Woodworking questions

have any questions?

Read our frequently asked questions below. Contact us directly if you have a specific question.

What is Ipe?

Ipe is a tropical hardwood found in Central and South America. Ipe is extremely hard and dense. It is also known as Brazilian walnut, Lapacho, ironwood, poui, pau lope, cumaru, and amapa.

Why use Ipe outdoors?

Ipe is an excellent outdoor wood. It is a popular choice for hardwood decking, siding, and patio furniture. Its high concentration of tannic acid and natural oils make it resistant to fire, rot, mold, insects, and fungus. Ipe is extremely hard so it resists surface scratches. Ipe can be expected to last 25 years or more outside.

What does Ipe look like when it's finished?

Ipe takes on a rich warm reddish-brown color that looks beautiful indoors and out.

How does Ipe weather?

When exposed to the elements Ipe will take on a beautiful silver-grey patina. The weathering process can take between six to nine months depending on the amount of sunlight and rain the wood is exposed to. The wood will eventually take on a color that has a timeless look and feel.

What kind of finish is applied to my Ipe product?

All of our Ipe planters and furniture come finished with an exterior oil. Oiling gives the wood a beautiful, rich reddish-brown color. The oil is specially formulated to protect the wood from UV rays to maintain its color for as long as possible. We use Messmer’s UV Plus exterior oil specially formulated for Ipe.

How often do I need to reapply the oil?

To maintain the freshly oiled look of Ipe it will need to be oiled every season or when you begin to see the Ipe changing color. If you prefer the silver-grey patina then nothing needs to be done.

How do I reapply the oil?

Reapplication of the oil is an easy process, but the wood must be cleaned first. We recommend using Messmer’s Wood & Deck Cleaner (Part A) followed by Messmer’s Wood & Deck Brightener (Part B).

First, hose the wood down with clean water. Then mix Part A in warm water at the recommended strength. Apply mixture to the wood with a rag or sprayer. Allow to remain on the wood for 10 minutes, making sure to keep it wet. Next, scrub the surface of the wood in the direction of the grain, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

While the wood is still wet follow up with Part B using the same steps as above.

Allow to dry at least a day or two in good weather then reapply the UV Plus oil. Just wipe the oil on, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe off all excess oil. The Ipe will look new again.

Follow all manufacturers instructions.

How will my products be shipped?

We can ship your Ipe products worldwide. They will arrive on an LTL (less than load) freight truck. Lift gate services are available. Products will be delivered on pallets, curbside so you will need to make arrangements to get them to their final destination. Planters will arrive fully constructed with no assembly required.

Can I plant trees in the Ipe planters?

Yes, Our planters are constructed to accommodate the planting of trees and other large items. The planters are built to withstand water, soil, and root pressure that a tree would exert.

Can I order my planters with insulation

Yes, your planters can be built with insulation to help better protect roots from cold weather. 2” thick poly iso rigid foam insulation (R-13) can be added to the four sides and bottom of the planter.

What is the HDPE liner for?

All our planters come with a 3/16” thick black HDPE (high density polyethylene) liner. This liner keeps soil in its place and keeps water away from the wood structure. The liner will not rot or degrade ensuring your planter a long service life. Holes are drilled in the bottom of the liner to keep the soil properly drained.

Can I order a different size planter than the standard sizes listed on the website

Yes. We can make planters in any size, shape, or style you need. We can also make your product in other wood species upon request.

Do I need professional drawings to place a custom order?

No. We can provide you with a quote and construct your custom project from sketches or photos eliminating the need for expensive professional drawings. We will construct your products to the dimensions you specify and will not be responsible for measurement errors.

How do I place an order?

To place an order contact us through email info@ipeoutdoors.com or call us at 215.341.0401. We will provide you with a custom quote and shipping costs. We will confirm all products and measurements in the quote. If you would like to proceed with the order we will send you an invoice. Payments can be made with a credit or debit card securely through PayPal. Checks are also accepted.