Tool Wear and Resawing Teak

Teak dulls blades and loads up sandpaper. Here's advice on the tooling required to process it. February 17, 2014

I have never worked with teak before but have read a lot about it over the years. I have to quote a job that will involve re-sawing in half about 700 board feet of 4/4 teak and running it through our planer sander to 5/16" thick. We will then cross-cut to length. I know teak is abrasive and hard on tooling. Should I figure in a blade or two for the 32" bandsaw and insert knife fee for the planer/sander and chopsaw blade fee?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From Contributor N:
You will want to use a carbide tipped band saw blade and carbide knifes for the planer. Teak will dull steel in a very short time.

From contributor S:
I've run tens of thousands of bf of teak in the last couple of years and can tell you the following: To re-saw you must get a carbide-tipped blade, or expect to use ten times the number of steel blades you'd normally expect. The carbide-tipped blades re-saw wonderfully well - you will find yourself using it for all re-sawing.

To mill teak you should really have carbide in everything that touches the wood, even a few hundred feet through HSS will pretty much destroy it. If the job doesn't justify the expense, you should probably not to do it. I've heard stories about people who didn't understand what they were getting into and lost money as a result.

If you can avoid sanding teak below 100 or 120 you'll be much happier - at finer grits it loads rapidly. Slow feed rates, passes no more than .010 and constant cleaning of your rollers help, but it will load your belts and coat the inside of your sander with waxy dust. It doesn't burn easily, though, so you can get away with using dull belts.

In sum, be sure you account for the substantial expenses involved in milling the stuff or you'll kick yourself for taking the job. It mills cleanly and isn't fussy, but that is the only positive thing one can say about it. The dust does bother some people, but I don't find it offensive, I have more reaction to cedar.

From the original questioner:
I do plan on adding a tooling fee in the bid. We do have carbide on everything except the re-saw and will change that if we get the job.