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Thread: working with ipe (brazilian walnut)

  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    working with ipe (brazilian walnut)

    i've heard that it eats blades and drill bits for breakfast. has anyone here worked with it, and any problems with it?
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    stinks and chips, and its hard on tooling because of the sand that is ingested in it sometimes.. made a ramp for a ski boat once and it wasnt a pleasant experience and soaks up oil like a sponge and didnt dry well..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    I built some adirondack chairs and an outdoor patio set with Ipe decking.
    wasnt a disaster but I dont care to work with it anymore.
    Predrill any screws.

    what larry said about drying, when I used a deck oil to finish it, it took a very long time to dry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Tacoma, WA
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    I've done lots of flooring and also some wood working with it. I like how it looks a lot.

    Haven't had too much trouble with it on my tooling. Does put a bit of extra wear but not like eating through nails. Just don't use your best bits on it then use your tooling on another project without a quick honing on your router bits. It does tend to move around once cut so I always cut about 1/8 to 1/4 bigger and let sit a day or so and then I can joint it back to where I want it. Once cut put in position immediately (within reason) and keep clamped till done.

    I use a polyurethane glue and have great results (ie Gorilla glue - don't forget to moisten the wood per instructions)

    The dust is horrible, use a toxic dust respirator or you'll be blowing yellow dust out for a month! DAMHIK

    As stated by Allen, pre-drill all holes.

    I like working with it and the scraps burn hot as stinkers, smell horrible though. I would get some samples to play with first to see how it behaves before jumping into the main project. You can get leftovers usually from a flooring company. I use ipe for inlays and high wear areas on tables, counter tops, and thresholds.

    Once last thing, on sanding. Sanding scratches from courser grits are sometimes hard to get out or see till it is finished. I usually wipe it down with mineral spirits lightly once or twice during sanding so I can make sure all the swirls from the RO sander are cleaned up.

    I've found ipe in green to yellowish brown to almost black.

    Oh, almost forgot, I've still got a red welt on my chest from shooting a piece with my RWS pellet gun (1000fps and wearing safety glasses!). Hardly a dent in the ipe, but sure was a dent in me!


    would love to see your project when your done!

    Brian
    That's not even a smile! That's just a bunch of teeth playing with my mind!

  5. #5
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    and Ill add on, if you cut it and let it sit in the garage for a few days, Id use some old latex paint if you dont have sealer and seal the fresh ends you cut.
    I noticed the ipe I had tended to check/crack at ends very easy, so I sealed all my cuts I left sitting around.
    I picked up this ipe decking in Buffalo NY while visiting my niece up at suny buffalo.
    chairs and table I made out of it.Click image for larger version. 

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    There was a time I was addicted to making outdoor furniture.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by allen levine; 02-16-2011 at 11:54 PM.

  6. #6
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    I bought a piece that I use for the threshold to my shop for the 10' out swing doors. No finish on it what so ever. Has held up very well. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  7. #7
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    i had gotten a small offcut of it the other day. thinking about making a cribbage board out of it, and perhaps pen blanks out of the rest.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Tacoma, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    i had gotten a small offcut of it the other day. thinking about making a cribbage board out of it, and perhaps pen blanks out of the rest.
    That should be fun. I like to combine ipe with jatoba or purpleheart as an inlayed line(s) or boarder. Just like the look and the contrast.

    Those pens should be neat. Will be a little heavier, but I personally like a heavier pen.

    Would love to see the pictures when you are done!


    Brian
    That's not even a smile! That's just a bunch of teeth playing with my mind!

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