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Author Topic:   Dowels and glue for Teak door repair.
Hank posted 02-25-2002 11:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for Hank   Send Email to Hank  
A couple of the dowels holding my Montauk's console door together failed. I was able to get the end piece apart so that I could drill out the failed dowels.

Any suggestions about the replacement dowels?
What glue would be best to use? The louvers fit into slots on the end pieces. If I glue them in too securely I'd never be able to remove the end pieces to replace broken dowels.


boland posted 02-26-2002 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for boland  Send Email to boland     
If you're a purest, clean area thoroughly with acetone to de-oil and use a 2-part epoxy glue & a teak plug. If you want to fix it so it won't break again use a white oak plug, Gorilla Glue (brand name) then stain the plug to match your teak. I replace my teak rod holders, bilge cover and any other sticky-out pieces with burr oak; (the toughest of the white oaks) then stain with a mixture of cherry and walnut to match teak. Only some woodworking fanatic will know the difference and you will have fixtures that are much, much stronger than teak. chris
OutrageMan posted 02-26-2002 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I am assuming that the dowels are holding the rails and stiles together.

I have seen teak dowels at Boat US.

I am not sure exactly how this door went together, but there are some rules for gluing up such doors.

I would use a recorcinol glue. It is the only true water-proof glue (more on this and Gorilla glue later). Glue ONLY the mortise and tennons of the rails and stiles of the door. Then glue the through dowels and trim or sand flush.

DO NOT glue the slats. Allow them to "float" in the frame. This will allow for expansion and contraction of the wood and aviod pinching and splitting.

The reason I would not use Gorilla glue may sound like bunk, but it seems to be the prevailing wisdom among woodworkers lately (right or wrong).

1) Gorilla glue has not proven (other than company literature) to be completely waterproof in a marine enviroment.

2) No testing on its ability to withstand the cycling of the wood has been done (repeated swelling and shrinking).

3) When used, it foams. There are some that think this foaming and subsequent curing) puts too much stress on the joint and forces areas apart not giving a complete gluing surface by leaving voids (un-scientifically tested by gluing 2 pieces of glass together and looking in the joint).

Recorcinol on the other hand does not have these problems, and has proven over a very long time to be completely waterproof, and can handle the constant clycling with no problem (designed to do that). Its big issue is curing enviroment. It must be let to cure in an area that is between 70-80 deg.

Recorcinol can be bout at any hardware store or Home Depot.

Good luck,

hauptjm posted 02-26-2002 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
I have to side with Brian, only because I did it the way he described. Mine have been back together and doing fine for over two years with alot of abuse.
Tom W Clark posted 02-26-2002 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
In general I agree with Brian but, as a professional woodworker, I have a few comments:

First of all, the dowels do not show when the door is assembled. Not plugging is necessary.

Use whatever dowels you have or can get. In reality it won't make much difference. If you happen to have some teak dowels, then great, use those, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

As Brian points out resorcinol glue is the tried and true boat builder's glue. It is waterproof and readily available. However, any number of glues will work just fine. My recommendation is to use epoxy and here's why:

Epoxy will have the best gap filling ability. You have drilled out the old dowels and I am going to guess there's some slop or misalignment in the joint. If you you epoxy you won't have to worry too much about it. It wil be the most forgiving glue to use. If you use 5 minute epoxy as I would (and have) then you will be able to get the job done in short order and can, in fact, hold the joint together with you hands if need be.

There have been many times when I had an awkward joint to clamp and I didn't feel like setting up some elaborate jig or contraption and just held the parts together for 10 or 15 minutes. I know, I know, it sounds like a long time but in fact it's a lot quicker than fooling around scratching your head. Some times you just have to get the job done and be done with it!

Regarding waterproofness, this teak door is not going to be under water so the requirement of absolute waterproofness is not there. Hell you could probably use Tite-Bond II (I don't really recommend it, but you could). Polyurethane glues like Gorilla Glue would work well to but I don't recommend them here because they will be messy and more of a pain to clean up. Plastic resin glue wil work too, but I'd just stick with the epoxy.

