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Ready for Ipe Decking

Posted by helgromite (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 17, 10 at 9:41

Does anyone have a good guess as to where the price of ipe will go this spring?

My project will be ready for 1100sf of decking in a couple months and a local supplier is offering a decent price at $2.95/LF. He says the price will likely go up next year.

If I buy it now it will sit in my backyard for a few months. I only work on it 1-2 days a week. My concern would be that it will dry out and be more difficult to work with.

Is installing dry ipe, that has been sitting around for a few months, noticeably different than installing material fresh from the lumberyard


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

One of the local ipe suppliers told me their cost went down on a container due in this coming Feb., not sure that means my price will be lower tho.

Since I started using ipe it has done nothing but go up in price, never down. It was lower than 2x6 cedar back then, now it's double the cost of cedar.

If you do buy now & store it in the back yard keep it bundled up and covered. It won't be any harder to install than fresh lumber.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I did a ipe deck for a customer this past summer. Owner had purchased the ipe in 2004. There is no difference to install because it is so hard in the first place.

For the most part, the price of ipe will go up. But I have seen hiccups, where it has actually gone down, but probably not in the spring, when demand is highest.

Mark www.creative-redwood-designs.com


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Thanks for the replies. I will probably order in the next couple weeks. I'm not likely to gain much by waiting until the spring and as you guys have said the lumber won't change appreciably. Right now he's not very busy and I can probably get better service.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Intersting Work Anthony.

Welcome A Board

John.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Anthony, nice website. I'll be using 3/4" ipe so I'll need to screw each one down. We get a fair amount of rain here in the San Francisco bay area so water might be an issue with tongue and groove.

If I store the ipe outside for a few months, is it advisable to use spacers to allow for air circulation between boards?


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

My price of Ipe hasn't gone up in at least 3 years, and my supplier doesn't foresee a rise over the winter. That doesn't mean it won't for me. or for you.
Maybe you can pay for it now, and have it delivered in a few months...or you can stash it outside...stickered and tarped. That way, it'll acclimatize, which isn't a bad thing. It won't dry out if it's outside, and it won't get any harder to work with after a couple of months.
You need to leave gaps between the boards...for venting and drainage. I make my own spacers...3/32"
Don't go with grooved boards and hidden fasteners. Screw from the top. It may be the old fashioned way, but it is still the best way to fasten decking. Us old folks know a thing or 2.

steve


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I don't see much risk in buying it now since I'll need it by March anyway. The money isn't doing much sitting in the bank making 0.12% interest.

Yes I plan to face screw the decking. I bought some 8# 2- 1/2" SS headcotes to tryout. The guy at the store told me not to use an impact driver but a regular drill on medium to slow speed. He said the impact driver is more likely to break stainless steel screws. I was a bit confused since I thought most guys are using impact drivers now. It this true?


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Spoken by a Man who has never used one.

Belive me after puling the triger one time you will never use anything else. Steve had to be draged kicking and screaming to get his Mikata years ago now he keeps it in the living room!!!

Just funnen with ya Brother!!!!!!!! JonMon


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

@ John - Thanks, its great to be here

@ helgromite -

with regard to your comment, no the deck board profile I suggestd isnt T&G they do however have a groove if you purchase it that way, and contrary to what Steve may say if you prefer a nice surface with no screws I would suggest you go with the TCG Tiger Claw hidden Fastners, they screw perfectly on to your framing and hold the boards in place perfectly and can be removed and screwd back in, they are specially coated and will last a lifetime, what I do agree with in his comment is that you have to leave a space between each board, the TCG fastner will do this for you and you will have all your boards looking evenly with an even space, if they tell you or you have read about fastners not holding the boards over time etc... those stories are not about Tigerclaw TCG fastners but other brands that dont match in quality.

in the end its a matter of preference, if you do desire to drill every board get yourself a good drill bit your going to need it, I assure you it will be double work than the TCG and when the ipe starts drying thats another story, it wont affect it much right away but I have first hand experience knowing how decks look after you resand the surface and then you have to drill all over again because all the heads of the screws are now flush <--- and geez no wonder I was tearing up sanding discs lol

out with the old in with the new at least in some areas and this is one

however for the profile you will be working with screwing each board is the only option, try to check how much more of an investment it would be for you if you get the 5/4 x 6

in the long run its worth it in my opinion, but the ones you have your hands on will also do just fine, Ipe Looks great no matter what.

