• December Turning Challenge Winner!
    Congratulations to Wilson Andrews, the winner of the December Turning Challenge, theme: Happy New Year!
    CLICK HERE to see the voting results.
  • January Turning Challenge -- Turn a French Rolling Pin!!

    Click HERE for further details.
  • Turning of the Week --January 17, 2022

    Congratulations to Andy Goldman for "Latest Charity Donation Bowl" being selected as this weeks TOTW! CLICK HERE for full details.

  • Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

IPE Brazilian Walnut

Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
New Canaan, CT
I recently aquired some IPE Brazilian Walnut deck boards from a friend. As the wood is beautiful, my understanding is it's very toxic. Does anyone know anything about this wood and how safe it is for food items. Attached is a bowl I made from it. Thanks for any insight.
 

Attachments

  • IMG-1609.JPG
    IMG-1609.JPG
    407.1 KB · Views: 28
  • IMG-1611.JPG
    IMG-1611.JPG
    417.9 KB · Views: 28
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,706
Likes
1,354
Location
Eugene, OR
Ipe, is one of those woods that people can react to. I believe it is mostly the fine dust, and once turned, it should be fine for eating out of, or very minimal risk, but not positive. General rule of thumb for woods, the stronger the scent is, the worse it is for you. Chemical warfare against bugs. I am going to be making a mortar and pestle out of some pieces I have. It does not glue up well because of all the oil in it. Very hard, and lots of silica in it.

Marketing cracks me up... It is as much of a walnut as Jatoba is cherry....

robo hippy
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
New Canaan, CT
Thanks Reed, great insight. I have 2 of these bowls. The one above is 19" in diameter by 5" height. I plan to sell this one in person at a Farmer's Market this Spring so the customer knows what they are getting first hand. I used Titebond 3 for the glue up. We'll see if it holds.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,459
Likes
702
Location
Bozeman, MT
Here's the entry in the Wood Database:

Ipeirritant, headache, asthma, vision effects Symbols for hand, eye, lungs

The US Forest Service/USDA used to have a resource on wood toxicity, but it appears not to be available any longer.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
105
Likes
56
Location
Huntington, VT
I have used it in a cabinetmaking project, for edgebanding and as sliced veneer. My recollection is that the material was splintery, though not as bad as wenge, and the splinters festered badly. The sanding dust was fine, oily and a bit obnoxious, though I had no toxic reaction.

Ipe describes a number of species in the Tabebuia genus and they may be mixed in commerce, so the characteristics may vary somewhat. As you have probably found, it is quite hard and heavy and dulling to tools. It is most often found air-dried for decking and although stable when dry can move a lot while getting to that point.

Many people have adverse reactions to working ipe, especially the sanding dust. Here are several links from woodworkers in the trenches ipe safety gluing ipe working w/ ipe.
A couple of memorable quotes, "The sustainability of ipe (I suspect) is due to its natural resistance to woodworkers" and
"I believe Satan's throne must be made of ipe, as it already smells like a blast from Hell."

I doubt there would be any safety concerns for the end user of an ipe bowl, but that's just a guess. As far as gluing it, thoroughly dry wood and freshly machined surfaces are a must. "Brazilian Walnut" is just a marketing ploy.


 
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
New Canaan, CT
I have used it in a cabinetmaking project, for edgebanding and as sliced veneer. My recollection is that the material was splintery, though not as bad as wenge, and the splinters festered badly. The sanding dust was fine, oily and a bit obnoxious, though I had no toxic reaction. Ipe describes a number of species in the Tabebuia genus and they may be mixed in commerce, so the characteristics may vary somewhat. As you have probably found, it is quite hard and heavy and dulling to tools. It is most often found air-dried for decking and although stable when dry can move a lot while getting to that point. Many people have adverse reactions to working ipe, especially the sanding dust. Here are several links from woodworkers in the trenches ipe safety gluing ipe working w/ ipe. A couple of memorable quotes, "The sustainability of ipe (I suspect) is due to its natural resistance to woodworkers" and "I believe Satan's throne must be made of ipe, as it already smells like a blast from Hell." I doubt there would be any safety concerns for the end user of an ipe bowl, but that's just a guess. As far as gluing it, thoroughly dry wood and freshly machined surfaces are a must. "Brazilian Walnut" is just a marketing ploy.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,706
Likes
1,354
Location
Eugene, OR
I had an outdoor patio built and a lot of it was trimmed in Ipe. The carpenters wore masks when working it. They had respiration issues with the dust.

As for gluing it, to me, you can use acetone to remove surface oils for a glue up. I would expect the oils to leach back into the joint over time. I remember having a new zero clearance insert on my table saw, and ripped some Ipe. There was a pile of resin where the blade went into the insert. Not sure how they would glue up teak, but the woods are very similar.

robo hippy
 
Top