Know your wood - Brazilian Ipe
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Know your wood – Brazilian Ipe

Know your wood – Brazilian Ipe

What is Ipe?

Ipe (pronounced Ee-pay) refers to the wood from a variety of 7 species of trees, all of which are native to Central and South America.  Often referred to as “Brazilian Ipe” it may also sometimes be referred to as Brazilian walnut, ironwood, and cortex among several others.

What’s so great about it?

Besides it’s obvious beauty (often compared to mahogany) it’s also really hard!! In fact it’s one of the hardest and densest woods that exist. It’s SO hard that it’s been known to bend nails and doesn’t float in water.  Ipe wood contains high levels of tannic acid (that weird feeling in your mouth when you drink a dry wine – thats tannic acid).  Tannic acid makes Ipe resistant to mildew, fungus, and insects.

Why does all this this matter?

Well, all of these qualities – weather and bug resistant, super-hard, and really beautiful – make Brazilian Ipe the perfect wood for outdoor applications like decks and patio furniture.  Ipe can be stained like any other wood to achieve any desired look or application, or can be left alone.  Either way, Ipe can last as long as 25 years outside and it’s density means that it will stay looking great the whole time.

What we’re doing with it:

When one of our favorite clients, Big Lake Brewery asked us to make their outdoor patio furniture, Ipe was the obvious choice.  Since it requires such little upkeep, it’s perfect for a brewery patio where it will take on an onslaught of beer, sun, rain, and traffic.  Stay tuned for pics and updates of the completed project or stop by Big Lake Brewing this summer and try it out for yourselves.

(above) take a look at the shipment of Ipe that recently arrived at our shop

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