Question about teak wood

Roy G

Senior User
Starting a project and needed to go through the wood pile to get sufficient wood. Found several pieces that would work and set them aside. I was looking for cherry and had a bunch of pieces that were about 7" wide and 8' long except one was 5' long. Upon closer looking I found the shorter piece didn't quite match the longer pieces and then in the light I saw Teak written on the side of the board. Hmm, I said, when did I ever get a piece of teak? Naturally, this board is not going in the project but what to do with it. Is a piece of teak 5/4 x 7 x 66 useable for anything? Never having used teak I don't know if you need bigger pieces or can use small pieces for accent. Any comments?

Roy G


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Teak is interesting wood. It is a bit stronger than oak, but has some very different characteristics. For one it is lighter, more resistant to bugs and weather. Handles repeated stresses and bending very well. It is not prone to significant expansion or contraction with humidity changes. The oils in teak are what make it weather-resistant and it requires basically no care when left outside. Its high silica content gives it non-skid properties as well as durability. This makes teak a great choice in damp environments, or in areas where slipping could be very dangerous, probably why it is used on boats alot.

It can be coffee color to a lighter golden color. The guy who built my house used it for the thresholds.


I have a lot of teak on my 40 yr old boat and its held up outdoors all that time. Weathered gray, a bit coarse on the surface now which is actually a safety factor on the boat. It doesn't like to be finished given it's natural oils, but a few times I have varnished it successfully by wiping with alcohol to evaporate the oil from the surface just before brushing on the clear coat. As I aged, I let the teak age. Your 4 bf piece should be of value to some boat owner or outdoor furniture maker.

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Its rough on planer and jointer knives due to the silica in the pores.
Years back I did a job out of teak. I concluded it would be a good wood for dock bumpers.


if the boards are nice straight grain then you could resaw into veneer and make something with it. I did two jewelry boxes out of teak earlier this year. I'm also making a couple picture frames right now from the leftovers.

Oka's description is good. i would add that for me it work nicely with hand tools. i'm not sure if i see the dulling effect any faster than other woods but i'm usually taking light passes. i have segmented heads on my jointer and planer so i don't really notice it there either. not saying its not true but i don't think the silica / dulling is super dramatic.

If you are going to make a small indoor project and finish it, i think the hard wax oils looks very good on it. its already waxy feeling to me, this finish feels like a natural extension.


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Teak was used on the main decks of battleships (and other ships) as an insulator and because of it's slip resistance. The USCG Barque Eagle also has teak topside decks.

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