Spring time is here and with it comes deck building season. This is the time of year when our millwork department spends 75% of the day grooving Ipe decking boards for hidden fasteners. At any given moment there are several trucks being loaded with Ipe or Cumaru or Tigerwood decking to be shipped off to our customers around the country. As we have written about on this blog … [Read more...] about Tigerwood Decking or Ipe or Cumaru: Tropical Decking Choices
What is Ipe wood?
What is Ipe? It is one of the most popular tropical decking species with outstanding durability and stability and beauty. Native all across Brazil it has a wide color range and natural beauty due to that wide geographic distribution. Read all about it on this page that gathers all the articles we have written about Ipe decking and the rough lumber.
Easy answer: you can't... That's not entirely true. You could dry the timbers in a vacuum kiln and definitely not use them outside and keep them away from direct sunlight. Probably a good idea to speak in low, soothing tones around those timbers too. I joke, but the reality is that these cracks or checks are just the nature of wood. Checking can be controlled in "regular" sized 4/4 through 8/4 or … [Read more...] about How to Prevent Cracks in Your Large Timbers
When you buy decking boards, they are already planed on 4 faces (S4S) and usually have the sharp corners eased (E4E). Depending on whether you are face screwing or using a clip system, there may or may not be a groove routed on the edges. This is a product ready to install right? But is it a finished product? Absolutely not, and this is where many homeowners and even contractors get confused and … [Read more...] about Ipe Deck Maintenance: New Decking is Not a Finished Product
Color is a sticky subject for lumber dealers. More specifically, matching the color of different boards of the same species. Wood is an organic product. Maybe that goes without saying, but in today's engineered product world, it is important to realize that wood is unique. It isn't poured or extruded or dyed or infused or crackle painted (at least I hope not). Every piece you get is different. … [Read more...] about Color Matching Lumber??
You just bought some decking or flooring (or really any lumber) and one of the first things you hear is that it needs time to acclimate to its new surroundings before installing deck boards. The maddening thing is you will rarely get the same answer twice when it comes to how long that particular lumber should sit around getting in touch with its feelings. If pressed for an answer to "how long … [Read more...] about Wait Before Installing Deck Boards
Over the years we have written a lot about the ever changing landscape of not just Ipe but the tropical decking market in general. In the last year many of our predictions and concerns have come to fruition creating a chaotic state of the market. It seems like it is time to discuss the state of the species and what we can expect over the next year with regards to Ipe availability, quality, and … [Read more...] about Ipe State of the Market
We have talked about shortages in Ipe recently here, and while we still have plenty of Ipe in stock, it seems appropriate to talk about another option and to do some side by side comparison. Certainly, we have found that Cumaru is a great Ipe alternative, and we have been selling it as fast as we can stock it for several years now. Recently, in order to beef up our selection of decking … [Read more...] about How Does Jatoba Decking Compare with Ipe Decking
I'm normally not a fan of headlines like this one as they are sensationalist, but in this case it is a reality we must grasp quickly. Frankly, I have been worried about the Ipe market for many years, as global demand rises and saw mills churn out material faster and faster. When you look closely at the Ipe supply chain, you see a house of cards that won't take much to be knocked over. Now don't … [Read more...] about Ipe Shortage isn’t Looming, It’s Already Here
Its getting cold out there. The summer tourists have gone home and seasonal repairs and renovation has begun in earnest. This year one simple yet highly effective repair you can do is to replace your dock boards with Ipe. After all a dock is just a deck right? In fact Ipe has become such an effective dock material that many of the sawmills we work with in Brazil produce 4-5 foot Ipe boards … [Read more...] about Replace those Dock Boards with Ipe and Save
The mad scramble to rebuild the east coast boardwalks after Hurricane Sandy has begun. As usual, many municipalities dragged their feet during the winter, and with tourist season looming just a few months away, our phones are ringing off the hook with people looking for 2x4 and 2x6 Ipe for a boardwalk somewhere along the Atlantic coast. Ipe suppliers such as J. Gibson McIlvain and many of our … [Read more...] about Are We Overbuilding Our Boardwalks?
I have written in the past about the difficulties that come with buying Ipe, due to distinct seasons created by the rainy season. Additionally, there is global competition for the resource, and we have had to get more and more savvy about when we buy and how to extend our buying season in order to take best advantage of sizes that quickly become scarce. This year the playing field was set, as it … [Read more...] about Plenty of Ipe to Rebuild East Coast Hurricane Damage
There is no question that the primary use for Ipe is as a decking material. As a decking product, Ipe is surfaced on 4 sides (S4S) and eased on 4 edges (E4E) which prevents splintering and sharp edges in this very, very hard wood. Depending on how our clients choose to install the Ipe decking, we may have to rout a groove for clip fasteners, but at most, that is all we are doing to the wood … [Read more...] about Do I Need Air Dried or Kiln Dried Ipe Decking?
While not a new idea, it is becoming more and more common to see tropical decking and exterior wood species climbing the walls and becoming rainscreen siding. And why not? These weather resistant woods that we trust for our decks will do an even better job of cladding our homes, acting as a rainscreen siding to lock out the moisture and making them beautiful. It seems like a perfect … [Read more...] about Ipe Siding As Rainscreen Cladding
We pride ourselves on high standards for quality control. Every stick of lumber we sell has been thoroughly inspected and graded multiple times for stability, appearance, and consistency. In many instances we inspect our lumber with customer specifications in mind to exactly meet the demands of the particular job. Decking products pose a problem however as they are milled and moulded in Brazil … [Read more...] about Ipe Wood Decking Quality Control
Several weeks ago we wrote about the issue of thinner and odd thickness stock that the US market demands versus the much larger demand for thicker stock in the rest of the world. This week we will take a look at length of Ipe and similar decking products and how buying odd lengths can end up saving the US buyer money. Less Waste Makes the Best Decking Materials Traditionally, the U.S. … [Read more...] about The Best Decking Materials are Odd Lengths
Installing a tropical hardwood deck with a species like Ipe or Cumaru is done the same way as your typical pressure treated Pine or even composite deck: Ipe clip and other hidden fasteners or face screwed. Each deck fastener system method has pros and cons. Face screwing is fast and secure but it leaves exposed screw holes that many find unattractive. Hidden fasteners leave an unblemished … [Read more...] about Ipe Clip: Hidden Fasteners vs Deck Screws
For many people lumber pricing is a mystery. It varies widely from once supplier to another, one week to the next, and even within the same species. So many variables are in play and questions that have to be asked. Board foot or lineal foot? Widths, Thickness, and Length requirements? Specific grade or grain pattern? Delivery or pickup? Milling or moulding needed? All of these elements … [Read more...] about Cost of Ipe Decking Price Study
Importing exotic hardwoods like Ipe to the US market is an in depth process that not only needs to consider federal and foreign government regulations, but also cultural and climatic differences. In many cases we deal with a different hemisphere so while the US enters prime deck building season, much of South America is still in their rainy season. In fact most South American sawmills have been … [Read more...] about Ipe Markets Tighten
The countries in South America where we buy our Ipe Decking have very specific buying seasons regulated by governmental and environmental controls. This means we are buying all our Ipe lumber for the entire year right now and the yard is filling up fast. We are really excited about the quality of this Ipe and feel confident we will be able to supply all of our customers with the same sizes and … [Read more...] about Ipe Decking Buying Season in Full Swing