Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Say "Po-TAY-to," You Say...

Both are pronounced "ee-pay."

Family Name for Ipe Lumber:  Tabebuia of family Bignoniaceae

Still with me?  Ipe is the wood I have chosen for my steps.  I finally made my way to the LeeRoy Jordan Lumber Company (a good Texan name, no?) here in Dallas yesterday.  I wanted to see a big ol' pile of Ipe for myself -- not just a cut piece of it -- to see how the color straitions change and how it really looks.  I love it!  It is so dense and hard that the first time I touched it I thought it was composite.  But no!  It's naturally occurring... just not in the U.S. of A.

Here's what the internet has to say about Ipe -- you can learn with me...

Ipe wood is known by many names: Ipe Brazil, Amapa, cortex, Guayacan, Flor Amarillo, Greenheart, Madera negra, Tahuari, Lapacho negro. It has a number of trade names: Ironwood™, Pau Lope™ & Brazilian Walnut... these are commercial names given to Ipe lumber by large Brazilian exporters.

Some of these trade names for ipe lumber, include not only Ipe wood, but also a number of other similar species like cumaru (Dipterix odorata) and jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata). "Ipe lumber" can be used in somewhat of a more generic fashion, rather then a singular biological description. Ipe wood is often clustered with other woods that share similar characteristics.

Ipe is world renown as the premium natural material for decking. It is hard, dense, and resistant to the ravages of the elements such as rot, UV degradation and insect pests.

Ipe is also one of the most beautiful natural materials available. Its fine grain and rich color enhances any design. Ipe is a hardwood tree of the genus Tabebuia. Some common ways this hardwood is referenced when misspelled is epay , epi, ipea, epee, or eepay. It is actually pronounced "ee-pay". We purchase our Ipe from South America, encouraging responsible, sustainable and renewable forestry practices.


I'll be heading out to visit with the steel fabricator this week to give him the marked up shop drawings and a sample piece of the Ipe for sizing.  I am so excited!