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  • IPE install

    Next week I will be installing ipe for the first time. All I know of it is that it is hard and good weather resistance. It is for an outside deck (1800 SQFT) in a baseball stadium. We will be screwing it down into 2X6 sleepers with SS trim head screws. Can anybody give some pointers or do's/dont's with the material??? How much to leave gaps between boards???? Can you biscuit join it???? (we will be running it on a 45* to the joists with a flat "ribbon" board around the perimeter of the deck).

    thanks
    brad

  • #2
    Re: IPE install

    Here's a few links with some info.

    Also, cut with a miter saw, circ's will splinter the grain when cross cutting similar to cedar. Use ancorseal wax to seal the end to prevent checking. And take your time and cut slowly and pre drill everything and take your time or you'll snap the drill bits quickly. It is very hard but as long as you take that into account, it goes down easy, albeit slow. The saw dust also isn't the greatest so don't breath that in. Allowing the underside of the Ipe to dry or stay dry is important.

    Also, unless you want the look, 5/4 is not necessary, I use 1x6. If you do use 5/4, you can increase you joist spacing. The strenght of the wood will amaze you if your unfamiliar. I also like to use construction adhesive. The make several SS screws with colored heads that disappear on Ipe, GRK, Headcote and a few others.

    http://trimscrew.com/IPE.htm

    http://www.ironwoods.com/
    Last edited by Hoover; 01-26-2007, 07:09 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: IPE install

      I get ipe that is stored in a warehouse and is fairly dry. In our climate it will swell after install and the gaps will shrink slightly, so I space the boards 3/8" apart. Boards that have a significant bow to them are very difficult to straighten and will be hard to hold in place with trim screws. I use #10x3 SS deck screws and plug the holes. The only thing that takes longer is moving a pile of sand with a fork. But it does make a helluva nice deck.
      Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
      Website - Facebook

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      • #4
        Re: IPE install

        Pre-drill for screws w/ high-speed drill and cobalt bits. Impact drivers will help w/ your fastening.

        Wear a mask at the very least when cutting or sanding, the dust is hideous.

        The last trick requires having a kreg jig (and a right-angle drill if you don't have enough access under the deck) bowed IPE is a HUGE pain and toenailing a screw helps, but in the occasional instance where you need maximum hold, you can pocket screw the joist to the underside of the bowed decking. If it's cupped, then trim heads ain't gonna get it. I've had to use a temporary 4 or 5 or even 6" screw w/ a washer(s) head to pull the cup down, and then pocket screw the bejeebus out of the underside (which works darn good if you're on the 45 to the joist like your application) Remove the long screw, and replace w/ a trim screw. (even if you have to gorilla glue it in, just so it stays, lol)

        Best of luck bro, you're gonna earn your $ on this one.

        Ditto on the bow wrench Jud mentioned.
        Last edited by whiskytangofoxtrot; 01-28-2007, 06:28 AM.
        "I'll bend over backwards to help anybody, but I ain't bending over forwards for nobody"

        Paul

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        • #5
          Re: IPE install

          recently finished a massarunduba (i think that is the name). slightly harder than ipe with more of a red color. used the headcote colored screws and boy was it a pita. the wood will snap drill bits faster than you can replace them. be especially careful when butting ends and drilling at a slight angle. it took me approximately seven days to lay 600 sf of decking. great looking stuff but very different to work with that the usual pressure treated. i found the gold rigid 24 tooth, 7 1/4" blades cut fine without noticable splintering or tearout. new marathon blades tore out immediately. i had great success using the bow wrench for bad boards (highly recommend it). good luck.

          jud

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          • #6
            Re: IPE install

            Good advice above.

            To which I will add.

            Good impact driver for screws. MUCH better than drill/driver. I love my new Makita Lithium impact driver for this use.

            If I understand what you are saying about the "ribbon board" I would not bisquit join. We simply drill and screw (trimstar) thru the end of the trim board + PL Premium adhesive.

            If you are using PT sleepers I would try to isolate the PT lumber from the IPE to reduce initial moisture transmission from the PT to ipe. I'm not sure what the right answer for this is. Maybe a thin strip of ice & water barrier? I've also used a thick bead of PL Premium and that seemed to work well.

