Ipe (pronounced “ee-pay”) or Yipe!

Ipe is a large tropical hardwood tree that grows abundantly throughout Central and South America. It’s the hardest commercially available wood and has a higher density than other hardwoods. We selected ipe to rebuild the small deck and stairs at the front of our home. A small sample piece that we received feels incredibly heavy. It is also not an endangered so you don’t have to worry about that.

The Sample is 5” by 6” and about 1” thick; it weighs 18 ounces, over a pound or 510 grams. This wood is very dense and extremely durable. It has tight grain and I think it is beautiful. According to the pamphlet this stuff will last at least 50 years.

We ordered a few hundred pounds of the decking planks and included with the 10 foot long planks were some smaller pieces. A couple of the smaller pieces were fully sanded smooth and beveled.

I just had to try this stuff. It’s so hard that it imparts a very healthy wallop ever with a short length. I think that Ipe will make my favorite implement when I get around to making it that is. Even the small pieces impact with a significant thud and no too much sting. If you like that sort of thing and you have a reasonably tough behind this just may make the perfect paddle.

I will let you know.

CS

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