I'm presently working up a quote building a teak bookcase with glass panel doors. I've never worked teak before and I would like to find out from the group the difficulties cutting, planing and shaping teak. I have a 10 foot sliding table saw with 12 inch carbide Forrest saw blades. 15 inch planer with carbide knives and carbide shaper cutters. So my question is am I my prepared to work teak or am I in for a load of trouble. By the way I'll be buying 4/4 teak in the rough. Thank you!
Can Titebond Wood Glues be used for projects using teak, cedar or redwood?
Because a surface layer of oil or tannic acid tends to build up on these species, they can present a problem. For either type of wood, planing, jointing, or sanding shortly before bonding will remove the contaminating layer and allow successful bonding. Otherwise, the surface being bonded will need to be wiped with acetone to remove the layer. Acetone dries quickly and allows bonding almost immediately after the surfaces have been wiped.
I’ve done many custom projects like this in teak. If the customer is willing to pay for it, give them the best you can. I only epoxy teak as I know it will bond with no troubles. The best job I ever did with the wood was custom 2 1/4” screen doors for a wealthy client. They still look good today as they did 12 years ago.
We only glue teak or any troublesome woods with epoxy.
People often talk about glueing teak as some big problem. Its not. Use a comparable epoxy to West System. Sand surfaces with 60 grit(wide belt) or 80 grit(hand/sander). Wipe with acetone before layup. There is no huge rush after wiping. It often takes 30 or more minutes before a large layup is completed. I wouldn't be concerned about more oil contamination for hours after an acetone wipedown.
Never thin epoxy unless the ply or wood dry rotted or severely delaminated. It lowers all of the epoxy physical properties. Thinning does not increase adhesion or moisture resistance. This is the recommendation of West, not my opinion.
Two major problems people have with epoxy layup are not sanding and too much clamping pressure. It is not PVA.
We have done miles of teak interior/exterior/marine bonding for several decades. All done with West or similar epoxy systems. To the best of my knowledge we have had zero failures. Where as there have been many pva failures over the years.
Definitely shop around when buying teak. There are two types. Natural and plantation. Huge price difference. They look different to an educated eye. The plantation grown have much straighter growth lines.
The reason teak is probably the toughest on tools is not the hardness. The wood is actually quite soft. The problem is it grows in fine sand. It grows into the wood. You can see super fine white dust in the grain.
When doing teak jobs we include sharpening costs for a blade, jointer knives, planer knives, shaper cutters and replacement of router bits.
High speed steel jointer/planer knives get dull extremely fast when working teak.
The material is expensive enough that I include a risk factor cost. The material cost can be the same as labor cost. You do not want to cover the cost of teak out of your own pocket if there is a mistake.
Obviously the combined cost of the wood, epoxy, sharpening, and risk factor make teak an expensive choice. We make our customers aware of this. Its for nice boats and mansions so they can suck it up.
Thank you Matthew and Adam for such informative information. I'm impressed with this group!!! All of your information from all within this thread will be incorporated in this project and I'm quite confident it will be a very old and beautiful antique in the distance future.
When I built teak louvered boat doors, we only glued with resorcinol. Left a purple glue, but bonded extremely well.
I had a glue tech explain that if you use water base glues on Cedar, teak, and other oily woods, they must have the surface oil removed in the glued areas. However, if you use solvent type glues, they cut thru the oil in woods for a best bond.
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