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Old 04-29-2014
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Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

Hi all,
This is a seriously dumb question that I THINK I know the answer to already, but I thought it would be worth asking for opinions. For those who have finished a brand new teak cockpit table before (or completely stripped one to start over), did you disassemble the entire table prior to finishing, then reassemble after? The Edson folding table comes completely put together, but it seems like it would be difficult to finish it this way. Thoughts?
-J
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

About 4 yerars ago I completely stripped my Edson cockpit table with a heat gun and scrapper.

Then I followed the Epifanes directions for varnishing it and it still
looks terrific. The only disassembly I did was to remove the wire support
used to hold it in position when the table is in use.

This is a perfect winter varnish project. It's so much easier to get varnishing
right when you can do it at home without worrying about the weather. Every
winter I bring it home, give it a light sanding and add a coat of two of varnish.

Rum tastes a little better when served on a smartly varnished cockput table.
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

Thanks MY36. Is your table a drop-leaf or straight table? Ours is drop-leaf, so that could impact the decision. Come to think of it, I don't think you COULD varnish a drop-leaf table without taking it apart, could you? I mean, how would you varnish between the pieces?
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

I just built a replacement folding-leaf table out of mahogany for our boat, and I finished it without the hardware and then put it together. I didn't want to varnish over the hinges and screws. Still, if I had, I guess that would have sealed more completely?
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Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

Finish and finishing depends on, as most things; preparation. Teak is very open grained like mahogany and others. "filling" the grain is the only way to get a smooth finish. Grain fillers work but I've had mixed results with them. A sealer coat of finish then sanded with 220 or 320 and leaving the dust.. then wiping another sealer coat diagonally across the grain will get the dust into the grain after that dries and you sand again you may find the grain completely filled or do the same thing a couple of times. Any table top needs (imho) at least 6 coats rubbed (super fine sanded) between coats. Also, many people just don't wait long enough for varnish to harden. it can take days not hours. Polyurethane's are faster more clear then amber and dry quite hard. Note all the above is very difficult with stained woods because it's very easy to sand through the stain on the edges and corners.

Tack cloth, less the $5 = priceless! ALWAYS use before even thinking of finishing a horizontal surface!

Another big mistake we make, is thinking we can get a perfect gloss with a paint brush! NOT A CHANCE! After all the super fine sanding is done and a you have smooth with no grain or brush lines showing on the surface, you can wet sand or dry with finer and finer grits to 600. (Edges and corners are hard to do and not sand completely through the finish. ) Then for a glass like shine. rubbing compound can work wonders with a buffer, but you can do the buffing by hand on varnish or poly. Brush and spray are fine on all the lesser parts of a table top but a true "Piano like finish" needs allot of work.

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Last edited by deniseO30; 04-29-2014 at 05:07 PM.
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

I just used Semco Teak Sealer on my table. Protects the wood while keeping the wood look. No glossy mirror finish and it wears away nicely. Probably will have to apply twice a year



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Old 04-30-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

I made a table last spring - you can see it in this post in the ever popular low buck thread:

Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

I built it, assembled it, and took it apart again for finishing. After it was all done, it is worth about $6500 in man hours.
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

Ritchard it's beautiful! How's it holding up since the build? I've had mixed results gluing teak.
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

The table looks almost like the day it was built. It's holding up well.

I've had great luck (touch wood) bonding teak with epoxy. I think that the secret is having very clean mating surfaces, and then cleaning the surfaces thoroughly with a solvent to remove the oils from the wood. If you leave teak alone for even a day, that il will rise to the surface again.

Last fall I was doing a repair on a friend's boat. We were short on time so I tried some gorilla glue. Same prep as epoxy, clamped it up to set and 7 months later it's holding well, even though it's part of a toe rail that bends through the joint. I'll be interested to see if it does have staying power. I love that stuff. You can glue most anything to most anything.
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Old 05-01-2014
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Re: Finishing brand new teak cockpit table

Quote:
Originally Posted by josrulz View Post
Thanks MY36. Is your table a drop-leaf or straight table? Ours is drop-leaf, so that could impact the decision. Come to think of it, I don't think you COULD varnish a drop-leaf table without taking it apart, could you? I mean, how would you varnish between the pieces?
My table is straight. That does make it easier. I think you can do a reasonably good good on tables and such with out taking them apart, but you can certainly do a better job if
they are apart. I usually only take things apart when they need a complete stripping and sanding before varnishing.

For yearly maintenance coats, I leave all hardware attached.
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