PDA

View Full Version : I have a question about teak



McMike
02-03-2010, 06:36 PM
I have a client who has had us build some teak cabinets for their screen porch. They actually want the weathered look of gray teak without the wait. Is there a chemical treatment that will draw the oils out so it will gray now rather than a year form now? The best my finisher can muster is a white stain but its not the same and not acceptable to the architect. FYI, we specialize in antique/reclaimed wood millwork but the finish was determined after the cabinets were built and rebuilding the cabinets out of reclaimed teak is out of the question.

Boatsmith
02-03-2010, 06:46 PM
Only time and sun. David

McMike
02-03-2010, 06:50 PM
It's a covered porch, I told them that but . . . you know how it is, the customer is always right.

I wonder if intense UV lights over a week will work. I’m seriously contemplating it, anyone know where I could borrow some mini suns?

McMike
02-03-2010, 06:54 PM
The problem is the lack of direct sunlight. The cabinets will reside under a roof.

Paul Pless
02-03-2010, 06:54 PM
Only time and sun. David

The problem is the lack of direct sunlight. The cabinets will reside under a roof.

send the cabinets to south florida for several weeks

McMike
02-03-2010, 06:58 PM
send the cabinets to south florida for several weeks


Can I go with them?:D

Jim Ledger
02-03-2010, 07:04 PM
Send me your new teak and I'll send it back gray.

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:06 PM
We have a fuming box where we fume the cabinets in ammonia to get a nice patina out of our reclaimed oaks and such. Maybe I’ll suggest a lye solution, they may have already tried it but it’s worth a suggestion.

Thanks Donn

David G
02-03-2010, 07:07 PM
Off the top of my head, I can't see any quick solution, either. If they REALLY want that weathered teak look, they can lay the bookcases out in the weather (assuming the construction methods allow such mistreatment) - foregoing the use of them for a few months - then put them on their screen porch. Otherwise, patience is the order of the day. Also... if they never get wet, they'll never look like a teak deck. The moisture cycling leaches out some of the oils, and is part of what makes weathered teak look the way it does. If they're just gonna let UV do it's thing over a period of time, the teak will certainly gray, but not as fast, nor as thoroughly (which I'd hazard is a good thing for a piece of furniture).

I think that chemistry may be your only potential solution here. I don't know what chemical might work, but a little research might give you some candidates to experiment with.

As an aside - I can't imagine you could pull it off even if you'd started with weathered wood. You'd still have to machine the stock to get to the right sizes, then machine it some more for edge details and such. You'd inevitably end up with some "fresh" teak showing... that'd still have to age to achieve the look they're aiming for. Or did you have a thought that hasn't occurred to me?

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:08 PM
Send me your new teak and I'll send it back gray.

If you want to duplicate the cabinets in weathered gray for an even exchange I'll consider it.;)

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:17 PM
Off the top of my head, I can't see any quick solution, either. If they REALLY want that weathered teak look, they can lay the bookcases out in the weather (assuming the construction methods allow such mistreatment) - foregoing the use of them for a few months - then put them on their screen porch. Otherwise, patience is the order of the day. Also... if they never get wet, they'll never look like a teak deck. The moisture cycling leaches out some of the oils, and is part of what makes weathered teak look the way it does. If they're just gonna let UV do it's thing over a period of time, the teak will certainly gray, but not as fast, nor as thoroughly (which I'd hazard is a good thing for a piece of furniture).

Timing is key here, we have maybe three weeks before we have to install them. I dont think its gonna happen the natural way and probably not at all from the sound of it.


As an aside - I can't imagine you could pull it off even if you'd started with weathered wood. You'd still have to machine the stock to get to the right sizes, then machine it some more for edge details and such. You'd inevitably end up with some "fresh" teak showing... that'd still have to age to achieve the look they're aiming for. Or did you have a thought that hasn't occurred to me?

We have ways of making it talk, when we build with barn wood and rough sawn oak we have to do some woodworking gymnastics in order to show as much of the character as possible. Sometimes this requires the reinventing of the wheel. Ill show some pics as soon as I take the time to upload to a photo-hosting site.

Michael D. Storey
02-03-2010, 07:34 PM
The problem is the lack of direct sunlight. The cabinets will reside under a roof.
Suggest you place said cabs ON the roof

htom
02-03-2010, 07:35 PM
There are florescent tubes with high outputs of UV-a, and/or UV-b, and even of UV-c (very nasty, kills things, the atmosphere absorbs it from the sun.) Putting the dismantled cabinets in some kind of foil-lined room (for maximum reflection), sprinkling with salt water daily, might work. I think you need a wood chemist.

Concordia...41
02-03-2010, 07:41 PM
I think you just need to set them out in the weather. :rolleyes:

Phillip Allen
02-03-2010, 07:43 PM
The object is to dissolve the oil, and then wash it away. TSP is another possibility.

TSP is a caustic...

High C
02-03-2010, 07:43 PM
I've found that the best way to get teak to weather and turn grey is to varnish it regularly and try your darndest to keep it looking all new and shiny. :o :D

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:44 PM
If there was a testing facility with a high intensity UV room we could borrow for a few weeks I'd be in business. You know the rooms where they test car finishes.

