Why is machined teak blotchy?

If you're not familiar with it, one property of freshly machined teak can take you by surprise. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

We have been milling a small number of teak boards to go in a custom floor. I have never worked with teak before and was surprised to see blotchy areas of much lighter wood appear as we planed the board. These areas seemed to have nothing to do with heartwood/sapwood but did increase in area as we went deeper through the wood.

What causes this and is there anything other than staining that can bring the color back to a uniform look? We will be finishing the floor with Velvit oil.

You have discovered one very special property about teak--it is lighter in color in the center than on the surface. The good news is that within a day of exposure to sunlight, the color contrast will be gone. (It is an oxidation reaction. It often is greenish in color temporarily.) So, don't worry---be happy!

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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