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Author Topic:   to plane or not to plane? (teak gunnels)
george nagy posted 08-09-2002 02:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for george nagy   Send Email to george nagy  
Yes I'm tired of the sikkens cetol teak finnish wearing away on my 18' outrages gunnel boards. It does fine on the console doors and trim but doesn't last on the exposed horizontal surfaces. I'm not ready to do as LHG did and put a guzillion coats of varnish, although it looks fabulous!

My plan is to plane. I figure I can get the 3? pieces apart farly easily and run them through my new jointer and planer. What do you guys think? Is it easy as it sounds? Anybody done this before?

I figure what is a 1/16" when I will have perfectly smooth bright (OILED) teak from here on out.

Please let me know if my plan is flawed, as I'm starting early tommorow morning.

Taylor posted 08-09-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
No experience with teak gunnels, but I've used little 13" Ryobi planer on painted wood to take the paint off. With old house oil paint, the paint can get hard enough that its hard on the planner blades. But they are replaceable so that's not too much of an issue.

A greater problem is sipe. Its pretty easy to get a little divit or dip in the wood at the start and end of each run, especially
if you have no infeed or outfeed tables. Not just the little roller tables that come wth the planer, but something out further so the wood does not jump as it enters or leaves the cutter head. Those sipes can be hard to sand out, I usually cut 5" off the ends of boards after I plane raw material.

Anway, I'm not saying no, I'm just saying be careful, practice with some scrap first to be sure you are set up right.

JFM posted 08-09-2002 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     

There is no guarantee you only lose 1/16th and hit pay-dirt. I would use one pass and see how it looks. Then maybe one more, both light. Then sand, with palm or random orb. sander.
Regards, Jay
P.S. Make damn sure there ain't no metal in your wood.

David Ratusnik posted 08-09-2002 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
George- Before you slit your wrists/gunwales, consider Starbrite Teak Sealer. My experience was similar to yours- the teak in the OR's gunwales simply went south with saltwater/sun abuse. I tried varnish, oil and eventually the teak sealer. About every 6 months I start over, using the Starbrite cleaner, then brightener, and then the classic sealer (has a little red hue in it). It's quite attractive. Keeps me on the water rather than in my lift/trailer screwing with teak issues. .03 David
Dr T posted 08-09-2002 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
After my experience planing teak, all I can say is that I hope you really enjoy sharpening your blades. Teak is a bit rough on planer and saw blades. Sort of like planing sandstone--real sticky sandstone.

However, I bet Tom will have a suggestion on this thread soon, and I look forward to reading it.

lae posted 08-09-2002 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lae  Send Email to lae     
Wide belt sander. Belt sander with 60 to start. Draw seies of squiggly lines down the face then belt sand those lines away. Repeat if necessary with finer grit, then randowm orbital with couple of grits, then pad with couple of grits. Want to beat it to death? Then by hand.
lae posted 08-09-2002 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for lae  Send Email to lae     
If it were mine I would plane it then sand out (feather) the snipe,then pad and finish.
lae posted 08-09-2002 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lae  Send Email to lae     
But then I have a 1500# planer which I just ground blades on yesterday and fettled. No snipe, which is caused by elevation of the infeed and outfeed rollers on a big planer. On a small planer usually be lack of infeed and outfeed support. I think I am done now.
Chesapeake posted 08-09-2002 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
George: I would vote for the jointer assuming your gunnel boards aren't more than 6" wide and you have a 6" jointer. Only concern, will the blade heat melt the finish on to the blades?? Do you know anyone with an overhead wide-belt sanders? They work great for thickness planing wide, jointed boards... don't know why they wouldn't work for you. As Taylor said, I'd be most worried about the end-snipe since you are planing boards that are already cut to length.

Whoever said this is a question for Tom Clark is absolutely right.

lae posted 08-10-2002 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for lae  Send Email to lae     
Run a finished board through my wide belt is a $60 upcharge. I do use the good belts, though.
Chesapeake posted 08-10-2002 07:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
lae: I should have checked your profile before posting. Like Tom, you're more than expertly qualified to advise George on this topic. Would love to see your work if you weren't on the other side of the country.


Tom W Clark posted 08-12-2002 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Before you deal with snipe, expensive belts and gummy old finish you have to get the gunnel boards off the boat. This is going to be your biggest hurdle.

