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Discussion Starter #1
What kind of curves are possible with Ipe? I've not too much experience with it. I'm looking for others' experiences with it. I'm in the design phase of an Ipe deck, so I have plenty of latitude to modify the designs to accomodate the possible. For example, is a 90 degree fascia curve possible at any lamination thickness over, say, 10 feet? Or is that asking for too much?
 

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Pro
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I don't think that you're going to be able to bend IPE very well at all. Right now I am working on a 1x12 Facia bent around a 6' radius with Tigerwood. Tigerwood is a brazilian hardwood but not nearly as strong and rigid as IPE. I had rip 1x12's down the middle and plane them to 1/8" and then bend them in place as a laminate.

I don't know the species properties off hand but if you pick up one end of a 12' 1x12 Tigerwood it will flex maybe about an 1" by its own weight. If you try the same with IPE it is as straight as steel. hope this helps
 

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I've done a couple of radius decks that had ipe decking. I did not try to bend ipe for the facia piece. Instead I used 1x4 T&G ran verticle. Worked fine on large radius. On a tight radius (inside curved step) I used 1x4's, no T&G.

I'm sure it could be laminated, but would require much more work. Probably could even be steamed & clamped to create a large radius, all depends on the how deep the customers wallet is. That's how I saw my grandad do antique rocking chairs that he repaired.

After seeing bonesaw's radius stairs where he bent TP 2x12's I think just about anything is possible with wood if you have the will power & the wherewithall to make it happen.
 

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Curmudgeon
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........
I'm sure it could be laminated, but would require much more work. Probably could even be steamed & clamped to create a large radius, all depends on the how deep the customers wallet is. That's how I saw my grandad do antique rocking chairs that he repaired.

After seeing bonesaw's radius stairs where he bent TP 2x12's I think just about anything is possible with wood if you have the will power & the wherewithall to make it happen.
I don't think it could be
steamed with conventional
methods.
That depends on the wood's
ability to absorb the steam.
That stuff is too dense IMO.
 

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John Hyatt
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Any curve is possible with ipe. As Al said it all depends on how much the Wallet is wa wa wa anting to spend. Inside/outside curves/lamanations are completley possible using TightBond 111 or my secret polly glue, a pre form, downey fabriac softner, a couple of hand irons, and a lot of clamps.

Change is Change,Money is Money. But what sticks to the Bee is what makes the Honey. John Mon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies everyone. Thanks for the link, willwork. I hadn't found that one. I've been surprised by how little there is on curving ipe out there; I'm actually surprised that more on this forum haven't done it with their eyes closed; I'm not complaining, by any means; after seeing some of the work done here, I have come to assume anything is possible if the right guy is doing it.

Keep the suggestions coming... I think I'm going to start experimenting with laminate thicknesses, kerfs, flamethrowers and dryer sheets.
 

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Curmudgeon
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I think you told him
how to get the
water in the wood.
I'll be filing that away. :thumbsup:
 

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Curmudgeon
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you can bend 6"x14" white oak with steam, you can bend ipe, just build a frame, let it steam for a hour or two and bend the thing.
Oak doesn't sink when
you throw it in the water.
Might be some differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
John... I know there's a trade secret there; I think I get the gist, but I'm sure I'll break some boards before I know exactly what you mean. I did find another discussion on the topic at gardenweb...

ths.gardenweb.com slash forums slash load slash porch slash msg0813012627831 dot html

Sorry for the bad format. Not allowed to post links yet...
 

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John... I know there's a trade secret there; I think I get the gist, but I'm sure I'll break some boards before I know exactly what you mean.
There's several ways to learn things, sometimes your break stuff in the process.

Good luck with that project & let know how your bending of ipe went.
 

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John Hyatt
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Ipe is not all that great a wood for bending,white/red oak are a lot better. Its the inter locked grain, ipe is never cvg, that makes for the challenge.

I dont try to bend 2x4s all my stuff is done with laminations. The fabric softner acts as a, the spelling will be wrong but thats normal with me,sur fur gent,( Surfactant Thanks Neo!!) in other words it helps change the shape of the wood cells.A steam chamber will make the wood soft enough but the stress is still there.

The hand irons are a handy heat source,the pre form can be made in a lot of ways, use a spray bottle with a mixture of softener and water,soak a cotton towel rip,press it on to the wood placed over the pre form with the irons cranked up to high. Go Slowley your not killing snakes it takes time. The thickness of the lams depends on how radical your radias is and if its inside or outside.

Many clamps are involved.

I like TB 111 for a lot of things it sets up fast , is easy to work with, and makes a pretty good water tight joint but if I really want to get at it I use these guys stuff>>> www.cpadhesive.com they make some bad ass polly glue. The thing with the common polly glue is they are thined down so your basic diy er can work with it. That stuff is heavey bodied and has a slight learning curve. OK a big learning curve but man does it work. Epoxie is deffentley out none of them have the holding power or the water proof bond this stuff has.

Several pinners/ small crown staplers can be used to tact the lams to the form and each other before the clamps go on this helps a lot with the set up time of the glue then clamp the outside lam on the outside with no fasteners.

I built an outside table top using 1/4'' ipe lams built up to 20 inches across in an S pattern this way it was for the Lady tax lawyer that keeps the irs off me,a wedding present, so you know I took no gamble on it coming apart.

There is the babey sit factor. Leave the clamps on for a week or so,keep filling the little gaps with the ipe sawdust you collect from the rough orbital sanding and TB111 yes the two will work together this way,Do Not Use A Belt Sander, keep up the babey sitting until the surface is flat and 0 little gaps. Joy's present took 2 months on and off working it. I took it down to 220 grit this is basicly glazing the surface. Hand rub twp 116 into it until I got a simi gloss this took another two weeks or so.

Defentley not a job for the wham bamm thank you mam kind of project.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Surfactant/wetting agent.

My wedding gift to Jon Mon. :laughing:
 

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Funny, I'm at my suppliers this morning & they are re-surfacing the display decks in the yard. Ipe, tigerwood, garapa & and their new SA hardwood that I don't know how to spell along with several composites. Things are slow even here in good 'ol Austin so the boss has his hands doing all the stuff along with one deckbuilder buddy who used to work there. Anyway, there's a radius tigerwood deck right by the gate & I noticed they curved tigerwood facia around the deck. 2 - 1x6's ripped on a band saw down to 1/4" bend right on around the radius, glued & screwed on there. Looked darn good. I'll be keeping my eye on it to see how well it holds up.
 
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