Ipe Decking questions (fasteners, uniformity, holes?)

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blueman

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Oct 29, 2007, 11:47:27 AM10/29/07
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Just received my (special) order of T&G 3/4" x 3-1/4" Ipe decking.

1. The boards seem to differ *considerably* in color from rich
reddish/brown to a lighter yellowish/greenish color?

Is this normal or acceptable? Should I try to return the lumber or
is there anything else I can or should do?

2. A few of the boards have a couple of (uniform) ~1/8" holes in
them. I am assuming that someone drilled and returned them. Or is
this sometime of (natural?) insect damage?

3. For fastening the T&G boards, one supplier had suggested using
trim-head screws pre-drilled, angled at 45deg and countersunk
through the tongues.

I am thinking of using #7x2-1/4" hex trimhead screws after first
pre-drilling. (e.g., Brown #7 x 2-1/4" Headcote RazorBack Reduced
Head Screws)

Does this seem like a good plan or would I be better off
pre-drilling and nailing through the tongue?
(My concern is about being able to screw through the tongue without
cracking the board and without getting in the way of the T&G fit)

Thanks

Pat Barber

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Oct 29, 2007, 4:41:15 PM10/29/07
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A article in one of the woodworking mags a couple years
back covered IPE. I recall there being over 20 different
trees that were called IPE by the wood market place.

Most of the IPE I have seen has "many" different shades
and colors even in the same batch.

(2) holes in new lumber purchases would concern me.

(3) Can't help you with t&g but I can tell you that ipe
is terrible on any cutting surface and will require
many drill bits and saw blades for a decent install.

I can't believe a trim head screw wouldn't screw the tongue
up pretty badly.

http://www.ipedeckingsource.com/Ipe-Decking.htm

blueman

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Oct 29, 2007, 11:02:54 PM10/29/07
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Pat Barber <mboce...@worldnet.att.net> writes:

> A article in one of the woodworking mags a couple years
> back covered IPE. I recall there being over 20 different
> trees that were called IPE by the wood market place.
>
> Most of the IPE I have seen has "many" different shades
> and colors even in the same batch.
>
> (2) holes in new lumber purchases would concern me.
>
> (3) Can't help you with t&g but I can tell you that ipe
> is terrible on any cutting surface and will require
> many drill bits and saw blades for a decent install.
>
> I can't believe a trim head screw wouldn't screw the tongue
> up pretty badly.
>
> http://www.ipedeckingsource.com/Ipe-Decking.htm
>

OK - any thoughts on the best (hidden) fastener to use for T&G
flooring?

Thanks

Phisherman

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Oct 30, 2007, 6:44:08 AM10/30/07
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On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 15:47:27 GMT, blueman <NOS...@nospam.com> wrote:

>Just received my (special) order of T&G 3/4" x 3-1/4" Ipe decking.
>
>1. The boards seem to differ *considerably* in color from rich
> reddish/brown to a lighter yellowish/greenish color?
>
> Is this normal or acceptable? Should I try to return the lumber or
> is there anything else I can or should do?

Unless from the same tree you'll get different colors. An appropriate
finish will help blend the colors together.

>
>2. A few of the boards have a couple of (uniform) ~1/8" holes in
> them. I am assuming that someone drilled and returned them. Or is
> this sometime of (natural?) insect damage?

No good.

>
>3. For fastening the T&G boards, one supplier had suggested using
> trim-head screws pre-drilled, angled at 45deg and countersunk
> through the tongues.
>
> I am thinking of using #7x2-1/4" hex trimhead screws after first
> pre-drilling. (e.g., Brown #7 x 2-1/4" Headcote RazorBack Reduced
> Head Screws)
>
> Does this seem like a good plan or would I be better off
> pre-drilling and nailing through the tongue?
> (My concern is about being able to screw through the tongue without
> cracking the board and without getting in the way of the T&G fit)

A pilot hole is a good thing. Angling fasteners makes a strong joint.

>
>Thanks

ed_h

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Oct 30, 2007, 1:29:49 PM10/30/07
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On Oct 29, 10:47 am, blueman <NOS...@nospam.com> wrote:
> Just received my (special) order of T&G 3/4" x 3-1/4" Ipe decking.
>
> 1. The boards seem to differ *considerably* in color from rich
> reddish/brown to a lighter yellowish/greenish color?
>
> Is this normal or acceptable? Should I try to return the lumber or
> is there anything else I can or should do?

