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Thread: Ipe lumber

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
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    Anybody have any experience with Ipe (pronounced epay)?

    I saw a guy building a deck on the back of a new home, and he was using this stuff as the decking material. He was complaining how hard it was. After a closer look, it's a beautiful looking wood, very dense, nice strait grained, seemed a little oily. Was just wondering how suitable it would be for rub strakes on a boat I'm building.

    5/4 x 6 costs about $2.00 a foot.

  2. #2

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    I know it's tough... and it seems to be plentiful right now too. As to your question I will follow the thread. I don't know what weather does to it
    Wooden boats are like shingles, recurring, and often painful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Muncy, PA, USA
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    I have a friend who runs a Woodmizer sawmill. About 10 years ago he was cutting railroad ties for a local industry, mostly whit oak. They got in some ipe and he bought home a few offcuts. I have a 6X8X6' hunk that has been laying ouside in the weather for all these years. It has some surface checking but not even a HINT of rot. It has always beeen directly on the ground, in the shade, in the sun and in mud. It is heavy as hell. I think it would make a great keel timber, save on ballast . I bought a 14' 2X4 of the stuff and made the keel & deadwood for my CATHERINE whitehall. Beautiful stuff but it's density makes it tough on power tools, even carbide. Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Yes. It has the same fire rating as concrete, is denser than water which means it wont float, will dull tools very quickly and the dust is highly toxic. The only good point is the price. Probably so low now cause some one is clear cutting an old growth forest to install some beef critters.

  5. #5

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    Ipe is delivered to lumber yards in bundles with little strips between each layer. It's dark...darker than walnut. However, the outside of the bundle is "crated" with a couple different South American hardwoods, most of which is Brazilian Cherry, called Jatoba. THIS is the stuff to use. It is similar in color (a little redder) to Honduran mahogany but has all the characteristics of Ipe. But best of all, THEY GIVE IT AWAY! I have a few hundred board feet of it and can get more just by going to the yard and loading it up. They actually THANK me for taking it away! It is available in varying widths and lengths from 8' to 16'. Also, "stickers" can be found that measure 3"x3" by 4". I have planed and routed a ton of it, oiled it with PENOFIN and "test boards" have weathered the winter outside with virtually NO ill effects whatsoever. I have built the entire deck of a 24' runabout with it (1/2"x2", edge routed, spaced 1/8" apart) and it's gorgeous. You might want to check it out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Campinas, Brazil
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    129

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    IpÍ is used around here in Brazil mainly in workboats for keel,keel shoes, stem, rub strakes and decks when heavy traffic or cargo is expected. The wood is oily and seems to last forever. JatobŠ will glue better. Maybe ipÍ will need some thinner or acetone wash, if you intend to use epoxy.
    Dutch Rub, I don't know if one can say it's dust is highly toxic. I'm writing this in a house made with jatobŠ, massaranduba (bullet wood) and ipÍ. Sometimes I sand the whole thing for a new coat of varnish and I'm highly alive [img]smile.gif[/img] .
    And yes,it's cheap. In this very moment they are just burning this kind of wood in Amazonia, preparing the land for pastures. It's the same sad story of beautiful powerful trees against hamburgers...(nothing against hamburgers).

  7. #7
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    Jan 2003
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    nothing against your post Ricardo but if youre sanding to put on more varnish the dust youre breathing is probably varnish dust- not the green oily dust of the Ipe that sticks to every thing- ever see anything grow from a pile of ipe sawdust?Its similar to the black walnut up here in North America which contains natural poisons- in walnut I believe its called juglan. Calling it HIGHLY toxic was a stretch- its TOXIC

    [ 02-14-2003, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: Dutch Rub ]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Port Jefferson, N.Y.
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    Ladyhawk.............

    holy moly....!!!

    I've been doing the same thing at the local lumber yard!! They have been saving me all their pallet pieces and I've been using some beautiful wood. (I've been going there for 20 yrs. and they all got bottles of wine for christmas, etc ) South American cherry???/ I didn't know what it was but I've been using it as detail wood on certain projects, It's become a front door and also the base of a window seat. And it's all been free!!
    Chris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Campinas, Brazil
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    129

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    You're 100% right, Dutch Rub. Almost all kinds of tropical woods are somewhat toxic. Figure out an extremely wet and warm environment with miriads of bugs starving for celulose and all kinds of fungus spores...
    It's very easy to know when you finish sanding varnish and reach fresh wood. You're nose and eyes never lies. But you'll survive in the end...

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