One point of Brian's that I want to emphasize is the importance of NOT gluing the louvers. The MUST be allowed to float free!

Hank posted 02-26-2002 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
Thanks to all for the prompt reply to my question. The door is small enough so that I can easily bring it indoors to cure the glue at 70+ deg. There is no problem with staining to match color as the dowels would be totally enclosed when the repair is made.

I'm not a woodworker, and therefore appreciate the information. I shall look into the adhesives mentioned. Water resistance is definitely important, here. I have read that resorcinol glues are very good in wet applications.


OutrageMan posted 02-26-2002 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I am just currious, how did the joint fail? Did it just come apart in you hands? Did it get torqued? Rot? Did the original glue delaminate?

Can you tell what the original adhesive was?

Thanks, Brian

Taylor posted 02-26-2002 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I'm a believer in using whatever is handy. For this exact repair, I used a stick off the ground for a dowel. My wife was going to pick up some 1/4" dowel for me on her trip into town and forgot. So there I was... looking around... and hey, that little stick looks like the right size...

And, yeah, I used Tite Bond II also. Its recommended for outdoor furniture, and that really what this is. The dowels are enclosed, so I'm not sure how much water is going to get to them. Also, I had the glue on hand already.

I agree that resorcinol is the classic marine glue. Just as soon as the joint fails again, I'll buy a new supply.

Chesapeake posted 02-26-2002 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
OK - couple of thoughts here. I tend to agree to use West epoxy for this project - it is tried and true. Another support - The upscale teak garden manufacturers (at least Wood Classics, which is the best I have seen) use two part epoxy for all glue joints or plugs. I would think that since this is their livelihood and a failed joint in an expensive bench ($1000) would hurt if it occured often, they have a pretty good idea of what works. I have not had any problems with this method. As long as you use appropriate fillers, it is a great gap filler as Tom mentioned.

As for gorilla glue, here is a one man test panel. Five years ago, I built an RPS that was to be painted. The base was built from 3/4" ply for the four sides (admittedly probably too heavy) and the four corners of the "box" or base were made of 3/4" x 3/4" strips of solid mahogany that were pocket screwed to the plywood sides. In addition to the three or four stainless pocket screws, all the joints were held together with gorilla glue. I then shot the seat with white Awl-grip to make it look like a fiberglass application.

It has been five years and surpringly you cannot see any cracks in the painted corners. I almost suspected when building it that I eventually would see the cracks, just like you see at the joint of a stile and rail on a painted raised panel kitchen cabinet door. Now, you might argue that the Awl-grip is so tough, and that maybe true. And while 5 years is a drop in the life of a whaler, so far, I am impressed at the way that gorrilla glue joints not only hold up, but expand to fill joint imperfections. I would use it again.

Sorry for getting a bit off subject.

Tom Clark, didn't realize you were a professional woodworker. I will have to catch you off-line.



Hank posted 03-01-2002 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
This is an update to the dowel/adhesive question I posted.

I followed Tom's advice to use whatever dowel I had available. This happened to be 3/8 " hardwood dowel from an unknown tree in Malaysia.
As for the adhesive, I checked the time to mix epoxy, apply the mixture, attach the dowel and assemble all the slats. A dry run took too long for five minute epoxy. I used Devcon's 2 Ton epoxy which comes in a handy dispenser and allows up to 30 minutes working time.
Fortunately, the entire assembly was so tight when I assembled everything (after applying the epoxy) and tapped it together with a rubber mallet that no fixtures were necessary.

Outrageman: Failure occurred at two of the dowels in the door assembly. The remains were
blackened and probably rotted. The door was subjected to occasional banging when the latch would let open and the door would slam against the console. I can't tell what kind of wood the original dowels were. The failure was in the dowel, not an adhesive failure.

Thanks again to all who replied to my question.


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