There seems to be some, but not a lot of ipe data already on this
newsgroup. I'm preparing to have a ~500 ft^2 deck replaced using 1x6
ipe (the old deck was 2x6 cedar). Because there is almost no local
experience using ipe I've had to spec out everything myself to decking
contractors. I think I have most of the topics covered (anchorseal, ss
fasteners, carbide teeth on saws). I'd really appreciate if anyone
could provide their suggestions on:
1.DRILLING: What is the optimal drill type for drilling & counterboring
for 3/8" plugs? My current ideas are:
a. drilling two separate holes: 3/8" carbide forstner bit for the plugs
and 3/16" carbide brad tipped for the screws or
b. HSS drill bit/countersink/counter bore kit from Lee Valley
Any recommendations on material/drill type/ease of sharpening?
2. My existing deck is 25 years old. The framing is 2x10 treated @ 16"
centers and upon inspection it looks very sound- no rot/soft spots.
I'm not sure how to evaluate how many years may be left in it. Of
course, I don't want to put a 40 year deck on a frame with 10-15 years
left on it. Does anyone have real experience with life expectancy of
1980 treated lumber vs. today's treated lumber? These joists look a
lot straighter than what I've seen lately at Home Depot. Cost to
reframe is ~$2500 using 2x8's.
Any and all advice from experienced ipe users is welcomed!
5/4 x 6 from Yukon Lumber in Norfolk VA should be under your numbers for
4/4; also - try Advantage in Buffalo, NY...I can't tell you what I paid for
1500 LF of 5/4 x 6 stuff; however, delivered, it was still well under what
you've been quoted.
There have been several threads on Ipe decking - do the Google search.
Also - try Fine Homebuilding's Breaktime Forun for lots more info.
Finally - the material is about the same cost as the better composites, but
there is more labor. If you are doing the work, you can save some money.
"L. M. Rappaport" wrote:
Thanks. Another question. Is there very much of an advantage to
getting the Ipe locally instead of having it shipped from NY or
Norfolk at a cheaper price. I'm waiting on prices from Yukon in
Norfolk but Advantage is about $300 less shipped than I can get it for
locally. I'm wondering if it's worth it to pay the extra $300 and go
to a local yard where I can pick pieces that are straight with no
...and on using 5/4 instead of 4/4 with joist at 24" OC, I was looking
at the load data online today (at Everwood in TX I think) and 4/4 was
fine at 24" OC and the material cost would be about $800 to $1000
cheaper depending on where I get the material.
Woodshop news had an article about a few years ago. IIRC they actually
saved money in the long run due to lowered maintenance costs. Something
like 1 or 2 boards that had to be replaced in a year, instead of hundreds.
George Berlinger wrote:
firstname.lastname@example.org (jeffthorpe) wrote in message
I built a deck with Ipe flooring two years ago and we've been very
pleased with the result. Given the fact that it stays much more
attractive for longer than other materials I've seen, I think it was a
good deal, even with the price of Ipe.
I would advise you to go to the extra effort to use one of the hidden
fastener systems. The end result will look much better, and the
overall cost difference is, again, pretty small. You wouldn't be
considering Ipe if you didn't want a superior end product. I used
Eb-Ty with McFeely's stainless screws, and have two complaints:
cutting the biscuit slots in the right places was a pain in the ass,
and I didn't have a square-drive bit that was small enough to get
between two boards.
I've recently read of people using boards pre-milled with a slot along
their entire length to fit the ties, which would save a lot of time,
and although I can't say specifically what's wrong with that idea, it
just feels wrong somehow. The driver wouldn't be an issue if you
installed the Ed-Ty's according to the directions, but I found that it
was necessary to start the screw, add the next board, and fniish
tightening the screw.
I would expect most deck contractors to be reluctant to work with any
material they're not used to. Any extra work, including developing new
techniques, kills profit in that business pretty quickly, so if it
takes two days to do your deck instead of one, he'll want to get
double the profit from you. And any contractor specializing in using
premium materials like Ipe are doing it because they think they can
get higher margin jobs.
Using a local supplier may be worth a little extra money, but only if
it's a stocked material. You should expect any Ipe you buy to be
usable and not need culling. I bought 10% extra, and had about 10%
damaged in shipping, so it worked out that I only had one "good" board
left over. I paid a premium price for long (20') pieces, and I expect
any $35 board to be in pretty good condition, including being straight
and not warped.
Go for 16" centers instead of (or in addition to) the thicker
decking--you'll end up with a stiffer assembly, and unless you have a
very small deck or a complex design with multiple platforms, the extra
joists will cost less than the thicker decking.
Ipe Clips are circular versus biscuit shaped, so slot placement is less
critical. Ipe Clips come in gray or
brown, so less obvious in use with thinner stock such as 4/4. Advantage sells
both Ipe Clip and EB-TY, and does
not see any real difference in performance
Heath Roberts wrote:
Here are some images of my IPE deck using the IPE clips.
I used a slot cutting bit and a router and I just did the sections that I
needed for each joist. The sawdust is very fine and apparently toxic.
(twitch, twitch) I STRONGLY suggest you do it outdoors.
HSS combo bit and countersink would be the way to go. It will take half the
time and will be cheaper to replace as you wear the bit out. Drilling
really goes easily on Ipe. Use sharp carvbide Blades and cutting and sand
the edges of all the cuts.
I use either a forstner or brad point for the plug hole, then use the
approriate sized drill for the screw. I'd also use stainless screws with
square drive from McFeelys.
I'm thinking of doing the same thing on my deck in a year or so. The
structure is very sound the deck boards are getting crappy looking. Yes,
I'm going to leave the structure as it. It is sound and will probably last
longer than me. It dos not get the abuse that the horizintal surfaces get
from sun, snow, etc. I like mahogany with Penofin oil finish but iwll
consider Ipe also. This year it is just getting a coat of stain to prolong
500 Feet squared is 500' X 500', that is one big deck. Do you mean 500
I recommend the inexpensive HSS drill-countersink combo type. Buy a bunch
of them and throw them out as they become too dull to use. Drilling the
same hole twice is a huge waste of time, especially when you are talking
about several thousand holes. Buying expensive ones and trying to resharpen
them is also more time and hassle than it's worth.
I just finished a small project working with Ipe for a client. While
most of the troubles I had won't apply to you, I will warn that I will
most likely never use the stuff again. It is by far the hardest,
densest, and foul material I have ever worked with.
Two router bits broken, half a dozen drill bits, and I need to replace
or sharpen every blade that touched the stuff.
Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I don't think so
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