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Restoration of outdoor teak bench

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mullermn

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Hi,

I have an outdoor bench made of teak which I've allowed to get a little bit neglected. The original (teak oil) finish is long since knackered and the wood has become quite dried out and split in a few places. I'd like to restore this piece and I'm wondering about the best approach.

From a position of complete naivety I've imagined something like - give it a really thorough re-oiling until it stops absorbing new oil, then attempt to re-glue any cracks that aren't too widely split.

In terms of products, I'm assuming normal exterior PVA is going to be a bad fit for freshly re-oiled wood - would an epoxy be a better choice? And in terms of an oil, would boiled linseed oil be suitable (I have some of this already) or is there something particularly appropriate about teak oil that means it should be used?

Many thanks for any thoughts..
 

TheTiddles

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Glue first, then finish

Can you get the parts out to glue them?

A pressure washer is a great thing for old weathered teak
 

mullermn

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Thanks.

Yeah, it can be fully disassembled, it's made with loose pegged mortice and tenons. I imagine it was a generic/mass produced bit of garden furniture at the time but it's one of those things that's been in the family long enough to acquire a value of its own.

I wasn't expecting it to expand like a sponge or anything but my logic was that if allowing the wood to get extremely dry was what led to it splitting then it might be wise to let it reabsorb as much oil as it will take before trying to reglue the splits?

I do have a pressure washer so we could give that a go before cleaning it up, too.
 

spb

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I wasn't expecting it to expand like a sponge or anything but my logic was that if allowing the wood to get extremely dry was what led to it splitting then it might be wise to let it reabsorb as much oil as it will take before trying to reglue the splits?
There's logic in that line of thinking, but it's rather outweighed by the fact that glue won't stick to an oiled surface.

I'd be looking at filling the cracks, rather than trying to glue them back together. Once it's dried out to that extent, you're not likely to be able to undo that to the point of closing up cracks. Work on the assumption that you'll always be able to see the cracks once they've opened up, so the trick is to find a filler that'll become a part of the piece rather than sticking out by failing to blend in.
 

Beau

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Glue first for sure. Decent PU like Collano Sempatoc or Epoxy like West System will glue teak. Clean any surfaces to be glued with acetone to remove any natural oils on the surface. Linseed will go very dark on outside furniture IME.
 

TheTiddles

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I’ve glued teak with PVA a few times without any problems or cleaning of the wood first.

depends on the crack as to how well it’ll closes up, ideally it’s clean and shuts up perfectly, after that it’s a downwards slope

get it clean and dry, post some pictures and we’ll chip in with some witty banter that may contain something useful for you *

Aidan

* no guarantees on that!
 

SkinnyB

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Here is a Teak bench I restored recently.

Steps were as followed:
Disassemble the bench completely.
Sand all surfaces back to reveal fresh wood. Its worth going until all the grey is gone and back to that classic teak colour. When its time to finish it pays off.
Cut legs down by 10mm to remove old damaged material to re-level.
Make new parts as required.
Clean up old joints revealing fresh timber. Glue wont stick to the old dirty surfaces. I sand the tenons and use a chisel on the mortises to remove a thin amount of material back to clean good wood.
Glue bench using a glue suitable for teak. I use Resorcinol 2 part/ water to clean up.
Re pin with dowels and glue.
Light sanding to remove any glue marks after gluing.
Lots of teak oil. I used a teak stain first to try and blend in the new iroko parts. They will also darken up with time.

Most parts if not all were reused. Bits that were missing were replaced.
It took me approximately 2 days to repair and I charged £250 for reference. Which seems cheap now!


Teal bench restoration by jamie skinner, on Flickr

Teal bench restoration by jamie skinner, on Flickr
 
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