Just a word about Ipe

john_hyattJuly 2, 2010

Just latley I have been geting a lot of mail from Ipe Customers going on and on about little things wrong with it after they get the shipment.

Ipe or any hard wood is not going to be perfect. Its going to have sticker marks,a few scraches, different colors, shiping color marks,the wax ends might bleed a few inches,its not perfectley smooth things like that.

This is Normal. The decks and samples a Person might google up have been preped. The samples have been selected for the picture. What you see is how ipe,or any other South American lumber,can look after corect install but its not going to look like that when you first open the bundle.

When buying s4s kd red oak the same is true its just that using that stuff the Wallet never sees it unil its been sanded,the bad spots have been cut away,and any inperfection has been hidden or used where they dont show. This is the trim carpenters Job.

Ipe has far less little things wrong than red oak back when I did cabanits/trim I would order 20% over at least for the job with ipe you never have to do that.

Now if the shiping Co buggers it up thats another thing and a person will have the right to get replacements from a lagit outfit like East Teak and they in trun have a calim against that Co. Sometimes the fool on the forklift can cause a lot of damage no matter how carefull the lumber co has been packing the shipment.

Lighten up on this. Most of the time all that is needed is a random orbit sander.Its Wood for crying out loud.

John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

George@ EastTeak here. I appreciate seeing this in this forum format. While we wish that everything came in absolutely perfect condition, our definition, as well I think the industries definition of great material, is often different than our customers expectations. I have customers upset with me presently over material that they received. We are seeing more freight damaged material presently but more than that we are seeing more visual issues pertaining to quality than were seen several years ago. Sticker stain, watermarks, color and grain variations, dust and dirt stained, and intermittent unidentifiable stains, scratches, and dings. These issues don't harm the structural integrity or how the boards will look once installed, cleaned, and finished. What it does do is have the consumers thinking that they just spent 20 billion dollars for a deck and some of the material looks like the devil. Sometimes it just takes effort on the outside to bring out the inner beauty. Thanks for a timely note John Mon. Enjoy your holiday and the races

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for your post -- it is very timely for me, since I have 1100 sq feet of ipe sitting outside ready to be installed, and yes I have noticed a few blemishes and am trying not to worry about them too much. I do have one question, though... George mentions cleaning and finishing once installed. What is the proper procedure for cleaning the wood and otherwise prepping it for the final finish? Is sanding necessary? How do we clean it? Thanks a bunch! (oh, one more question -- it is 90 and humid here in NY, do we need to let this wood acclimate at all before installation?)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All good questions Wel.

I started this thread to help Folks who looked at pictures or got samples of lumber dressed up then got the shipment and come unglued at the differance, I am talking really unglued, when really there is nothing wrong with the lumber at all. Mabey this is a reaction to the world of rip offs we have been forsed to live in the last couple of years hard to say but the reaction has really jumped up to maga latley while the material itself has remained the same.

If the SA lumber has scraches,water marks,sticker marks, end grain wax has leached in 2'' or so, this is normal. My outfit installes the lumber as is most of the time the sun takes care of a lot of this. We always sand the project after its down with a orbital/80 grit this takes care of all the above. There is the given we are a production Co and doing the sanding after its down is faster for us.

However the sanding could be done before with the same result this would save on the knee pad ware. Again We have been puttin down SA lumber for 15 years or so my guys/girl are usta the work and dont even think about it. If this is a diy project when time is not a problem then sanding before could be a lot less work just more time.

Cleaning / prep could mean the lumber is clean of course no mud,wet leaves,things like that if a person really wanted to get at it an oxalic acid wash would help the lumber take finish better this should deffentley be done after install.

There is no need at all to acclimate the wood to any area for a lot of reasons.I spend half my time over here busting urban miths or bad info from suppliers.

Another gripe latley has been regarding grain pattern and color differance. Example>> sometimes ipe comes quarter sawn,with red oak you pay double for this, it has a rippled grain that is very cool, this has been judged multi times to be sub standared Let Me Know if I can help. John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

(I read this post to find out what Ipe was...having seen you all refer to it many times!)

Just wanted to say.... AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZING pics on your website, John! I was blown away! No wonder you know your stuff!!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much John. I am relieved to hear that we don't have to let the wood acclimate, I want to get it installed, not watch it sit! One more question... is 1/16" a good amount for spacing between the boards? I want them as close as possible since this is a covered porch and I'd like the "porch" look. We have 6" wide boards.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the Ipe is dry, you need a bigger gap. 1/8" is good. If it's still pretty wet, go with the 1/16" Ipe really expands when it's wet. In the winter around here (California coast)it's the wet season. The boards swell up tight against each other, so you can't even see through the gap. By the end of the summer the gaps have grown to at least 1/8" or even 3/16" in places. New Ipe is usually pretty wet, but not as wet as it will be when saturated with rain. If the gap is too small, the boards can't expand when wet and they cup or buckle. If the gap is too big, well that looks lousy.

You can roughly tell how wet the Ipe is by exposing it to the hot sun for a couple of days and see how many little surface checks appear by the late afternoon. Install a couple boards on your deck and see what happens to it. Ipe has a unique property: as it dries out, little cracks appear all over the surface. Then the cracks close up; they completely disappear, and the board shrinks in width proportionally. Many people freak out when they see the small cracks, thinking the wood is inferior. But they are just observing the natural seasonal acclimation of this amazing wood.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Again Aidan. It is geting a little much over here by my lonesome.

Thanks Also Angie my whole thing is low preasure I strive for normal. My site is simple and down home no advertising,no pop ups, no videos, no special claims. Just what I do and a few pictures of it. J.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Painting/stain lattice work
Installing new wooden lattice around my front porch....
Slate or stone tile on a raised deck?
Has anyone used slate or stone tile on a raised deck?...
Help finishing inside screened porch
Need suggestions. I don't know how to finish the top...
Can't keep porch paint from peeling
We had a complete porch and deck tear off and replaced...
Cement tiles on raised deck?
As a result of home renovations, I will be raising...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™