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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to install 1000 sq feet of IPE decking all at a 45 degree angle to the joists. I need to install it with a hidden fastening system. It looks like the Eb-TY and the IPE Clip are the two most used.

- Any pros or cons favoring one over the other? The IPE will be finished to a brown color. The IPE Clip comes in brown and black, while the Eb-TY comes only in black, will the color matter? Your experiences appreciated.

- As for plugs for some of the face screwing that will have to be done, do most people make their own plugs with a plug cutter or do you buy the pre-packaged ones?
 

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Mike, I do decking and have worked with Ipe but not with either of these systems. From what I see the Ipe clip requires grooved boards which are most likly more expensive but also more versitile. The Eb-tie requires a biscuit cutter = more work.
As for the plugs, I prefer to cut my own from a drop from the same board. Done carefully, the plugs should disappear as the color and grain will be very close to the stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually both systems require the same grooves. Since my local supplier doesn't stock decking with the grooves I will be biscuit cutting or side routering every board installed no matter which system I use.

What are you using for finish? I am considering Penofin or Cabots Australian Timber oil.
 

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Can't go wrong with Penofin products. Previously they had an ironwood finish that I used to use on all timber frame exteriors - never had a call back. It does take a little more maintenance up front but pretty much bullet proof after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I tell ya what; I have never experienced such a phenomenon that exists around a product like IPE. The seems to be no real consensus from more than two people what works and doesn't work for finishing it. You would think this stuff is some kind of voodoo material the way it is able to dodge any type of unanimous decision in regard to finishing it. For every person who swears by a finish such as Penofin like yourself there are 3 that will tell you it is the worst thing in the world to apply and they will each give you 3 other products that work for them! Then if you ask someone else about those products they will tell you they are the worst thing you could put on and you will eventually find somebody who brings you full circle back to the original sealer you asked about in the first place. It just boggles my mind.

Just the "To sand or not to sand" before finishing decision depends upon who you ask.

I think the first thing I need to do is set aside a few pieces of IPE and apply a variety of finishes and nail them to something in the sun and review them every six months, it seems to be the only way to really tell. It is just shocking to me.

Nathan - you should start a website to field test products, where people can get controlled and tested evaluations of products in real world circumstances.
 

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I feel the same way Mike.. from whether or not to use sanding sealer or whether or not to sand before or after applying (when in actuality it depends on what type of sealer it is - follow directions) :)
Many times when I talk to people about a product that has worked great for me but they don't like it.. come to find out they didn't follow directions or tried to mix and match something to make it work.
 
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Pre grooved Ipe'

Be careful using the continuous groove Ipe' with Ebty fasteners. The area above the groove has a tendancy to cup a considerable amount since it is not mechanically fastened down the the joist. My recommendation is to cut the slots in one at a time. Also be sure that there is adequate ventalation under this deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually ended up counter sinking and plugging. Once I found out just how expensive those systems really are (about another $1000.00 in added cost on this deck) and how many people are not as happy or are apprehensive about them.
 

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I know this threads is old, but I have a ??

Did you have to use anchor seal(sp?) on the cut ends? I installed a IPE deck, and was told by my supplier I should use it.. It is supposed to prevent cracking...

If you didnt, did the ends crack on you? I used it to be safe...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All you Ipe should come from the lumber yard with waxed end pieces. Yes, you have to use Anchor seal on every bit of newly exposed end grain. It helps to prevent splitting on the ends of Ipe. There are still going to be boards that split a bit, I go back and rub some Tightbond III into the splits when they first appear to stabalize them.
 

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Hidden Deck Fasteners

Mike - you should try LumberLoc Hidden Deck Fasteners. They are made especially for exotic hardwoods like IPE. They are more effective than EbTy because they actually screw into the joist, and allow for expansion and contraction on both the length and the width. Ipe is such a hardwood that should it get any movement it will shear the screws off that they recommend you screw thru the board. With LumberLoc, they are attached to the joist, so you wont have any failure. Good Luck.

Mike Finley said:
I'm getting ready to install 1000 sq feet of IPE decking all at a 45 degree angle to the joists. I need to install it with a hidden fastening system. It looks like the Eb-TY and the IPE Clip are the two most used.

- Any pros or cons favoring one over the other? The IPE will be finished to a brown color. The IPE Clip comes in brown and black, while the Eb-TY comes only in black, will the color matter? Your experiences appreciated.

- As for plugs for some of the face screwing that will have to be done, do most people make their own plugs with a plug cutter or do you buy the pre-packaged ones?
 
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