I'm about to run into some teak (I think)

Brian
2,051 posts and 30 followers
1051 15 0

I think this is teak. I was told it was reclaimed decking from a pier in the south street seaport, demolished after hurricane sandy. Somehow we ended up with about 60 or 70 board feet more than we needed and I’m snagging it. It’s fairly straight and about 1-1/4 thick by 5-1/2 wide. It has 2 bolt holes every 16" or so.

I grabbed a few cutoffs from today’s work. The closeup is a piece I cleaned up a little.

Can anyone confirm this is teak our maybe let me know what it really is?

By the way, this is the project it’s going in. Some shelving with steel supports. It’s looking nice and fits the apartment, which is in the seaport. So the lumber has a bit of historic value to the apartment as well, being from the seaport.

Losing fingers since 1969

Teak, especially old teak, is hard to positively ID from photos. It does have a very distinctive smell when cut however and if you’ve ever smelled it you will always remember it when you smell it again.
It looks like this could be teak but as I said… hard to tell. If it is it’s a great score. The stuff is like gold, even was back when I was buying lots of it in the eighties.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

It looks like the teak I saw at the lumber yard last week.
Very expensive stuff.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Thanks, guys. Teak it is (even if it’s not). :-)

This would make a nice dining table top, I think, except for the holes. Any ideas on how to finish this? I’m not sure it needs any finishing at all. Also, if it does become a dining table, what would be a good way to fill the holes?

Losing fingers since 1969

And this stuff does have a very distinctive smell when cut, but I don’t have a baseline to compare it. But it is unique.

Losing fingers since 1969

Great haul Brian. Your project looks very good and it is so appropriate since it has a history and a lot of character after having been out in the weather so long. I understand that teak is pretty hard on tools, but that’s not such a big deal nowadays. I have some teak from an old table I got from my DIL’s mom. I really should use it for something, it’s been sitting in my shop loft for many years now.

Mike, an American living in Norway

Brian, if you’ve been told it’s teak and it has a distinctive smell you’ve never experienced before (kind of spicy?) then I’ll bet it is.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

No, I was not told what it was. But it’s teak because I want to believe that it’s teak. ;-)

Losing fingers since 1969

And the smell is very spicy. A little bit like allspice/nutmeg? Definitely distinct.

Losing fingers since 1969

Here’s a pic of my haul. 8 boards over 8’ each except one 7 footer. Not quite 60 or 70 board feet like I thought before, but still not a bad haul. It’s enough for a table top.

Losing fingers since 1969

I had a block about 10 years ago. I started carving it like the old crafts men did before they built an actual boat they would do a scale model, usually it was only 1/2 of the hull, doing only one side. I wanted to do the whole hull, and maybe someday dig out the inside and make it a sailing model. It’s as hard as stone, and kind of stinks like allspice.

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!