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Know your source. Deal with a yard that has the experience with Ipe and knows what they are selling you.

Recently I have been seeing Ipe that has been shrinking as much as PT. I was on a deck in the fall where some boards had shrunk to less than 5 3/16 others had barely shrunk at all. The boards that shrank had also checked badly. He was getting side to side gaps close to a half inch in places while other boards barely moved.

This was about 500 sq feet of what he was told was Ipe. All on the same load, all with the same exposure and on a deck about 8 feet off the ground.

This was the only deck I had ever seen with some boards shrinking more than others. But it is getting more common to see Ipe with excessive shrinking.

Guys on CT know the suppiers you can trust. Don't take chances trying to save a buck on the Ipe.



Greg Hartmann
FastenMaster/Tiger Claw
860 984-9033
 

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John Hyatt
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Come on Greg , it's not as bad as PT ! But your right there has been increases in movement with ipe lately. Not sure why but it seems to be a short cut taken in Brazil during the air drying.

Like Darcy I sticker up the lumber before install, while we are building the frame, and run our construction fans through the stack 24 hours a day don't shut them off until its time to install. After we talked about this a while back on a small Ipe job I skipped this step and did realize more shrinking in the width of the 1x6 then I would like but nothing like 1/2''. Still if the connection had been with the clips, like I never do , the exposure would have been disappointing .

Again Darcy and I agree Garapa is all kiln dried. I did use KD Ipe one time and had it expand in width out in the Okie weather so never again. Interesting that it does not expand or contract in length.

JonMon www.deckmastersllc.com
 

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Artist and not a curator
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I have seen people buy ipe and get cumaru which has a lot more shrinkage. I usually order the wood a couple weeks early and store and sticker outside the shop before the job even starts so when it starts I don't have to cull wood on site.

Jon from the people I've talked to recently a lot of yards are buying from "newer" mills that aren't air drying for a season and basically selling not quite green lumber. I'm pretty sure they shortened the cutting season as well in Brazil. I know some major companies looking seriously at getting lumber from Bolivia... That might be a BIG mistake, gangster territory down there.
 

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John Hyatt
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I can see the normal diy getting fooled with cumaru but its easy to tell with the little silver in the grain and the rough texture.

I have never had to cull East Teak from the George but even to Me the price increase is major. The Beams have caught on lately, 4 x 12, 6 x 16 . The price of that lumber is staggering but Folks are paying it and Architects are demanding it. The shipping alone equals what I pay for in a year. This drives the Contractor price up so I can see why things are happening like Your saying.

J.
 

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Artist and not a curator
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I can see the normal diy getting fooled with cumaru but its easy to tell with the little silver in the grain and the rough texture.

I have never had to cull East Teak from the George but even to Me the price increase is major. The Beams have caught on lately, 4 x 12, 6 x 16 . The price of that lumber is staggering but Folks are paying it and Architects are demanding it. The shipping alone equals what I pay for in a year. This drives the Contractor price up so I can see why things are happening like Your saying.

J.
Been thinking of giving George a shot. Never used him. I've spoken with him a couple times... Real knowledgeable guy.

I think I misrepresented culling the lumber, what I meant is any lumber that does suffer more significant shrinkage, or has more chatter marks than i want to sand out. I usually on any given deck have about 2 to 3 boards that show sub par quality, so as I load them on the trailer they get tossed in the "something clever" pile. Usually a gate entrance or something of the like.

Who am i fooling, it really just gives me time to play with the kids while waiting on delivery day and mess around in the shop with whatever. Kind of a free day and I've convinced myself its worth it.
 

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Artist and not a curator
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14,782 Posts
I can see the normal diy getting fooled with cumaru but its easy to tell with the little silver in the grain and the rough texture.

I have never had to cull East Teak from the George but even to Me the price increase is major. The Beams have caught on lately, 4 x 12, 6 x 16 . The price of that lumber is staggering but Folks are paying it and Architects are demanding it. The shipping alone equals what I pay for in a year. This drives the Contractor price up so I can see why things are happening like Your saying.

J.
I :censored: you not, I know a reputable GC around here who wanted ipe and said "match the downstairs", I proceeded to tell him that was cumaru, glaringly obvious with the grain being more open and like you said slight silver mixed in with a wide color variation... I didn't get the job and now everyone is unhappy.

A lot of the guys down here have no clue about South American lumber. One carpenter tried to tell me Garapa is the most unstable, useless lumber he knows of:rolleyes: works out good for me though:thumbup:
 

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How much...? I just completed a 400sf ipe deck. Off the boom and started laying right away. Weather was very humid. very... I mean soup- humid. finished deck part and rained like hell for a day then temp dropped almost 30degrees in 24r. It get's 95 ish hot / dry for the next 3-4 days. Get back to work to get started on the built in's after the weekend and almost had a heart attack. It shrank good 1/4" I never saw anything like it. I had some boards gapped as much as 3/8 wide. I thought for the 1st time I would have to replace all of them. As the project went on and rained again the weather became stable it's almost back to normal gap of 3/16. I still have a few that are a lil bigger. This was also the filthiest batch I've ever seen. How much? who knows???? Keep in mind this was face screwed which is our normal install with ipe. It is low but all of ours are.
I don't have space or time to store like you guys do. My orders are usually picked up right from the importer and boomed / craned to me same day or next. maybe 3. We're bagging out 60+ a year it is what is. Any body says anything it's wood it will do what it does and that's move. ;)
 

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I did a deck this spring with the ipe hidden fasteners and it is it has 3/8 gaps and is cupping it is only the forth deck I have done with ipe and hope it is along time till I do another one . It is acting like syp .
 
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