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Old 14-04-2013, 18:13   #1
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Sanding Teak Deck

I'm cleaning up my teak deck again this spring and I'm thinking of lowering the grain a bit at the same time. I've never sanded it, I'm the only owner, and the boards are pretty darn thick (like an inch). Its also glued on, not screwed on, so I'm not worried about hitting screws or sanding out bungs.

Ive heard multiple views on sanding, including orbital sanders, high speed vs low speed, and belt sanding. My own thinking is that a high speed orbital would do best, whereas a belt sander might leave gouges or lines. I've also heard "not to worry" about caulking and seams. Just go over them.

Anyone have advice or experience on sanding a teak deck?

Rick
S/V Black Diamond
Hylas 49-057
Portsmouth, RI
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Old 14-04-2013, 18:46   #2
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Originally Posted by Black Diamond View Post
I'm cleaning up my teak deck again this spring and I'm thinking of lowering the grain a bit at the same time. I've never sanded it, I'm the only owner, and the boards are pretty darn thick (like an inch). Its also glued on, not screwed on, so I'm not worried about hitting screws or sanding out bungs.

Ive heard multiple views on sanding, including orbital sanders, high speed vs low speed, and belt sanding. My own thinking is that a high speed orbital would do best, whereas a belt sander might leave gouges or lines. I've also heard "not to worry" about caulking and seams. Just go over them.

Anyone have advice or experience on sanding a teak deck?

Rick
S/V Black Diamond
Hylas 49-057
Portsmouth, RI
I've used a small belt sander. Like all belt sanders you have to be careful not to over do it. Yes just sand across the caulk, if any comes out , it was useless anyway and needs fixing ( same with wood bungs, but you don't have that problem. )

With a belt sander , you tend to sand along the grain , which isn't recommended, but it came out fine for me, again don't overdo it. Avoid the very large heavy belt sanders , there can be very aggressive. If you're not familiar with belt sanders use an orbital

Obviously you may need Palm and other orbitals for access issues.
Dave
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Old 14-04-2013, 18:56   #3
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Re: Sanding Teak Deck

A random orbital sander with 80 grit will do just fine and give you good control. If you take it down too much, you may have to re-caulk
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:04   #4
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Re: Sanding Teak Deck

Honest question here: Why do you want to sand? Aesthetics? Spilled something?

My boat has teak decks. They're in good shape (~1" thick). Grey and solid. There is the odd place with discolouration, but that certainly wouldn't inspire me to sand them. Am I missing something?
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:32   #5
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Re: Sanding Teak Deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Diamond View Post
I'm cleaning up my teak deck again this spring and I'm thinking of lowering the grain a bit at the same time. I've never sanded it, I'm the only owner, and the boards are pretty darn thick (like an inch). Its also glued on, not screwed on, so I'm not worried about hitting screws or sanding out bungs.

Ive heard multiple views on sanding, including orbital sanders, high speed vs low speed, and belt sanding. My own thinking is that a high speed orbital would do best, whereas a belt sander might leave gouges or lines. I've also heard "not to worry" about caulking and seams. Just go over them.

Anyone have advice or experience on sanding a teak deck?

Rick
S/V Black Diamond
Hylas 49-057
Portsmouth, RI
I use an electric dual action orbital with a hook & loop pad (velcro) Porter-Cable. These are sometimes called Random orbital. Mine has speed control. Use the 'blue' pads form Home Depot. I use it with 40 or 60 for agressive work on teak or fiberglass. Use a very fine pad for polishing metal and sharpening tools. These have very good control. The compressed air version is used for car detail work.
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Old 15-04-2013, 04:35   #6
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Re: Sanding Teak Deck

Why do I want to sand them? Because teak decks do not have to look weathered and beat to be functional. They can be just fine as non-skid with less roughness, and more protected from the UV erosion by treating with a sealer.

I never bought into the "you have to let your teak decks go grey" philosophy. No more than I would if someone told me "you don't have to paint your house". It looks better, and is better for the wood, if you take care of it.

Rick
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Hylas 49-057
Portsmouth, RI
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Old 15-04-2013, 05:39   #7
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Re: Sanding Teak Deck

the experience i had was as a potential purchaser of a ct 41 with recently sanded decks---DONT DO IT.
use sea water. do not sand teak decks. you will cause leaking and you will cause the teak to go away. screw heads will pop out at you and you will need a lot of work to fix the mess you did by sanding the decks. just dont do it.

decks do not go grey. they are used and the nonskiid characteristics of teak are what you seek in a deck. the wood itself is the nonskid. sealers make the nonskid less functional, and slicker than you may wish if you sail the boat.
if you do not sail the boat and you sit in a dock all the time, go for the sander--varnish the decks also to show how seaworthy you are.
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