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what to do with ipe

2195 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  SCOTSMAN
A neighbor recently gave me 6 6×32" pieces of what he saysv is Brazilian walnut (ipe). Also is a 4×4 about 4 feet long and a 28 gallon tub full of 6-10" long cut off pieces from building his deck. Any ideas on what I can do with this wood? From everything I have read this stuff is tough to finish. ...hard to cut…hard to glue…sounds like a pain in the ass to work with…but sure is pretty to look at. I'd rather not just waste it (he wanted me to throw it in my fire pit) any suggestions or tips for working this wood will be greatly appreciated
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Yes on screw construction. Countersink them then add dowels.

Does the Ipe have a groove in the edge? If so, you can use blind fasteners.
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If not, you can make a groove in the edge with a biscuit jointer. They aren't cheap, and you probably couldn't get just a handful… Except … Wait for it… It should be somewhat obvious that I have some. PM me and I can send em to you. You pay shipping.

All that said, using plugs is legit, and it looks just like a dowel in the finish. It actually is a nice accent. Just lay them out on even intervals and in a straight line across the entire surface. I go with went one inch in from the edge on my most recent project (in locations where two scres/plugs per framing member were needed).

I have some scrap, and intend to make a couple moulding planes with it. Perhaps a bench plane, for the experience.

A couple other ideas:
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Ipe is noted for movement, but it sounds like your longest piece is only 36 inches. Not a huge concern here.

It really is beautiful wood. Don't breathe the dust.


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I've heard mixed reports on gluing. Those who claim success generally add that they had used acetone or other solvent to clean the Ipe prior to gluing.

I have seen it glued in photos, and have recently glued some in the wild, to find out for myself. Time will tell. (I did use the acetone wipe down method, and the foaming gorilla glue. That stuff is messy. I have heard Titebond III works well if the surface is cleaned with solvent)

All hearsay. My experiment is just a couple weeks old. A year is what I've heard is the failure point for glues on Ipe.
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