Our general meeting featured speakers from Teak Decking Systems who are online at http://www.teakdeaking.com.
Dan was the first presenter, who works in their mill shop. He has a B.A. in Forestry and wood utilization. His woodworking led him to design and build spec houses and his work led him to Japan, which in turn led him to marine carpentry.
Teak Decking Systems is located close to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport where they build custom teak decks for yachts. Usually they begin with a full size template of the yacht drawn on the floor in their shop. Then the full size deck is built to fit and then shipped out to be installed. Their procedure limits the number of fasteners driven into the deck of the boat.
Teak is chosen because is it long lasting and durable. The closest non-exotic wood in durability is white oak which was used years ago for ships. Dan’s main job is securing the teak raw material. Previously, India, Thailand, Laos, and Myramar were sources, but not much is currently being cut in the old growth forests. He says plantation grown is not the same and for his use, only the top 5% of the logs are useable. Political considerations are overwhelming his sources.
David Barker, a chemical engineer, serves on their chemical team. He reports that teak is a dense oily wood high in silica that most glues will not penetrate, even if it is first wiped with acetone. His team experimented with West System epoxy, and says it will blush when used in a high humidity environment and that a mixing tolerance within 5% is critical and referenced their manual. In addition, he says West System epoxy must be put on both surfaces because it is absorbed in, so should one use it, don’t squeeze the glue up too tight. To counter their difficulty in working with that product, they formulated AP100 an epoxy system of their own design.
In favor of the club, they brought six sample kits of their epoxy and this writer had a chance to try out one of those kits. During that trial, the epoxy mixed well and a most notable difference from other epoxies is that the AP100 seems to wet the wood as it is applied, in my mind penetrating in, for a better bond. In that particular application, a repair to a desk leg, the product appears to be holding up in a structural manner.
Photos of the presenters are absent, as they were blurred. Sorry. On a brighter note, they have numerous offcuts for sale in their shop if anyone needs some teak.
Terry Bair reports that he has a DVD on the West System epoxy should anyone care to view it.