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Old 11-20-2007
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Ipe

IPE (eee-pay) is an african mahogany I use a lot in my work as a carpenter. Rich people love having their decks covered with it so all the scraps end up in my boat. It's tough as nails. In fact you can't nail through it without predrilling. It's also beautiful: deep, rich red in color with a little hint of brown. Darker than mahogany most people are used to seeing. Mahogany is a very large family. I mostly oil mine and it looks great, but I've varnished some and it looks terrific, if you have the patience for varnishwork, which I don't. By the way, white oak is one of my favorite woods, but IPE is stronger. A hardwoods store probably has some in stock but most lumberyards can order it. Don't let them talk you into cambera, that stuff is soft.
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