New dock

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Project by shopdog posted 02-03-2014 11:09 PM 3272 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m sitting here in my apartment in Brooklyn, looking at the snow falling…and daydreaming about warm weather, and hanging out on the dock that I built last summer. I have a small cottage on a tiny lake (pond) in western NY state. I knew that I needed a new dock when I bought the place 10 years ago. The old dock had a pressure treated ply surface, and the substructure was made from pressure treated 2x and 4x material. After years of being pushed and pulled by a frozen lake, the posts were about 30 degrees out of plumb, and the dock was about to break apart. I’m a deck builder, here in Brooklyn…but I never built a dock. I did some research, and I made a sketchup plan of what I wanted

...and hired a local dock contractor to fabricate and install the iron substructure. The substructure is 4” diameter pipe driven into the lake bottom, with a grid of 3” I beams welded to the pipe. The pipe is filled with concrete.
I drilled a lot of 5/16” holes in the top of the I beams, and then sistered 2×4 pressure treated to the top of the I beams…clamping, and bolting from below with 1/4”x1.5” galvanized bolts. I worked from my dingy (when I could) because the water was still chill.

After I finished with the sistering, I drove about an hour north to Bristol Valley Hardwoods, and picked up the Ipe for my dock decking. I needed about 45- 12’ 1×6, so it took 2 trips with my old Subaru Forester, to haul it back to the lake. Then I just laid down the Ipe like it was a deck…running the boards wild on both sides, and trimming them afterwards.

It took a couple of days to get the Ipe down, with a few breaks

I had to add some bling…a ladder, a bench, some umbrellas, boat cleats, etc. I didn’t get around to sanding and sealing it (got lazy)...but I sealed the ends of the Ipe with penofin. I’ll finish it up in the spring.

Thanks for looking

-- Steve--

23 comments so far

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2792 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 11:49 PM

Great timing for your post, Steve. With the storm of the century looming, it’s nice to think that better days are ahead. Beautiful design, location, and workmanship … and I love your dog!

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Brett's profile


960 posts in 3922 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 02:07 AM

That is a classy looking dock with the ipe! Very contemporary feel to it.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4517 days

#3 posted 02-04-2014 02:30 AM

Here am I sweating… in 40 degree Celsius summer heat… wishing I had a dock just like that… fabulous…I would just jump right off…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 3034 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 05:25 AM

Wonderful! Makes me dream of warmer days…

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Greg's profile


335 posts in 4036 days

#5 posted 02-04-2014 07:38 AM

Gorgeous structure, and functional too. Curious how much the ipe cost in total.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4124 days

#6 posted 02-04-2014 11:20 AM

Very nice! Could you give directions to your cabin? Many of us want to take a closer look at the dock. :D

View MrNorwood's profile


180 posts in 2875 days

#7 posted 02-04-2014 11:55 AM

you got that cast away vibe going. deck looks amazing. nice action shot of the dog jumpin in the lake

-- Remember, Jesus was a carpenter.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4239 days

#8 posted 02-04-2014 01:02 PM

Ohhh… Awesome work, and making my cabin fever even worse…lol…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Skylark53's profile


2865 posts in 4223 days

#9 posted 02-04-2014 01:31 PM

Super! That’s gotta be hard place to leave. Beautiful. The deck is incredible. Sure to be there for another generation or so. I hope you enjoy it for many, many years.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View shopdog's profile


582 posts in 4648 days

#10 posted 02-04-2014 02:30 PM

Thanks for the nice comments.

degoose…I ran a Celsius to F conversion…that’s 104 degrees!!! We have another snow storm coming tonight.

Greg…I have the receipt and wood list at the cabin…5 hours away. I think it was $3.50 per linear’ (+tax)
I needed something like 45 – 12’ 1×6. I remember that it was around $2300.
I’ve been building Ipe decks for about 15 years, and I can’t tell you how many times I told clients…”buy the best, and only cry once” when it came time to deck off the dock, I just had to take my own advice.

It’s a forever dock for me, and other cottage owners have approached me about doing their docks.

-- Steve--

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 3425 days

#11 posted 02-04-2014 03:45 PM

That dock ain’t going anywhere! 4” steel concrete-filled tubes – wow! What’s the matter didn’t want to drive them into the bedrock? :) Nice job!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View tyvekboy's profile


2118 posts in 4176 days

#12 posted 02-04-2014 03:57 PM

Absolutely beautiful dock. Good thing you built it while youʻre still young. That ipe has got to weigh a lot.

Good job. Thanks for sharing. Great pictures.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View shopdog's profile


582 posts in 4648 days

#13 posted 02-04-2014 05:48 PM

tyvek…yeah, I’ll be 64 in 2 weeks…forever young
Carrying 2- 1×6x12’ on those 3” I-beams was a challenge, but I rose to the occasion. I had to, as I didn’t have any help. It’s a small lake, and everyone sits on their decks & docks with binoculars…so I had to show them that this city boy can carry his weight :-)

Dinger…This lake freezes over, and likes to shift every dock to the northeast. I am hoping that it won’t move my dock too much each year. I won’t know until May, when I go back.
I bungeed a 2’ aluminum level to one of the 4” pipes, so that I can judge the movement over the first winter.
I suspect that it will be minimal

-- Steve--

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 4219 days

#14 posted 02-04-2014 06:05 PM

Very impressive !

View prospector45's profile


150 posts in 2893 days

#15 posted 02-05-2014 12:21 PM

What a great project for all to enjoy, especially with the envious neighbors. I think you just found a new summer job at the lake away from the city.

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