Anthony

Here is a link that might be useful: Out With The Old In with The New - City Decks New York


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Don't use such long screws. Ideally, just over an inch of penetration into the joist holds the best.

The problem with longer screws is that you'll need to drill the pilot hole into the joist to avoid snapping the screws off.

Drilling pilot holes into the joist is a no-no.

When the framing dries out and the joists shrink, shorter screws are less affected than long ones. A long screw will seem to loosen up as the joists shrink. Shorter screws are not affected as much by the shrinkage.

Here is the math:

When an 8" joist dries out and shrinks 1/4", a screw embedded 2" into the joist will pop up by 1/16" A screw embedded 1" will pop up by 1/32"

This is if all other factors are eliminated. Pilot holes drilled into joists will cause the screw to loosen as the wood moves. This makes it pop up an additional 1/16" each time the wood changes. After a few years the deck has some bad cupping issues.

I would use 1 5/8" trim head screws for 3/4" material countersunk and plugged, the screw will bite about 1 1/8" into the joist.

The impact drivers do not snap off deck screws any more than regular drills. When you are using the right length screw with the proper size pilot hole, the impact driver is the best tool.

If the screws snap, the pilot hole is too small or the screw too long. Ipe requires a larger pilot hole than any other wood. I usually use 5/32"


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Thanks for the information. I was wondering why some of the hardware companies recommended a shorter screw for hardwoods. Simpson makes a 7# 1-5/8 for this application. Isn't that kind of small?

I actually don't mind the look of those trimhead screws. The deck has an irregular shape and I'm going to picture frame the end boards. I thought hidden fasteners like tiger clips would add too much complication to this project.

Richard, San Francisco Bay Area

Here is where I'm at so far.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deck Project


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Great Pictures Helgromite, its looking great, I see your being held up with some rainy days by the look of those pictures, its going to be a good deck make sure you keep us posted, what are you going to do about railings? I see you have your posts up and running too.

seeing the shape of the deck now, yep your good to go screwing each board,its a good looking project.
keep going at it your doing a good job


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

" if you do desire to drill every board get yourself a good drill bit your going to need it"

Have a handful of bits on hand! Nothing more frustrating when snapping a bit and not having backups laying around.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

The railings I'm going to cap with 5/4x6 ipe and the balusters will probably 2x2 redwood, though I am checking out 3/4" metal tubes as well.

The deck on the south side meets the house at two different depths. The outer wall is exactly 24" further out. Four 1x6s plus gaps equals 22.5". I was thinking of ripping a 1x8 to fit against the inner wall. Does anyone know where I can get some 1x8 ipe? Thus far I haven't found any.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deck Project


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

East Teak has all the 1 x 8 ipe a person will need.

800 338 5636 my contact is George.

The alum balusters are a great way to go. If you make your own conectors they are hands down the most cost effective.
John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

1x8 Ipe is readily available. Go back to your original supplier. They should be able to get you some.

About the impact driver...get one!!!
I was a non-believer until John convinced me years ago to make the switch. I have 4 of them now...Makita. It is capable of snapping a screw, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be happy it's in your hand. With a regular drill, you are more apt to strip a screw, and that's not good.

As for screws, I disagree with the others. I use #8 2 1/2" brown "headcote" SS trimhead screws. The 1 5/8" are #7...don't like that length or that #1 bit size. Use the #8 headcote, and the #8 smartbit(for your hole/countersink), from the same company...perfect combo for Ipe decking.

steve


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Hey Richard,

I live in Pacifica. Looks like you're not to far away.

