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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 1988 days ago 2501 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ellen35

2566 posts in 2067 days


1988 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: wood ipe question

My neighbor gave me some ipe wood. He used it for a deck railing. I am not really interested in building a deck…or a railing. Can Ipe be used for anything else…like cutting boards (or parts of cutting boards) or band saw boxes or other indoor woodworking projects? It is hard as hell, dense and heavy. Will it ruin my new bandsaw blade or my mitre saw blade? I am used to working with mahogany…a much softer wood and more pleasing to the touch. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. He says he’ll give me more (so far a couple of 3’ 4×4’s and a few other pieces.) I would really rather have the cherry he has hanging around but I think I have to take this stuff too..or first!
Thanks.
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire


13 replies so far

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2160 days


#1 posted 1988 days ago

I built a pair of adirondak chairs out of ipe. It’s tough, dense, and hard to glue. I don’t know what hobbiest things you would want to make out of it, but anything that will be used outdoors would be a good start.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Boardman's profile

Boardman

157 posts in 2396 days


#2 posted 1988 days ago

A boat anchor comes to mind….the stuff actually sinks in water. Beyond that it’s pretty much just a pain. It makes this sickly green/yellow sawdust that’s like talcumn powder, requires oversized pre-drilling as it will snap screws like matchsticks if the screw meets much resistance, and is just plain heavy as lead.

Besides that…..well, it looks kinda pretty.

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2206 days


#3 posted 1988 days ago

Use the IPE to form a rack to get the cherry and store it until next winter in Cape Cod, then you could put it under your firewood to hold it out of the snow. :)

-- Regards, Steve2

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2626 days


#4 posted 1988 days ago

I have seen it used for Decks, Arbors, Gates, Outdoor furniture, etc…. If I could get my hands on enough of it I would like to make a English Garden bench. Notice these are all outdoor projects? I personally know someone in Alaska who had their deck made out of Ipe 10 years ago; Guess what? The nasty weather up there has not hurt it at all.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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Chris

338 posts in 1992 days


#5 posted 1988 days ago

It makes a great deck, but I’ve heard from the friend that used it on his deck that it really is tough on tools, bits, and sawblades. I have no quantitative facts to back that up, however, so I don’t know how much wear a few pieces are going to cause.

-- Chris

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2283 days


#6 posted 1988 days ago

I wouldn’t go about bandsawing this one… maybe use it for a workbench, or outdoor furniture/fixtures (planters etc?)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1472 posts in 2760 days


#7 posted 1988 days ago

I used it for a threshold, and I’ve got some more of it as scraps from the deck place that I want to play with. It actually mills fairly nicely, but the sawdust is some of the most noxious stuff on the planet; I don’t always wear a respirator in the shop, but when I’m working with Ipe I open all the doors to get airflow and wear a full-on filter.

Because of that I definitely wouldn’t use it for cutting boards, but I’ve thought about it for chairs, maybe boxes, places where really hard wood is a plus.

I don’t have a band saw, but I had no problems cutting it with the jigsaw.

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

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2141 posts in 2434 days


#8 posted 1988 days ago

It is great stuff, and I love to work with it when I am making anything for the outdoors as it can last forever.

Consider projects like birdhouses, doorway thresholds, exterior trim, outdoor furniture, etc.

Beware of blade wear. Also, pre-drill everything. It will not take a finish and if you glue, you may want to use polyurethane glue like gorilla.

-- making sawdust....

View dadefreese's profile

dadefreese

42 posts in 2656 days


#9 posted 1987 days ago

I have read that Ipe is like walnut in that the dust is more of an irritant than most other wood species. That could be because of the minerals in the wood or perhaps the specific oils which make it hold up so well outdoors.

The recurring theme here and elsewhere is that it’s almost always recommended for outdoors use. As for me, I have been thinking of using it for a blanket chest but these cautions keep popping up any time I research ipe.

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2566 posts in 2067 days


#10 posted 1987 days ago

Thanks everyone. Your help, as usual, has been invaluable.
The ipe is going back…hopefully to be traded for something else in my neighbor’s woodstove “burn” pile.
I’ll never understand burning cherry…or oak…or any other hardwood!!
Also, for such a dense and hard wood, it certainly makes for a TON of splinters!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2626 days


#11 posted 1987 days ago

One other item I ran across…. In South America (I think…) local utilities use this tree for utility poles.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3901 posts in 963 days


#12 posted 963 days ago

resurecting this thread from three years of sleep…

Looks like my stash of 5/4×4x40” Ipe cut offs (given to me by a paiter, who hauled it off of a job site) is not going to be suitable for a blanket chest….

I’ll have to save it up for Adarondack chairs….

I know a guy who did short term mission work in Honduras and he said they use mahogony planks for concrete forms :^O

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3421 posts in 2595 days


#13 posted 963 days ago

Plumb bobs, tool handles, wedges, bench vice faces, bench dogs, mallets, CLUBS FOR THE BOUNCER AT THE LOCAL BAR. Oil and wax finish on it.
My ideas.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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