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Ipe Progress Pics

Posted by riles_j (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 12, 08 at 10:14

Well my installation is in full swing and thought I would share a few pics along the way. We are DIY'er's and have never built anything of this magnitude before, but we are having a good time and learning along the way thanks to all the good folks here. It is certainly not the work of art that many of the professionals here create, but it certainly gives us a sense of pride of ownership.

I do have a quick question about the bolts holding for our rail posts. We used 1/2" hex bolts with a regular washer and nut and I am little concerned that the nuts are going to work loose over time as it seems like some have required some additional tightening already. Its not a problem now, but I fear once we install a fascia around the outside I will no longer have access to the bolt heads to tighten them and if they loosen I will just turn the nut and the whole hex bolt will just spin. Is this something I need to worry about or is anything I should now that I still can?

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Riles


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

You can put lock washers behind the nut on the posts or possibly loctite. But if the material shrinks significantly, neither method will keep it tight.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles

I agree with Dooer...
I have built so many decks with bolts (I use carriage bolts, and over tighten) over the years. Nobody goes back years later to tighten those bolts...well, maybe some people. The wood won't shrink enough to make it an issue. Right now, the ACQ is wet, and it's in the sun. It's gonna shrink. Later on, it will be it the shade, getting wet...it may expand a bit. If you really want to be obsessive about it, you can go under the deck and tighten the nuts next year. You think that they will spin the bolts...I think that they will tighten them. Meanwhile, you're doin the right thing...tightening them while you can.

Otherwise, you built a he11 of a deck as a DIY. It looks like you have a great crew, too. I remember your messages awhile back...I don't remember, but I hope I helped build your deck.
Keep us updated.

steve


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

I am liking your crew as well, I have two Girls working for me that do some most outstanding work. The framing is a little out of the normal but looks just fine.

I my self dont use bolts in the rail system unless its a roof top deck with no other recourse then I use lag bolts with polly glue in the threads. With a normal install like yours We block them in with construstion adhesive and ss screws. One thing that came to mind is locktight, I use this stuff on my Harley bolts and screws there are permanent and non permament brands. Its standarad go around with race cars.

You could wait until the last moment when your ready to skirt then back the nust out and use the locktight on the threads. John


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles - fantastic deck!

Many years of good use for you and the crew!


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Very nice work for a DIY'er. Like noted above, I would have blocked around those post, then use your thru bolts.

I'm digging those louvered windwows on your house, haven't seen those in years.

Al


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Thanks for the comments. I actually was planning on blocking all those posts in, but of course I had them in place with bolts through them before I realized that I had the wrong size bolts and it was going to be pain to remove all the bolts. Oh well, rookie move. The post seem pretty stiff to me so I will move on.

I will post a few more pics from the progress this weekend. The upper portions of the decking are complete and I might be starting some railing next week. I had some questions with regards to the railing.

I am planning on installing a little different railing style. Sort of looks like the the railing in this link without attaching the 5/4" board to the side of the post:

http://www.trimscrew.com/PHOTO-3.htm

My railing components are as follows. 2x4 ipe sub rail and top rail installed on its side and toescrewed into the post, then a 5/4x6 inch cap rail. I will also be using the black alluminum tube ballusters.

1) I know most people don't install the ipe 2x4 on its side like that, but does anyone see any problems with that? I may use 2 screws on the connection at the top and bottom since I have a litle more board to work with than if they were installed on each like is typical. Any tips on the toescrewing?

2) Do you guys put together the whole rail section on the ground first or do you install them in place. Any tips on this whole process?

3) I am going to have a gate that separates our pool area and am having a little trouble envisioning how to construct the gate. Again our railing style doesn't make the gate construction very easy. 2x4's on there side seem like they won't make as sturdy of a gate and don't offer much for attaching the hinges.

Thanks for the help.

Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles,

I just finished building my Ipe deck, and I used Ipe 2x4s and black deckorators balusters for the railing. I stood my top and bottom rails on edge, and laid the top cap flat.

