Removing Weather Crust From Wood

Hi and Happy Holidays,
What is the best way to remove weather crust from exposed wood? There is a dark crust on much of our outdoor wood (the house is in Costa Rica and gets beaten by sun, rain, and wind). The crust sands off easily enough but the underlying wood is not flat and is extremely hard (teak?). My pad sander does not get into the valleys and sanding down the high spots is too slow even with 60 grit paper. Using the edge of the pad for the valleys is still slow.
Can the crust be removed chemically? Probably not advisable even if available here.
A belt sander would be more aggressive but is expensive. Would it be worth the expense?
A hand planer isn't that expensive here but I have no experience with one.
Power tools go for about 60% to 80% more here than in the U.S.
Much of the work will be done from a ladder. Two handed operation would be awkward. Safety is an issue.
Thanks, Gary
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"Abby" wrote:

A Fein multitool detail sander is the best way to attack assembled articles.
A belt sander isn't going to get the job done.
Yes, you can use chemical strippers; however, they eat out the soft pulp between the hard ridges, leaving a major sanding project and thinner teak.
If you want to avoid major sanding jobs every couple of years, allow the teak to turn silver then wash with a bucket of salt water and a soft bristle brush.
It's the way teak decks are maintained on boats.
Lew
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On 12/1/2012 11:55 AM, Abby wrote:

A pressure washer will bring back the color.
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A pressure washer or perhaps a media blaster (e.g., think sandblaster) that uses something gentle like baking soda for media. In either case the risks of blasting water or media into the building need to be assessed.
You might also be able to scrub it off with a long handled scrub brush and a mixture of warm water, TSP or other strong detergent, and bleach. Warm water and Simple Green works pretty well too. I've used this method to clean old pressure treated wood that was covered in dirt, moss, mold, bird excrement, UV damage, etc. and ended up with wood that looked like new. Spray the solution on with a garden sprayer, brush it a bit to loosen the heavy accumulation, spray it again and let it soak for a while before giving it another brushing--do not let dry out during this process. The detergent and bleach do the bulk of the cleaning if you let them work. Then hose it off with water and examine it for any areas that need further attention. Generally work from the bottom up to limit the effects of streaking... wear long gloves and safety glasses!
John
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"John Grossbohlin" wrote:

Real teak doesn't like the above.
P/T lumber is a whole different game.
The usual practice to clean teak is salt water and a soft bristle brush, if you want your teak to last.
At $16-$18/bd'ft, I try to get the longest life possible from my teak.
Lew
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I agree that generally you'd want to take a gentler approach. However, the surface conditions the OP articulated call for a relatively aggressive cleaning approach--though probably not as aggressive as the sanders or planers they have been using or might try... A "crust" of weathered decayed wood full of micro organisms is pretty tough to remove...
I wonder if using something like vinegar first and then soda water combined with a stiff brush might work for cleaning off the crust... The acid to kill organisms and the baking soda to neutralize the acid followed by a water rinse.
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"John Grossbohlin" wrote:

If we are talking real teak, it is already very rot resistant.
I suspect the "Crust" described is little more than the normal silvered/gray surface naturally generated with exposure to the sun and air.
The typical chemical strippers such a Te-Ka, use phosphoric acid as a neutralizer.
The only problem is it also consumes the soft pulp wood leaving raised ridges which must then to be sanded smooth again.
Two or three rounds of that and your teak needs to be replaced.
The brush needs to be soft bristled or it will remove the soft pulp just like Te-Ka does.
Trying to maintain teak in "bright" condition is doomed to failure, IMHO.
Most people don't have deep enough pockets to do it right.
It is a very labor intensive job.
Lew
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Abby wrote:

The only way you are going to get the wood flat after removing the crust - whatever that is - is by sanding it.
BTW, teak isn't particularly hard, similar to walnut.
--

dadiOH
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On 12/2/2012 10:07 AM, dadiOH wrote:

including sandpaper.
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tiredofspam wrote:

I've milled, sanded and otherwise deformed 100s of board feet of teak, never a problem. And that was with steel blades/bits, not carbide.
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dadiOH
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On 12/1/2012 11:55 AM, Abby wrote:

Here is a tool that I saw on This old House. They used it to make gorgeous used wood tables. Probably more than you want to spend, but a neat tool. http://www.timberwolftools.com/tools/makita/M-9741.html
--


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-1
The Makita Yuppifier! Yuppies everywhere will love it. I wonder how well it works on blue pineywood...
Very distressing. (double entendre intentional)
-- Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Likey a Rose wood and local. Importing Teak is unlikely.
The crust is nature protecting the base wood for the long time. If you cut it off - you expose pretty insides and it turns to crust on a thinner board.
Likely you need to clean it and then protect it with a good UV protecting coating. If clear - that won't yellow - maybe keeps pretty out for all to see for a longer time. re-treat as needed (read the label) The same thing happens to Redwood - like on decks or siding. It is normally coated with a UV wood deck and water proofing coating. I used to re-coat every 3 or 4 years. Depends on the stress on the deck.
Martin
On 12/1/2012 11:55 AM, Abby wrote:

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