can anyone advise of a method to identify whether a wood is teak? I've come across a quantity of parquet flooring which I might salvage to do the cabin floor. I've planed the varnish off a sample and it looks like teak, but how to check?
There are few timbers used in boatbuilding which grow as quickly as teak. This means that growth rings are particularly thick, with 3-5mm true thickness being quite common. Combine this with the dark yellow colour, and you should be able to say yes or no. I can't say that I've ever tried to smell teak, but as my sense of smell has almost disappeared over the years, I don't think that I would be able to distinguish it by that characterisitic anyway.
Surely you mean grow as slowly as teak? Good quality teak has very close knit grain structure. Some of the newer planatation stuff used for furniture has larger growth rings, but avoid it if you get the choice.
To id teak, cut, sniff and feel it. Freshly cut it should feel mildly waxy, and have quite a distinct smell. If you have very old stuff, the waxiness and smell will be reduced, but the saw dust you get from a cut, should still feel waxy if you roll it in your fingers. Colour is generally mid brown and slightly red/orange when cut or sanded. It will darken again over a couple of day after a fresh cut. Variation in colour across the grain of single piece is usually low, but you may get significant shade diffrences in different pieces.
No, I did mean quickly. Don't forget that it is a tropical timber. Certainly all the teak that I have seen has thick growth rings.
For slow growing timber you won't go past Huon Pine, which has rings which are two or three to the millimetre. Trees of a harvestable size were 1 - 2000 years old. The trees which are now left are all thin straggly little things which are no use for timber, but will be terrific in another thousand years.
still cant get photos to work. anyway, the general consensus from other sources is that the wood is indeed teak. But, it was stuck to a concrete floor with what looks like tar, i've scraped a layer off the underside using a heatgun, but am still left with a very thin black layer of the stuff. my plan had been to plane the old varnish off the top (have done this on a sample and the new wood is a fantastic golden colour) and stick the pieces onto plywood to the required shape. question is, what to stick it with, bearing in mind the layer of black stuff, which defies removal as it fouls the blades of the plane. any ideas?
It's worth asking around. I had a mate in a pub many years back. He'd trained in wood, and spent years training, and could identify anything. People used to bring strange bits in, and he'd get out a loupe, and after a minute would pronounce. He'd moved out of the industry as it didn't pay, but could identify any wood grown on this planet. There must be many people who have been to college and learnt about wood and importing around -just ask some friends?
Might not be known to you, but it's been proven that you can send a letter to any address in the world via a network of under 7 or 8 friends of friends, so finding a wood expert shouldn't be that difficult if you ask around.
The natural solvent for either tar [a vegetable distillate] or bitumen [ a mineral residue of distillation] is turpentine, either mineral or vegetable. This should get the "tar" off the timber, especially if combined with elbow grease and a wire brush. There will still be an oily residue both on and in the timber, which will prevent any adhesive from gaining a grip. This will have to be removed from any proposed gluing surface by a more vigorous sovent such as acetone.
Fair enough. Not my experience of fine teak, that I have purchased in Oz. I'd say that on good stuff, you'd be seeing at least 2 rings/mm. In many cases the rings are so tight as to be indistinguishable.
Most of the stuff came from unenvironmentally friendly old growth forests.