Author Topic: HELP with teak tub surround!!  (Read 3620 times)

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Offline humantorch

  • Posts: 47
    • black hill design
HELP with teak tub surround!!
« on: April 01, 2015, 01:24 PM »
Hey gang, so I recently made a tub surround out of some teak. I used an epoxy glue (sorry, I can't remember the exact brand but it was supposedly completely water resistant) and domino's. Well...after a week the thing is steadily pulling apart by the day. Not sure if I didn't use enough adhesive or if the grain matchup just doesn't work. I've always heard you're not supposed to glue grain perpendicular to itself but I didn't imagine it would pull apart so fast and so furiously.
I now have to pull the whole thing out and start over. Any ideas or tips for the second try would be greatly appreciated. Do I need to construct this like one would a door with t&g? Or do I need to put draw pins in the domino's? I'm completely vexed by this and I have company coming in a little over a week so it needs to be done asap.

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Offline BPCFinishing

  • Posts: 84
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 09:22 PM »
are those just regular dominos?  also do you have any pictures from a little farther away so we can see the scope of the project?
Ts55, ct26, ro90, rts400, of1400, df500, cxs, mft, ....to be continued

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5737
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 09:38 PM »
If you cannot see the bottom when installed, Dominos, West Systems G-flex and pocket screws. Make sure you wipe the surfaces with Acetone.

If you can see the bottom clamp and skip the pocket screws.

Tom

Offline humantorch

  • Posts: 47
    • black hill design
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 01:18 PM »
BPC,
here's a look at the entire surround. Only the horizontal pieces are the one's giving me trouble.

Offline orm8426

  • Posts: 109
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2015, 01:37 PM »
I don't know what the issue is, it could be a number of things. Though my best guess would point towards the epoxy either being a bit out of date OR had too short an open/work time and semi-cured before you clamped it all up. What epoxy was it?

There is also the possibility of the natural oil in teak causing the epoxy not to bond, did you wipe down with alcohol, acetone, etc prior to gluing?

Finally, what is the history of the wood? Where was it stored prior to assembly, how long prior was it ripped/milled to size prior to assembly? etc, etc...
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 01:48 PM by orm8426 »

Offline humantorch

  • Posts: 47
    • black hill design
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2015, 02:22 PM »
orm,
Thanks for the reply. The epoxy was right out of a new bottle.
I just got off the phone with a gentleman at System 3 asking about their T-88 epoxy and he mentioned that no matter what type of adhesive I use, the wood will still want to move and that unless I fully encapsulate the surround with an epoxy, I'm going to get movement. I really don't want to use an epoxy though as I dislike the finish it gives

The wood itself had been sitting outside in the desert southwest for a number of years but I milled it all only a day or so before assembling.

Offline SMJoinery

  • Posts: 530
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2015, 03:54 PM »
Hi

Last time I seen this issue it was caused by the timber being installed untreated and then the top of the boards only receiving oil.
I'm just wondering if you oiled or applied finish on the back of the boards before fitting?

Offline irishman

  • Posts: 35
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 03:57 PM »
orm,
Thanks for the reply. The epoxy was right out of a new bottle.
I just got off the phone with a gentleman at System 3 asking about their T-88 epoxy and he mentioned that no matter what type of adhesive I use, the wood will still want to move and that unless I fully encapsulate the surround with an epoxy, I'm going to get movement. I really don't want to use an epoxy though as I dislike the finish it gives

The wood itself had been sitting outside in the desert southwest for a number of years but I milled it all only a day or so before assembling.

Sounds to me like a number of issues. 

First, you will get wood movement even in dry wood if you mill it from a full log just before you use it.  Wood will have some amount of movement once you relieve the stresses internal to the log.

Second, in a shower like that unless you seal the wood like stated above, you're basically forcing moisture into and out of the wood when you take a hot shower.  There will be lots of movement in something like this I would think.  I don't think you have any choice but to seal the grain with something. 

Teak does have lots of oils in it, and isn't the greatest at being glued or epoxied compared to other woods.

Offline humantorch

  • Posts: 47
    • black hill design
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 04:05 PM »
SM,
Now that you mentioned it I realize I did NOT oil the underside. That would help explain why all the boards are cupping upwards.
I think what I may attempt is to use dominos, pocket screws and epoxy to assemble, then oil the entire piece.
If anyone has any suggestions as to an alternative to an epoxy sealant on the piece I'd love to hear it. Really don't want that look and I love the feel of the raw wood.

(Also, per the milling process, the boards were all dimensioned already. I merely "cleaned" the, all up and flattened/jointed them)

Offline SMJoinery

  • Posts: 530
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 04:20 PM »
Hi

If it were me....I'd mill the stock, match plane boards, keep growth rings alternate, domino every 150, glue or epoxy inc clean down with recommended solution, clamp up tight, wait till dry and apply at least 3 coats of finish top, bottom and edges, cut and fit, reapply finish to any cut edges and apply final coat on top.
Good luck.

Offline humantorch

  • Posts: 47
    • black hill design
Re: HELP with teak tub surround!!
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2015, 03:32 PM »
Thanks SM!
On another note...has anyone had experience using Polyester resin w/ acetone??