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Type of Wood for Table - Camaru

I went to a local lumber yard today to see about getting Cypress.. No one around here in Virginia has Cypress. One place I went to had some cypress but they said it is not the same quality that used to come out of Florida and Louisiana.. most likely it comes from North Carolina.

They did show me this wood called Camaru. A lot of people use it for high-end decks. One website described it as "Camaru is about five times harder than pine, cedar or redwood and is generally considered one of the most durable of deck hardwoods. Cumaru wood is incredibly fire resistant, having a Class A rating (the same as steel and concrete). With the steel, concrete, and Camaru construction of Ikal Living, fire safety was a big design goal.

So my question is this.. has anyone built one out of this wood?

I can build a large table for about $150-$200 with this wood.


  • It sounds a lot like Ipe, which is also used for high-end decks and has the same fire rating. If you have good enough tools to cut it effectively, then I bet it would make a table that will last forever. Good luck!
  • Yea they said it looks just like the wood you mentioned. In fact they said they have to keep it in different places so it doesn't get confused. The only thing I worry about is that it will be really heavy..even with wheels. The wood is real heavy and is 1" thick.
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I am not familiar with this wood at all and I consider my self a fairly experienced woodworker. My guess is that this material will not only be heavy, it will be extremely hard to work with. Sawing, sanding, drilling, etc, is likely to require top quality shop equipment and be very labor intensive.
    You can use untreated pine if you apply several coats of spar varnish or you can use "yellawood" treated pine [see the post just before yours], it can be sanded and stained to a decent finish, or you can look for redwood or douglas fir at you lumber yard.
    Of coure, the best choice is still cypress, both my tables are made from it, and both are posted on this forum. I know cypress is available in Jacksonville and I suspect that it is readily available at least as far north as Savannah. Maybe some of the other folks on here will know some locations nearer to you.
    I would also be curious to know just what is inferior about the cypress your local yard has to offer? It is all rot resistant, so if it is not totally full of knots or is not warped and crooked, it may by fine.
    Like my grandaddy always told me, "You ain't building a watch there sonny." :laugh:

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    I agree with you.. the harder the wood, probably going to take some real serious drilling to get through it. The yard didn't have any 2x4's for the legs in Cypress, so what would you substitute?

    I think all the Cypress they had was 1x4. The guy at the lumber yard just said that he didn't think the stuff they were getting from North Carolina these days was as good as the stuff that used to come out of Florida and Louisiana. Maybe it is all the same, who knows.

    I like the comment about the watch.. you can get carried away with projects.

    I'm modeling mine after the plans from Naked WhiZ but I read that someone beefed up the legs more than he had in his plans.
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    What about using Cedar from Home Depot?
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Sorry for the late reply, I have been gone for a couple of days.
    Cypress is a better choice than cedar, but cedar wiil work. I never see it in the big box stores in anything other than 1x material.
    I make my legs by laminating 1x4's together. Cut two pieces the full length of your leg, then lay your rails in place on one of the pieces, cut spacer blocks to fill in the gaps, put your other piece on top, and bingo, you have made a very strong mortise joint for your frame.
    The table I just finished is posted under "New Table and some food" about a week ago. I'm not sure the pics show enough detail, but maybe it will help.

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I just went back and checked, My post was on the 6th, and called "New Cart and a little Food."

    You are welcome to e-mail me if you have more questions.
    [email protected]

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    Your table looks nice. ;) I might either buy or make one like the first one below. This one is made out of Ipe and I like how they did the end pieces on the top. There is a guy on eBay selling these. I also like having casters on all 4 legs so you can move it around without lifting and you don't have the legs sitting on the ground.


    On this table, I like how they did the piece of stone under the Egg so the ashes don't get on the wood. Notice how it goes to the edge. I think this is from NakedWhiz.


    And on this one, I like the side table..I don't like laying a paver stone under the egg.. I think if you have a nice table like this, build it into the frame.

  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Those are all very nice tables, variations on the NW design, as are both of mine. My other table has a full tile top, 6pcs of 12 ceramic left over from tiling my bathroom, with a 2" cypress border all the way around.
    I found the wagon wheels on line and really like the look, but I don't move either table any appreciable distance.
    Be sure and use a 16" paver and the feet under the egg to prevent scorching. There have been some posts on here of tables that were severely damaged by heat through the stone without an air space in between the egg and stone.
    The ash shelf is a nice touch, but I use an old shop vac for my cleaning. It is far less messy and does a much better job.
    Let me know if I can be of any more help :)

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    Would a 7/8" thick piece of granite under the green egg and then have the green egg sit on the feet be enough to keep it from scorching? Or would you inlay another type of stone? I think granite can take 600 degrees.
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    The small air space the feet provide is essential, so I think you will be fine with the granite, but I have no direct knowledge of the heat transfer properties. If it were me, and I had the granite, I would use it.

