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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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It glues up fine if you use a solvent to remove the oil the wood produces from the surfaces. It is hard and so heavy it sinks like a stone if dropped in water. Ipe is pretty stable once it's fully dried, shrinkage of boards that haven't been properly acclimated is the only issue. It's so dense it doesn't absorb moisture from the air like many woods so seasonal movement isn't a problem. It finishes well but you need to use a good sealer to lock in the oils that will cause most finishes to bubble and peel. It's a difficult wood to work with but once a project is completed it's as durable as concrete. Have fun and have some extra blades on hand, you'll need them.
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