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Thread: Preparing for Ipe furniture build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    Preparing for Ipe furniture build

    My momma always told me never jump into the deep end of the pool first.
    She was right.
    I never listened.

    I'm leaving for WNY tomorrow or next day(furniture delivery), and I've already contacted a supplier to put together an order of Ipe.

    I wish I never met the stuff, but its beauty is something I cant get past.

    My back let up a bit, and I've avoided all work, so I decided to spend a couple of hours drawing out a template,sketch for the chairs.

    I make chairs. Lots of chairs. But I use screws and glue and screw the joints together.

    Today, mortise and tenons, its another world.

    A chair is for lack of a better word, unforgiving. Theres very little room for error, and Im quite sure the experts here know that.

    Why I chose to build this way with zero experience in this joinery, noone around to help or suggest things, I dont know.

    I can gather info from here, I hope once in a blue moon over this build someone will step in and steer me in the right direction if I stray too far.
    This is going to be way above my skill level. I know chair makers might giggle at this, but this is by far the most difficult build I have ever tried.
    This aint no cabinet.
    Cut some scrap 2x6s, made 2 legs, decided to just cut out half the mortises on each leg to see if I can make some tenons and see how this stuff works.

    Laid the two back legs together before I marked them, nothing detailed here, this is scrap, so if Im off a tiny bit I wont lose sleep over it.

    I have yet to build a simple tenon jig, that I will do before I cut another one.

    It came together with the first few pieces I test fit, but man, this is very difficult stuff.

    My intention is to cut every piece to size,(couple extra on slats and supports in case I cut errors with tenons somewhere along the way) then cut all the mortises, then cut each tenon, test fitting them on every piece, even though they should all be identical.(I might taper the front 2 legs and round over the top of the back, but wouldnt do that till all the mortises are cut first.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood stuff 037 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 038 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 039 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 041 (Medium).jpg  
    Last edited by allen levine; 08-21-2008 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Allen,
    Looks like quite the project, and I'm far from an expert on M&T jointery. One thing I do seem to recall however, is that one ought to cut the mortise first, then fit the tennon to it. I would guess that it is easier to cut away the material around the tennon vs hogging out more on the mortise, or worse, having to fill in the mortise. Your mileage might vary of course.
    -Ned

  3. #3
    Allen,

    I have one word for you


    CARBIDE

    When you put IPE in for decking, the tell you to buy several carbide tipped drills and plan to throw them away when you are done

    In other words, you are going to spend a lot of time sharpening chisels for those mortices and perhaps a saw blade or two.

  4. #4
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    Ive noticed if I use the mortising attachment on the Ipe, moving only in small increments at a time, it works fine, dont know how long the chisel and bit will hold out for, I will pick up more.
    Cutting, well, Ive purchased a new TS blade, and my dados are fairly new.
    Ive built a chair, a small table,and 2 planters out of Ipe,(I thought is was cumaru, but I was corrected by the seller)
    Didnt seem overwehlmingly difficult.

    Btw, anyone interested in some really cheap Ipe, although I didnt see it, and its only 1x4 in 3 foot lengths or shorter, I saw an ad yesterday or the day before(craigslist NY) on City Island in the bronx ny, 1.00 per foot, (Im sure everything is negotiable). If youre in the market for planters, or smaller projects, its a great deal if its all in good shape. In the picture the guy had tons of it.
    I would have made the short trip, but my truck is already loaded down with furniture and there was no way I was going to unload it again.

  5. #5
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    Waterford, MI
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    I wish you luck on your project. Two of these evil Ipenistas totally toasted a couple of HH Woodslicer blades, a couple pattern router bits, and my sanity. It looks good in the end but thats murderous stuff to work.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

  6. #6
    Make sure you work outside or wear a respirator as the dust is fine and is known to cause allergic reactions.

    $1 a ft is a good buy and I'd love some but thats too far a drive.
    パトリック
    daiku woodworking
    ^deshi^
    neoshed

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shepard View Post
    I wish you luck on your project. Two of these evil Ipenistas totally toasted a couple of HH Woodslicer blades, a couple pattern router bits, and my sanity. It looks good in the end but thats murderous stuff to work.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    looks great, must weigh around 50-60 lbs, I just wiped my ipe chair and table down with linseed oil today to bring back the color.2-3 times a year.
    This build will teach me or test my patience.

    I do need a few screws, anyone know a good place to get stainless steel philips head 1.25 inch? without shipping costs killing me.
    Last edited by allen levine; 08-22-2008 at 03:02 AM.

  8. #8
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    Allen,

    You might think about picking this up:

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illus...d_bxgy_b_img_b

    it's worth every bit of 26 bucks...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Allen, I suspect you will surprise yourself with how well you do on this chair. Should be a challenging but rewarding project.

    You might try McFeely's for the screws. Also, your local True Value-type hardware store will likely have stainless steel screws. I know of a couple local "small box" stores that have the rows and rows of thin-drawer cabinets full of oddball hardware.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Waterford, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    looks great, must weigh around 50-60 lbs, ...
    I anyone know a good place to get stainless steel philips head 1.25 inch? without shipping costs killing me.
    I think they're quite a bit heavier than that. It's very difficult for one person to move one. Two of us loaded them on a roof rack for a ride from here to AZ and we were both sweating and cursing. My guess is closer to 80-90 Lbs ea.

    I'll 2nd Vaughn's suggestion on McFeeleys or the Small Box stores. I've bought a number of different SS screws/bolts at a local hardware store that's a Do-All store. But even the Borg has some SS screws.
    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

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