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IPE
(also commonly called lapacho)

Handroanthus spp.
(used to be Tabebuia spp. --- see fact sheet)




my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of lapacho / Tabebuia heterotricha --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Tabebuia heterotricha is a synonym of the accepted name, Handroanthus ochraceus. The heartwood on this piece is just slightly more green than what is shown here.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of ipe / Handroanthus spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The labeled side is raw and has a patina but the 2nd side has been sanded to 240 grit and so shows details better and does not have the patina. This particular vendor of samples is VERY loose (basically dishonest) in his use of figure descriptions but even so, how he arrives at "bird's eye" for this piece is beyond me.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of ipe / Handroanthus spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The labeled side is raw and has a dull brown patina but the other side is freshly sanded, thus the different color.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of ipe / Handroanthus spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of ipe / Handroanthus spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


small plank --- color is pretty accurate, but there is some green that you just can't see in this shot so I've taken a side grain pic that shows it very nicely (directly below). The first enlargement gets rid of the interference pattern that makes the grain look different in this pic than it is in the wood


edge grain shot of the same plank, but in this view you can see the green and yellow colors


face grain closeup and the same view with the piece moistened with water


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the same piece


plank and end grain sold to me as ipe / Tabebuia serratifolia which is a synonym for the accepted name Handroanthus serratifolius


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of ipe / Handroanthus serratifolius --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank and end grain


plank donated by Jim Glynn --- thanks Jim (NOTE: there is just a touch too much red in this pic)


a pair of planks and a closeup of same --- the detailed pics of the small plank at the top of this page are from a piece cut from one of these


small piece cut from the plank directly above --- I'm trying here to show the fine red, green, and yellow striations in the wood but I have over corrected the color and the yellow is too pronounced and the green isn't showing up at all. I've left the pic in because at least it does show the interlocked grain very nicely even if not the color. I've redone this page and there is now a set of pics at the very top of the page that show the colors much better (not the same plank but cut from the same larger piece)

The following three ipe sample were generously donated by Charlie Plesums, who also sent along a nice little bowl turned from that is shown at the bottom of this page. Thanks Charlie.


Charlie's pic of the planks

These samples, by the way, do not exhibit any of the red and green that you sometimes see in ipe (see my own samples above) but Charlie tells me that they DO produce a fine green dust that turns red with moisture.



fine sanded (left) and rough sanded faces of a small plank --- the color difference is correctly shown and the mottle figure that shows up clearly in the rough sanded side is also present in the fine sanded side, it just doesn't show up well in the face shot. If the piece is viewed at an angle, you can see it clearly, although not as clearly as in the rough sanded side.


end grain of both ends of the same plank


end grain closeups of the same plank --- the darker color is correct


fine sanded (left) and rough sanded faces shots of a small plank --- the color of the fine sanded side is a just a little darker than the actual wood --- the end grain shots directly below show the color better, and as you can see, there IS a difference. The fine sanding, as it so frequently does, enhances the color of the wood compared to a rough surface.


end grain of both ends of the same plank


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the same plank


fine sanded (left) and rough sanded faces of a small plank. The grain on the fine sanded face in particular shows up much more clearly in the first enlargement. This piece is a marvelous example of the interlocked grain that often occurs in ipe. The color difference is correct and is because fine-sanded surfaces frequently show color much better than rough surfaces.


end grain of both ends of the same plank


end grain closeups of the plank directly above --- the darker color is correct


quartersawn plank


flooring sample that has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has slightly enriched and deepened the color. This piece has been sanded down and is shown raw directly below


flooring sample and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the flooring sample directly above. The closeup color is a bit too bland and the update color is correct (also, it's taken from the other end of the plank)


flooring sample and end grain


end grain closeup of the flooring sample directly above

NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR
flooring sample that has been finished with a hard, clear finishing agent that has darkened and enriched the color. The finish was sanded off and the results are shown directly below.


flooring sample and end grain


end grain closeup of the flooring sample directly above


flooring sample and end grain --- this is quartersawn


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


flooring sample and end grain --- this piece was sold as lapacho (flooring trade name "Patagonian walnut") and given the botanical name Tabebuia heptaphylla (synonym of the accepted name, handroanthus heptaphyllus) which is one of the species sold as ipe. The face grain of this piece has an obviously smoother surface, that is it is less grainy, than most of the ipe I am familiar with and this is born out by the end grain closeup which shows a structure that is identical to the other end grain closeups of various ipe samples above, but with the pores closer together.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a fluted sticker of ipe. These are made in 10-foot lengths (probably on a speciality double-sided shaper at an angle and then ripped lengthwise). I ripped one face to get some of the pics. I was told on a wood forum that these are great for hard woods but should be avoided for soft woods because heavy flitches will cause them to make indentations in the wood. I have lost track of who sent me this but I have thanked him here on the site for all the other stuff he sent.


end grain, end grain closeup, and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


veneer with very accurate color --- I have no idea why the color is so much blacker than what I have experienced in the lumber, and I have asked the vendor from whom I purchased these pieces but have gotten no reply, just a statement that he's confident that it IS ipe. I do note that one of the veneer web pics below looks just like these sheets except that it has a slight blueish cast.

NOTE: David Clark of Australia tells me that the color difference may well be due to the steaming of the log prior to veneering.


veneer with accurately depicted very dark green color. Like the sheets above this, it is much darker than I am accustomed to seeing in the lumber and I don't know why.





both sides of a sample plank of lapacho (aka brazilian walnut and ipe) / Handroanthus impetiginosus --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This is NOT ipe, but it is one of several woods that are sold as either ipe or lapacho and its characteristics are close to those of ipe even though it is not even in the same Genus (but it is in the same family)


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above



web pics:



plank that has wet and dry sections


planks


planks listed as ipe / Tabebuia serraatifolia


planks with highly unlikely colors


planks listed as ipe / Handroanthus spp.


plank listed as lapacho


planks listed as lapacho / Tabebuia avellanedae


plank cut from a pallet


plank that has been moistened for the pic

.
scales (which I would guess have been moistened for the pic)


pen blanks, mositened for the pic, which was provided by Dave Cumming, whom I thank.


veneer


veneer listed as ipe / Tabebuia serratifolia, with the first being flat cut and the second quartersawn


much darker than normal veneer but looks pretty much like some of my veneer samples above


web pic of one of the lots that my own samples (see above) were taken from


decking lumber --- this is particularly light-colored for ipe


figured veneer


mottled veneer


ipe flooring sold under the trade name "lapacho"


flooring


one of these two vendors (possibly both) could be confused


plank from a vendor who stated that ipe is similar to ebony in dark color


turning sticks from a vendor who said these sticks were the darkest ipe he had ever seen





a burl





both sides of a 3-inch diameter bowl turned and donated by Charlie Plesums, who also donated several of the ipe samples shown at the top of the page. The small white flakes that show up particularly in the right-side-up view are dust from the styrofoam packing that Charlie used. I didn't even notice their presence until I looked at the enlargements.


really neatly made dodecahedron of ipe, produced by Ed Hollingsworth, whom I thank for the pic.


benches --- the first one is finished and in the second pic, you see one unfinished and one finished


pen turned from ipe / Tabebuia impetiginosus. Photograph contributed to the site by the pen turner, Bruce Selyem, whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The pen is finished with shellwax.