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Old 08-06-2019, 01:35 PM   #1
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Oil for exterior teak ...

I have been using tongue oil this summer. I like that it repels water and is holding up great to the Wisconsin summer sun. I only use it on a teak deck table and some teak rails on my aft cockpit. I like it so far but wonder if perhaps in the long run this is a no - no for exterior wood. Any opinions, did i goof up?

Bob.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
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I have been using tongue oil this summer. I like that it repels water and is holding up great to the Wisconsin summer sun. I only use it on a teak deck table and some teak rails on my aft cockpit. I like it so far but wonder if perhaps in the long run this is a no - no for exterior wood. Any opinions, did i goof up?

Bob.

I have used teak oil on exterior teak before and like it. It provides some protection for the wood without all that sanding and varnishing. It needs to be refreshed yearly and you have to be careful to wipe it down well and let it set as it will stain clothing if you are not careful when it is first applied.


No exterior wood on my current boat other than some teak ladder treads that are weather protected. So they go bare. I am using teak oil on some teak chairs and table that live in the aft cockpit however.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #4
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I have used teak oil on exterior teak before and like it. It provides some protection for the wood without all that sanding and varnishing. It needs to be refreshed yearly and you have to be careful to wipe it down well and let it set as it will stain clothing if you are not careful when it is first applied.


No exterior wood on my current boat other than some teak ladder treads that are weather protected. So they go bare. I am using teak oil on some teak chairs and table that live in the aft cockpit however.

Not my intend to doubt about your experience and result with teak oil but just some clarification.
While it is marketed as is, there is nothing like teak oil. This is just a selling name for a mix of linseed oil and/or tung oil and/or mineral oil and/or varnish and thinner.
Said differently buy a gallon of boiled linseed oil, mix it with turpentine and/or mineral spirit and you get the same.

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Old 08-06-2019, 04:42 PM   #5
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Not my intend to doubt about your experience and result with teak oil but just some clarification.
While it is marketed as is, there is nothing like teak oil. This is just a selling name for a mix of linseed oil and/or tung oil and/or mineral oil and/or varnish and thinner.
Said differently buy a gallon of boiled linseed oil, mix it with turpentine and/or mineral spirit and you get the same.
I have heard that before. However, I am way to lazy to mix my own when I have so little teak to worry about. Great advice though for someone with a lot of teak they wish to oil and it would save them a bunch of money.



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Old 08-06-2019, 05:46 PM   #6
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Oil for exterior teak ...

As usual the answer is somewhat nuanced and not perfectly clear in every situation. But it might be useful to think about fundamentals for a moment.



Teak Oil, Varnish and Tongue Oil have a lot in common. But what's a varnish? A useful oversimplification is to say that it is a drying oil, a resin and a carrier. A drying oil is a natural oil that will "cross-link" and cure. Resin is used to leave behind solids and it partners well with the cross linking drying oil. So that's basically what a varnish does when the carrier flashes off.



There are a small number of drying oils, but one of the best is Tung oil! The most popular in varnish is often tung or linseed, linseed being a little less expensive but still has a durable track record.



Teak oil on the other hand, again a bit of a useful oversimplification is basically a drying oil with a carrier but often not the resin, or if there is one it is a low concentration.



So.....by using straight Tung oil, you are achieving a slightly higher build version of teak oil.



So how does teak oil hold up? As usual that depends. In Seattle type weather used externally with just a coat, it basically dries out and can often be recoated, but if you apply frequently enough to cure a bit more and start leaving a finish, it tends to turn mildew black when the weather turns wet at which point the only option is to strip it off and start over. I actually knew a guy who put teak oil on his Nordic Tug and when it turned black, he kept going but would wash it periodically. When I saw it, it was a shiny pure black that actually looked fantastic. When my teak turned black, it looked like hell, so there is a period to go through it you want to see what 10 year black teak oil looks like but I've only seen one that looked good.



As far as Tung oil, its not going to build as fast as varnish will because it has no resin, but it does have the magical cross link curing going on so it will build and faster than typical teak oil. I have not used it this way, but have heard from those who love it and do believe that if persisted with it, it builds to essentially a protective varnish exterior and Tung oil looks fantastic.



