Ipe Decking questions (fasteners, uniformity, holes?)

Just received my (special) order of T&G 3/4" x 3-1/4" Ipe decking.
1. The boards seem to differ *considerably* in color from rich reddish/brown to a lighter yellowish/greenish color?
Is this normal or acceptable? Should I try to return the lumber or is there anything else I can or should do?
2. A few of the boards have a couple of (uniform) ~1/8" holes in them. I am assuming that someone drilled and returned them. Or is this sometime of (natural?) insect damage?
3. For fastening the T&G boards, one supplier had suggested using trim-head screws pre-drilled, angled at 45deg and countersunk through the tongues.
I am thinking of using #7x2-1/4" hex trimhead screws after first pre-drilling. (e.g., Brown #7 x 2-1/4" Headcote RazorBack Reduced Head Screws)
Does this seem like a good plan or would I be better off pre-drilling and nailing through the tongue? (My concern is about being able to screw through the tongue without cracking the board and without getting in the way of the T&G fit)
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A article in one of the woodworking mags a couple years back covered IPE. I recall there being over 20 different trees that were called IPE by the wood market place.
Most of the IPE I have seen has "many" different shades and colors even in the same batch.
(2) holes in new lumber purchases would concern me.
(3) Can't help you with t&g but I can tell you that ipe is terrible on any cutting surface and will require many drill bits and saw blades for a decent install.
I can't believe a trim head screw wouldn't screw the tongue up pretty badly.
http://www.ipedeckingsource.com/Ipe-Decking.htm
blueman wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OK - any thoughts on the best (hidden) fastener to use for T&G flooring?
Thanks

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have to pass on that question cause most IPE is NOT T&G lumber.
Most t&g lumber is nailed in place using something like the Portanailer but I have seen nothing that says you can nail IPE given it's terrible hardness and tendency to split quite easily.
Is this a porch(covered) application or a deck ?
Why did you choose t&g lumber ?
Have you already bought this material ?
blueman wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unless from the same tree you'll get different colors. An appropriate finish will help blend the colors together.

No good.

A pilot hole is a good thing. Angling fasteners makes a strong joint.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is a lot of natural variation in color in Ipe. If it is outdoors, it will even out as it fades. If not, a finish will reduce but probably not eliminate the variation.

I never saw this on any Ipe I used. If it's drilled and can't be worked around, I'd send it back.

I think trim-head would work if placed accurately and sunk below the surface. You will probably need some mechanical means to snug each board up to the one its mating with.

Using small-head screws at an angle with either integral- or pre-drill would be preferable to nailing.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I put down an Ipe deck ~1200 FT^2 2 years ago. It wasn't T&G, so I can't help with the fastening question.
Mine was just grooved and I used IPE clips, which seem to have held up OK. I did use trim head SS screws through the grooves to hold the clips, pre-drilled and the same screws counter bored and plugged on the end boards. No big problems there, one bit dulled out in several hundred holes. As for the color - after one coat of Messimers, I just let it grey out. Scrub it down every spring with one of the heavy duty pot scrubbers pads from the Borg and let it age. Works for me. The board color variation was not extreme and evened out as it greyed.
You will need something to pull (or press) the boards together. I used a bunch of 48" B clamps, pipe clamps, web clamps, every clamp I own, across the width of the deck (18') to yank the boards into line. I used MD400 adhesive (Borg tube stuff) to glue the boards to the stringers before the IPE clips were tied down. Worked about 50% of the time, but the clips still hold the boards down. Ipe does not glue well, even with a naptha rub before the glue is put on. Gorilla glue did no better than the MD400.
BTW, the "eating up blades" is exagerated. I cut about 1500 linear feet of 5/4 with one blade on my circular, a DeWalt blade at that, so it's tough but not violently so. The dust though is NASTY! A mask is a good idea.
Regards.
Tom

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree I cut a hell of a lot of it and it is no worse then any other tropical. I get 2 or so months out of a bi metal bandsaw blade. 6 months from my planes knives. about the same between sharpenigns on my saw blades. but yes the dust is the worst of any wood. well I mine it is about as fine as sawdust gets and you a lot of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes saw dust is as fine as flour. I've been saving some of it with the though of using it as wood filler (when mixed with either expoxy or yellow glue). I tried a litle with yellow glue and it worked well.
Thinking is that between the strength/density of ipe and the fineness of the sawdust, that this should make a great woodfill (if color is right).
Any thoughts?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.