On the horizontal sections, I used a drill press and 3/4" forstner bit to bore the holes in the 2x4s to accomodate the balusters. On the stair railing, I used the little angled plastic connectors that deckorators sells. The sections that I bored look a lot better.

I assembled the rail sections on the ground. Then I set them on a couple of 2x4 scraps to get the proper spacing between the bottom rail and deck surface, and clamped them in place between the posts for fastening.

I used pocket hole joinery to fasten the rails to the posts. Mcfeelys sells Kreg pocket hole jigs and stainless pocket hole screws. You will need to predrill through the pocket holes and into the posts, or the screws will break. I bought some long drill bits from Grainger for that task - the ones from Lowes kept breaking.

I'm sure the pros can give you some alternative ways to do it, but I am happy with my results.

Kevin


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Kevin,

Thanks for the information. I like the pocket hole jig idea. Did you use the mini Kreg pocket hole jig? I wonder if I could use my #7 2-1/2" trimhead screws in that pocket hole instead of buying some different screws? I also assume you put the pocket hole on the underside of the sub rail. Any difficulties on getting your driver on that screw on the bottom subrail? There isn't much room to work there.

Do you have any pictures?

Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

I used the R3 pocket hole kit. I definitely would not use trim head screws. Pocket hole joinery relies on the head of the screw to pull the joint together. Mcfeelys has their 10 x 2-5/8 NoCoRode PLUS PocketMax for about 14 cents each.

I made my pocket holes on the outside of the rails - you can see the holes from the ground, but not when you're on the deck. They don't bother me at all. As you said, it would be tough to install them from the bottom.

I don't have any pics. I will try to remember to take some this afternoon.

Kevin


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Here a couple more pics from our progress after last weekend.

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Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles,

Here are a couple of pics of my deck, and the pocket holes in particular. I actually am not quite finished with it yet. I can't decide what to do about post caps, and I need to stain again. And as you can see in the first pic, we really need to landscape!


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles,

Good tips from Kevin and all others. The pocket drill idea is pretty neat, definitely an upscale touch.

I used the Deckorator ballusters also, bronze color.

The only problem with setting the ballusters in a drilled hole is that the bottom hole will hold water, unless you "chase" the 3/4" hole with a small drill bit all the way through the bottom (weep hole). I think that is OK. Maybe consider using the factory made plastic connectors.

Kevin is right about assembly of the rails with everything flat. I used a pipe clamp to snug up all the ballusters, then swing it into position, and screw in the railing. The instructions say to use silicone on the connectors. I didn't bother.

On the stairs, you will likely have to cut the ballusters. Use a tubing cutter with a drop of oil on the cut. And if you have never used a tubing cutter before, do several practice cuts on the waste end, to make sure that you know how the cutter works.

To assemble the stair ballusters, install the bottom rail, put all the ballusters in place. Then shim up the height of the top rail about 1/2" higher than it should be. Get all the ballusters set loosely, top and bottom. Then drop the top rail down, and fasten it.

My stairs have "open stringers". I did that, not for looks, but because I think it will be easier to keep snow and ice off.

I had trouble deciding on proper spacing (for me) of the bottom rail from the deck. The final size is - 2" up on the horizontal sections, and 1" (from the nose of the treads) up on the stairs.

Aside from lattice, I am almost done. I will see Mr. Inspector end of this week.

Good luck on your project!

Oh, and one more thing - you have a great deck, but in that pic where you are on the phone - if you are going to leave all that end grain exposed to foot traffic, make sure it is sanded smooth.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics - Gate question

Oh, yeah, the gate.

No matter how you lay the 2X4's you are gonna need diagonal bracing (been there, done that).

This is a white cedar fence I made for the DW a few years ago. All the ballusters are mortised and tenoned, and the gate is tightbond glued. It still sagged.

I added the X bracing to the gate a year later.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

I like the rail with the metal. THats what I am considering doing to my deck that needs updating. Is that cedar? what type? Also, How did you attach your top rail?

