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Osage Orange is what we called hedge trees on the farm. You could cut them for fence posts but you could not drive a staple in the wood to hold the wire as it was so hard. It made very good firewood as it burned very hot but it was heck on saw chains when you cut it. I would go with either the teak for deck surface or the mahogany for any decorative or trim pieces.
 

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Ipê is heavy, but it lasts forever exposed to the elements. It's used in Brazil for decks and boat hulls (fishing boats). There are better alternatives like Araribá, but I doubt you'll find it outside Brazil. Beware of some suggestions like Peroba, which is hard, but will split and crack in the sun. Almost all tropical hardwoods have been thoroughly studied and their properties are well known. Ipê is the leading choice for exterior use in places exposed to sun and rain. You can leave it unfinished and it will go silver like teak.
 

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Hey everyone, can you recommend a good alternative to teak ( if there is one)? I'm replacing an exterior piece of wood and a teak piece is going to be pretty expensive.
There are some great alternatives here but my first thought is, what piece of exterior teak are you trying to replace?

A decorative trim piece like a cabin eyebrow? You can get some tropical hardwoods from many lumber supply that look like teak when coated, for less than $10 a board foot.

Or is it a functional piece like a toe rail or companionway slide?

Or is is a piece you'll leave gray? Maybe something you'll step on?
 

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Ipe is one of several woods sometimes called "ironwood" because it is so dense and water-resistant. In the US it is also commonly found as decking lumber, so it is relatively easy to find and afford, as long as you don't mind the "decking" size limits. The good side of that is that lumber yards sometimes have split pallets and overage for sale, too.
 

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I redid everything on the deck etc with IPE/Ironwood also. The construction company my son works for had some decking pieces left over. I made up a new curved tiller, deck rails, and pieces on ea side of the cabin top entry. As noted, very hard! But I'm finding that it holds Epiphanes varnish very well! You will need coarse sandpaper to sand it down at any rate of speed. ie 60 down to 36 for initial. 80 or 120 finishes it very smooth with a belt sander or equal. You will also want sharp if not new blades for what ever saw you use to cut it.

Marty
 

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My experience with white oak is the opposite - it develops black streaks where there is a gap in the varnish, and varnish doesn't adhere to it all that well. I keep my tiller covered so that it doesn't develop black marks along the grain. Coating with epoxy, then varnish seems to work much better. I like teak, but mahogany is so much cheaper.

Regarding teak, unless I misread your sentence above, I don't understand what you mean by permanent damage from a breach in the coating - really really old weathered teak becomes like new with a little bit of sanding, ditto for mahogany.

I agree that after spending a few hours sanding white oak, you'll pine for teak (yuk, yuk); it's tough as hell.
If you re-read my post you will understand we are in agreement on all but the staining in white oak. I would not want to insult you by suggesting that you don't know the difference, but I know that red-oak stains from water and white oak is much like teak in that sanding off the least bit of material gets you back to good material.

Dan
 

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Oak. mahogany, ironwood...all dangerous words to use, because there are so many variations that go by the same shortened generic name. Ironwood can be the local name for ipe or bubinga or several others. Mahogany often is "phillipine mahogany" which is really luaun.

FWIW, Constantines.com (used to be in the Bronx for ages, now is in Ft. Laud) sells all types of veneers and cabinet stuff mainly, but has a very nice veneer sampler set, about 50 good size pieces in one box. It helps to put a name to the real feel of a wood.

And for the life of me I can't recall the yard I've been to near White Plains...there's Maurice Condon, one of those yards that advertises in the sailing mags and has piles of all the marine grade lumber, the real stuff and the right stuff, but there are such places still scattered around. Folks who know and love what they are doing, and are happy to give good advice. Often it pays to find a yard like that if there's one within an hour or two, and just ask them "What do you have for..." because they also know we're not all rich.
 

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Oak. mahogany, ironwood...all dangerous words to use, because there are so many variations that go by the same shortened generic name. Ironwood can be the local name for ipe or bubinga or several others. Mahogany often is "phillipine mahogany" which is really luaun.

FWIW, Constantines.com (used to be in the Bronx for ages, now is in Ft. Laud) sells all types of veneers and cabinet stuff mainly, but has a very nice veneer sampler set, about 50 good size pieces in one box. It helps to put a name to the real feel of a wood.

And for the life of me I can't recall the yard I've been to near White Plains...there's Maurice Condon, one of those yards that advertises in the sailing mags and has piles of all the marine grade lumber, the real stuff and the right stuff, but there are such places still scattered around. Folks who know and love what they are doing, and are happy to give good advice. Often it pays to find a yard like that if there's one within an hour or two, and just ask them "What do you have for..." because they also know we're not all rich.
Good point Hello. Generic names like "ironwood" can be misleading. Also, there a about a dozen kinds of Ipê, so it pays to research a little before you buy wood.
 

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The most common wood in butcher blocks is maple because of its hardness. I had planned to use maple, but when I went to my local wood supplier.
 

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The most common wood in butcher blocks is maple because of its hardness. I had planned to use maple, but when I went to my local wood supplier.
But maple does not do well in wet environments.
 
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