Why does it not turn black like teak oil? I have no idea, but I've come across a few who swear by it that I tend to believe its possible.



Sorry not a perfect answer, but hopefully it gives you a bit of fundamental background of the whole drying oil, teak oil, varnish mystique. Years ago lots of people made their own, instead of store bought. Kind of hard knowledge to come by today. Varnish itself is more of a spectrum than a particular formulae ranging from teak oil on one end to a short oil varnish (more resin, less oil) which is a hard surface, to a long oil varnish (less resin, more oil) which is more like a spar varnish that stays flexible, but easily marred.



BTW its drying oils that you have to be careful about rags. Lots of people think of motor oil spontaneously combusting, but that's not correct, its drying oils that generate heat if there is an abundance of both oil, oxygen and surface area. It's just like curing resin that heats up and it can catch fire. So anytime you use a drying oil, I put the rag into a ziplock back and squeeze the air out so it can't get an abundance of oxygen, then put THAT into a metal garbage can that won't burn down if it catches fire.



All of this is a bit oversimplified, but gets you started on the basics. It's actually a fun one to research and helps to decode what is being put into a particular can.

Edited, Tung not tongue!
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:25 PM   #7
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The advantage of mixing your own is that you get to vary the amounts of everything for each coat.
I start out w 20% raw linseed oil 80% kerosene.
Finish w 30% boiled linseed oil, a bit of japan dryer and 70% turpentine.

Start out driving the oil into the wood. As much as you can get in and as deep as you can get it. Penetration is the reason for the kerosene.
Repetitive coats build up the oil under the surface.
When it gets close to wiping up all the oil you put on you’re done.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Just posted this on another thread. Lou talks about his way of doing a fast oiling on boats at the 4:27 mark of this video.


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Old 08-06-2019, 07:05 PM   #9
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I note he said the teak oil he is using does not turn black. Consulting the internet, some said linseed turns black but not Tung. Iím skeptical that is the simple answer and donít understand how one oil will turn black but not another.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:18 PM   #10
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I started using leTonquines number one a few years ago. I cleaned and sanded the wood then put down seven coats of leTonq. Since then I fill scratches as they happen, maybe a light sanding. I put on another coat every six months or so because it’s an oil and the teak absorbs it. All I do for that is give it a light scrub with a scotch brite and water, then after letting it dry, lay on another coat. As I put it on the first time I sanded with 320 after each coat. The instructions said this would give the highest shine, and it does.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:25 PM   #11
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I appreciate the information and experience that Lou, ghost, and Eric have shared.

As I have used teak oil (whatever formulation that I happen to grab) I havenít tried to build up a coating, but simply allow it to soak into the teak. I guess I have used it more as a protectant than a finish if that makes sense.

One of the reason I have done that is I really hate sanding. When the oil is allowed to soak in, it later only takes a good cleaning to prep it to be reapplied as opposed to sanding as is typical with varnish.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:35 PM   #12
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They all turn black if just left to do so.
These oils are fungus food.

But if you keep coating it will look great.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:11 PM   #13
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They all turn black if just left to do so.
These oils are fungus food.

But if you keep coating it will look great.


Iíve tried the keeping up with teak oil, it turned black anyway. So, I respectfully disagree, or there is actually a difference somewhere in what I was doing.

Which makes me curious, if a drying oil turns black, why doesnít varnish? Is it really the resin that makes the difference? Is it linseed formulations because they have a weaker crosslinking and remain oils? Letonkin is basically Tung, why doesnít that turn black?

There is something more complicated going on, and it bothers me that itís a dark art instead of explainable. Is it as simple as uncured oil? Hate things I cant explain in full or principle.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:34 PM   #14
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I have recently been introduced to SEMCO Teak Sealer. The guy using it says it will not turn black like other oils. Does anyone have experience with this product?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:27 AM   #15
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We had great results with a product called Teak Guard.

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Old 08-07-2019, 06:50 AM   #16
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We had great results with a product called Teak Guard.

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Bob
Is the Teak Guard holding up well in Cuba? Or elsewhere. Need to take in to consideration the actual amount of sun and weather all of these products are exposed to. I have great luck with varnish with the boat inside from November until June 1st.
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