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  #1  
Old 01-31-2008
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YATT (Yet Another Teak Thread)

Jeez, I hate to even ask this question again. I've just searched the forum and found about nineteen pages of teak-related posts, and read about four pages of them before I lost the will to continue. So I'll try to be VERY SPECIFIC about what I want to do and hope that a simple answer is out there.

I have a 28' 1975 Capitol Yachts Newport. The above-deck teak on her is minimal: the washboards for the main hatch and some toerails on the deck; some moldings around on-deck storage cubbys.

The PO used a varnish on them, which thankfully is wearing off without any effort on my part; the wood is mostly back to gray. My question is:

What is the simplest way to keep the wood looking mostly good, i.e. not completely gray, even if it requires a weekly scrubbing with a cleaning pad or something? I've heard the oxalic acid treatments look great -- just like what I use on my deck at my house -- but that it's bad for teak.

Is there any kind of consensus for "simple yet more elbow grease" out there?

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2008
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If they are grey( void of the varnish and just bare wood) - a mild detergent scrub - with a saltwater washdown...the simplest way to maintain. Nothing really extra required if you make that a regular routine...
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Old 01-31-2008
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Guess there many ways. I not put a lot of effort into teak care.

1. Sand out scratches and splinters with a 400 grit sand paper. Have used finer 600 + grit just to clean it (in a way). If it a bad Gouge or Splinter I may use a 180-220 grit to rough it down to blend/form it with the wood around and then use 400 + to finish.

2. Sweep it off with a Paint Brush or what you want to use. Wash off with clean water to remove sanding dust and let dry.

3. Oil with a teak oil periodically. Depending on my personal situations I not even use oil "sometimes". Just 1 & 2.
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Old 01-31-2008
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All previous posts are valid so why YATT (yet another teak tirade)?

Have you ever applied teak oil to a nicely finished piece of teak? I didn't think so. Your main question seems to be: "What is the simplest way to keep the wood looking mostly good, i.e. not completely gray, even if it requires a weekly scrubbing with a cleaning pad or something? I've heard the oxalic acid treatments look great -- just like what I use on my deck at my house -- but that it's bad for teak."
I know that you tried to be specific but do you want the wood to be looking mostly good or not completely gray?
Since you have next to very little exposed teak I have to second or third the use of teak oil for the ruddy brown look and grain enhancing qualities it gives the wood. Without a varnish or other synthetic finish it will not last long though and probably less in warmer climates. As already suggested a simple cleaning with some mild detergent, very minor sanding and application of teak oil will keep it looking pretty uniformly ruddy/brown. You should be able to cleanup any excess oil with mineral spirits or paint thinner and a clean rag.
The oil helps rejuvenate the cellulose fibers of the wood and repel moisture which is indicative of darker spots where mold has set in. Once you have cleaned up your wood (even just a little bit) and oiled it ALL that is needed is periodic (say monthly) wiping the wood with a little teak oil to bring it back to 'like new' appearance, no sanding req'd.
Some people just love the silvery appearance of weathered teak and there is an oil (that does not contain Linseed oil) that allows you to oil it and still have that silvery finish. I just can't seem to find a link for that kind of oil on the web.
Getting your hands a little dirty once a month doesn't sound that bad to me considering it should take you all of 15 minutes to give the teak a little oil.
Good luck with this.
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Old 01-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Have you ever applied teak oil to a nicely finished piece of teak? I didn't think so. Your main question seems to be: "What is the simplest way to keep the wood looking mostly good, i.e. not completely gray, even if it requires a weekly scrubbing with a cleaning pad or something? I've heard the oxalic acid treatments look great -- just like what I use on my deck at my house -- but that it's bad for teak."
I know that you tried to be specific but do you want the wood to be looking mostly good or not completely gray?
Since you have next to very little exposed teak...

Whoah.... that was kinda personal my friend.... First one needs to understand the reason teak is so popular - it doesn't rot - and holds up on its own when weathered.... there are only three other woods that even come close to the abilities of teak for topside purposes...

Its non-skid properties are second to none...

Now if you want the honey dew finsih without the varnish - yes you have to oil constantly... some prefer teak for its natural grey texture... hence my original response...

Please though - everyone has different ideas of what teak appearnace should be...

and to each their own... and some just want the simpler approach... teak can handle that as well... it doesn't have to be golden brown altho if you oil and apply my original method - you'll retain most of it.....
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Old 01-31-2008
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Artbyjody and all, sorry for the tirade.

Nothing personal was intended. Everyone finds their own way of dealing with their worlds. One thing I have learned is that I do not know it all. My post was really my opinion and not an attempt to force anyone else to take my viewpoint.
In fact, I was just reading something about Teak Guard, a polymer resin product I have not tried but sounds interesting. Google it for yourself.
There are as many opinions as there are AH's out there (and I am but one of many) so sorry if I "harshed anyone's mellow". There are all kinds of new products out there that claim amazing results and then there is the old school (which would be teak oil & varnish in this case). Frankly, I am kind of getting tired of the Tyranny of the Teak myself so, absolutely, to each their own in their own good time. I might have come across as a teak nazi but my point might have been stated less stridently with: "What refinishing methods have you tried so far?". I had no problem at all with your suggestion and even re-iterated it with "a simple cleaning with some mild detergent..." whereas you stated: "a mild detergent scrub".
I guess I sometimes get worked up over the exterior teak issue as there is a lot of it on my ancient 1967 Tartan 27' and most of you guys have it easier. I too am looking for some kind of teak finishing Shan-gri-La so sorry if I sounded excoriating or personal.
Teak, Ipe and other hardwoods are amazing woods. In my book they are all pretty wonderful for many reasons that do not entirely have to do with boats. As you noted, Teak was chosen by mariners through exploration, trial and error over time. It is amazing to think that sailors discovered that copper plating their hulls helped reduce bottom growth and that teak survived where other woods did not in the 18th century Teak is an amazing wood and they still use copper in anti-fouling paints.
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Old 01-31-2008
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After 47 million posts on how to take care of teak...easily and not so easily...there is one thing that is clear. There is no way to take care of teak easily if you don't let it just be and throw salt water on it. Everything else is work.
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Old 01-31-2008
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Well said, cam! I throw a little oil on my teak so it doesn't dry to the point where it splits and gives me splinters, then I go to work on my whiskey.
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Old 02-01-2008
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Salt water washes work well for the "natural" look but if it starts to get black specks or mold you'll need a bleach or teak cleaner (acid). Don't use bleach or acid too much as it will/can raise the grain and can damage the wood and shorten it's life.

I'm too anal for the "natural" look so I bought a Canadian Sailcraft with no exterior teak to maintain..... I don't miss it!
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Old 02-01-2008
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If you only have a little teak, sand it back, varnish it and once a year touch it up with a fresh coat, you never know you might enjoy doing it. but only a little.
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