            Errol

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            • #7
              Re: IPE install

              i have done some IPE decks and they can be a pain biggest thing is predrill all screws at the end of the boards. I used deckmaster from underside of deck and my helper still curses that deck b/c he spent a week on his back crawling around if the dirt.

              what ever your PT decking price/time alloted double it and you should be fine.

              get plenty of drill bits to have on hand. i also used the bow wrench with the deckmaster attachment it was worth it.

              http://www.business-shaping.com
              -Sal
              ___________________________
              BSA Renovations
              Bergen County NJ's Custom Carpentry and Renovation Service
              www.BSA-Reno.com

              Handyman - Flooring - Built-Ins & Custom Carpentry - Porch Renovation

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              • #8
                Re: IPE install

                What ever you do, don't use eb-tye biscut fasteners. Still looking for all the $ left behind on that one.
                Ken Lyons

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                • #9
                  Re: IPE install

                  One other hint, keep a can of wax handy and dip all screws before running them. Nothing worse than a snapped screw and the stainless breaks off real easy.

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                  • #10
                    Re: IPE install

                    Originally posted by Mark White View Post
                    One other hint, keep a can of wax handy and dip all screws before running them. Nothing worse than a snapped screw and the stainless breaks off real easy.
                    soap will work as well , bar and liquid .......




                    vermonster ....the impact driver is a good tip .



                    I think I read the stuff has the fire rating of concrete , very , very dense
                    Joe


                    " When I nod my head , you hit it "

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                    • #11
                      Re: IPE install

                      I agree with everyting above, you have to pre-drill everything, its a very slow process. There is no need to bisquit join the joints, the stuff is very stable dimensionally. Also as long as the joists are spaced 12" OC you can use 1x if 16" you have to use 5/4. I predrill and use SS siding nails instead of screws, works fine also.
                      Gregg

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                      • #12
                        Re: IPE install

                        The dust from Ipe is worse than nasty. I am allergic to almost nothing (luckily) yet my nasal passages become sore within minutes of exposure to the fine dust from this wood. Itchy skin, the whole nine yards. Use protection
                        Charlie

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                        • #13
                          Re: IPE install

                          good point charlie... i used a half mask the whole time and also last ipe job i did was in 100 degree weather so we were hosing down every few hours the dam dust gets everywhere. my hands and arms actually turned orange/green from the dust. where gloves if you can too.

                          just be careful to cut with the wind.

                          i also found once a piece started to split no matter how hard i tried it was done i would have to cut off the splitting part of the piece and it then would be ok.

                          wound up using some of the splits for under the deck areas to keep animals out.
                          Last edited by S. Donato; 02-16-2007, 03:42 PM.
                          -Sal
                          ___________________________
                          BSA Renovations
                          Bergen County NJ's Custom Carpentry and Renovation Service
                          www.BSA-Reno.com

                          Handyman - Flooring - Built-Ins & Custom Carpentry - Porch Renovation

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: IPE install

                            Originally posted by greggk View Post
                            Also as long as the joists are spaced 12" OC you can use 1x if 16" you have to use 5/4.
                            Spacing 12" oc is crazy with 1x Ipe. I'm very comfortable with 19.2 oc for Ipe, I have not done 24" so don't know about that. The 1x6 is so strong that it can easily handle 19.2 with no bounce, softness, etc. Unless you want the look of the 5/4 then I don't bother with it, the extra expense is not worth it.

                            http://www.ironwoods.com/ResInstall.asp

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                            • #15
                              Re: IPE install

                              Originally posted by Mark White View Post
                              One other hint, keep a can of wax handy and dip all screws before running them. Nothing worse than a snapped screw and the stainless breaks off real easy.
                              Lubing each screw in a can of wax takes a fair amount of time. What I've done is to shave a block of parafin into a 1 lb. coffee can that's about half full of mineral spirts. Let sit until the parafin dissolves. Then, dump the screws into a bucket and pour the parafin solution over them. Shake. This amount lubes about 10 lbs of screws. Do this outside, and let the bucket sit for a few days to evaporate the mineral spirits. Acetone would work as a solvent, too, but it's a lot more volatile.

                              Edit: This works well with square drive screws. Don't try it with Phillips head screws, or your bit will cam out constantly.

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