Get the Best Results When You’re Woodworking With Teak Wood

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teak woodAre you planning to work on a heavy duty project? Then teak may just be the right kind of wood for you.

Teak is known to be a very dense hardwood which is known to be water resistant because of its high oil content, as well as tight and straight graining.

Teak is known to be very durable which is why people have been using this kind of wood for centuries in creating outdoor furniture, patios, and even boat decks.

If you’re planning to do some woodworking with teak, here are a couple of things which can help you out with your project.

Uses of Teak

Aside from boat decks and its accessories, teak can be used for any type of furniture as it can readily withstand various elements. Again, because teak resists moisture very well, you can create outdoor chairs and tables with this wood. If you’re aiming for a bigger project, you’d find that teak works well when it is used in spas or even saunas.

Varieties of Teak

When choosing teak, you should know the different varieties. Sometimes suppliers will sell “teak” varieties but the “real” one is a Southeast Asian native which can be known as tectona wood.

A lot of suppliers have teak wood that comes from Brazil under the cumaru species which has similar properties, but are entirely different.

These cumaru types are grown in plantations and can be used as flooring material. On the other hand, tectona is generally harvested from its native forests and grows as high as 120 feet and lives up to a hundred years.

Because of these differences, you might get a variety of colors for the raw wood so like all projects, try to buy your supplies from the same source to get the consistency of color that you’d like.

Woodworking with Teak

Teak has a notorious reputation when it comes to the blades and the bits. Because of this, you might want to use sharper carbide-cutting blades and bits.

In addition, you would want to keep all of your equipment free from pitch to help them cut as cleanly, and as long as possible. Another thing you can do is find blades which have a high TPI (teeth per inch) to have cleaner cuts with less waste.

Joining Teak Wood

While you can use nails, screws, and other mechanical fasteners when working on your teak projects, you can also use traditional ones like dovetails and tenon joints which can greatly enhance the wood’s beauty (and you get to show off your woodworking skills too!).

A Few Notes on Safety

Working with teak (for all varieties) will require you with extra safety measures which you don’t usually need when using common types of wood.

In addition to your typical safety gear (your hearing protection, safety goggles, and appropriate attire), you need a NIOSH – approved mask to protect yourself from dust.

Since the dust from teak can be toxic if you inhale it, you’d want a heavy-duty mask as well as proper ventilation when you do cutting and sanding on teak.

Teak Finishing

Because of its high content of naturally occurring resin and oils found in the teak’s pores, you don’t want to finish it the same way you would with other woods.

For starters, stains and the typical wood finish won’t easily adhere to the wood. When woodworking with teak, what you need is to follow a more traditional method.

You should first clean the surface and apply a generous coating of teak oil to all the surfaces which are exposed and allow it to soak as much as possible before you wipe off the excess.

Before you expose your piece to other elements, make sure you’ve allowed it to dry for a few days.

When you’re refinishing your oiled teak, first clean its surface with a spray cleaner and a non-abrasive pad.

You then clean off the residue and the resins using a denatured alcohol or an acetone before finally applying an additional teak oil coating.

As maintenance, you might need to clean and refinish your piece every now and then to make sure it’s always in pristine condition.

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