Concordia...41
02-03-2010, 07:48 PM
How about you go test a scrap in a tanning bed? Seriously. What's it going to do, get skin cancer? :D

If that doesn't work, High C's suggestion to varnish it is spot on ;)

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:49 PM
I think you just need to set them out in the weather. :rolleyes:

The funny thing is, that is the only real solution. The carcasses of the cabinets are built out of marine-grade teak ply and we used tight bond 3 glue. If we seal the exposed plywood edges with epoxy and put them outside we might be able to get somewhere. Well see how much the client wants gray teak because I think it might cost us the deadline in order to get it.

Glen Longino
02-03-2010, 07:49 PM
You may have to tell your clients to get a life and endure the transition to aged teak. The silly bastards!

Phillip Allen
02-03-2010, 07:49 PM
here's a solution...get a piece and make it look old as best you can then present it to the clients as having come from the deck of some long lost ship (in other words...lie...as opposed to lye)

McMike
02-03-2010, 07:50 PM
You could probably rent an auto paint shop's bake room, but again, I think you'd distort the wood so much your joints and fasteners would pop.

Agreed.

Concordia...41
02-03-2010, 08:00 PM
The funny thing is, that is the only real solution. The carcasses of the cabinets are built out of marine-grade teak ply and we used tight bond 3 glue. If we seal the exposed plywood edges with epoxy and put them outside we might be able to get somewhere. Well see how much the client wants gray teak because I think it might cost us the deadline in order to get it.


This is kindof like years back when Dave and I spent waaaaayyyy too much of our lives removing carpet and linoleum in an old Victorian house that had had a bad attack of the '70's. :eek:

After the carpet and linoleum was up, we spent WEEKS meticulously scraping off glue, repairing damaged areas with carefully matched reclaimed wood, and delicately filling nail holes and dings.

A bit later we were watching HGTV and there was a show on how to artificially age wood floors:eek: showing several bazillion dollar houses with brand new wood floors and the various methods - including beating the floor in the entry way with a log chain - so they wouldn't look like new.

To each his own... :rolleyes:

delecta
02-03-2010, 08:03 PM
Stain it gray.

McMike
02-03-2010, 08:11 PM
This is kindof like years back when Dave and I spent waaaaayyyy too much of our lives removing carpet and linoleum in an old Victorian house that had had a bad attack of the '70's. :eek:

After the carpet and linoleum was up, we spent WEEKS meticulously scraping off glue, repairing damaged areas with carefully matched reclaimed wood, and delicately filling nail holes and dings.

A bit later we were watching HGTV and there was a show on how to artificially age wood floors:eek: showing several bazillion dollar houses with brand new wood floors and the various methods - including beating the floor in the entry way with a log chain - so they wouldn't look like new.

To each his own... :rolleyes:


Its how I make a living these days. I think the real appeal is the idea of having parts of really old buildings in your house. The reclaimed oak makes very nice cabinetry if you like the rustic look. As for the old looking new material, the rough sawn look is easy enough to do and makes for a really nice looking floor that you dont have to worry about denting or scratching.

chasbartlett
02-03-2010, 08:14 PM
IT'S CALLED WATERED TEAK. to do it properly takes years. I'm not yelling.

High C
02-03-2010, 08:20 PM
....I think the real appeal is the idea of having parts of really old buildings in your house.....

So true. I live in a timber framed home that was built in 1984. The largest timbers, the 8x8 posts, and the 1.25"x12" pine floors are salvage material from an old warehouse on the Mississippi River that was torn down. These timbers show saw marks, stains, nail holes, and shadows where they used to join other timbers in their previous life.

People come into the house and say, "Wow, how old is this place?", never noticing all the new timber. I like that. :cool:

Dan McCosh
02-03-2010, 09:16 PM
I have this recollection that household chlorine bleach turns teak a light gray. Dunno if it works on fresh wood, however. It is a way of keeping the gray color on decks.

Paul Girouard
02-03-2010, 10:50 PM
So McMike sounds like you got that job you mentioned? Wish you the best with both the new job, if you did get one , and with your new to old Teak issue.

peter radclyffe
02-04-2010, 12:43 AM
go & buy some from raw faith

Nicholas Carey
02-04-2010, 12:51 AM
You might try a chemical stain. Make a solution of logwood extract (logwood is Haematoxylon Campechianum) or Brazilwood extract.

Paint it on and let it dry thoroughly. This dopes the wood with tannins.

Hit that with an iron acetate solution or an aqueous solution of ferrous sulfate. Let it dry thoroughly.

The iron acetate/ferrous sulfate reactes with the tannic acids and other compounds present to produce a permanent non-fading grey-to-black. Much depends on the base wood and the strength of the dye and mordants used. Experimentation is required.