Hold off on buying the wood until you're ready to install. I don't think that price will go up. For a local supplier, I go through Empire lumber, in Belmont. Talk to Mike G. I bet he would do the 1100 sq ft for about $3K. Other dimensional sizes are available but the cost is quite a bit more per unit.

Not so many people building stuff around here these days. Materials prices have been steady or slightly declining for the past few years.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Aiden, you might check your figures, I don't think that you can get ipe for a $ 1.24 per foot, can you? I'm paying 2.95/ ft., in those quantaties.

With 3/4" ipe, I will use the #7 x 2 1/4 brown headcote SS screws. I prefer the #8's, but not the length.

Impact driver is the way to go, you will get the touch very quickly. Pre drill with smart bits, they are foolproof.

I'm in Los Gatos, and I can readily get 1x8 ipe. But it is costly.

I also prefer the 3/4" aluminimum balusters to 2x2's. Personally, I would buy the connectors, rather then trying to make them yourself.

Mark

Here is a link that might be useful: examples


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I pulled the trigger on the purchase at $2.95/lf. We'll see this spring if I made the right bet. That is some pretty wood to look at. I have to keep reminding my wife that I could have spent a lot more money on a little red sports car.

Thanks for the information guys. Aiden, I'll check out Empire lumber for a future source. I live in Richmond. Mark, that's some pretty nice work. I wish I would have found your website earlier. I bought the ipe at The Deck Superstore in San Jose and they said 1x8 was not available. Most of the lumberyards in the north bay say its not made. The east coast suppliers have it, but I might have to spend $250 in shipping alone to get a couple boards.

This is the railing design I am currently considering.

Its made using 1x1 ipe for the balusters. I saw it at a display in a lumberyard. I tugged at it really good and seemed strong enough to meet code. It gives me the all wood look I want without the bulkiness of 2x2 material. I would have to rip it myself however, which means a lot of work and saw blades. Have any of you used 1x1 ipe?


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Sierra Lumber in San Jose should be able to get you the 1x8, but it is pricey.

I'm sure that the 1x1 ipe will work for the slats, but that is a lot of predrilling. Will you plane them after you rip them. One thing about ipe, is that you can get these very little nasty slivers, from handling, especially after ripping.

Mark


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I didn't know about having to plane after ripping ipe. Would a 80-90 tooth carbide eliminate that problem? I'll have to play with some scrap material and see if I want to spend the time with ipe balusters. I'm already way behind on the project. The city of Richmond is after me for another $700 for a permit renewal.
Thanks,
Richard


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

You should bump up the dimension to 1x2 for the balusters. I wouldn't plane them after ripping. They will still be splintery. I like to run my trim router over the edges, with a 1/4" roundover bit. Nice results.

steve


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

You can usually tell the difference between a ripped edge and a finished edge. Ipe does actually rip pretty well, as long as the operator does a good smooth job feeding the material.

We also always router ripped edges, but once again, that is a lot of edges.

Mark


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

That's a bunch of work ripping that many balusters, think rust colored Deckorators or Fortress's antique bronze for something that matches the color of ipe.

Gotta agree with Mark on the ripped boards, those little splinters will get you & they hurt.

When my supplier first got into ipe they would make 1x1 balusters then rip the corners off, making an octagonal ipe baluster. They looked great & were surprisingly strong, but again, that's a bunch of ripping that I would perfer not to do.

Nice project you got going there Richard.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

That is a nice looking deck project. Regarding the price of ipe one of the big factors in the current price is the value of the US dollar. The dollar is weak all over the world. And, Brazil is no exception. Eight years ago the USD was at over 3 Brazilian reais to 1 USD. Today the exchange rate is hovering around 1 USD to 1.70 reais. And, the market price for ipe deck FOB was less than half that of today. In addition to this there has been increased pressure on illegal logging and lumber harvest. And, it is important to note that a lot of you have purchased illegal lumber even if you thought you did not. Unlesss you buy FSC lumber you have no idea where it really comes from. That being said it is increasling difficult to work with lumber that does not come from legalized projects in Brazil. So, unless the dollar goes up in value and with continued pressure on supplies of Amazonian wood one should not expect the price to go down.

dk


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Thanks Don! Good to see Ya.

