Repair Cracked Teak Toe Rail - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2011
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Repair Cracked Teak Toe Rail

What is the best method to repair cracks and fill voids in cracked teak toe rail? Would epoxy work? Just need somthing to last for a while until time and money are available to one day replace the 35 year old teak toe rail.
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It depends... do you have photos of the damage? Is the toe rail structural or cosmetic on your boat?
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I do not have photos. The cracks and voids that need to be filled are cosmetic. Talking with the boat builder the toe rail only prevents you from slipping off the boat. The toe rail does not hold the deck/hull joint together. Apparently the deck/hull is glassed and may have additional blots that are located under the toe rail. From what I understand the toe rail could be removed without effecting the hull/deck structure (although the bolt holes would need to be filled. Boat is an S&S 34 built in Austrailia.
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If the cracks and voids are truly cosmetic, you can use 5 minute epoxy mixed with teak sawdust to make the fill. When cured, the excess can be easily scraped, sanded, and finished. A quick way to make sawdust is to take a piece of scrap teak and 80 grit sandpaper. If you have a random orbit sander, blow out the dust collector and collect the teak dust.

I've used this process for years on a variety of woods including teak. It's a much more stable method than the classic technique of mixing sawdust with finish. The method was pioneered by Sam Maloof.
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We repair cracks in exterior teak with epoxy. We will thicken the epoxy with a mix of teak dust and cotton fibers. Dust alone will be darker than the teak. We also fix cracks with medium viscosity super glue. We have been using super glue for almost ten years now with excellent results.
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The only issue with what Sabreman says, is that most epoxies are not very UV-tolerant. You could certainly use another waterproof, uv-tolerant glue to make up a putty to fill the voids/cracks.

Good boat btw, IIRC, it's the same as Ella's Pink Lady, that Jessica Watson used to solo circumnavigate last year.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatsmith View Post
We repair cracks in exterior teak with epoxy. We will thicken the epoxy with a mix of teak dust and cotton fibers. Dust alone will be darker than the teak. We also fix cracks with medium viscosity super glue. We have been using super glue for almost ten years now with excellent results.
What brand of super glue do you use, or will any brand work?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
What brand of super glue do you use, or will any brand work?
He's probably using a super glue gel rather than plain super glue. Plain super glue is very thin and doesn't have any gap-filling capacity.
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Quote:
most epoxies are not very UV-tolerant
The dust and cotton fibers (I like that idea) act as a UV protector. Regardless, it's a cosmetic fix and not structural. By the time that it falls out (if ever - I haven't had a failure) the proper fix will have been made.

As Boatsmith indicates, it is common to use epoxy which is only a binder for the color of the dust.
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The super glue I use comes from my local hobby shop. It has their label on it. They have what they call super thin and acts almost like penetrating oil. Then they they have what they call gap filling which is a little thicker. I use this the most. They also have a thick flavor which I have only used once and have not seen a use for it since. I have used other brands and they are not all the same. I don't exactly know the differences but we all like this brand the best. We also use the activator to kick the stuff off.
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