New IPE Deck
First, let me start off by saying thank you to all who post on this site. I was planning on building a cedar deck, but after reading nearly all IPE related posts here, I feel like I can tackle an IPE deck. I understand it will be more labor on my part and is slightly different from a normal deck build, but I have the time and the now hopefully the expertise to give it a go. You guys should really consider writing a book or something, I would have paid $20 for a PDF of the information I gained from this site, and it would be have been in one location rather than spread out all over the place.
I'm going to begin building a ~400sq-ft IPE deck. I plan on using 1x6s for the decking and 4x4 IPE posts, but had a few questions that I couldn't find definitive answers to on this site.
1) Is it ok to countersink with 1" IPE? I'm worried the countersink will be too close to the bottom of the board to hold over time. Should I use 5/4 instead? There were a few posts about this, but there didn't seem to be an answer that I've found (mostly fighting. :-) )I plan on using the Smart-bit Pro Plug. Seems like a nifty all-in-one tool that could save some time.
2) I've read some disagreements on the use of Anchorseal for end cuts. I don't want to start up a war again, but let me tell you what I plan on doing and you can tell me if I'm completely wrong. I plan on using either Woodrich brand hardwood wiping stain or TWP 116 to finish the deck. If I go with TWP, I'll build up the coats like john hyatt recommends. Either way, instead of applying anchorseal to freshly cut ends, I will apply the woodrich or TWP to the ends after cutting. Will this work, even with woodrich?
3) It seems like TWP 116 is used quite a bit, but doesn't have UV protection or a mold prohibitor. Should I look into TWP 516? A lot of posts seem to say stay way from 516 on IPE. There's also a new 1500 series that they are promoting over the 500 series, but I'm not sure if I want to be the ginneapig.
4) I got a quote from George@ET and seemed pretty good. Seems like he has a good reputation too and good quality IPE. I found out today that the Menards (I know, I know) by me also carries IPE on special order from Timber Holdings. Although I'm not a big fan of the big box stores, I'd probably end up saving close to $800-$1,000 on this project going with them. Has anyone had any experience with either Menards or Timer Holdings IPE? Is it good quality? Any problems with the shipment? The savings mostly come from no shipping costs, with slightly cheaper wood per linear foot. Still, makes me nervous.
Again, thanks to all who spend the time to help the DIY'ers like me tackle a project like this. Much appreciated, and if you're ever in the Chicago area, I'd be glad to grab a beer with some of you on my new IPE deck (as soon as it's finished, which may be in 2020 the way things are going).