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Gluing teak together for outdoor table


I have a customer who asked me for a price for an 1-3/4” top x 40” wide x 130” long.

What type of glue should I be using? I know Yellow blue isn’t going to work, but I think I remember seeing something about using a polyurethane glue. Or, could I use the same blue I use for doing veneer work which is a glue that has a catalyst powder

This will be an outdoor table, kind of like a picnic table.

Additionally, I was thinking of routing in flush, four or five pieces of 1/4” plate steel by about 2-3” wide x about 36-38” long and then screw it to the underside of the countertop to help prevent it from warping. I was also thinking of using SS threaded inserts with SS bolts (thoughts on this?)

She has the steel base legs that were powder coated. The base she bought was for a table out of white Oak that she bought on Etsy, but now wants me to provide a cost for a custom table base. I told her I think she’s going to need three bases to properly support it.

I explained to her that a film build finish is not going to be a good idea for an outdoor table, where a table can have a teak oil applied to it.

She’s kicking herself for believing the people on Etsy so now she’s stuck with this massive white oak table

3/28/24       #2: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...

Strips of steel are absolutely unnecessary, and even could be a rust problem outdoors. The strips of steel are merely an invention of fresh woodworkers on the internet. I've gone over 50 years of woodworking and have never put steel under a slab. According to makers today, I must be a magician. But in fact I just know how to build tables that won't warp.

3/28/24       #3: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...

Epoxy would be the best glue for teak. But I wouldn't even consider gluing up a panel that large for an outdoor table. There's a reason why slat style tops, with a space between the boards is the usual solution. Expansion and contraction in solid wood panels is is a fact of life. An outdoor table is going to be subjected to way more swings in temperature and humidity than an indoor piece. It would be almost impossible to make a panel that large and expect it to hold up over the long term.

3/28/24       #4: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Matt Calnen

You most certainly can use metal to hold a top flat. I recommend “C” channel. [edited] There are times when metal channel strips are your only option, especially outdoors. Of course get something meant for the outdoor environment the piece will live in. Epoxy is the only glue I would use in this situation, as well as tongue and groove joints. Bid accordingly and bid high!

3/29/24       #5: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Chip Geffre

Mike-Resorcinol is the glue that I used for teak in marine applications.
It is waterproof and uv resistant.

3/29/24       #6: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...

To everyone who has replied…

[edited] If you don’t like someone’s idea, then let it go and move on. I just asked for opinions on my situation [edited]. If you can’t stick to the topic of answering my questions specifically, then please refrain from messaging at all on this thread.

This is exactly why I don’t participate in this group very often, because if I wanted drama in my life, I can easily find it by going on Facebook. This group is supposed to be comprised of professionals throughout the world with different levels and experiences, sharing it with the masses. We are all professionals and should act accordingly and if you can’t, please see yourself to the door. Thank you.

By the way, I have 30 years in the business this year and I completely understand why my topic got off track, but at the same time, people need to restrain themselves if they’re going to start cutting down others. What is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander and people need to accept different ways will work effectively the same. I just don’t have a ton of experience in outdoor furniture, hence why I asked the question.

Thank you for playing along nicely in the sandbox

3/29/24       #7: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...

I second the notion of using resorcinol; epoxy has heat and UV limitations. If you want to build airplane propellors out of wood in Germany there is only one glue allowed.

3/30/24       #8: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Dave Edgerton  Member

I third the resorcinol method. Epoxy would be a close second choice if the dark colour of resorcinol is undesirable.

3/31/24       #9: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Hen Bob

Thanks for the tip on the Resorcinol glue, just ordered some. Always looking for better bonding options.

3/31/24       #10: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
tom gardiner

If you go with epoxy I would recommend searching for a formulation specifically for oily woods such as teak. Doesn't mean standard West System will fail but there are better epoxies for teak.
UV degradation is not so much of a problem in glue lines as with surface finishes. The light penetration is very small.
Rich's point about constrained movement is a concern. Slotted fastener holes in the steel might be necessary depending on the climate. You can do a shrinkulator calculation from the resources above to check expansion. Slotting steel can get expensive if you don't have the equipment or friend in a machine shop. Wood battens are time tested and something you can produce in house whether sliding dovetail or slotted for screws.

4/1/24       #11: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Matt Calnen

The c channel I was referring to is readily available in many sizes at what I think are good prices. It comes made for wood tops, so they already have slotted holes.

View higher quality, full size image (750 X 1334)

4/2/24       #12: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
Steve Member


Polyurethane glue would be a suitable option for outdoor use due to its water resistance and ability to bond various materials. Brands like Titebond Polyurethane Glue or Gorilla Glue Polyurethane would work well.

4/7/24       #13: Gluing teak together for outdoor ta ...
David R Sochar Member

Resorcinol Glue. Others glues may work, but Resorcinol is used to make wooden airplanes (Spruce Goose)
If you feel the need to have some sort of cross grain support, you can use wood or metal, as long as you allow for seasonal movement. Use the Srinkulator to determine how much the panel may move from season to season, and allow a bit more.
Remember the Two Basic Rules of Woodwork:
1. Wood will move
2. Woodworkers will forever disagree on the details.

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