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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has a set of wind chimes that she absolutely loves. The original top 8-inch diameter disc, the one that holds the 6 lengths of 3/4-inch copper tubing that comprise the chimes, as well as holding the chain with the central clapper and sail, failed a few years ago. I replaced it with a piece of cedar htat I had on hand. That lasted a few more years then it failed too.

I wanted Teak but couldn't find it any where. I found a source that would sell me a sample board of Ipe of the necessary width. Ipe is a very hard, dense, and water/decay resistant tropical hardwood. In fact it is so dense that Ipe will sink in water, the only wood to not float!

I was actually scared to try and work with this wood!

I discovered that carbide tipped saw blades work great. I found that pin-end jig saw blades designed for thick hard woods did a good job cutting the 8-inch diameter circle. I found that a rasp and sand paper work good (the coarser the better) at cleaning up all the saw marks. I finally used a carbide tipped router bit to round over the edges and it did fine too.

Not as tough as steel, but a darn hard wood!
 

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Exposed to the UV's, it will turn grey, and really unrecognizable as ipe, but should hold up pretty good.

I have some on my deck. And a few years back, after my birdfeeder (I think it was maple) started to disintegrate, I remade it out of ipe. I didn't find any problems working with it, but then I really was not doing a lot of cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To the op, it is also difficult to glue up due to oil content!
Teak is similar in that regard IIRC. Now my wife wants the clapper and sail replaced too! I worry the wood might be too heavy to use for the sail, but maybe not after I rip a piece of the 1-14 inch sample board remnant to a 3/8-inch thickness.

Ipe wood looks dark brown on the exterior. Cutting, rasping, and sanding reveals a weird greenish-yellow interior color. And then it ages to gray? Crayola wood!
 

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I applaud you for putting that much work into a wind chime. I would have tossed it in the trash and bought a new one.
 

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There's a reason it's also called iron wood.
It needs to be predrill before screwing or nailing.
 

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Before I knew better,I made a couple of 8’ long by 18” wide benches out of the stuff for my deck. Ten years later they still look great even though they have been direct sun year round. But they have also occupied the same space for that entire time.....given that they each weigh about a buck fifty!!
 
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