Teak, working with

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Soon I will be starting a stereo cabinet disguised as a credenza to go with my friend's 1950s danish modern desk e-Bay find. He is audiophile with old school vinyl, tube amplifier and turntable.

Case will be marine grade teak with solid wood for legs, edging and details. Anyone have experience with glues. My wood bible says, "...oily nature can make gluing difficult, so experiment first, but screws and nails are easy to use." I hadn't planned on screws but if glue is suspect I might reinforce the case to leg joint with a couple of screws, covered with plugs (would be inside of case).

Any insights will be appreciated.

I did a small outdoor table repair for a client and used epoxy, but the joinery itself did most of the work, so I don't have any idea if the epoxy did good, or if Titebond III (or similar) would have been just as good.

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Soon I will be starting a stereo cabinet disguised as a credenza to go with my friend's 1950s danish modern desk e-Bay find. He is audiophile with old school vinyl, tube amplifier and turntable.

Case will be marine grade teak with solid wood for legs, edging and details. Anyone have experience with glues. My wood bible says, "...oily nature can make gluing difficult, so experiment first, but screws and nails are easy to use." I hadn't planned on screws but if glue is suspect I might reinforce the case to leg joint with a couple of screws, covered with plugs (would be inside of case).

Any insights will be appreciated.

I did a small outdoor table repair for a client and used epoxy, but the joinery itself did most of the work, so I don't have any idea if the epoxy did good, or if Titebond III (or similar) would have been just as good.

Back in the seventies Teak over here in the UK was just about the only timber any self respecting maker would use or hope to sell. The modern adhesives you mention did not exist then so I can't say how good they will be. However, before glue up I always wiped the pieces generously with a substance known as Carbon-tetrachloride, which used to carry a label telling me it was a narcotic but, I never intended drinking the stuff, mind you in a confined space without ventilation it had some interesting side effects.

The glue I used then was either good old Hide glue or a product known in UK as Cascamite. Cascamite is still available there but, I'm not too sure if it's the same stuff as I seem to remember reading that it was Casien based, but, now it is a Urea-formaldehyde adhesive. You have Unibond 800 in the States I believe. Failing any of these I'd go for a good Epoxy. But, I think you will still have to de-oil it in some way first.

Pete

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It's been over 10 years since I worked with teak. I remember cleaning the surfaces with acetone (safer than carbon tet) before glueup. I used yellow glue, probably elmers and it seems to have held up. I haven't had any failures in any of the joints in over 10 years of constant use. Everything I built is inside so I can't attest to the exterior use.

Given today's adhesives, I would probably choose either Titebond III or Gorilla glue. The main issue seems to be cleaning the oils off the surfaces so the glue can adhere.

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It's been over 10 years since I worked with teak. I remember cleaning the surfaces with acetone (safer than carbon tet) before glueup. I used yellow glue, probably elmers and it seems to have held up. I haven't had any failures in any of the joints in over 10 years of constant use. Everything I built is inside so I can't attest to the exterior use.

Given today's adhesives, I would probably choose either Titebond III or Gorilla glue. The main issue seems to be cleaning the oils off the surfaces so the glue can adhere.

Mike, thanks for the input.

Do you have a sense if Denatured Alcohol or Mineral Spirits would act as well (or nearly) as acetone? I'm not fond of acetone smell or even stocking another solvent.

tom

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Mike, thanks for the input.

Do you have a sense if Denatured Alcohol or Mineral Spirits would act as well (or nearly) as acetone? I'm not fond of acetone smell or even stocking another solvent.

tom

I haven't tried either. You could use a respirator to kill the smell.

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Two things. Teak is pricey so I would not take a risk. Fans of Titebond III say it works great. With epoxy you will never have a problem. For interiors I would use Titebond III and exterior Epoxy. If money is a problem, take a look at Iroko (African Teak) may be you like it ... may be not ... but is way more economical and looks fantastic.

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I wrote to Titebond tech support and received this reply:

"Titebond III works well with teak, and surface preparation is advisable.

Acetone works particularly well but denatured alcohol is an acceptable

substitute as long as enough time is allowed for it to evaporate prior

to gluing. The reason for surface preparation is to remove the oils and

tannic acids that accumulate at the surface and have the potential to

impair bond strength. Oily woods often benefit from increased clamp

time as well."

I don't have a sense if this is the absolute solid, or more of a general response to oily woods. I had asked about using another solvent than acetone, thus his comment on denatured alcohol. When I get to the gluing stage will be interesting to see if I reach for the Titebond III or epoxy. One never knows how my gut will drive me until the moment arrives. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and information.

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