John


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Thanks for the perspective on the currency effect. After having visited a few Latin American countries I wasn't surprised the ipe might not be totally legal.

I'm moving along on the project and have a few construction questions.

I plan to screw down the deck board nearest the ledger without penetrating the L-flashing so the inner screw will be positioned nearer the center of the board. If it cups I figure it will cup in a good way. I also plan to route some short channels on the under surface of the board for increased water drainage. Am I being too paranoid about water penetration?

I plan to picture frame the edges and screw down the board closest to the house last. This will make it easier to cut off the ends. Is this the way you would do it?

The shorter boards that are bowed, do they staighten out ok? Do they stay straight after being screwed down? Or should I keep them for the stairs. I'll learn about this soon enough but thought I would shorten the learning curve.

Ipe doesn't seem to cup much compared to other woods. Do you lay them bark side down or does it not matter?

Thanks for any input
Richard

Here is a link that might be useful: Deck Project


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

The flashing should tuck behind the siding.

Before you install the ledger, the siding is removed, Z-flashing is installed at the bottom to go behind the ledger and over the siding below. Sticky membrane goes behind the ledger. Another piece of flashing tucks behind the siding above and covers the top of the ledger, with a drip edge extending slightly past the ledger. Then the ledger gets installed. If you are worried about the screws penetrating the flashing, use sticky membrane on the top of the ledger board between the metal flashing.

The way it is flashed now, the T-111 siding will rot out in a few years, and then the rot spreads to the framing. Good luck fixing the siding when it is installed behind the ledger board of the deck! And keep in mind that is going to be the area with the rot problem!

Fortunately you haven't completed the deck yet, and it won't be an impossible task to do the ledger correctly.

When laying the deck, with Ipe boards, I like to snap lines every 16" to maintain straight lines. Every other board has one side or the other land on a line. The 16" works out perfect if the decking is 5 1/4" wide, and you are leaving 3/32 gaps. Even if the decking isn't perfect, which is pretty common to have some variance in width, the 16" lines help keep you on the right track.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I love ya Man!!

J.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Almost all the siding you see in the photos will be replaced as the lower edges have rot where trim was originally installed. I just need some decking to stand on to do it.

The ledger is already flashed with #30 felt behind overlaping z-flash below and extending under the rotted siding above. I have vycor on top of the ledger. I'm not sure you can see any of that on the photos. The flashing above will be fine tuned when I change the siding.

I've been playing around with the smartbit and noticed it was designed for 1 1/2" decking. For the 3/4" ipe, it drops 3/4" into the joist. Does that make much of difference? Also if I angle a screw I get an inadequate countersink. Do you guys use a separate bit to deepen the coutersink?


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I use an adjustable countersink bit for plugging. The pilot bit is a drill machine length (very short) 5/32" high speed steel, domestically manufactured. Ipe likes to break bits, so it is important to use the best ones available. It can be nearly impossible to extract a broken bit embedded in the wood.

It is very important to not drill into the joist.

Ipe will cup if not fastened properly, or not ventilated underneath.

The bark side of the board is irrelevant for any kind of wood or outdoor project.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Aidan and I build about the same way although I use a Forstner bit then a predrill when pluging.

I do make my own alum balusters conectors but I always buy ipe plugs from East Teak.

That bark side thing has been proven irrelevant for at least 30 years but it just will not go away.
John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I would like to know who proved the bark side was irrelevent.

It has been my humble experience, that if I have a flat grain piece of decking, the bark side is a little less prone to grain raising, then the tree center side. Just my observations.


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

Item #9 on this link doesn't mention super hardwoods like ipe but it does give insight. I guess it depends on if the wood is wet or dry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Myths


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RE: Ready for Ipe Decking

I found this same read from Forest Service info years ago.

With South American lumber it matters even less But as Aidan has mentioned Cross Ventilation matters a lot.
J.


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