New IPE Deck

srubikJune 3, 2011

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).

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I have not had good lluck with the 516, but I am in a coastal environment

Here is a link that might be useful: IPE deck info

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:43AM
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1) Yes, you can, and most people do countersink the 1x6 boards without problem.
2) All I can tell you is that I am one who did not bother sealing cut ends and I can't tell the difference. In hindsight I probably would have cut off the wax on the ends of the boards before installing because you can see those marks once you stain, but they fade after a few years. Not a bid deal either way.
3) TWP 116 has both UV protection and mold inhibitor. That being said from what I have seen there is no perfect stain for Ipe. If you want a nicely stained deck you will be doing at least every other year on the horizontals. I used the TWP 116 and have no regrets, but it faded after a year and needed to be resealed after 2. I also occasionally get mold spots on some of the railing.
4) No advice really, but I would also be tempted if I could save that much.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:40PM
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best advice is to use ss screws on ipe to secure.i sealed ends and it still leaks out after 4 years but i just live with it, better than cracks in the ends.

every year i have to strip the ipe and redo.
no big problem but ATO stain now is 40 dollars a can.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Make sure you PLENTY of drill bits! We went through them like Sherman went through Georgia! I think you want the tugsten ones-and they still don't last very long.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:50PM
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