Adhesion Issues with Teak Edgebanding

The oils in Teak wood tend to interfere with glue bonding. Here's how some cabinetmakers handle that when applying shop-made Teak edgebanding. January 8, 2007

We have a job that is teak veneer plywood slab doors/dfs. We could not find a decent supplier for teak 3mm (and there are only 5 cabinets so a whole roll would be overkill). We just re-sawed and planed some 4/4 to 3mm. Its nice stuff, and this is the first time I've worked with it.

Anyhow, we have a Holz-her 1411. We are not happy with the test pieces we banded, the band pulled off fairly easily due to the oils in teak. Is the answer going to be swabbing this band with lacquer thinner? How long do I have after cleaning before the oils seep back to the surface and I have to re-band?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From the original questioner:
Well, we tried swabbing them with lacquer thinner pretty well and it still doesn't work. The wood is freshly milled and freshly cleaned. How can we get a better bond of the teak to the ply? Is the bond just going to be less strong as it would be for other non-oily woods like cherry or maple?

From contributor D:
You could try priming the edge of the teak strips with a solution of diluted contact cement. I think you will get your best results gluing on with wood glue and clamps.

From contributor J:
You might want to try tongue and groove white glue and clamps. Its always worked for me.

From the original questioner:
We found that using a conical disk sander (on the venerable old shopsmith) to 80-grit the back of the band, coupled with a higher glue temp gave us an adequate bond.

From contributor P:
Adwood has a primer that works well with teak. Prime the strip and allow it to dry. Then run as normal on your bander.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor T:
Teak is a bear when it comes to EVA adhesion. Dorus makes a PVA based primer designed for lumber banding. It is especially recommended for oily woods like Teak or Koa. A thin coat of primer on back-sanded 80G works great.

Comment from contributor K:
Teak is very oily and needs to be washed with acetone before glue or finish is applied to remove the oils from the surface. Wipe several passes and you'll see oils building up on the rag. Wipe until oil presence is minimal or gone. Allow acetone to dry (evaporate). Apply glue or finish within 15 minutes. The natural oils in the teak will migrate back to the cleaned surface quickly. Ive never experienced a bonding problem after using the acetone wash. Caution: Use gloves that are specifically designed to withstand acetone.