I have a customer that insists on bedroom furniture that features heavy slabs of ipe – a platform bed with 4' by 8' by 1 1/2" extended headboard, kingsize bed frame and deck with recessed platform of same thickness, mitered on two exposed corners. It also has two bedside cabinets with a drawer that will have marble tops. The only materials visible specified to be ipe. I guess this is sort of an extreme case of a wood worker imposing the will on the material. Which is what we do for a living anyhow, but usually we hope for an outcome that is durable to at least a degree.
My experience with ipe is negligible, so I've used this site to research the community's experience with the material. It sounds overall like one cautionary entry after another. I have noted the dire warnings of wood movement after completion, terrible dust and splinters, resistance to gluing.
The customer is relieving me of responsibility for cracking and it seems they are attracted to a sort of rustic that I'm not up to speed on. So aside from cracks and the weight, dust, and etc. of this project my questions: can the stuff be glued, and will a 1 1/4" bore glue-joint cutter such as Amana help? My stationary machines with carbide tooling might survive this project, and with adequate protection I have a pretty good chance too. But will this furniture stay together?
From contributor U:
I built a deck two years ago. I did a test, and did all the 6" wide miter returns on the hand rail with just Titebond III. They are still dead tight, in full weather and sun. It surprises me every time I go back.