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All About Structural Framing

How To Stack Hardwood Decking Upon Receiving Material

When unloading the decking, it is crucial to ensure adequate ventilation between the boards. The goal is to mimic the stacking arrangement from the truck, allowing air to circulate beneath and through the stacked decking, preventing warping. This is achieved through three simple steps:

-placing the initial set of boards on wood blocks

-inserting wood stickers (shims) between the boards

-leaving the decking uncovered for acclimation over a period of 5-7 days.

After proper stacking, it is essential to allow the boards to acclimate to the local climate for optimal results, with a recommended waiting period of 5 to 7 days before installation. If you are concerned about protecting your decking during the acclimation phase you can temporarily cover decking with THIN sheets of plywood to sheild from sun, debris, or rain.

Remember: do NOT cover your decking!

Not in a garage. Not in a vault. Not under a tarp. If you cover the decking, all that warping, twisting and cupping will be your fault! In all seriousness, this is the part of the process that even professional installers sometimes forget.

If you cover wood decking with plastic, or store in a garage, the straightness of the wood can become compromised since any coverage will trap in moisture. Allow the decking to settle in the open air and when it comes time to install, you'll be working with straighter boards.

How To Use A Router To Groove Hardwood Decking

For grooving your decking, we recommend using a standard router equipped with a 5/32" router bit, a standard biscuit joiner is also suitable for this purpose.

Simply create a slot in the edge of each deck board above the corresponding joist, ensuring the slot's height accommodates the bottom tab of your deck fastening system. It takes approximately 20 seconds per side to groove a ten-foot-long board. Maintain steady control over the board and your hand throughout the entire process, and wear protective eyewear to prevent injury.

How To Cut Hardwood Decking Using A Chop Saw

Cutting hardwood deck boards using a chop saw requires precision and attention to detail. Follow these step-by-step guidelines for a successful cutting process:

1. Preparation:
   - Begin by ensuring your chop saw is equipped with a high-quality, sharp blade suitable for hardwood.
   - Put on appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses and ear protection, to safeguard against potential hazards.

2. Measurement and Marking:
   - Measure and mark the points on the hardwood deck board where you intend to make the cuts. Use a pencil or a light-colored chalk for clearly visible markings.

3. Secure the Deck Board:
   - Prior to cutting, secure the hardwood deck board firmly to the chop saw's work surface. This helps prevent vibrations and ensures a cleaner, more accurate cut.

4. Adjust the Chop Saw:
   - Adjust the angle and depth of the chop saw according to the specific requirements of your project. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for precise adjustments.

5. Make the Cut:
   - Start the chop saw and approach the board slowly. Maintain a steady grip on the board and let the saw do the work. Avoid forcing the blade through the wood; instead, allow it to cut at its own pace.

6. Considerations for Smooth Cuts:
   - To minimize splintering, position the deck board with the finished side facing down during the cut.
   - Apply gentle downward pressure on the board to ensure it remains flat against the chop saw's surface.

7. Safety Measures:
   - Always follow safety guidelines provided by the chop saw manufacturer.
   - Keep hands away from the blade, and refrain from removing cutoffs until the blade comes to a complete stop.

8. Quality Check:
   - After making the cut, inspect the edges for any splinters or irregularities. Sand the cut edges if necessary to achieve a smooth finish.

9. Repeat the Process:
   - Repeat the process for each hardwood deck board that requires cutting, ensuring consistent measurements and cuts throughout the project.

10. Clean the Work Area:
   - Clear the work area of debris and sawdust regularly to maintain a safe and efficient workspace.

Remember, always refer to the specific guidelines provided by your chop saw's manufacturer and prioritize safety throughout the cutting process. If you are uncertain or inexperienced, consider seeking assistance from a professional or consulting with a woodworking expert.

How To Apply End Seal To Decking

Applying end seal to decking is a crucial step in preserving and protecting the wood. Here's a detailed guide based:

1. Choose the Right End Seal:
   - Select an end seal product specifically designed for the type of decking material you have. Different wood species may require different formulations.

2. Timing Matters:
   - Apply the end seal as soon as possible after cutting the decking boards. This helps prevent moisture from penetrating the freshly cut ends, reducing the risk of splitting or checking.

3. Clean the Ends:
   - Ensure the ends of the decking boards are clean and free of any dust or debris. Use a brush or compressed air to remove loose particles.