It doesn't look like it took the stain too well???


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Thanks for the pics Kevin and Tom your decks both look amazing!

I actually ended up not using the pocket hole approach, though they do look very clean. I did my own toescrew/countersink on the rails that I thought turned out good and was easy to do.

Tom, thanks for the insight and in answer to your question I am actually installing end grain trim on the pics that you see.

I do still have a question on installing the ballusters on the stair sections or angles. I was planning on using the deckorator angle connectors, but they are designed only for angles of 30-35 degrees. Of course the first angle I went to install them on was not in this range and I'm a little confused on the process of installing these on the angle. I can probably handle cutting the ballusters on the correct angle, but how do they attach to the railing? Did you use some sort of drill press setup to drill holes in the railing or did you use some sort of connector? I quess the uni-ball type connector might work better than the deckorator connector for the angle. Any thoughts here?

I will post some more pictures when I can of my progress this weekend. It's coming together.

Thanks for all the support.

Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Riles-

The stair railing was the only place that I did use the plastic connectors. My angle was in the neighborhood of 37 degrees, and it worked fine.


ekoreilly-

It's all Ipe. I attached the top rail with countersunk screws from the top, and plugged the holes. I stained the decking last summer. Most of the rails haven't been stained yet. I will be staining the whole thing as soon as I can get to it.

Kevin


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Hi Riles,

First, thanks for the kind words. This is my first deck, but I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without all these great threads and comments from the deck pro guys here.

The stair ballusters look like a big deal, but once you get started, they aren't. Just take your time (that's why I mentioned practicing with the tube cutter - I had to throw three deckorators away, and then had to buy a whole new box of ten for $19)

There are probably better ways of installing the stair rail than I did, but this will work. I also tried using a small drill press, mounted on the stairs. Too cumbersome for me.

Anyway what you need is the angle of the stairs. Lay a board over the nose of the treads, then find the plumb line. Copy that angle to some scrap 2X4s. In this pic, you can see the balluster already installed behind the scrap 2X4s. Although the balluster doesn't look plumb in this pic, it is. My stair angle I think was about 36, but deckorator connectors worked ok, just like for Kevin.

Then I used these scrap 2X4s as a jig, to "sight" the angle of the drill hole.

If you used the Deckorator connectors, they already approximate the 35 degrees. The ballusters are cut at 90 degrees. If you want to set the ballusters in drilled holes, I think you need to cut them at an angle (hacksaw)

Good Luck!


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

I make my own conectors for the alum pipe balusters out of cedar or pt stock on the dril press/hole saw/table saw. Geting the angle of the stairs same way the Tom did I transfer that angle to the conector with a coping saw/toggle clamp jig.

Using the conector as a guide drill the pilot holes into the top/bottom rails,glue/screw them in on lay out. Install the rail detail as a unit. J.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Tom/John,

Thanks for the details on how you install the balusters on the stairs. My problem is that the pre-angled deckorators baluster connectors do not approximate the angle that I have very well so I can't use those. I also don't have a drill press/hole saw for making my own. My thought was to use something like fastball connector and cut angles on my balusters like is shown in the following link.

http://www.rd.com/familyhandyman/content/17608/

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Those little ball conectors would probley work but the look woudent be all that clean. It is possible to cut the right angles on the conectors provided.

I dident mention cutting the alum pipe, this of course has to be done, I do it about the same way as the Guy on the link. Go Get Em Riles!!! J.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

We have run into your situation, where the stair connectors were not the right angle. We sanded the bottom of the connectors til we had the angle that worked.

Mark


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John/Tom/Mark,

Thanks for all the advice. I will give some of those ideas a try this weekend and I'll let you know how it comes out.

Here is a recent pic of some progress last weekend.

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Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Looking GoooooooD Riles!!! Be sure and get that cap rail on in a timely nature those ipe 4x4s really love to check in the endgrain exposed like that.

Way To Go Man. J.


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Moving right along. All our decking is complete. Now just balusters, railing, stairs, facia and a big ole party!!

