Unpolished teak door storage - Help needed. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Unpolished teak door storage - Help needed.

Hi there everyone, i am a teak wood door importer, importing from Indonesia to India. The imported doors are unpolished and naturally seasoned, the doors that i received was in perfect shape and condition but after a month some of them started to form gaps and after 5 months 80-90% of the doors started to bowing, cracking and splitting on the panels and stiles but the damage to the polished once was barely noticable, these issues caused me a fortune as i could not sell them at this condition. Upon talking to some of the wood workers over here i came to a conclusion that these issues are caused probably because the wood received were not seasoned well and i found a new manufacturer in Indonesia who has a Kiln to properly season the Teak wood. Before proceeding with my next order i would greatly appreciate if you could help me answer few of the questions that i have.

1) Was is because teak wood was not seasoned well that almost all the doors started to crack, split and bow or is there any other reason?

2) What is the best way to store unpolished teak doors?

3) What kind of a place should i use as a warehouse to store them?

4) Did the damage cause because the doors were unpolished, if so what is the best way to stop them, apart from completely polishing since the buyers wanted to see them unpolished before purchasing them.

Some of you must be thinking why does he do something that he doesn't know much about, due to certain unavoidable circumstances i had to take over the business now to only that i could do is IMPROVISE.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
Please Excuse my English.
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post #2 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 10:36 AM
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You need to get a moisture content meter to go down that road wondering if it was seasoned well or not. Also it's a profound shock to the wood to move the doors from the climate of Indonesia to India. It's going to cause a lot more wood movement than it would otherwise. It might be necessary to either have the manufacturer over dry the wood or stack the doors with sticks between them and humidify the warehouse and very gradually lower the humidity levels to that of India. I don't think there is anything you could put on the surface of the door to prevent this. It goes to the moisture content of the wood throughout the door.
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post #3 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kaertk View Post
.....importing from Indonesia to India. The imported doors are unpolished and naturally seasoned.
I do not know what you mean by unpolished. Are you meaning "unfinished, like with no varnish?" Tony B

........the doors that i received was in perfect shape and condition but after a month some of them started to form gaps and after 5 months 80-90% of the doors started to bowing, cracking and splitting on the panels and stiles....
My best guess was that they were not properly dried if even dried at all. As time went by, they dried, shrank and split. Tony B

...but the damage to the polished once was barely noticable...
What you are calling 'polished' is probably what we call 'finished'. A hard finish, will slow down the exchange of moisture from the wood to dry out. This will prevent the wood from shrinking for a while. If your climate is much dryer than where the wood came from, they may continue to slowly dry out and split further. Only time will tell.

1) Was is because teak wood was not seasoned well that almost all the doors started to crack, split and bow or is there any other reason?
I believe this may be the main and possibly the only reason. Tony B

2) What is the best way to store unpolished teak doors?
If they are unfinished. there really is no "good" way. The best way would be to find a warm, dry area, stack the doors with a 1" square sticks the same length of the door width. Space them about a foot apart between the doors and use a band around the stacks of doors. This will help them dry evenly and hopefully without warping. They will still shrink and split probably. Tony B

3) What kind of a place should i use as a warehouse to store them?
Warm and dry with fans slowing blowing to circulate fresh air around them. Tony B

4) Did the damage cause because the doors were unpolished, if so what is the best way to stop them, apart from completely polishing since the buyers wanted to see them unpolished before purchasing them.
If the buyers want them in a natural state, they should be kiln dried to the same moisture content or slightly less than the surrounding environment. Tony B
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Sorry for your misfortune.

Hopefully a sawmill operator will jump in here and give you better advice.
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post #4 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You need to get a moisture content meter to go down that road wondering if it was seasoned well or not. Also it's a profound shock to the wood to move the doors from the climate of Indonesia to India. It's going to cause a lot more wood movement than it would otherwise. It might be necessary to either have the manufacturer over dry the wood or stack the doors with sticks between them and humidify the warehouse and very gradually lower the humidity levels to that of India. I don't think there is anything you could put on the surface of the door to prevent this. It goes to the moisture content of the wood throughout the door.
Thank you for your immediate reply. I do have a MC Meter it read 14-15 when door were brought here and the weather was around 28 Celsius at that period, now its averaging 38 Celsius(which is the highest in a few years) and the moisture content is 11-12. Average Moisture Content over here is around 12-14, this year the weather became way warmer than it usually would in summer.
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post #5 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for your misfortune.

