making curved railing with ipe

niagraJuly 31, 2007

We're finalizing plans for our ipe deck. Just returned from Australia where we loved the curved balconies. We'd love to curve one 14 foot side of our deck.

How would you create a 14 foot curved top rail from ipe? I realize there would be some waste, but 14 feet isn't so large.

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One way,

You can build a form of the inside radius of your curve and laminate away. Thickness depends upon the radius.

Or you can cheat and edge glue enough pieces of cap material to be able to cut the radius out.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:33AM
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Dear dooer
I don't understand about the laminate idea. Does anyone else have other thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:59PM
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After bulding a form to match the radias you want,thin strips are cut out of the ipe the size you want. These strips or laminate are glued / clamped together on the form ( but not to it) bang bang curved cap rail. J.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Hey John,
You make it sound so easy :-) bangbang...if only.

Niagra...if you have to ask how, then it's beyond your skill level. Besides, you don't have nearly enuf clamps.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Steve Mon thats no lie!! I have so many clamps I cant contain them on the wall anymore so I have several 55 gal drums up stairs in the shop where a lot of them hang out. Side Note>> harbor freight is selling 12'' hand screw clamps for like five bucks!! I cant belive it I have paid $30 in the past for Jorgies.Working in the radias is really pretty easy if you know how with the given it takes some time,the right glue, a lot of attention to detail and a Wallet willing to pay for the thing. Those Euro Folks do some nice work but they have to drive those little bitti cars to work!!! John

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:34PM
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you can't be too rich, too thin. or have too many clamps...that's what I always say.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:03PM
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I seem to always be looking for one more clamp.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:12PM
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Thanks for the input. I wasn't going to do the curved railing myself. I wanted my contractor to do it. He has lots of ipe decking experience but has never done curved with ipe. Why can't we just cut the radius from a larger ipe board and end up with a curved top rail 1" thick by 3 1/2" wide(so no laminate process needed?) made up of as few section pieces as possible to complete the legnth of the rail. I know I'm pretty ignorant about this but look to you guys for help.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:22PM
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You have not told us what the radius is. How many posts will support this cap. If it is a very flat radius, you might be able to do it your way.

I'm not sure of the strength of your miters. How wide of board can you get the ipe in? If you do it this way, I would suggest using 2 layers (making the cap 2" thick) and overlap the miters.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:34AM
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Thats total possible NI and is how its done for the most part but man I can get so much more $ doing it the other way!!

One thing I learned the hard way>> if your going to use biskets for the joints dont use polly glue those little things require a water base glue like tightbond 111 so they can sweal up in the cut

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 7:51AM
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