First you would have to dig out all the bungs and remove the rub rail as well as the chafe strips, rod holders and misc., hardware. Then you have to back all those screws out with no guarantee they won't strip their heads or break their shanks.

If you do succeed in getting the boards off and the parts separated from one another you are then left with the finish on the wood itself.

Success at thickness planing these boards will depend on the machine used. Teak planes just fine but a finish on it will not help matters. (Paint is the absolute kiss-of-death to sharp knives.) If it were me I wouldn't try to get it all with the thickness planer but maybe get most of it and then sand out the rest.

Good luck finding a commercial shop with a big belt thickness sander to let you pass coated teak through. They'll tell you to beat it most likely, at least here in Seattle they will.

If you are able to get down to good wood and are ready to reassemble I think you will find the change in thickness may mess things up a bit. You will also have to polysulfide the seam between the two main pieces.

After all is said and done I do not think you will have saved much effort over just dealing with the teak the way it is now.

If you really want immaculate gunnel boards and are willing t go through all the above labor then you should probably just get new wood and make new boards.

If you are set on removing the Sikkens and want to go to an oiled finish and are trying to save some labor then you might try to refinish the boards in place. It involves a bit of hand work but overall I think you will be hours and hours of labor ahead of a plan that involves removing the boards from the boat.

But hey, who knows? I never removed mine. Let us know how it goes if you do try.

george nagy posted 08-12-2002 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
The word is Discouraged!

I did get the boards off the boat. It was in fact very difficult. A few screws did not wan't to come out very easily and chipped away some teak on the way out (not to bad).

I'm not going to plane those boards. Getting the vertical piece separated from the two horizontals looks to be to dangerous.I am going to give a more aggressive chemical stripper a try and then belt sand,etc.....

I have the stern pieces of the rubrail off for some repair and patching but it was NOT necessary to remove the side rubrail as the wood slides out quite easily.

I will let you guys know how it comes out or if I have any other hurdles along the way. I am going to get prices of teak to see if it would not be to costly to replace.

ShrimpBurrito posted 08-12-2002 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
I don't have alot of experience with chemical strippers, but have had success with Jasco.
Taylor posted 08-12-2002 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Oops... I'm going to the board now to write one hundred times 'snipe' 'snipe' 'snipe'.
george nagy posted 08-19-2002 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     

So far I have used an old orbital sander to sand the teak. The old sander spins more than randomly orbits so it removes more material but is gentler than a circular sander.

100 grit with a following of some smoother papers with a little hand sanding here there and I will back to new.

Doug Weaver posted 08-19-2002 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Doug Weaver  Send Email to Doug Weaver     
Hey George, just finished the immense task of removing and refinishing the teak on my 22 outrage. It was in really poor shape, but lacking access to a planer, I tunred it on end and ran it through a table saw, losing about a saw blade thickness in the process, but leaving me with some beautiful wood. A little thinner than I would have preferred, but still enough meat left to sustain all the diving fishing and such that I like to do. After the table saw, I used a belt sander to even things out and worked my way down to a palm sander to get a nice smooth finish. I went the teak oil route only because I was getting antsy to use the boat again after a few weeks of being covered in saw dust. I am curious to see how long the finish lasts in the florida sun. The table saw did make quick work of things though and maybe something to consider. Just take your time getting the settings right so you don't take off too much on your first try. Enjoy.
george nagy posted 08-30-2002 03:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Well after some more hand sanding the inside corners and some finish chisel work on the black rubber expansion joint the teak is looking great. I have reinstalled it and sanded down to 220 grit paper. Just have to sand down the new plugs and oil. It looks great, what an easy job with sandpaper. Sometimes I wish I hadn't removed them from the boat, but it was no big deal to re-attach them.

I guess the answer was "not to plane".

larimore posted 08-31-2002 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
I found that the oil wore off in 3mos or so and stained the inside of the boat where it dripped. Pain in the A.. So I quit oiling mine long ago - Just teak cleaner and brightner once a year or so. I tried sanding once, then found that the teak cleaner worked just as well. Now I spend no time on the teak and it looks fine, grey is not as nice as oil, but just fine. I'll oil it when it goes for sale.

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