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Old 09-18-2014, 11:40 AM   #1
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Interior Teak Renewal Questions

Need some help from this distinguished audience. Iím in the process of renewing the interior teak on the boat. Itís a í76 and apparently gone a long while without much attention to the wood. A good friend (must be a good friend) and somewhat accomplished amateur woodworker has undertaken some initial work on the project.
We think the teak was not sealed Ė just decades of crud, oil, and some water damage. The wood is very dark.
He has cleaned with oxalic acid solution, denatured alcohol, washed with detergent, etc. Some has come out quite nice, while other pieces have retained the grunge. Even the pieces that have not come ďcleanĒ are still way better than initially Ė but not as nice as others. Iíve attached a few photos below.
The question is, regarding the darker pieces, is there a point where you stop cleaning and start sanding? For that matter, will sanding help?
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:27 PM   #2
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I would try sanding a small area on the backside to see how it looks. If you're pleased with the results, you can sand them all to match.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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Looks like that could be natural color variation to me - in other words you could sand all you want and all the pieces might still vary in color a little. Natural product and all that.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
Looks like that could be natural color variation to me - in other words you could sand all you want and all the pieces might still vary in color a little. Natural product and all that.
That is what I think. Teak comes in a variety of colors from the lite honey color to deep red or browns. That is just the nature of teak. Bleaching can even it out some, but the underlying color is always there.

Click on this link.

https://www.google.com/search?q=teak...%3B1145%3B1300
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #5
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I pretty much just sand everything with 100 grit on an orbital and refinish with tung oil mixed with 25% Japan dryer. Multiple coats.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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Japan dryer.
What is this?
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:23 PM   #7
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Greetings,

Wellll........maybe not.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:58 PM   #8
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I`ve had success cleaning dirty antique furniture with furniture grade very fine steel wool, using mineral turpentine as the liquid.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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Are you sure the darker wood is dirty? Maybe not. Teak can have a quite wide colour range, even in the same piece. I'll bet that your wood came from several trees, not just one.
You might try sanding the backside of a piece that won't show but cautiously.
You might try more bleaching but again cautiously.
You may damage the wood.

I have a teak interior [35 yrs old] and have added wood over the years. The newer stuff is almost impossible to pick out unless you know which are the newer pieces. It is all now darker than it was years ago.


Those darker pieces simply look like a darker, reddish teak.
Good looking wood.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:32 PM   #10
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It is all now darker than it was years ago.
Funny about teak. The newer, darker interior pieces that I installed a couple of years ago have lightened with aging and exposure to sunlight.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:40 AM   #11
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You can use sunlight on unfinished teak to play with color some . I built new teak cap rail and doors last winter . All the lumber was from same batch. . When I would carry some pcs in the truck to the boat ( about a 15 min drive ) I noticed on a sunny day the top board that was exposed to sunlight turned a noticeably darker red in just a few minutes . But this was sanded new teak and never had any finish on it . You might try some and see .
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:57 AM   #12
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The darker boards usually come from closer to the heart of the tree and are more dense . Some interiors are built with hand selected teak for color variation . When I did my cap rail I had to rip boards up and epoxy back together in a curve .Some of it looks like a butcher block . I had the boat under cover while doing the work and it didn't get much sun light before the finish .
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:01 AM   #13
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Another pic . I 'm not sure how to post more that 1 pic at a time ?
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #14
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I totally agree with all the comments about it being just the variations in the teak wood. I had a very accomplished teak craftsman work on our boat and he told me the same thing. Not anything you can do about it other than replace it but then you need to find a piece that matches the rest of your wood. Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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As always, you guys have come through. We've been working away at the same time, and I'm starting to think the answer is in the middle somewhere.

Followed up on a suggestion to try washing the darker pieces with Dawn dishwashing detergent - that made a noticable change - lightened up considerably with no raising of the grain. That was after the initial treatments noted above. Don't know what that's about.

I'll try FlyWright's suggestion with sanding over the weekend. Thanks to all. Appreciate the comic relief, Firefly.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:41 PM   #16
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My son & I have a 60's project sailboat we are fixing to sell. The complete teak interior had turned a dark, dark, purpleish brown color the bulkhead veneer too thin to sand. I treated all the removable parts with a number of different products and solutions to try and find the best one including teak cleaners and wood bleaches.
Our finding was that chlorine bleach worked the best and that bleach from a swimming pool supply is twice as strong as the best laundry bleaches. Apply, brush, rinse. Hand & eye protection and resperators. Two applications were necessary. Pieces that we thought came out too light were stained with diluted cherry colored stain.
No sanding was necessary or done until after the first coat of varnish was applied. The result was astoundingly beautiful if I do say so.
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #17
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To each his own I suppose. A person can paint natural wood Miami Dolphin turquoise and orange if you want, but I've always thought if you have to buy a chemistry set or spend a million hours forcing wood to a different shade (which it likely won't keep long term anyway), you're misunderstanding the Zen of wood. Torture wood long enough and George Nakashima will come out of his grave to haunt you.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:30 AM   #18
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If you need to have the wood match , the simplest is stick on shelving covering with a picture of wood on the surface,
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:04 AM   #19
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Ha! There you go.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #20
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Thanks, again, all. Not trying for a "match" - but I do want to get it clean so the real wood color and patterns come through. Determined that there is substantial inherent color variation in some of the pieces. Also a lot of prior treatments and general crud. Beautiful work, Pack.
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