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Old 21-02-2009, 06:47   #1
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Source for Quality Teak

I am looking for a source of high quality teak "Old growth Burmeese" for various marine projects. My local supplier is very difficult to deal with and his prices are exhorbinent. I live in the NY metro area and would like to find out if shipping wood for projects makes logistical sense?
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Old 21-02-2009, 09:30   #2
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Good luck....I'm paying a little under 10,000USD a cubic meter for rough sawn, I don’t think I know how to tell if its old growth.
The supplier won’t let me pick through it "much"!
The only bright side is I often get some nice quarter sawn for the same price.
There is some decent Iroko a lot cheaper.
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Old 21-02-2009, 12:00   #3
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Go to some of the local boatyards and ask where they get theirs. Ask over the phone and they will probably not be as helpful. Be sure to say you have a boat when you visit.
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Old 21-02-2009, 12:17   #4
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Nothing to do with sourcing, but a great story nontheless:

I once talked to an older couple years ago who had built their own wooden boat. It was designed by a local guy in SF Bay area, so they co-oped with other builders to buy wood in bulk and help each other with construction. The 3-4 boats were all built at the same location. This was back in the mid to late '50s.

One of features of these 33-footers was a 14-ft long cabin. The owners of course wanted a single teak board 14 feet long, but the longest offered was 10, which required a scarf. So they put in a special order to their supplier. The word came back from Burma about a month later: they couldn't get longer pieces because a 10-foot log was the largest that an elephant could drag out of the forest!
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Old 21-02-2009, 12:25   #5
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teak

Try this link: Teak Lumber at St. Angelo Hardwoods, Inc. . Steve St. Angelo supplies most of the boat builders and lumberyards in the north east. If you go up to Rhode Island and get to know him, he might let you pick it. Some of his stuff is plantation grown (teak on steroids) and some old growth. What he has on hand varies on when a container came in, but he usually has a lot.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 21-02-2009, 12:41   #6
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From Planet Green: "Two out of the three species of teak (Tectona hamiltoniana, or Dahat Teak, and Tectona philippinensis or Philippine Teak) are endangered, and all have been subjected to unsustainable forestry".

Would you be ready to use Burmese Teak only to enhance the look of your yacht, without any environmental consideration ?
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Old 21-02-2009, 14:02   #7
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You might want to try a Canadian source.Last month I paid $23.00 a BF for 8/4 teak from A & M wood specialty,that is $18.00 US Very nice material.
www.forloversofwood.com
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Old 22-02-2009, 07:22   #8
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Re: Teak

Thanks for all who posted here. Reagarding the environmental issues, I have read that the country of Burma understanding the value of their timber stands has been practicing sustainable forestry since the mid 1800's. The reason they still use elephants to log today is to minimize the impact of heavy equipment in the woodlots.
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Old 22-02-2009, 11:10   #9
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Environmentally sustainable teak from Burma/Myanmar is an oxymoron - this is one of the few exports being used to support the ruling military junta and sadly there is very little of the original forests remaining. Almost all logging in SE Asia is illegal and unsustainable, same as the situation in the Amazon. Remember teak, like other hardwoods is a great timebr because it grows slooooooooowly. It is one of those issues most people would just prfer to ignore. Soon there won't be any
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Old 22-02-2009, 11:36   #10
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Yeh...I'm pretty sure they use elephants because they don’t need diesel or spare parts and they already know how to drive them
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Old 22-02-2009, 11:54   #11
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a few inconvenient facts

Ever since the military junta took power, Burma has ranked as the third worst country in the world in terms of deforestation of old-growth tropical rainforest, almost entirely due to teak exports. During this time, it has moved away from it's former status as the world's number one exporter of rice to becoming the world's second highest exporter of opium, second only to Afghanistan.

It might also be good to remember that Burmese deforestation has not only resulted in significantly reduced ecosytem services, such as the ability of the rainforest to provide carbon sequestration, it has also resulted in significant loss of elephant habitat. Not to mention the fact that recent cyclones in Burma caused far greater damage to human habitation than they normally would have because the forests were no longer there to provide protection.

The claim that Burma has practiced sustainable forestry since 1800 is ludicrous. The question that needs to be asked is what sort of forestry has been practiced since the beginning of rule by military junta in 1962. The answer is that it has been anything but sustainable.
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Old 22-02-2009, 12:08   #12
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cburger,

Indeed Burma claims their teak is sustainable, it represents a substantial income !!
You should rather take your sources from independent bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council. If the country is not listed here, then don't practice ostrich politics by buying their wood if you have a minimum environmental conscience. Also read information available on the net, such as the illegal logging website.

This said, you can find sustainable teak -but not from Burma.
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Old 22-02-2009, 12:39   #13
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oh, and by the way...

...import of any Burmese goods or products is unlawful in the United States of America.

Import Ban - U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma

The federal law is called the "Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act," and lest you think this legislation is the product of leftist and/or environmentalist rhetoric, it was co-sponsored by such luminaries as Senator John McCain, and supported enthusiastically by the Bush administration.
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Old 22-02-2009, 13:55   #14
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In regards to Burmese teak. A few years back I had a Teak furniture import business from Indonesia. All our teak was plantation and was real crap IMHO. I was told by Customs and suppliers at the time that it was illegal to import Burmese teak but much of it was crossing bordering countries with the proper amount of grease to the palm. I think you really need to examine the need for old growth teak in an interior. Especially 1/4 sawn. What's the point? Teak is used as a weather wood for exteriors and very little teak is used on the exterior is you do not have teak decks, which I won't give an opinion on for obvious argumentative reasons. If we all got off the "I need to have a teak interior" train, there are many beautiful woods out there better suited for interiors. Ash is one that comes to mind and Paduc(sp) another.
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Old 22-02-2009, 16:48   #15
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Why do you want to use teak for the interior. The main advantage to teak is its ability to withstand weather and not rot in the process. As for interior work, many other woods would yield better results with much less work.

Teak is very resinous and therefore tends to clog and dull the tools. It is hard to cut, shape, and sand. Aside from that, it is not a pretty wood as compared to cherry, sapele, or walnut, each of which is priced considerably less and each works well with hand and power tools.

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