Hopefully a sawmill operator will jump in here and give you better advice.
Really appreciate the time you took to reply to my questions.

I am sorry we use the term unpolished for unfinished wood.

When the doors were brought down over here the moisture content was 14-15 the average MC over here is around 12-14 but since the weather got record worse and rose to 38-39 Celsius they shrunk and warped.

They were not properly stacked like you said instead stacked one door over another and will correct them from now onwards.

The average MC over here is 12-14, say if i Kiln dried all the teak wood used for making doors to MC 11 and during monsoon(rainy season) the humidity will increase and doors would start to expand. What would happen to them when this expansion happen?


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Sorry for your misfortune.

Hopefully a sawmill operator will jump in here and give you better advice.
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post #6 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 03:09 PM
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Quite Possibly. That is why I was hoping one of our saw mill people reply to this thread. They are way more knowledgable than most other members on here. I would believe them more than anyone else. One of our more respected members that owns and operates a sawmill is 'Tennessee Tim'.
If he dont jump in withing the next 24hrs or so, send him a Private Message. He is probably in church right now or a church related activity.

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post #7 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quite Possibly. That is why I was hoping one of our saw mill people reply to this thread. They are way more knowledgable than most other members on here. I would believe them more than anyone else. One of our more respected members that owns and operates a sawmill is 'Tennessee Tim'.
If he dont jump in withing the next 24hrs or so, send him a Private Message. He is probably in church right now or a church related activity.
I will do so. Thank you Tony B
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post #8 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 04:04 PM
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12-14% is still wet by kiln dried standards. What is the final use and how will they be finished in the end?

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #9 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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12-14% is still wet by kiln dried standards. What is the final use and how will they be finished in the end?
12%-14% is the standard over since this is a very humid place. Humidity might reach around 80-90 during some season and drops down to 30. They will be used as doors in houses and apartments. Most probably will be finished in Polyurethane varnish, conversion varnish or shellac,Depending on the customer need.

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post #10 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 05:42 PM
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Around here those things would snap crackle and pop to their death. We kiln dry to 6-8%

How about individually wrap them in plastic for storage? Keep the humidity constant. Might have to worry about mold and mildew.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #11 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Around here those things would snap crackle and pop to their death. We kiln dry to 6-8%

How about individually wrap them in plastic for storage? Keep the humidity constant. Might have to worry about mold and mildew.
Thanks Leo G! If wrapping them individually in plastic works that would be fantastic idea , im not sure about this but wouldn't fumigation prevent from forming of mold and mildews?
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post #12 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 07:28 PM
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It would.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #13 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 08:46 PM
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Thank you for your immediate reply. I do have a MC Meter it read 14-15 when door were brought here and the weather was around 28 Celsius at that period, now its averaging 38 Celsius(which is the highest in a few years) and the moisture content is 11-12. Average Moisture Content over here is around 12-14, this year the weather became way warmer than it usually would in summer.
Well, that isn't what I expected. Not really knowing India I thought it was an arid place and Indonesia a very humid place. It's possible the heat from being in a shipping container is damaging the doors. I still think the wood should be dried drier than what they are doing.

What parts of the doors are splitting? Is it the frame of the door or the door panels? If it's the panels it is a defect in manufacture. If someone gets to liberal with glue when putting a door together they can get glue down around the panels where it shouldn't be. The panels of a door are suppose to be loose so they can expand and contract with the weather. When they are glued in they can push the door apart or split because the glue isn't allowing the panel to shrink.
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post #14 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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It would.
Well then wrapping them in plastic or vinyl won't be a problem since all the wood products imported must go through fumigation process before exporting,I will definitely consider doing this. Thanks Mate
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post #15 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that isn't what I expected. Not really knowing India I thought it was an arid place and Indonesia a very humid place. It's possible the heat from being in a shipping container is damaging the doors. I still think the wood should be dried drier than what they are doing.

