It’s a hardwood that comes from Brazil and grows in tropical South to Central America. Recognized as the most durable and hardest species of timber, it the most preferred wood for deck building.
The wood color varies from olive brown to blackish hue and has an oily appearance. The texture ranges from fine to medium and grain that can be straight to irregular. The tree can grow to over 140 feet, with a diameter of 6 feet. It’s one of the tallest trees in the Amazon rainforest.
Ipe wood has lower maintenance cost than other types of woods. It’s available in long lengths with minimum warp and twist. Wood ‘warp’ refers to the unevenness in a flat surface of timber caused by shrinkage and stress when drying. It is undesirable; fortunately, its timber has minimum warping during manufacture and use.
Compared to Oak, it is three times harder and is so thick that is sinks in water. It has the same fire rating such as steel and concrete -Class A1.
When working with Ipe, remember that it is very hard. You will need high-quality, durable tools. Have multiple drill bits for drilling before inserting nails and screws. Working with hand tools will be challenging. You can groove the sides and add fasteners. Drying the wood may be required, and the level of drying will depend on your area.
You can install the wood in an area, which has high traffic due to the high shock resistance is required. It is also suitable for installation in harsh environments like near the beach. More application includes in industries, railway crossties, making tool handles and in heavy construction.
This is the most common use of the Brazilian Walnut. It is done in some easy steps. Before installing desk plan the layout. Using the design source of materials – ensure that you add 5% of the total material to compensate for loss during cutting and trimming.
After getting the Ipe wood, don’t expose to direct sunlight but leave it outside for air drying. Shrinkages will happen during this process also known as acclimation. When working with the Brazilian walnut ensure; that you have carbide tipped cutters, and carry out pre-drilling before inserting any nails or screws. Cutting the wood should be done slowly for smooth cuts.
The best practice is to ensure that there is air beneath you decks for proper ventilation. It should have no obstructions. Slight spaces between the planks are required for drainage purposes. Have a bow wrench when building a deck for clamping to the desired positions.
There are two primary methods of fastening the deck; the first involves pre-drilling holes; second, using fasteners that prevents the appearance of screws on the surface.
The final step of installing the deck involves sanding and coating with oil sealer such as Penofin. Alternatively, you can skip this step and let the Ipe wood to naturally age into a silver color.
The wood is appropriate for other uses such as the construction of walkways, docks and in for support in construction. Investing in Ipe ensures that you never have to think about replacing decks or maintaining them in your lifetime.