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Old 07-10-2009, 18:40   #1
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Teak End Grain

I'm building a new helms seat for One Love. The seat is curved to provide a couple of sitting positions on each tack and topped with teak slats.

Originally I was planning on leaving the teak end grain open to the elements but given that it's going to be left unprotected (no oil or varnish to avoid slippyness) have started considering capping the ends with curved strips of oak.

What do you guys think - do I really need to do this? Its going to be a bit of a PITA to create the caps but I'm going to be pretty unhappy if the teak gets nasty quickly.

Pictures of the seat can be found here: theonecalledtom
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Old 07-10-2009, 19:15   #2
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if your not going to finish it,you might consider closing the end grain as much as possible.start with 120 grit paper then 220,320 until it's almost polished.
this would be much less time consuming than making a cap rail.besides if you don't seal the end grain,putting a cap on it wont help to keep the end grain from sucking water.....IMHO
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Old 07-10-2009, 19:55   #3
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I was thinking to seal between the cap and the teak with resin, as well as I could. "Sealing" with diligent sandpapering is interesting, certainly less work which I'm always down for, provided I don't kick myself over it later.
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Old 07-10-2009, 22:57   #4
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Nice Work! on the site. You don't want to use oil? It realy doesn't make it slippery.
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Old 08-10-2009, 00:04   #5
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The book that gave me the idea to start on the seat suggested that it would get slippy, I've never sat on wet oiled teak on a roly boat to find out!

If I can that would be ideal. Truth is it's probably going to have a cushioned cover much of the time.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:35   #6
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I would not cap the ends...those seats are going to swell across grain quite a bit...if you put an end cap it will swell much less and the thin will tear its self apart.
In any case I donít se as it needs it...I had a look at your site and the workmanship is very good...nice work.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:58   #7
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Beautiful work. You are a master joiner! Teak is rugged and best left alone or be a slave to varnish and for slat work this is a major hassle. Leave it alone!

I built a similar seat years ago (portable) and removed it / stopped using it because I don't sit at the helm using the autopilot or just stand and helm for short stints. We have a large flat aft section in the cockpit which is great for lying about. And the lazarettes are back there too, so covering them was not the greatest idea. See attached.

I would not worry about the end grain, but surely if you lightly oil the teak, it should perhaps lengthen its service life.

If these are not permanently attached stow them to cut down on weather and UV exposure when not in use. Or provide covers. But you'll get years of good use. They are beautfully built!

My cockpit teak is covered with cushions when where aboard but exposed the rest of the time. The OEM slat work lasted about 20 years under those conditions but has become weak and shabby from wear and cleaning after about 15 years. Last year I ripped it out and redid the whole thing. YIKES what a project.

I figure this work will out last me though so I am not terribly concerned.

Avoid harsh cleaners and stiff brush scrubbing. It will pull out the soft parts off the surface of the wood. Teak loves salt water.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:06   #8
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I fail to understand why one would attempt to 'cap' the end grain of a weather-resistant wood such as teak with something like oak, which is about as weather-resistant as paper mache.

If you feel that you absolutely must cap it with something (although I also fail to see why the end grain can't simply be sealed with tung oil ...heck, why even bother at all since the rest of the untreated teak will develop large fissures in the wood eventually anyways), then cap it with another weather-resistant wood such as teak, sapele, jarrah, or even redwood.

It makes little to no sense to not seal an expensive wood like teak (or any other hardwood) because of the fear of 'slipping'. Throw some builder's sand onto the final coat of varnish if you're worried about slipping.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:25   #9
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Teak is so weather resistant that I would not bother. I have lots of teak end grain on my boat which was built in 1975, and none of it has rotted.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:38   #10
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I fail to understand why one would attempt to 'cap' the end grain of a weather-resistant wood such as teak with something like oak, which is about as weather-resistant as paper mache.
Sheer inexperience? Reading about different woods I picked Oak (White Oak) because in several places it was described as "hard" and "weather resistant". I discarded Redwood because while Weather Resistant it's a soft wood and I figured that being in an exposed position on the boat it was going to take a few knocks.

So far you guys are convincing me to pander my lazy side and not cap the edges - which is nice When I started thinking about caulking the caps also seemed difficult to work with as they'll make it harder to rout out the grooves.

Out of interest what other woods would people suggest for future projects, other than teak, which puts a decent dent in the pocket. For instance I'm going to be making some swimsteps, a dingy mount and possibly new hatches. All of these obviously need to be pretty rugged!
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:33   #11
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Ipe, even better than teak. Impossible to work with however, and very heavy. It's used for decking and outdoor furniture. I use it for my ladder board steps. Carbide a must.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:43   #12
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Iroko...works fairly well...needs to be pretty well dried if you want good long term dimensional stability...weathers really well...I (we) use it a lot for furniture and windows and doors.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:47   #13
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I would oil it with something like tung oil.

It won't be slippery. Teak will silver in the UV. If you want it greyish silver don't doo anything. If you want to protect it without fear of slipping oil it but it must be re oiled fairly often. If you want to varnish it.. it could be slippery and you will need to re varnish it and sand it once every year or maybe two. Re varnishing is a lot more work that oil.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Teak is so weather resistant that I would not bother. I have lots of teak end grain on my boat which was built in 1975, and none of it has rotted.
+1 on ZigZag
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:21   #15
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You do beautiful work and I can understand you wanting to protect it and keep it nice. I do all my own upgrades and maintenance, not only because I'm a tightwad but because I really enjoy working on my boat. I've been at it for 17 years on this boat and have noticed a change in my work over that period of time. As I became more proficient my workmanship got better, then I started getting a bit fancy, actually bordered on artsy, sometimes using three exotic hardwoods on bilge grates and marble inserts on table tops and icebox lids. Its pretty, but it just doesn't look right on a boat. I've gone back to KISS and that makes a much easier job of it and it's simple to maintain and it just looks better. I would just round the edges and burnish in a coat or two of teak oil with fine sand paper. That wont be slippery.
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