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Finishing a teak box

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  • Finishing a teak box

    I was visiting a buddy's shop the other day where he is completing a recipe box for his mother in law. His brother in law recently moved up here and brought a truck load of various wood scraps from his old business, including some teak. My buddy is using some of it for some Christmas gifts and decided to try using teak for a small recipe box as he has not worked with it before. We were discussing the option(s) of finishing it and as I have also not worked with it I thought I would ask for some suggestions. It is obviously just going to be indoors. I am saying some kind of oil may work well and he is wondering about maybe a poly. Any suggestions or just leave it alone?
    Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

  • #2
    The oils in teak make it difficult to finish with something like poly. As I understand it, some furniture manufacturers use an expensive, tedious process, involving cleaning with lacquer thinner and applying some kind of special pre-coat. I'd just stick with teak oil. Being inside it should be a long time, if ever, before it needs to be re-oiled.

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    • #3
      My forever and always preferred finish is hand-rubbed tung oil. It's time consuming, and can be messy, but I love it anyway. It's great for the kitchen because it is waterproof and food safe. Of course, I'll send you an invoice for this consultation. )

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      • #4
        Hand rubbed BLO or Teak oil. Put some on, wait 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe off excess and rub. Do not use polyurethane, it will look like cheap plastic and wont even adhere that well.
        If the box is indoors it will probably never need to be refinished.
        www.TheWoodCellar.com

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        • #5
          I learned this the hard way. Don't put an oil finish on the inside of a box. It will smell forever. Every time you open it you'll get a big ol' whiff of the stuff. I usually use shellac on the inside, but I have never tried shellac on teak so test first on some scrap.

          Jim.

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          • #6
            Oil on the inside takes a very long time to cure.
            I usually leave the insides of boxes unfinished.
            www.TheWoodCellar.com

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            • #7
              http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/SAL/oilwood.htm Teak is used alot in boating http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-m...finishing.html
              Originally posted by wwsmith View Post
              I was visiting a buddy's shop the other day where he is completing a recipe box for his mother in law. His brother in law recently moved up here and brought a truck load of various wood scraps from his old business, including some teak. My buddy is using some of it for some Christmas gifts and decided to try using teak for a small recipe box as he has not worked with it before. We were discussing the option(s) of finishing it and as I have also not worked with it I thought I would ask for some suggestions. It is obviously just going to be indoors. I am saying some kind of oil may work well and he is wondering about maybe a poly. Any suggestions or just leave it alone?
              Last edited by American and Proud; 12-14-2006, 10:19 PM. Reason: added another link

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions all. Being as we are located in "the boonies" and he is under the gun to get the gift completed for an early delivery he opted to use the tung oil as that was all he could find readily available in our area. I don't know if I will have the chance to see the finished product before he gives it to his MIL for the weekend. I appreciate the feedback and have passed it on to my buddy as well for future reference.

                I hope to complete my new office someday soon so that I can start putting together my new shop and get back to making sawdust and away from drywall dust!

                WWS
                Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

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