How to build Ipe deck!
I'm a shipwright with experience in tropical hardwoods and have the deck ready for 'planking'. The deck is located in the South Sierras of California at 4200' (desert side). I want a dull permanent clear finish so I've tested with tung nut oil and am ready to begin the finish work. Deck support provided by the contractor are 2 x 6's fir on edge. The first part is modifying the contractors structure as I rejected Trex and ordered Ipe to complete the job. Will supplement with pictures if this site permits. The planks are of final size 3.5" by 1" and no butt joints will be used. There will be planks meeting planks in a herring bone pattern in three locations to turn a corner with 67.5 degree cuts. The Ipe received has chips, warpage, stains, etc and there's always a best side to finish so all pieces will be cut, endgrain sealed, edge routered to 3/16 round, handsanded/beltsanded, and finished outdoors on sawhorses before being clipped into routered side cuts to the joists. The handrail will be Tigerwood ordered with the larger profile placed over Ipe with vertical Ipe supports sandwiched on each joist. The tung nut oil tests confirmed that thinned tung nut oil is the first application and is wiped off before it begins to thicken but has thoroughly soaked in.(above 50 F degrees for all coats). Cracks are repetitively coated and hopefully filled with tung nut oil. Second (third, fourth...fifth?) coats are polymerized tung nut oil, wiped off before it hardens, allowed to dry, lightly fine sanded and tack cloth dust removed. This is a time consuming process but the objective is a final finish that can be hand wiped down once or twice a year on the finished deck with tung nut oil to maintain a 'bright' though dull permanent rich dark color as opposed to the silvery gray weathered appearance of unfinished boardwalks.