Teak Tips

Tips for gluing this oily wood - 1998

Q. What is the best adhesive and preparation for dowel joints in teak? Is hide glue suitable? I have not had much luck over the years with repeatedly regluing joints in some rather delicate teak furniture.

A. Teak can be particularly difficult to glue, because of its oily nature. The natural oils in the wood interfere with a glue's ability to bond.

Typically, I would recommend using a freshly machined surface and wiping it with a solvent just prior to gluing. In your case it doesn't sound like that would be possible. The cleaner you can get the dowel holes the better the bond will be. In addition, you might try using one of the new reactive polyurethanes on the market. They tend to be less affected by oily woods than most of the traditional adhesives. I would not recommend hide glue.

Jeff Pitcher is Marketing Director for Custom-Pak Adhesives in Newark, Ohio.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor D:
An effective bond can usually be achieved when using timbers with a high oil or resin content if some liquid soap or detergent is mixed with the adhesive. Some experimentation should result in a suitable mix.