Making iron acetate solution


Make oil-free steel wool Take 0000 steel wool. Wash it thoroughly in solvent. Let it dry.
Fluff a handful of your oil-free 0000 steel wool. Put it in a mason jar with in 2 cups of white vinegar. Let it sit for a week or so, shaking the container every day. This process produces hydrogen gas -- so ensure the lid on the container is loose enough to allow the gases to escape, lest you get shrapnel :eek:
Strain the finished solution through a coffee filter or several layer of tee-shirt material to remove any particles of steel wool.

All this stuff is available from dyestuff suppliers.

George Frank's book on wood finish has recipes; so does Tage Frid's book on wood finishing.

Experimentation will be required since these are chemical process that react with the wood.

Ron Williamson
02-04-2010, 05:46 AM
I'd hit it with a wire wheel/wire brush, along the grain, for texture, then chlorine bleach,like Dan said.
Don't wipe or rinse the bleach off right away.
There's always oxalic acid, sold as wood bleach.
R

Krunch
02-04-2010, 06:25 AM
I'd use lye or TSP or some other alkali/base/caustic to cut/emulsify the oils, then pressure wash it off, then apply oxalic acid (wood bleach) and see what I got...

Mrleft8
02-04-2010, 08:52 AM
What you need is an oxidizer.....A solution of potasium dichromate should do it very nicely. That's what I used to use.... Use a respirator, and heavy rubber gloves.

McMike
02-04-2010, 07:29 PM
So McMike sounds like you got that job you mentioned? Wish you the best with both the new job, if you did get one , and with your new to old Teak issue.


Yes I did get the new job, thank you for remembering and for the good wishes. I'm very excited and very busy. It has presented a much broader scope of the business that I get to learn and be involved with. The people I work with are good people that I stand to learn a large amount from.

As for the teak issue, I think we've settled on a subtle white wash stain. Thanks to all for the suggestions, I will keep them in mind the next time someone wants gray teak.

McMike
02-04-2010, 07:32 PM
You might try a chemical stain. Make a solution of logwood extract (logwood is Haematoxylon Campechianum) or Brazilwood extract.

Paint it on and let it dry thoroughly. This dopes the wood with tannins.

Hit that with an iron acetate solution or an aqueous solution of ferrous sulfate. Let it dry thoroughly.

The iron acetate/ferrous sulfate reactes with the tannic acids and other compounds present to produce a permanent non-fading grey-to-black. Much depends on the base wood and the strength of the dye and mordants used. Experimentation is required.

Making iron acetate solution


Make oil-free steel wool Take 0000 steel wool. Wash it thoroughly in solvent. Let it dry.
Fluff a handful of your oil-free 0000 steel wool. Put it in a mason jar with in 2 cups of white vinegar. Let it sit for a week or so, shaking the container every day. This process produces hydrogen gas -- so ensure the lid on the container is loose enough to allow the gases to escape, lest you get shrapnel :eek:
Strain the finished solution through a coffee filter or several layer of tee-shirt material to remove any particles of steel wool.
All this stuff is available from dyestuff suppliers.

George Frank's book on wood finish has recipes; so does Tage Frid's book on wood finishing.

Experimentation will be required since these are chemical process that react with the wood.

I will print and file this for reference when we need it again. As for the books I'll see if they're in the budget at work, if not I'll put them on my buy list for home.

Thanks

JormaS
02-05-2010, 06:08 PM
McMike, I think what you need is ferrous sulphate. In Finland, and probably in other Scandinavian countries, there is a long tradition of using it for greying log cabins, sheds and wall panels -- among many industrial uses of course. It is sold in pharmacies and in some paint shops at a rather modest price.

The variety we use here for greying wood is called Iron(II)Sulphate, FeSO4 - 7H2O. The old folks call it green vitriol or iron vitriol. It is a light greenish crystalline powder.

The classic recipy is to dissolve 3 to 4 kilos of it in ten litres of warm water, then apply it with a soft brush. The graying will take place in a couple of days (but sometimes a in few weeks and dont ask me why...).

Ive used it myself on pine and spruce on fence posts and wall panels. It makes a very natural-looking weathered grey and also gives some protection agaist molds and fungi. I have no idea how it works on teak though but maybe you should try it.

Good luck!:)

McMike
02-05-2010, 06:36 PM
McMike, I think what you need is ferrous sulphate. In Finland, and probably in other Scandinavian countries, there is a long tradition of using it for greying log cabins, sheds and wall panels -- among many industrial uses of course. It is sold in pharmacies and in some paint shops at a rather modest price.

The variety we use here for greying wood is called Iron(II)Sulphate, FeSO4 - 7H2O. The old folks call it green vitriol or iron vitriol. It is a light greenish crystalline powder.

The classic recipy is to dissolve 3 to 4 kilos of it in ten litres of warm water, then apply it with a soft brush. The graying will take place in a couple of days (but sometimes a in few weeks and dont ask me why...).

Ive used it myself on pine and spruce on fence posts and wall panels. It makes a very natural-looking weathered grey and also gives some protection agaist molds and fungi. I have no idea how it works on teak though but maybe you should try it.

Good luck!:)


Ill have to suggest my finisher try out this as well as the other ideas once were clear of the job were finishing now. Its always nice to have a few new tricks up our sleeves.

Thank you JormaS