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  #11  
Old 12-15-2009
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What is ipe.Cypress or juniper would work,both easy to work used on boat huls/decks.
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Old 12-15-2009
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Ipe comes from a species of tree that grows around the Caribbean basin and in Central and South America. When called Ipe it is typically referring to wood of that species that comes from Brazil where it is both farmed and fround in the wild. The wood is very close in appearance and behavior to real Teak (which only grows in Asia). Ipe is widely available for decking and is moderately to reasonably priced given its durability and stability as a species.

Clear old growth cypress used to be a great wood for grates and decking, being rot resistant, moderately stable, and reasonably light when dry. But that no longer is the case. Most cypress that is available today is fast growth species that were planted during the 20th century and which are very rot prone and not especially stable.

Juniper is a southern U.S. name for Atlantic White Cedar. This is a great wood for planking a boat and sub-decking since it is quite light in weight, and in old growth forms, the heart wood was quite rot resistant. But again since we are mostly getting sap wood from fast growth versions of this species or similar white cedar species, it tends to be knotty and pretty rot prone. This would be an acceptable species to seal with epoxy and paint.

As explained above the purpose of coating the wood with epoxy is to use the epoxy to seal the wood to prevent discoloration and swelling and as very stable primer for the varnish finish. The originally proposed species of red oak, and the alternatives that I suggested are species which cannot be exposed to the weather without being protected and that is what led to the suggestion to coat the wood with epoxy.

Jeff



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Last edited by Jeff_H; 12-15-2009 at 08:04 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2009
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I used something starting with a p,was said tobe sa teak hope this is not it it checked & cuped.It was pretty but unusable.It was used as hatch so maybe smaller pieces less prone.Thanks for data ipe.marc
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Old 12-15-2009
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This is my homework, (or at least one part of it) some of us are just clueless when it comes to this stuff. Thanks for all the great info!
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Old 12-15-2009
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Think about use as a table as well

I did this about 3 years ago, and managed to make the grating work as a cockpit table as well. The aft section fits around the tiller and is fitted with small legs to sit on the afterdeck. Obviously each boat will be different, but while you're going to all the trouble to think through and make a grating, a table may not be very much extra effort. Just a thought.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Ipe comes from a species of tree that grows around the Caribbean basin and in Central and South America. When called Ipe it is typically referring to wood of that species that comes from Brazil where it is both farmed and fround in the wild. The wood is very close in appearance and behavior to real Teak (which only grows in Asia). Ipe is widely available for decking and is moderately to reasonably priced given its durability and stability as a species.

Clear old growth cypress used to be a great wood for grates and decking, being rot resistant, moderately stable, and reasonably light when dry. But that no longer is the case. Most cypress that is available today is fast growth species that were planted during the 20th century and which are very rot prone and not especially stable.

Juniper is a southern U.S. name for Atlantic White Cedar. This is a great wood for planking a boat and sub-decking since it is quite light in weight, and in old growth forms, the heart wood was quite rot resistant. But again since we are mostly getting sap wood from fast growth versions of this species or similar white cedar species, it tends to be knotty and pretty rot prone. This would be an acceptable species to seal with epoxy and paint.

As explained above the purpose of coating the wood with epoxy is to use the epoxy to seal the wood to prevent discoloration and swelling and as very stable primer for the varnish finish. The originally proposed species of red oak, and the alternatives that I suggested are species which cannot be exposed to the weather without being protected and that is what led to the suggestion to coat the wood with epoxy.

Jeff



Respectfully,
Jeff
Juniper is what they call Eastern Red Cedar or Aromatic Cedar. It is a true Juniper. (Juniperus virginiana L). Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) is called false cypress,white cedar or swamp cedar in the south.
All too soft for a cockpit grate. Western Red Cedar is too soft as well. White Oak or Ash would be better for an inexpensive grate. Just my opinion. I'm a Forester.
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Old 12-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
The wood is very close in appearance and behavior to real Teak (which only grows in Asia).Jeff
Jeff I never disagree with you as your knowledge is vast. In CT however the stuff they sell at the local lumberyard that they call IPE is more closely related to mild steel that it is to teak. Teak is an easy to work with relatively soft wood that has about the same workability of pine. Easy to cut and easy to drill and sand.
The IPE we have is only workable at very slow feed speeds with the highest quality carbide tools. It is very heavy, in fact it is heavier than water, and is for all practical purposes fireproof. I took an acetylene torch to it for one project (don't ask). Yes indeed it is very durable and has a rich brown color like teak. But unless you are a skilled craftsman and have the best possible tools and are prepared to ruin them do not use IPE.

