A few of my deck projects

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Project by shopdog posted 11-09-2011 02:00 PM 3434 views 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t get a lot of shop time, but I do get to make sawdust for a living.
All of these decks are made with Ipe. The first 5 are in Brooklyn, NY, and #6 is in Manhattan.
Thanks for viewing.

-- Steve--

17 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3832 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 02:14 PM

They look very clean and professional. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25710 posts in 4070 days

#2 posted 11-09-2011 03:27 PM

Beautiful decks! I love that Ipe for outdoor work- just wish I could afford it!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5183 days

#3 posted 11-09-2011 04:06 PM

These are gorgeous. There must be a lot of challenges getting materials around in NYC.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dakremer's profile


2755 posts in 4056 days

#4 posted 11-09-2011 04:35 PM

I also really love Ipe decking. Whats the frame made out of? How does Ipe hold up to the elements? needs to be stained/treated with anything???

We will be building a deck at some point within the next couple years…wondering if i need to start saving up for Ipe – I hate treated/cedar decks. I hate vinyl decks just as much :) haha

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1108 posts in 4772 days

#5 posted 11-09-2011 04:35 PM

Absolutely love the designs. The richness of the woods is wonderful. Real eye-candy! Thanks.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View shopdog's profile


581 posts in 4451 days

#6 posted 11-09-2011 05:02 PM

Thanks for the comments.

I can’t afford an Ipe deck either…Just happy I have clients with deep pockets.

It is challenging. Once I get thru the traffic, and hopefully find parking, then I have to carry all wood and tools thru the house, and out the back. Sometimes long pieces 16’-20’ have to pass thru windows (with bars on them). Roof decks are even worse…hauling materials up with 2 ropes. I dream about jobs where I can park on a driveway, and just walk around to the back.

I make the substructures out of ACQ pressure treated SY pine. I wouldn’t even consider working with Ipe 2x or 4×4. I do have my limits. ACQ is good for that task. Ipe is absolutely the best decking material. I’ve been using it for 13 years, and won’t build with anything else. After I finish the build, I hand sand the Ipe with a RO sander with 40 grit disks. Then blow the dust off with a compressor and sweep, and then finish with a penetrating oil/stain (but it doesn’t really penetrate). I use Penofin.
When I started, Ipe 1×6 was $1.88 per lineal foot…now it’s $4.05. You better start saving now, because it could be $5-$6 by then. It can be found cheaper on the internet, but my supplier lets me pick out my own boards, and that’s worth the extra $ to me.

-- Steve--

View WoodSpanker's profile


560 posts in 4357 days

#7 posted 11-09-2011 10:52 PM

Wow…. The views of the city are breathtaking! Let me ask you, what is it like to be surrounded by that kind of view while you’re working? Especially making sawdust for a living…. it must be positively inspiring! I FINALLY make a living at woodwork, but the view from my shop windows is 1. My Chicken Coop, 2. an old fir tree, and 3. The impound lot which is next door to my house. Having a view like that, to me would be a very positive thing! Add on top of that you get to play with wood all day. I bet you go home tired but happy. Yes? Correct me if I’m wrong.

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View DanceParty's profile


59 posts in 3487 days

#8 posted 11-09-2011 11:50 PM

You might want to try looking at East Teak. Located in SC, they FOB. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them, both their Teak stock and Ipe. Actually, I’ve used some of their IPE-decent stock. Prices are pretty good as long as your located near them, or are a large shop making larger purchases which makes up for shipping costs.

View shopdog's profile


581 posts in 4451 days

#9 posted 11-10-2011 01:15 PM

I have had some interesting job sites, with good views, like this site, 36 floors up, across from the NY stock exchange.

Still, I’d rather have a job site on a lake or in the woods. My shop is in my basement, with no windows…it could be sunny or snowing, and I wouldn’t know. All in all, I am very happy to be making a living by making sawdust.


I’ve spoken with George at eastteak a few times over the years, and he’s made some good offers that were hard to turn down. Maybe, if I had a warehouse, I would be buying from them.

-- Steve--

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4154 days

#10 posted 11-10-2011 04:37 PM

Love Ipe great chice for the decks you have men.

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

View EzJack's profile


457 posts in 4136 days

#11 posted 11-13-2011 08:05 AM

Make sure you know what you are using.

-- Ain't better or worse than any other woodpecker in the woods.

View shopdog's profile


581 posts in 4451 days

#12 posted 11-13-2011 02:45 PM

That’s the thing…I know what I’m using. I know Ipe.
If you are using trex, then you should make sure that you know what you’re using. Just Google Trex class action, and you can read about some unhappy trex deck owners. Composite deck companies come and go, leaving a lot of dissatisfied homeowners in their wake. What man makes, man can screw up.

-- Steve--

View EzJack's profile


457 posts in 4136 days

#13 posted 11-17-2011 08:17 AM

I was referring to the environmental impact of logging IPE and how the linked company will no longer sell it. An IPE deck is a badge that states one does not care whatsoever about the environment. The way that it is logged is extremely destructive.
I have never used composite material. I do use cedar.

-- Ain't better or worse than any other woodpecker in the woods.

View WRAAdesign's profile


46 posts in 3363 days

#14 posted 11-20-2011 05:56 PM

Shopdog, can you share with the group some of your fastening techniques? Do you use clips and stainless hardware? Thanks for posting and educating.


View shopdog's profile


581 posts in 4451 days

#15 posted 11-20-2011 06:20 PM

@ Ezjack,

I have a friend down in Amazonia that is involved in logging. Mostly, he cuts Massaranduba to ship to Europe, but he’s also involved with Ipe. He says that most of the illegal cutting is done by cattle ranchers (for pasture) and soy farmers. They aren’t cutting to sell, although they do sell. They clear cut for land use. I have some acreage in Costa Rica, and over the last 35 years, I’ve planted hundreds of hardwood and fruit trees. I’ve even planted some Ipe…although it’s called Cortesa in CR. I’m satisfied with my carbon balance.

@ wraadesign,

I have never used the clips, or any of the so called hidden fasteners. I just don’t trust them. If my clients want hidden fasteners, I plug the screw holes. Otherwise, I simply top screw 2 screws per joist. I use brown topped 2.5” “headcote” stainless steel trim screws from Starborn industries
They aren’t hidden, but they’re the closest you can come.

-- Steve--

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