So my 1973 C&C30 mk1 is blinged out in teak. Trim around her portholes both topside and below decks, grab rails on the cabin top in and out, below decks her entire fit out... She even has a wood spoked helm with a wooden destroyer rim (leather wrapped). Teak everywhere. (Don't get too excited, it's been a while since any of this trim has seen any love) Back in the early 1980s, someone was very kind to her. She got top of the line instrumentation. New everything. She had SSB, DF (who has DF in a 30 foot yacht anyway?). So most of that stuff is useless today. Nothing talks to anything else because 1980 technology, and it doesn't work anyway. So I decided to get new gear for her. Took advantage of the "virtual boat show sale" online at The Binnacle (Chain of chandlers in this part of the world) to pick up a bunch of stuff on sale. Got a decent discount too. She needs a chartplotter, VHF, masthead wind, depth, speed. Anyway, I decided to put the plotter on the helm console in a pod, and that I would skip the plastic pod and build a wooden one to contain my plotter and a remote VHF mic. (who puts a VHF below in the fwd part of the cabin out of sight and hearing of the helmsman anyway?) Naturally, I chose black locust since it's my favourite wood. Then I realized EVERYTHING on Santiago that wasn't fiberglass, dacron or extruded aluminum, was teak (or bronze) and I will be pretty much required to use teak so it wouldn't stand out visually. So teak it is as I just dropped nearly $300 on a few measly bf last week to do the job. That crap's expensive man. And crap is what I mean. For all it's virtues in the boatbuilding world (and I don't really agree with many of them) this stuff is decidedly NOT pleasant to work. Shavings come off and crumble in my hands and even planing the boards (handplane) is dusty work. It doesn't really smell very pleasant either. It's gritty due to all the silica in it and destroys my iron quite quickly (as I expected it to). In short, I don't like working with it.

So, to the point of my post.... Has anyone had any experience working with teak using hand tools? Have you any advice on how to make it easier to work? Is this normal for teak? Am I doing something wrong? Do I have crappy teak? I suspect machining deck planking from it would be fine. Mask up, earbuds with good tunes and you'll mindlessly push stock through your TS for a while, but working it by hand isn't pleasant in the least.

Thanks for any help you can give guys.
Cheers,
Daniel