Ipe Wood Cutting Tools
What is Ipe
Ipe, pronounced (ee-pay) is an extremely dense hardwood from Brazil that is flame and water resistant. Often referred to as super-hardwood or ironwood, Ipe is similar to mahogany because it has few knots and is tightly grained. This type of wood is perfect for outside woodworking projects such as decks.
Ipe Cutting Challenges
Ipe is very strong and dense making it very hard to make clean cuts. Most cutting tools, such as saw blades and router bits will dull very quickly. Using carbide saw blades and bits will help to pro-long sharpening. Please call us for all your sharpening needs: 1-800-346-8274.
Recommended Router Bits and Saw Blades
The Vortex 3400XP series router bits will work best for you Ipe applications. Created for hard-woods, the 3400XP series offers a better finish and superior chip-out while keeping the heat temperature down.
Tenryu’s Rapid Cut series is considered a “work horse” for heavy-duty jobs. The Rapid Cut saw blades feature a modern mircograin long-life carbide tips and aggressive grind angles for superior performance.
Driving screws and pneumatic nailers cannot be used on Ipe due to its brittleness. The wood will split and in some cases the driving screw heads will break off. It is best to use stainless steel screws on pre-drilled holes to fasten boards together.
Finishes do not adhere well due to Ipe’s density. Depending on your preferences you might want to experiment with different options. If you like the teak look simply leave your woodworking project unfinished and exposed to the weather. Try to maintain Ipe’s rich color by applying a protective finish. Other finishes such as oil-based my take several weeks to dry.
Some deck builders have used tung oil successfully to maintain the color over a long period of time. Others have used finishes for wooden boats that contain a combination of tung oil, resins and mineral spirits.
In any case, before even attempting to finish your Ipe project make sure it has had time to thoroughly dry and acclimatize before applying a finish.
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