; the glue joint broke after 3 or 4 hits with a sledgehammer. They found a product called “Tropical Hardwood Glue” made by Smith and Company in Richmond, CA that they could not break the joint. They all took turns pounding on it and the joint would not break – the Ipe actually broke after more than thirty direct hits.
Using screws and glue together will make a better joint than using either one of them independently. I hope this is helpful. Best of success with your project.

-- Chris Nolan

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2863 days

#9 posted 06-28-2012 09:02 PM

Chris, thanks for the information.

I glued and screwed the pieces together last night, so I’m committed to that approach for now.

If I have any problems with it, I’ll certainly seek out the tropical hardwood glue.

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