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  #1  
Old 10-22-2006
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Epoxy on teak?

Has anyone here ever tried using epoxy to seal their teak. What were the results? I have heard this will last for a long time depending on your location.

Last edited by T37Chef; 10-22-2006 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 10-22-2006
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Epoxy has very low UV resistance and needs to be protected from UV exposure, either by a varnish or other protective coating... I wouldn't recommend doing this.
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Old 10-22-2006
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The other challenge is getting the epoxy to flow out properly.
Epoxy is a rather thick liquid.

If you heat the epoxy and the SLOW hardener using a small hot air heater to around 95F to 100F you will find it will flow better (though it will cure faster).

For sealing screw bungs in teak or gaps or teak repair, I can think of nothing better, but as a coating for teak I would not recommend it.

As has already been pointed out it has bad UV characteristics and yellows in the sunlight as I can personally asure you.

West System does make a special purpose hardener that is closer to clear as do other epoxy vendors. Still you have to coat it with varnish or another UV protectant.

Prior to coating it you have to remove the animine blush as well. Unlike varnish which is realatively easy to remove if you make a mistake (sandpaper) epoxy is a hard substance.

My personal feeling is that you would be unhappy with the end results.

Before doing anything with your boat might I suggest buying a four by four foot piece of teak plywood and trying your epoxy/varnish coat on that?
If you are happy with the results then you might consider the larger project, keeping in mind that teak boards are much courser and more challenging than a piece of flat teak plywood.

Good luck on your project!
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Old 10-22-2006
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Teak is very oily. Suggested prep includes washing it down with acetone after sanding, prior to epoxy. As sailingdog suggests, epoxy should be followed by varnish or other UV inhibiting coating. This is why most cold-molded epoxy hulls end up being painted. The epoxy turns opaque brown in sunlight. This spring I epoxied and varnished new teak & holly plywood floorboards for our boat. The epoxy was to keep water from soaking into the end-grain, causing delamination. The varnish was to protect the epoxy from UV rays, even down below. Two coats of epoxy, and three of varnish.
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Old 10-23-2006
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A friend at our marina swears by this method. He applied epoxy on handrails and then overcoated with several coats of varnish. Held up extremely well over three seasons despite him not reapplying varnish annually which is supposed to be done.

Alternatively you can use something like Interlux Perfection Varnish which is actually a two part clear polyurethane paint and was fomerly called Interthane Plus with the colour shown as CLEAR. I tried this on tiller and hatchboards 3 yrs ago. Held up reasonably well but at $80/qt is a very pricey alternative and you have to use what you mix due to the two part nature of the coating.

In our experiment of Perfection Varnish on one boat vs Varnish over epoxy on the other I would say the epoxy lasted better.

My next plan for my handrails is expoxy overcoated with perfection varnish ....

Mike

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Old 10-23-2006
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Teak work and long lasting finishes are 2 statments that were as synonomus as mixing oil and water until recently. There is an excelent finish out there called "BRISTOL" and is made by C-Tech marine, Bristol is a 2 part polyurithane finish with excellent UV inibitors but it is expensive an adhears well to epoxy. Strip your teak wash it with a good cleaner, let it dry and apply 2 thinned coats of epoxy resin let it harden and sand off any burs or hairs til smooth then re coat with 2+ coats for a smooth build then coat with Bristol, min 4 coats. depending on your loca you can get 1- 4 yrs before recoat.
Will post some pics of my cabin and trim in near future.
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Old 10-23-2006
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I have personal experience with epoxy over a 6 year period. The PO had done one hand rail with epoxy and the other with spar varnish. The epoxy was over-coated with Poly. The epoxy held up very good for the first 2 years but has issues with repair and touch-up. It would peal away near edges which could not be sealed. And any nick or scratch would quickly cause pealing around it. Repair was more difficult as epoxy is difficult to sand because it is so hard. But I eventually over-coated it with spar varnish and it fell into the same re-coat as all other teak parts on the boat. I would only do it if the teak could be removed and coated on all sides to encase the part which would prevent edge penetration of water. Any spar varnish works for over-coating, but will still look dull in 8 months in the sun and will need a refresher coat. You need to touch up any way as things get chipped.

I think Smith's make an epoxy teak coating product.
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Old 10-23-2006
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I'd definitely agree with GeneT about only using epoxy on pieces that can be completely coated, otherwise moisture penetration and the epoxy lifting is definitely a problem. Don't forget to drill and coat any fastener holes that are needed to mount the piece as well, otherwise you're pretty much wasting your time.
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Old 10-25-2006
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Thanks everyone...I love the look of teak and on my Tartan there is enough to keep me busy. Always looking for a better way to do something. Looks like I'll try epoxy coating companion way boards first.
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Old 10-25-2006
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Companionway drop boards are good first project, as they're completely removable, and the durability of a solid epoxy finish is usually very useful on them, since they take a fair amount of abuse.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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