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All About Teak Wood

All About Teak Wood

Teak Plantation Growing in the Village

Teak is one of the few hardwoods strong enough to be used for cabinet fabrication. Today most cabinetry is built using manufactured wood products such as plywood, MDF, melamine, and particle board. Since the 1940’s the adhesives used to make these products contain cancer causing chemicals such as phenol-formaldehyde resin. In addition, wood pulp used to make manufactured wood is often gleaned from the destruction and pulping of rainforest and old-growth species worldwide.

Contrary to popular belief, Teak does NOT grow in the rainforest. Teak is not an indigenous species to Indonesia and has been grown primarily on government owned plantations for the past two hundred years.

Reclaimed VS. Plantation Teak – Origin uses reclaimed or recycled teak which is re-milled from the planks and beams of old houses and structures up to 100 years old. At the time these structures were built, teak tress were larger and older than the plantation teak avalable today. Plantation teak is harvested at a uniform size usually at 40-60 years of age. Due to the age of the trees and the aging of the wood itself, reclaimed teak is often more beautiful in grain pattern and color than plantation teak. In addition reclaimed teak is aged and dried more consistently and does not require the same amount of attention or duration in the kiln itself.

Kiln Drying- Due to the transition from the humid tropical climes of S.E. Asia to the dryer climes of North America, all teak must be kiln dried before production. Using hand held moisture meters we check the moisture content of each piece of wood prior to production. The dying time for reclaimed teak varies from 2-6 weeks depending on the source of the material and season in which the teak is being prepared. This all but eliminates most problems of warping and cracking as the teak acclimates to the lack of humidity and the air conditioned environment here in the U.S.