Yesterday I finally started sanding all the teak I’ve been stripping for the past two months. After about 5 minutes I gave up. The teak is so pitted and grooved I was getting nowhere.
A few weeks ago we bought teak cleaner and brightener. My plan was to sand everything once, use the cleaner and brightener, then sand with fine grit one more time before applying a sealant. Instead I used the cleaner and brightener first, which is technically how to do it anyway. Teak cleaner is usually a strong base (pH ~13) and the brightener is typically a strong acid (pH ~1). So with gloves and goggles I started cleaning the port toerail and side trim. It wasn’t that difficult to apply the cleaner and the teak came clean pretty easily (it just took me all day to do one side), but the leftover varnish and Cetol in the deep grooves and pits are still there. At least now I can see where I need to sand the most and hopefully the sandpaper won’t get gummed up with grime. I used nearly all the cleaner and brightener on just the port side. Tomorrow I will try to sand away the remaining varnish and Cetol.
At the end of the day, with about 15 minutes more work to do I stubbed my toe on one of the dock cleats. It hurt like a sumbitch. I looked down and blood was spurting out from under my toenail. I’ve stubbed my toe on this same clean probably a dozen times, but every time has been a glancing blow and I always think “that was close.” Well today was the day. I screamed inwardly for a few minutes, danced around the dock in pain, then finished cleaning the teak. Now my toe is so sore it hurts to walk. Luckily, the marina has bikes to use so I grabbed a bike and put it at the top of the dock so when I want to go to the shed or the marina office I can ride there. I wake up this morning and the bike is gone so I have to limp to the marina restrooms in pain. I’m sure somebody was walking along the levee and thought “it sure would be faster if I had a bike…oh, hey! There’s a bike waiting for me right here.” Savages.