What parts of the doors are splitting? Is it the frame of the door or the door panels? If it's the panels it is a defect in manufacture. If someone gets to liberal with glue when putting a door together they can get glue down around the panels where it shouldn't be. The panels of a door are suppose to be loose so they can expand and contract with the weather. When they are glued in they can push the door apart or split because the glue isn't allowing the panel to shrink.
Most of the parts in India is arid like you said but I am from the southern most state called Kerala which is really humid since its a coastal area.
I don't think the doors were damaged due heat from being in a container, it came in perfect shape and stood that way for a few weeks.

Both the frame and panel is splitting. I can post some pictures of the door, would greatly appreciate if you could guide me how to glue it properly.

thank you.
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 09:23 PM
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What you can do to check the way the doors were assembled is get a door out and take a piece of soft wood and place it against the panels and gently hammer them trying to slide them left or right. The panels should slide back and forth at least 3.175 mm. If you can't move them at all this would suggest they are glued in.
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-01-2016, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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What you can do to check the way the doors were assembled is get a door out and take a piece of soft wood and place it against the panels and gently hammer them trying to slide them left or right. The panels should slide back and forth at least 3.175 mm. If you can't move them at all this would suggest they are glued in.
I don't think they are but i will check it according to your instruction to make sure whether its glued or not.

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post #18 of 35 Old 05-02-2016, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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What you can do to check the way the doors were assembled is get a door out and take a piece of soft wood and place it against the panels and gently hammer them trying to slide them left or right. The panels should slide back and forth at least 3.175 mm. If you can't move them at all this would suggest they are glued in.
I checked some of the doors like you said, the ones with splits have very minimal movement and the ones without any splits have very good panel movement. But the door frame is also shrinking and could see cracks forming on the stiles
Ill post some of the pictures of the door.







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post #19 of 35 Old 05-02-2016, 07:45 AM
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In the first picture #1 is mainly a poor glue joint on the panel. It may have had some glue around the edges pull it apart but the joint was just bad. Teak is a little more difficult to glue together because of the natural oils than other woods. Who ever joined the wood either the parts didn't fit together well or they failed to clean the natural oil off before gluing. Generally most of us that glue teak will clean the edges of the wood with acetone prior to gluing it. If the panel had split because it was glued into the frame the panel would have broken somewhere other than the joint.

I don't know if it's the photography but I'm seeing an uneven edge of the panel in #2. It looks like they glued wood for the panel and never trimmed it to it's finished length before machining the edge of it. This would inherently make the panel irregular in shape and possibly too big or at least out of square. If the panel then is too big for the opening it's in, it doesn't allow the wood to expand and therefore pushes the frame apart which I'm seeing in #3.

The other pictures with the split stiles it just looks like a poor choice of wood for those parts. It's normal for wood to split on the ends as it dries and when you build with it you are suppose to cut these ends off. All and all it looks like poorly made doors. The doors with the split stiles you might be able to repair. Mix some exterior resin glue and spread it over the split and rub it into the crack with your thumb. It takes a bit of patience but you can keep adding glue and rubbing it in until it comes out the other side. Then clamp the door with a pipe clamp and squeeze the glue out. Since teak is soft, pad the edges to prevent the clamps from making marks on the edges of the door. The doors with the joints pushed apart and ones with the bad joints in the panels there's not a lot you can do with those. The panels you can't clamp them to properly pull them together and the failed joints the wood is sealed with the old glue and anyway what ever caused them to come apart would just push it apart again. Rather than being in a position of having to warranty those doors I would attempt to sell them at cost on a "As is basis" somewhere other than your business so people didn't think all of your doors would do this.

At the end of the day I for sure would look for a different manufacturer. These people take too many shortcuts.
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post #20 of 35 Old 05-02-2016, 09:17 AM
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I dont know if it's the camera or lighting but this wood seems to have come from second growth trees and were very young and possibly mixed in with sap wood from older trees. Quality teak is a reddish brown color very similar to mahogany. In the last photo in Post #18, about the 5th board from the bottom, you can tell this board cam from near the center of the tree. It should have been very dark.
Lots of reasons can account for the splits.
I dont think working on these doors will help much because you wont know if future defects will still show up as the wood keeps acclimatizing unless you hang on to them for several months. Selling these doors to unsuspecting customers can cost you your business.
My advise is sell them advertised "As is" and get whatever you can from them and be done with it.

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