I did find some 1/4 mahogany decking material at my local lumberyard. Not real Honduras mahogany of course, some African or south American species no doubt. No knots, lots of variation in color but I dried it in the house and paneled a room with it and make a full set of kitchen cabinets with it. It came out great and is about the same workability of teak if you can find it.

This is the OP's first project like this. If he uses IPE it will be his last.

Last edited by davidpm; 12-15-2009 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 12-16-2009
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A couple quick follow ups to points raised earlier:

Petmac: I did a bit of homework on the Juniper Cedar question and of course you are exactly right that Juniper is actually an Eastern Red Cedar, but in southern US boat yards, they would often strip plank boats with a wood that they called Juniper Cedar and that wood which I have worked with was not a red or aromatic cedar. As near as I was ever able to ascertain it was an Atlantic White Cedar. At least in one yard, I was shown the order for the planking that showed it labeled as White Cedar even though the boatyard called it Juniper Cedar. I have always concluded that Juniper cedar was a Florida and Georgia nick-name for Atlantic White Cedar.

Whatever it was, it was a surprisingly hard wood for a cedar, much harder than western red or the aromatic cedars. It held paint well, and if sealed with epoxy and painted, I would expect it to hold up well as a deck grate or table.

DavidPm;

Genuine Brurma teak (Tectona Grandis) is about as hard and difficult to work with as Ipe and generally is heavier than water as well. I only mentioned Ipe since the OP had said that he considered using teak but it was too expensive.

Like Ipe, genune Teak contains a lot of silica which can quickly dull cutting tools.

What confuses this issue is the availability of psuedo-teaks (such as Angelique which is often marketed as South American Teak), which appears to be teak and are sold as teak but which are much softer and easier to work than geniune teak. It is also possible to encounter farm grown teak sapwood which can be softer and easier to work than the Teak heartwood which is the normal teak used for marine purposes.

Mahogany or spanish cedar would make reasonable species for the proposed purposes as well. '

Jeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
In CT however the stuff they sell at the local lumberyard that they call IPE is more closely related to mild steel that it is to teak. Teak is an easy to work with relatively soft wood that has about the same workability of pine. Easy to cut and easy to drill and sand.
The IPE we have is only workable at very slow feed speeds with the highest quality carbide tools. It is very heavy, in fact it is heavier than water, and is for all practical purposes fireproof. I took an acetylene torch to it for one project (don't ask). Yes indeed it is very durable and has a rich brown color like teak. But unless you are a skilled craftsman and have the best possible tools and are prepared to ruin them do not use IPE.
...
This is the OP's first project like this. If he uses IPE it will be his last.
Have to agree with these comments about Ipe. Its extemelly durable but HEAVY...in fact I'm working a peice into a daggerboard to give it neutral bouancy. Around here, Ipe costs about as much as teak.
The other downsize of Ipe is the dust. For some people (i'm one), it cause poison-ivy like rashes. For me, its the combination of sweaty skin and the dust, so I can only mill with it when its cold.
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Old 12-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Jeff I never disagree with you as your knowledge is vast. In CT however the stuff they sell at the local lumberyard that they call IPE is more closely related to mild steel that it is to teak. Teak is an easy to work with relatively soft wood that has about the same workability of pine. Easy to cut and easy to drill and sand.
The IPE we have is only workable at very slow feed speeds with the highest quality carbide tools. It is very heavy, in fact it is heavier than water, and is for all practical purposes fireproof. I took an acetylene torch to it for one project (don't ask). Yes indeed it is very durable and has a rich brown color like teak. But unless you are a skilled craftsman and have the best possible tools and are prepared to ruin them do not use IPE.


This is the OP's first project like this. If he uses IPE it will be his last.
Oh, I wouldn't say that. It is "cement in a stick" but it cuts and finishes nicely (with carbide tools- haven't smoked a blade yet). I will say that it'd be the last time he'd have to make it if he used ipe.

Dokoloco- I've found ipe much less nasty to work with than, for example, purpleheart but YMMV. For an interesting effect take a rounter to a piece of ipe on a very cold dry day- the chips carry enough static electricity that they'll circle around the router in mid air from the router motor's magnetic field- bizarre.

Last edited by cormeum; 12-16-2009 at 11:26 PM.
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