Author Topic: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!  (Read 2257 times)

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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 28
European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« on: March 02, 2017, 05:53 PM »
Hi there.

I thought I might share my current project, to maybe get some advice along the way or at least give someone something to laugh about. ;)

I have been doing low tech woodworking for all my life, but have recently been able to get some tools to bring my quality and possibilities to a new level.
I do not have a shop. I either need to work in a small shared space in the basement, where everyone park their bikes, or in my living room.

I promised my Mom a new mailbox for her birthday which is rapidly approaching, so I really need to get to it.

Somehow a mix of naivety and stupidity convinced me to feel obliged to try Ipe as a wood for this project.
The only Ipe I could get were some left over planks from my wood supplier.

Since they are 25mm thick, I need to get them split. The mailbox does not need to weigh a ton. ;)

I only have a TS55 to get this done, in the beginning I thought I might be able to cut 55mm into the 145mm wide planks from both sides and cue the rest by hand.
Man was I naive! At least with my limited tools, it's impossible.
So today I cut small strips from the planks (plan to make Dominos out of these strips. [emoji41])
I left roughly 115mm of plank and cut this from both sides. With some effort, I was able to cut the remaining Xmm by hand.

Now the stuff has to be hand planed, or maybe routed in some way, in the weekend. Wish me luck, or even better, give me some good ideas on how to get this hard stuff under control. [emoji51]


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Offline RustE

  • Posts: 141
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 07:03 PM »
If I'm following correctly, the planks are still 25mm thickness and you would like them thinner?

Do you have a router with a template bushing and a good carbide straight bit?  You could make a template to remove material from the center of the boards and leave the edges thicker.

Offline mwildt

  • Posts: 318
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 08:12 PM »
Maybe there is a local woodworker with a planer that can assist or the wood supplier perhaps. If not then a hand plane or an router sled could be used.

Never worked with ipe my self.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 28
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 01:11 AM »
Sorry, if I was not clear enough. It was very late... [emoji42]

So. I cut the boards all the way around with the TS55, then took a handsaw to  saw through the remaining couple of mm. The boards are now around 10-12 mm thick.

Before doing so, I cut 4x 5mm Strips of the boards to get the width down from 145mm to 117mm.

So now the pain will be to remove the "saw marks" and the burrs left in the cut-side.
I will try to hand plane this, but might get the router out, If hand planing proves to be too much of a pain...

Keep the tips coming!
...before, I though about going the router way to just remove material for weight savings. But that would have lead to a whole bunch of saw dust and not many boards to use.


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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 28
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 06:20 PM »
So. I spent most of the day hand planing the saw marks and burrs on my split boards.

I really need to get a bigger plane. It worked on the block plane, but was a tough fight. [emoji58]

Hopefully everything will come together nicely on the end, to make all the sweat and pain worthwhile.

Do any of you guys have tips for finishing the Ipe?
Wax?
Oil?
Which kind?

Thanks for your suggestions/accounts of experience!


Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 60
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 08:06 PM »
Do any of you guys have tips for finishing the Ipe?
Wax?
Oil?
Which kind?



I redid my 750 ft^2 (70m^2) deck in ipe 3 years ago...for outdoor use if you want to keep it pretty I've had good luck with Deckwise Ipe Oil, but it's an annual application for horizontal surfaces.  I've also made a lot of shop doodads with the offcuts and for indoor use I just hit it with a couple coats of Seal Coat.  Hand planing ipe is not my idea of fun...I did use my deck build to justify Byrd heads on my jointer & planer.

Offline Tracky

  • Posts: 15
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 02:27 PM »
I like Cutek Extreme in Walnut color for my Ipe deck. But as mentioned earlier, it must be done annually to prevent silvering.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 28
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 02:49 PM »
Thanks for the great tips!

I finished glueing up the wider boards for front, back and top cover of the mailbox today.
Done with D4 wood glue (resin based) & self made dominoes out of the same Ipe boards.
Making the dominoes was fun. Cut strips from the boards with the small parallel guide on the TS55 and planed them to shape by hand. I had not expected it to be so easy.
Now I'm already into preparing some domino sticks in 5mm for later use.
I chose to go for the mid-width fit. Just fit the source material best...

I hope everything keeps together. [emoji56]

I will finish the layout during this week. Since I have to travel a couple of days it will give me some time to research the finishes you suggested and see what I can get here in Germany.

For the annual refresh, how do you handle this?
Just re-applying or do you need to do the whole shebang including sanding etc...?

I hope to find something that will just be a "wipe on"-once-per-year solution. This should be easily doable with the mailbox...




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Offline Tracky

  • Posts: 15
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 03:05 PM »
Great looking Dominoes!

For the annual refresh, how do you handle this?
Just re-applying or do you need to do the whole shebang including sanding etc...?

We found that sanding is not required, if you stay on top of things. I usually just wash the deck with a power washer, let it dry and then 'mop' it with a staining pad on a long handle. Takes about 2 hours for an 800 sq.ft deck. One day I may just give up and let it silver, but for now we really like the oiled look.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 28
Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 09:44 AM »
Thanks for the input!

So I finally got to around to do some more work.
Boards are in the process of being cut and prepared for assembly. Only the front and some alignments are missing.

I will most likely just route the mail slot and the openings for the paper/magazines.
I hope to be able to dry fit everything tonight and then sand it before glueing.

I plan to leave the front a little wider/longer and just route with a flush trim bit afterwards. Hope that pans out! [emoji1317]


Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 4225
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Re: European mailbox out of Ipe - Woodworkout!
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 04:08 PM »
That is a very good idea on how you re sawed the wood to thinner pieces. Im going to have to remember this, I know it wll come in handy..
Where the Heck Is My Pro 5 Sander At?