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Old 13-08-2011, 10:28   #1
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Filling Large Crack in Teak

here we have a large crack in our cockpit teak. I have heard many tales in fixing this but would like to hear the forums ideas. Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 13-08-2011, 10:31   #2
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

It looks like it would be easier to just replace it.
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Old 13-08-2011, 10:36   #3
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Ahh that is what came to mind first removing all the bungs and screws just to find out it was glassed into place. Not in the grinding mood, nor liking the current price of teak, my current option it to fill and varnish.
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Old 13-08-2011, 10:54   #4
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

Short of replacing... (it will come off!) 1) clean and fill with epoxy, then varnish (it still will look like a crack.) 2) or... using a small router, attach a straight edge and rout out a slot removing the crack. Then cut a teak strip to fit and glue it in.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:08   #5
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Well let me hear if my idea holds and water. Collect some teak dust from 120 grit sandings and simply mix that in with some epoxy. If I made the mixture thick would it not blend better? Thanks for tue strip idea
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:16   #6
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

If you decide to use the fill with epoxy technique, use a belt sander on a piece of scrap teak to make saw dust. Mix the saw dust to color and thicken the epoxy resin. If it gets to the color you want before it's thick enough, switch to cabosil to finish thickening. Warm peanut butter is the thickness I shoot for. You will still see it, it's just less obvious.
I see you're already on to the saw dust idea while I was typeing.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:17   #7
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

For the same thing, I have created a mixture of epoxy and teak sawdust and puttied it in there.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:26   #8
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Short of replacing... (it will come off!) 1) clean and fill with epoxy, then varnish (it still will look like a crack.) 2) or... using a small router, attach a straight edge and rout out a slot removing the crack. Then cut a teak strip to fit and glue it in.
I've had good success with the rout and inlay technique... I take it one step further though and add a layer of fiberglass in the dado, saturate with epoxy, then bed the inlay while it's all wet. Clamp til cured, plane off excess, sand and varnish. The result is MUCH stronger and IMHO, more cosmetically acceptable than a crack simply filled.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:33   #9
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

If replacement isn't an option I would set up a router to follow one edge of the material and remove a strip wide enough to contain the crack, 2 or three inches if needed. Then inlay a piece of teak. Epoxy glue works well but remember teak is an oily wood that resists bonding and should be wiped down with acetone before gluing.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:37   #10
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

Don't replace it. As long as it isn't structurally compromised and impossible to shore up work with it. If the checking (I assume that's what this is) has not yet reached the ends then it might be a good idea to drill a hole at each end of the crack to stop it going further. If it has then you might want to drill through the piece and dowel it so it doesn't continue to open up.

Then, were it me I would first seal the inside of the crack with a syringe or three of Smiths penetrating epoxy, let that cure (important)and fill the crack with something that has some flexibility. I don't get too worked up about cosmetics in some ways for me the filler of choice would be some black Lifecaulk... this is what I've used for my wood restoration projects all over the boat with good success. It doesn't stand out terribly... seems to work with the wood and provides a good flexible seal. I did my rather cracked and beat-up companionway hatch with this and if properly masked and sanded it lends a salty look to old varnished wood. I will post a picture a when I can. If a more uniform wood look is what is required then I would try one of the new flexible epoxies with teak flour. I've never worked with that though. Maybe others have experience using that stuff this way.
As a general rule I would rather build from existing structures to take advantage of what strength is already there. Particularly with this piece I wouldn't try to remove it and start over. Things have to be pretty much a total loss structurally before I consider removal but that's just me, I'm sure others will disagree. Good luck with the project!
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:38   #11
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

I've gotta learn to type faster.
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Old 13-08-2011, 11:45   #12
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

You can let in Butterfly Dutchmen across the check to stop it from spreading. This process does take some inlaying skills. But it can be done.
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Old 13-08-2011, 12:13   #13
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

Butterfly Dutchmen, I like it! Done right you wouldn't want to hide those, you'd show them off.
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Old 13-08-2011, 12:27   #14
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

I agree with inlay being much better looking but in this case I think the teak is too thin to do it (from what I can see on the photo).

The reason for the crack is that the panel is too thin; the teak lost it's oil and thus shrank.

Make sure to use the vacuum to clean out the crack (instead of blowing) and to wet it out with a pencil and some resin+hardener mixture (not thickened) before filling. I would even do this in 2 steps: first a syrup consistency mixture of epoxy with Cabosil (=colloidal silica) and using a syringe to put it into the crack, staying 1/8" below the surface. When that is gelling and tacky, finish with the thick sawdust mixture. This saves you creating a lot of saw dust, plus the lower part is much stronger to keep it from cracking open in that spot again. It also ensures you get to the bottom of the crack.

With the thick sawdust mixture: work it up a bit too high because it will shrink a bit while curing.

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Old 13-08-2011, 12:56   #15
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Re: Filling large crack in teak

Here is a good link to how to do an inlay. There is a special adapter that you add to a router to make the cut and the inlay http://www.newwoodworker.com/rotrinlays.html Yours would be bigger then I see here but I imagine it would work well.
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