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Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

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  • Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

    I'm doing a deck, Garapa body with a Cumaru band (very similar to Ipe), my question is, I've mitered the band at the corners tight and I'm wondering about expansion and contraction. I only waxed them, and don't have any problem with them opening/closing up with the seasons, I'm just a little concerned with them expanding so much that they crack one another. Anyone had any issues with this? I'm considering going back with the ts55 and cutting a kerf between all the miters, but it looks so damn good, I can't bring myself to it.


    The band is 5/4" x 6", I'll post some pics tonight.

    Thanks,

    Kye

  • #2
    Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

    personally it will probably shrink enough to open them up about the kerf of the blade anyways.

    i have done some tight IPE ones and they opened a little but nothing serious. next time i am pocket screwing mine ;-)

    can't wait to see the pics kye.
    -Sal
    ___________________________
    BSA Renovations
    Bergen County NJ's Custom Carpentry and Renovation Service
    www.BSA-Reno.com

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    • #3
      Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

      Hey Kye,

      I mitered with mahagony once. They opened up quite a bit, even biscuited. I didn't notice until I went back this spring. It happened over the winter. Hopefully the cumaru is more stable. Since then I've only cut half-laps for corners. So far so good! I was actually looking at doing a deck with cumaru and garapa. Both FSC. I'd be interested to know what you think of the cumaru.

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      • #4
        Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

        Make your joints consistent with the deck spacing. Nothing worse looking then trying to make a perfect joint and then it looking lousy some time later. Instead anticipate shrinkage and plan for it. Sometimes a simple butt joint looks better than an open miter joint.
        Very similar to leaving reveals on door and window casing. You will never get casing lined up perfectly with the edge of the jamb so you leave a reveal which corrects that problem and gives it depth (another dimension)

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        • #5
          Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

          My 2 cents: don't miter, do butts. Less end grain exposed thus less movement, a cleaner and tighter joint that will stay tighter longer. Butter the end grain with a sealer. Any miters will just open up.

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          • #6
            Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

            miters outside should be avoided at all costs unless you need to miter to align profiles. They are simply too much work to get right only to have your heart broken with the changing seasons. This is just my opinion (results may vary)
            Josh O.


            "If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all. "

            - Michelangelo-

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            • #7
              Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

              Here is a pic. I usually do butt joints on tropical hardwoods for the reasons listed, and I like the look of it better but I thought I'd try something different on this one.

              Feedback so far, I love the Garapa, it's the perfect density, and gorgeous wood. The Cumaru seems even harder than Ipe and is a pain to work with.

              Kye

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              • #8
                Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                I tend to do what Gary does on the flat miters. If you are gapping 1/8 in the field, gap the miter 1/8 too.

                I debate exterior mitering every day. It looks great when you leave, but you know the weather gods with screw around with it.
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                • #9
                  Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                  Originally posted by Kye GC View Post
                  The Cumaru seems even harder than Ipe and is a pain to work with.

                  Kye
                  Its is harder. However, both are a pita to work with.
                  Its a hard pill to swallow- Just when you think you are really good and set on YOUR ways. Someone comes along and blows your mind.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                    A couple of pics of it finished:

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                    • #11
                      Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                      Kye, that deck deserves better pictures!
                      -Sean

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                      • #12
                        Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                        awesome deck dude.
                        whatever the joint (butt or miter) i always use the same spacing as the decking and run a round over bit on all edges so that with any movement the joints will continue to look as good as when first laid.

                        A.P.G.C. is right, take some better photos of that deck and lets post them to a new thread about decking. you go first.
                        S.M.Titmas.

                        "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
                        - Bob Marley

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                        • #13
                          Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                          Yeah, I just snapped em with my cell phone, I'll take some real pictures after the landscaping is done.

                          Kye

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                          • #14
                            Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                            5-7 years back i was on a job in sonoma .one of the winery owners homes .they used ipe . pretty big deck .miters went where they wanted .they did not all shrink,though most did . i question wether you can pocket screw because it will destroy the bits .
                            side note,everyone who worked on it got ill.some had allergy stuff ,a few got flu's .

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                            • #15
                              Re: Would you cut tight miters on Ipe decking?

                              Originally posted by joseph View Post
                              side note,everyone who worked on it got ill.some had allergy stuff ,a few got flu's .
                              many of the tropical hardwood resins and bacteria can range from being a mild irritant to causing severe allergic reactions, some can even kill(very rare but possible)

                              i do a lot of work with Tornillo from Brazil and even a few specks of the dust can make my eyes water up and my throat constrict and itch but it sure is a beautiful wood when all finished.
                              S.M.Titmas.

                              "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
                              - Bob Marley

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