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    I read this on the NakedWhiz site about stuff people have used underneath the egg and how it has cracked or caught on fire. This report suggests using Fire Bricks..
  • IKKUMA22IKKUMA22 Posts: 1
    New to the site!!! looking for plans for a table to fit
    a large BGE. Can anyone supply one?
  • wustazwustaz Posts: 10
    we used outdoor ceramic tile under ours. We were told granite would crack being exposed to the elements (we're in Toronto) our tiles are 19X19
  • WhidsterWhidster Posts: 2
    We are building our deck out of cumar. It is beautiful wood. Yes it is hard, but we are able to work with it without too much difficulty. Keeping your saw blades sharp is a must.

    We were thinking of using 14 inch square porcelain tiles for under our egg. Any thoughts on that?
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    I read this on the NakedWhiz site about stuff people have used underneath the egg and how it has cracked or caught on fire. This report suggests using Fire Bricks..

    I got some fire bricks for $.75 each.
  • CRF450808CRF450808 Posts: 34
    very sharp! What stain / finish did you use? home many coats? It sure looks sweet..

    Hawkman, thats the first pic i saw of NakedWiz's option b design on the slate under the egg going all the way to the edge of the frame, thanks for posting the pics.. I may have to cut mine out like that.. I'm prob going to use green lemon ice granite if I can get this piece I already have cut down and polished for cheap...or I may go see what kind of scraps I can get from a buddy..

    The granite I have has been sitting out for a year and we got several good freezes in GA last cracks or even discoloration..but then I guess it could crack when it gets hot?
  • I have not heard of/worked with camaru either. I cannot get cypress locally (in PA) either without having to pay an arm and a leg to have it shipped. My deck posts and railing are made out of Ipe and they are heavy. It took some pretty sharp bits and blades to drill, cut and route the Ipe properly. It's a beautiful wood though.

    Made mine out of some really nice cedar boards carried by a local lumbar yard. I don't know if I would trust cedar from HD or Lowes. I am willing to bet that most of it is warped and bowed there.
    Large BGE. Southeast Pennsylvania. @BrianObst
  • RicklesssRicklesss Posts: 391
    Although my table top is stainless, the frame is all Ipe. I wanted to use teak, but it was far too expensive. :(
    I didn't have much problem cutting or drilling the Ipe (though it sure IS heavy!) but, I did have difficulty making the epoxy (West Systems) stick like it should.
    It sure came out nice in the end, with the use of stainless fasteners and expoxy, though!

    Wustaz, you might want to consider getting an air gap under that egg.

    I used a thick paver stone on the stainless shelf, and on top of that, a 1/4" thick stainless plate on legs, to elevate the egg for the airgap.
    I was then also able to slide a stainless ash collection tray in between the legs, to facilitate cleaning out the egg with little mess.
    Then it gets emptied and pushed back in, fairly hidden.
  • I made my 24' x 16' deck with railing and privacy wall completely out of "Cumaru". I made the deck entirely myself and did not find it unbelievably difficult to do. In fact, I plan on using the leftover lumber to construct my BG table as well. If you haven't already chosen a new path then let me give you a pointer or two. This wood is so hard you cannot nail into it. You will split the wood if you try, and it's hardness will not allow you to go far into the wood anyway. All screws and the like will need to be predrilled. Somewhat of a pain, but the trouble will be worth it considering the finished product. If you need to glue any parts, then use Gorilla glue. It's weatherproof and works excellently with this wood. A simple oil finish will be all you will need to finish it off. Use a kind recommended for decks. And don't stain it!! It's too beautiful to alter it's natural color. The wood is not impossible to work with, but be prepared it might dull a few drill bits. Since it's not that big of a project you'll be fine. My carbide tipped tablesaw blades are fine, and I did a lot of cutting!! Good luck
  • hawkmanvahawkmanva Posts: 11
    I have a 1 foot piece of cumaru that was sealed on 1/2 of it.I've left it in the sun for about 4 weeks and the side that is not sealed is starting to crack on the ends. I imagine it is VERY important to seal this stuff right after you build something else, risk cracking.

    I had also bored a hole 1/2 way through the wood where I made that hole, it is starting to crack as well. It wasn't cracked when I made the hole.
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