Cutting board question #1: is ipe, epe ok to use for cutting boards???

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Blog entry by abie posted 07-14-2012 02:55 PM 10053 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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My shop group ( Retired folk) was donated many short cut offs of ipe, epe..
Can they be used for making cutting boards? I know this stuff is hard and hard on tools…
is it hard on people who use them?
should we just throw it away or make something useful?
Comments and suggestions appreciated.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

4 comments so far

View Otis714's profile


1 post in 3361 days

#1 posted 07-14-2012 03:53 PM

I’ve turned a number of Ipe scraps into chisel handles and mallets and bigger pieces into a table top. The shavings and dust are sticky and irritate my skin and nose. I’d be reluctant to use them for a cutting board. On the other hand they make exceptional chisel handles and mallets, anything that is going to take a lot of abuse. Good luck.

View MJCD's profile


617 posts in 3590 days

#2 posted 07-16-2012 07:39 PM


Here is a quote on Ipe, from a website specializing in hardwood floor – this is a primary application for Ipe (Ironwood).

“Ipe wood products contains no added harmful chemicals so it can be used near water without potential contamination, although its dust can cause a number of respiratory and contact dermatitis allergic reactions in humans.
Durability: Heartwood is very resistant to attack by decay fungi and termites, but not resistant to marine borers, it has the durability and strength of teak, for a lot less money.The US Department of Agriculture and Forestry rates IpĂ© as “Very resistant to attack by decay, fungi and termites.”

Few woods are more dense, and tough on cutting edges – see Janka Hardness Scale, and you’ll get the picture. I’m currently working with Jatoba, also ranked high on the Janka scale, and my DW735 planer is doing ok.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4559 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 07:47 PM

you would probably inhale more dust
making a board
than in a lifetime of occasional use

there are many things to worry about around us

but i drink the water
and breath the air
as that is what we have here

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View MJCD's profile


617 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 07-18-2012 03:31 PM

Patron – good comment.

Abie: I would do some research on ‘indirect food contact’ for Ipe: this is the designation for what you’re questioning; though, I believe Patron has noted the heart of the matter.

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