Riles
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wow - that is one heck of diy deck! kudos to you and your"crew"! :)


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Hey Riles, the deck is looking great! I have a question about your railing design. It looks like you're going to put a 1x6 handrail that spans between each post top. From the distant picture, I didn't see any kind of supports along this span (~6 ft?).
I would be concerned about twisting and warping of the wood on such a long stretch. Is this actually what you're doing? Does anyone have experience about whether my concerns are valid? Thanks!


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Nice project Riles,man its been a while from your first go around over here. If your planing on skirting be sure to provided cross ventalation.

One more time looking real good my Man!! you will have 0 problems with your bottom rail 2x4 ipe is way over kill. The only material that needs a post under the rail is composite. J.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

riles,

I just checked your first post, and see that you said your deck "...is certainly not the work of art that many of the professionals here create...".

I'm going to disagree with you there. :) I think your deck IS a work of art and it looks beautiful! Sure, maybe it doesn't have all kinds of fancy angles, curves, or elaborate staircases, but it looks great nevertheless. If I didn't know it was a DIY job, designed and built by people who have never built a deck, I wouldn't have guessed that's the case. I really love that railing design. I look forward to seeing the fully completed pictures.

Cheers!


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Well it is coming along still. Albeit it has slowed down the last several weeks as we took a break and enjoyed our deck a little, had a little 4th of July party, installed a new kegerator, etc.

We have installed the gate, some more railing, and are in the process of doing stairs (lots of stairs), and we are installing end-grain trim everywhere. I really like the look of that trim as it really finishes things off (thanks for the tip on that John!)

The railing we chose does have 2x4 sub rails on end and as John said they are very stiff and I don't see a problem there. I was a little worried about using the 1x6 on the cap rail with my rail design, but it was a necessary sacrifice due to budget and my only local options are 1x6 or 2x4, so I went with the 1x6. To be honest I am very happy with the railing so far. It seems very stiff, and even the though the cap isn't supported along the full length like in other styles of railing it does not seem be twisting, or moving much at all (so far). That Ipe is pretty stable. I might see a little bowing between posts as it ages, and the cap does have a little movement at mid-span, but it is not very noticable unless you really lean on it hard. Now granted, I wouldn't want people sitting on it or anything. I considered centering a small piece of my ipe 4x4 under the sub and between the cap rail and the top/subrail, but to be honest I will probably forgo that.

Here a few pics that show a little more progress.

Thanks for all the compliments.

Riles

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Thanks for the railing info Riles. I really like the look of it. I'm starting my deck this weekend, and plan to use a similar design. I've thought about using some of the 5/4 on edge, or possibly even cutting down some ballusters to ~4" if it looks like a center-support will be necessary. Sounds like your experience is that it won't. Good news!
The deck looks amazing. The kegerator was a smart addition too!


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That is one badass gate Riles!! I dont do them that way with alum pipe but Man you done good.

If your not going to skirt 5/8'' endgrain trim will do just fine but Man,,,think about cross ventalation your project will blend easy to the install. J.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Bruceski, good luck with your deck project and make sure you take some pics along the way.

John, we are planning on skirting although I can't seem to find a skirting that I really like. I am putting up 1-1/2" endgrain in anticipation of the skirting. I may just do some lattice along the backside where it will be obscured from view. Along the drive though I want to add some pizzazz. I might do some custom lattice with the left over Ipe. I think I recall you said I can use a trim nailer on Ipe, do you think if I ripped some 1x1 pieces of trim that I could nail them together with a trim nailer without splitting them? If so, then doing some custom lattice work sounds a little more doable.

As far as ventilation goes, where would you recommend installing it. I probably will not have solid skirting on any of it. I was thinking I might need a few vents on the stair riser at the pool. Anyplace else? Maybe a few along the house behind my table? I certainly don't want to skimp out on the ventilation after spending all this hard work so your expertise is appreciated.

Thanks, as always.

