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Old 10-08-2009, 11:19   #1
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Interior Teak Repair

1. I have a couple of mounting brackets in my cabin that I would like to remove. They are attached to wood bulkheads with screws. One bulkhead is teak, the other I believe is sapele. The holes are small.

In a non marine environment I would simply fill the holes with plastic wood or wood filler, sand lightly and then stain to match the color of the rest of the wood panel as closely as possible.

What about on a boat? Should it be done differently?

2. the drop leaf dining table in my main cabin has a fiddle with a chip taken out of it. Can this also be repaired with wood filler? I'd like to avoid replacing the whole fiddle.
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Old 10-08-2009, 13:16   #2
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I believe the answer is yes
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Old 10-08-2009, 13:17   #3
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Matching the finish is pretty hard. The varnish on most teak ages with a patina that you just can't match easily. You might do as well with a little mixing using a Minwax stain finish. If you had the inside of a cabinet or some place unseen you could do some experiments. Maybe get pretty close too.

Done well it would have been over drilled then plugged with a spot of glue in the hole. You can buy 3/8 or 1/4 inch teak plugs (West Marine), drill out the holes and at least have real teak wood. You need a good drill bit and drill it straight. You can even get fancy and line up the grain of the plugs. You need to sand them down though and that makes a bigger area. It you sanded the plug flat and smooth (they don't come that way) you might get it by tapping them in (don't go too deep). The finish you might try to match on a scrap piece of wood and stain some plugs to see how close you get. It would be better than plastic wood and pretty easy.

The fiddle is different. You won't use plastic wood to make that look anything but worse. Sanding it smooth and trying to match the finish would look like a well earned war wound fixed by someone that cared. It may be as good as you need. Anything you try to patch it with will look terrible and won't hold. Make it at least safe and then maybe save it for a time when you feel like replacing the whole fiddle.

You really don't want to eat and look at a band aid for the rest of the time you own the boat. It's one of those do no harm jobs.
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Old 10-08-2009, 13:28   #4
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Dutchman

The best repair is called a Dutchman. It requires some skill with a chisel. You use the chisel to make the edges of the defect straight, then fit a piece of teak of similar grain and color to those edges, glue it in, and, when the glue sets, sand it down smooth and varnish. If the grain and color are a close match, it can be hard to tell there is a repair.

Otherwise, with unlimited funds and time, replace the entire piece. (I know, a little extreme for a bulkhead, but its only money and its your boat)
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Old 10-08-2009, 14:21   #5
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I'm surprised that no one sells teak sawdust that you can mix with glue to fill a small hole. Drilling the hole out to 1/4 inch and then using a plug seems like killing fleas with a sledgehammer.
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Old 10-08-2009, 14:29   #6
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teak sawdust is readily available, take a piece of 80 grit to a small piece of teak, you can actually make it pretty fast! Just mix with elmers ot titebond. it will match better than any filler you can buy.
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Old 10-08-2009, 16:05   #7
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teak sawdust is readily available, take a piece of 80 grit to a small piece of teak, you can actually make it pretty fast! Just mix with elmers ot titebond. it will match better than any filler you can buy.
Yes, that's what I plan to do. I've done this with oak with considerable success. I'm sure I can blend the stain so that the holes become virtually invisible.
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