4. Shake or Stir the End Seal:
   - If the end seal comes in liquid form, shake or stir it well before application to ensure an even distribution of protective agents.

5. Application Method:
   - Use a brush, sponge, or roller to apply the end seal. Ensure even coverage on all exposed end grain surfaces.

6. Concentrate on the Ends:
   - Focus the application on the cut ends of the decking boards. Apply the end seal generously to create a protective barrier against moisture.

7. Follow Manufacturer's Recommendations:
   - Adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines regarding drying times and reapplication intervals. Some products may require multiple coats for optimal protection.

8. Avoid Overlap:
   - Be mindful not to overlap the end seal onto the decking surface. Wipe off any accidental spills promptly to prevent an uneven appearance.

9. Allow Sufficient Drying Time:
   - Let the end seal dry completely before exposing the decking to foot traffic or adverse weather conditions. Follow the recommended drying times provided by the product manufacturer.

10. Regular Maintenance:
   - Periodically inspect the decking ends and reapply the end seal as needed, especially after any additional cutting or alterations.

11. Dispose of Materials Properly:
   - Dispose of used brushes, applicators, and any excess end seal in accordance with local environmental regulations.

By following these steps, you'll help protect your decking investment, ensuring longevity and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. Always refer to the specific recommendations provided by the end seal product manufacturer for the best results.


How To Apply Seal/Finish To Deck

Learn how to finish a hardwood using Ipe Oil and WiseCoat finish.


1. Clean the deck surface and let it dry

2. Apply Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Finish

3. Wipe up any excess Ipe Oil

Additional tips:

  1. Remove dirt and debris from deck surface & in between gaps

  2. Pre-rinse hardwood deck with a garden hose.

  3. Wait until the surface is completely dry (at least 24 hours in most areas).

  4. Use a 3/8" paint roller to apply

  5. Using a dry rag, rub in any excess or pooled liquid that remains after 5 minutes

  6. Let dry completely.

  7. Properly dispose of can and rags - Do NOT leave cans & used rags exposed to the elements

For best results:

  • Prior to oiling: A light sanding is recommended to eliminate any slight imperfections on the surface of decking/siding boards.

  • Avoid applying:

    • Under full sun

    • If rain is forecast within 24 hours

    • In extreme hot or cold temperatures

    • More than once per season


1. Clean, rinse, and let dry.

2. Apply 2 coats, wet over wet.

3. Back brush and puddles.

Additonal tips:

  1. Remove dirt and debris from deck surface & in between gaps

  2. Pre-rinse hardwood deck with a garden hose.

  3. Wait until the surface is completely dry (at least 24 hours in most areas).

  4. Apply two coats; wet over damp with an air-assisted and/or airless sprayer, a pump-up garden sprayer, brush, or stain pad. Back brush out any puddles.

  5. Let dry completely.

  6. Sprayer equipment and brushes clean up easily with warm soapy water.

For best results:

  • Prior to finishing: A light sanding is recommended to eliminate any slight imperfections on the surface of decking/siding boards.

  • Do not apply if surface or air temperature is below 45°F/7.22°C

  • Avoid applying:

    • Under full sun

    • If rain is forecast within 24 hours

    • In extreme hot or cold temperatures

How To Decide Between Ipe Oil vs WiseCoat

Hardwood decking exhibits an unparalleled warmth, setting it apart from other decking materials. However, the trade-off involves heightened maintenance due to the impact of regional weather conditions in a matter of months. Given the longevity of hardwoods spanning well over a decade or two, the application of an appropriate finish becomes paramount.

This is where the significance of Ipe Oil® and WiseCoat® finishes becomes evident, as they offer a protective layer that can preserve the aesthetic appeal of your hardwood deck, siding, fence, or furniture for an extended period.

Each of these products boasts a distinct finish, contributing to the creation of unique wood grain patterns. Notably, the hardness of hardwoods varies, resulting in diverse color tones. Even within the same species, hardwood boards may exhibit considerable color variations. As a homeowner, it is imperative to discern the desired outcome based on the hardwood species at hand.

Below are pictures of before and after photos of IpeOil and WiseCoat applied to two different decking materials:


Unfinished Ipe Decking


Ipe Oil (left) vs WiseCoat Finish (right)

Ipe Oil (left) vs IpeOil over WiseCoat Finish (right)

Unfinished Cumaru Decking

IpeOil (left) vs WiseCoat Finish (right)

IpeOil (left) vs IpeOil over WiseCoat Finish (right)

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