Riles


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

Cross ventalation helps reduce cupping on a ipe project that usually happens in the first few weeks as a reaction to the water gassing off from the new pt frame as well as the hot on top cool on the bottom thing and the water runing with the project grade.

Just from your pic I am thinking three or so in the risers and mabey some floor vents where the deck meets the house.

I have had sucess using an older makita pin nailer on ipe but the fasteners just act as a clamp for the real bond made by adhesive/tightbond111. Those little pins will rust so I make a very small predrill about 1/8'' deep and flood the whole thing with finish in a timely nature. The normal dewalt/portercable tool will not drive thru ipe very well.

Looking at your stairways if your not going to use solid skirting on the risers that would bump up to the bottom of the 1 1/2'' endgrain trim and provide support it would be better to use a smaller width trim. Left alone the 1 1/2'' trim on the stairs would weaken as Folks step on them using the stairs.

You and your Crew get a big bent elbow with the Tecate from the ol John Mon.


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RE: Ipe Progress Pics

John, roger on the ventilation!

I am actually facing the risers with 3/4" and will be doing some 3/4" facia so that is why I am doing 1-1/2" trim. Here a couple of pics of some of the trim.

riles

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Sigh........Life Is Good.....its the little things.

Thanks J.


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I think you missed your calling as a carpenter riles! Sweet work there. Hope mine comes out looking HALF as good as your's.


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Riles, a couple questions for ya (or anyone for that matter). How tough was it setting and leveling the railing posts. You use cedar shims or something before tightening the bolts? Also, any tips you discovered to make the drilling and screwing of the decking go faster? Seems to me thats gonna take forever. Are you considering staining?


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When I installed my railing posts, I would say about 75% didn't require any shims as the joists they were attached to were plumb. The other 25% were attached to a joist that cupped or bowed or was otherwise not quite plump. I used extra washers as needed between the joist and the post. I was worried that shims would work their way out. I threaded the bolt through the joist, then through the shim/washers, then through the ipe post. That way the washers weren't going to fall out. I'm sure some of the pros can give you some good tips, but that is what worked for me.

As far as drilling/screwing goes I found myself repeating John Hyatts mantra over and over "it ain't killing snakes". If you try to go too fast you will break drill bits and strip screws. It's not really that bad and you will get a feel for how quickly you can move. I think I broke numerous smart-bits the first day. That got better as I went along to the point where I break very few.

It helps to have two people. One person with the countersink drill and one person with a driver (a driver is a must in my opinion as my drill does a very poor job of driving screws)

I am planning to stain my deck, but I may wait until next year. There is a lot of conflicting information out there on whether to wait or whether to do it right away, but to be honest, by the time I finally finish this project I am going to need a little break.

Riles


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Just a note on those stair connectors. I do something similar to Mark except I use a saw instead of a sander. Pop the connecter into a baluster then just use your saw to cut the connecter to the proper angle, pull it back out & screw it to the rail.

Al


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I know this post is older but there's a gate latch in one of the pictures I'm curious about. Is that electric? Nice deck!


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The gate latch is not electric. It is a self-closing magnetic latch. A common manufacturer is Magna-Latch, but the one I have is a knock off from Home Depot. They are required on gates around pools to keep the opener out of reach of little ones, and it locks as well. We are pleased with the way it has worked.

Riles


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I have 10 month old twins and I'm gonna need a gate on the stairs. That one looks handy! I've been reading through your post here. Your deck boards holding up? Checking or splitting? I am planning on a niche for my BBQ but I'm wondering about the railing getting soot and grease etc from it. If the lid is closed, it vents through the back and sides down below the rail. Have you noticed anything like that on yours? You did a VERY nice job!


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My deck boards are holding up great. Very minor checking/splitting is to be expected. I have not had any problems with soot, etc. on the railings. I do have a Hackberry tree overhanging the deck that drops all sorts of sporelike things, but a quick wash with the hose and a little elbow grease and it takes care of it.

Thanks for the compliments and good luck with your project.

Riles


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