There is a lot of natural variation in color in Ipe. If it is
outdoors, it will even out as it fades. If not, a finish will reduce
but probably not eliminate the variation.

> 2. A few of the boards have a couple of (uniform) ~1/8" holes in
> them. I am assuming that someone drilled and returned them. Or is
> this sometime of (natural?) insect damage?

I never saw this on any Ipe I used. If it's drilled and can't be
worked around, I'd send it back.

> 3. For fastening the T&G boards, one supplier had suggested using
> trim-head screws pre-drilled, angled at 45deg and countersunk
> through the tongues.

I think trim-head would work if placed accurately and sunk below the
surface. You will probably need some mechanical means to snug each
board up to the one its mating with.

> I am thinking of using #7x2-1/4" hex trimhead screws after first
> pre-drilling. (e.g., Brown #7 x 2-1/4" Headcote RazorBack Reduced
> Head Screws)
>
> Does this seem like a good plan or would I be better off
> pre-drilling and nailing through the tongue?
> (My concern is about being able to screw through the tongue without
> cracking the board and without getting in the way of the T&G fit)

Using small-head screws at an angle with either integral- or pre-drill
would be preferable to nailing.

> Thanks


Pat Barber

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Oct 31, 2007, 2:41:26 PM10/31/07
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I have to pass on that question cause most IPE is NOT T&G lumber.

Most t&g lumber is nailed in place using something like the
Portanailer but I have seen nothing that says you can nail IPE
given it's terrible hardness and tendency to split quite easily.

Is this a porch(covered) application or a deck ?

Why did you choose t&g lumber ?

Have you already bought this material ?

Tom B

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Oct 31, 2007, 6:08:43 PM10/31/07
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I put down an Ipe deck ~1200 FT^2 2 years ago. It wasn't T&G, so I
can't help with the fastening question.

Mine was just grooved and I used IPE clips, which seem to have held up
OK. I did use trim head SS screws through the grooves to hold the
clips, pre-drilled and the same screws counter bored and plugged on
the end boards. No big problems there, one bit dulled out in several
hundred holes. As for the color - after one coat of Messimers, I just
let it grey out. Scrub it down every spring with one of the heavy duty
pot scrubbers pads from the Borg and let it age. Works for me. The
board color variation was not extreme and evened out as it greyed.

You will need something to pull (or press) the boards together. I used
a bunch of 48" B clamps, pipe clamps, web clamps, every clamp I own,
across the width of the deck (18') to yank the boards into line. I
used MD400 adhesive (Borg tube stuff) to glue the boards to the
stringers before the IPE clips were tied down. Worked about 50% of the
time, but the clips still hold the boards down. Ipe does not glue
well, even with a naptha rub before the glue is put on. Gorilla glue
did no better than the MD400.

BTW, the "eating up blades" is exagerated. I cut about 1500 linear
feet of 5/4 with one blade on my circular, a DeWalt blade at that, so
it's tough but not violently so. The dust though is NASTY! A mask is a
good idea.

Regards.

Tom


On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 15:47:27 GMT, blueman <NOS...@nospam.com> wrote:

Steve knight

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Nov 10, 2007, 11:44:16 AM11/10/07
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>BTW, the "eating up blades" is exagerated. I cut about 1500 linear
>feet of 5/4 with one blade on my circular, a DeWalt blade at that, so
>it's tough but not violently so. The dust though is NASTY! A mask is a
>good idea.

I agree I cut a hell of a lot of it and it is no worse then any other
tropical. I get 2 or so months out of a bi metal bandsaw blade. 6
months from my planes knives. about the same between sharpenigns on my
saw blades.
but yes the dust is the worst of any wood. well I mine it is about as
fine as sawdust gets and you a lot of it.

blueman

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Dec 20, 2007, 12:19:46 PM12/20/07
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Yes saw dust is as fine as flour.
I've been saving some of it with the though of using it as wood filler
(when mixed with either expoxy or yellow glue).
I tried a litle with yellow glue and it worked well.

Thinking is that between the strength/density of ipe and the fineness
of the sawdust, that this should make a great woodfill (if color is
right).

Any thoughts?

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