Preventing Sandpaper Clogging when Sanding Teak

Frictional heating of the oils in Teak wood can cause them to thicken and clog up the sandpaper. October 13, 2008

Can anyone offer tips for sanding teak with a widebelt sander? The challenges seem to be belt clogging and buildup on the outfeed pressure rollers.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor K:
We got black cloth back belts from a local supplier that were designed for red deal and they also worked good on teak and iroko. They were expensive but worked out cheaper in the long run as they didn't clog up as bad. As for the rollers, have you tried a silicone spray? It's probably the oil in the teak that's causing everything to stick to the rollers, and if the belt works, then more dust will go up the extractor pipe.

From contributor T:
Never, ever, use any silicone product in wood processing! It will irreversibly contaminate the wood! Ask any finisher about fish-eyes.

From contributor L:
I second contributor T. No silicone is allowed in our shop - ever! You can't get rid of it once contaminated.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Teak oils become more liquid and sticky when heated, so they clog the belts if you use lots of pressure, dull paper, closed coats, and high removal rates. In other words, avoid heat when sanding. I agree - no silicone.