Ipe Outdoor Patio Sectional

  • Advertise with us
Project by Vandy posted 10-14-2014 12:04 AM 16236 views 26 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I modeled my Ipe outdoor sectional after a restoration hardware set I liked. Ipe is a great less expensive Teak alternative, perfect for outdoor use. After I measured our patio space, I first custom ordered cushions and then built the furniture to fit. I did this because, surprisingly, the cushions cost more than the wood.

First time working with Ipe – I went through a few saw blades, and definitely didn’t realize how dense/heavy Ipe is. Let’s just say if I ever move, I’m hiring movers to move this furniture. Also, i was concerned about glueing Ipe because of it’s oils, so i reinforced a lot of the mitres and joints with Dowels and biscuits and in some hidden areas even used bolts and screws. I guess time will tell if the glue holds.

I left the wood natural to age from the UV of the sun. I want It will turn a silvery grey. This wood will last years without finishing and requires no upkeep that way. Also, It was great not have to do any finishing aside from a good sanding.

They say Ipe has the same fire rating as concrete, and won’t rot for 80 years. So hopefully this is something that will last a lifetime… Although the white cushions may not last the week :)


12 comments so far

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 3142 days

#1 posted 10-14-2014 02:15 AM

This is awesome, Vandy. I’ve long dreamed about making something similar to this when I get a house with some outdoor space and you really nailed it. Looks fantastic.

It looks like you used some really thick stock for the rectangles that make up the arms. Is that 12/4?

About the cushions: Where did you find the person to do them? What material? And, if you don’t mind me asking, how much did they set you back? If you don’t want to get into specifics, that’s cool, just looking to see how they price such things.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4861 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 02:16 AM

Nice work Vandy

Ipe is a great wood for outdoor use.


View Kyle Hooks's profile

Kyle Hooks

21 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 10-14-2014 02:33 AM

What great patio furniture!

I’ve thought about building similar furniture, but I haven’t found cushion material that I liked and could afford. What did you use for the cushions. Did you make them?

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4472 days

#4 posted 10-14-2014 08:06 AM

Great work, Made my front gate out of this. Your correct heavy and dense but I love it. What a nice set….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 10-14-2014 01:38 PM

very nice work!

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1385 posts in 2997 days

#6 posted 10-14-2014 07:51 PM

Thats quite a project. Like the design. – And it seems they suit the view..
Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View jat's profile


87 posts in 4055 days

#7 posted 10-14-2014 11:06 PM

Great work Vandy. Would love to copy it. Any thoughts on dimensions, plans or perhaps a tutorial?

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4431 days

#8 posted 10-15-2014 12:20 AM

I’ve used Ipe before, and it’s like cutting concrete! Plus that green sawdust…......

On the other hand, they don’t call it Ironwood for nothing! I was at a hotel on the Oregon coast that had decks on it’s ocean-front rooms made out of Ipe. After almost 20 years in that harsh salt water environment, they’re still in great shape.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Hammerthumb's profile


3131 posts in 3259 days

#9 posted 10-16-2014 10:44 PM

A very nice project. I know the wood is difficult to work, but as you said, it should last for years. Great job!

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

74 posts in 3971 days

#10 posted 10-17-2014 11:57 PM

Outstanding work, would you be willing to share the angles you used for the seat to back angle as well as where you purchased your cushions from?

View Vandy's profile


12 posts in 3269 days

#11 posted 10-20-2014 12:53 AM

Follow up details:

I purchased the custom cushions from – They are expensive ($2000+ ballpark) but this place seemed to beat anything else i could find locally. I justified the cost because the furniture I was replicating was gonna cost over $10,000 at restoration hardware and I was able to build it all for around $4000. They are very high quality and would be comparable to any high-end outdoor furniture cushions out there. You are able to customize each cushion to suit your plans.

All my Ipe wood was 4/4×5 1/2” and the arms were thick 4”x4” stock

I wanted my sectional to fit the area of the patio nicely and so i came upon these dimensions below, but they were very similar to the sectional dimensions from restoration hardware

I designed my sectional to be 28” deep with a 4” back cushion making the seating area 24” deep. Total overall height was 37” (that includes the feet). I chose a Sitting height of 15” (6” thick bottom cushions) which is in between a more normal sitting height of 18” to a low sitting sectional of 12”.

2x Longer couch sections were 28” D x 75” W
Corner section 28” D x 28” W
Chase 70” D x 25” W
Separate chair was 28” D x 25” W with an ottoman 25” x 25”

I never actually decided on the recline angle with a proper measurement. I built the chair first and used it as my test run. I clamped the back to the bottom at different angles until I found a happy place. Unfortunately this project is at my summer house and i can’t measure it, but i would guess somewhere around 115 degrees recline


View debuda's profile


2 posts in 2057 days

#12 posted 04-14-2016 12:25 AM

Really amazing work here.
We have some really nice outdoor couch cushions that we inherited and I am going to build a couch. This looks very similar to a couch from williams-sonoma that I’ve been thinking to try and replicate.
I am new to woodworking and I am trying to figure out how you are joining those miters on the rectangular ends.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics