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What make's the colour "Teak"

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  • Member since
    May 2006
Posted by thunder1 on Sunday, October 15, 2006 8:19 AM

Hello all

For the historically minded..."HOLYSTONES".  So named because of  fragments of broken monuments from Saint Nicholas church, Great Yarmouth, England, used at one time to scrub the decks of the British Navy. They were also referred to as "ecclesiatical bricks".  The term was used for bricks, sand stones, or medium-soft sand rock utilized for the scrubbing of wooden decks. They were moved fore and aft on the wet decks by means of a wooden handle placed in a depression of the stone. Holystones were of sufficient importence to become the subject of a general oder issued by the Secretary of the Navy, March 5, 1931, states:

"The use of holystones for cleaning the wooden decks of naval vessels wears down the decks so rapidly that their repair or replacement has become an item of expense which cannot be met under limited appropriations....the use of holystones for cleaning decks be restricted to the removal of stains....."

During my tenure as a seaman apprentice I "holystoned" the deck of the USCGC DUANE on more than one occasion....but we used a "liquid" holystone, a yellow paste from a glass jar glopped on a stiff straw scrub brush. We deck apes applied this cleaning acid using a scrubbing motion, and washing off the decking with sea water from the fire fighting system...the results gave the decks a beautiful yacht like appearence, sort of a reddish hue to it. But a few days underway and the wood returened to its more familiar gray hue. We only gave the cutter's deck the "treatment" when important visitors were expected to pay a call, or when the Chief Bosun was in a foul mood.....

 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Saturday, October 14, 2006 8:32 PM

A holystone is a sandstone brick used to clean & polish wooden decks.   The process was used for years by various navies (Royal Navy, US Navy) as a sort of mindless make work for the ordinary seaman while the ship was at sea.  An idle mind is the devils playground sort of thing. 

The brick was about the size of a Bible and the sailors had to be down on their knees to rub the stone on the planked deck.  There would be a whole line of sailors stretching along a deck section.  Each plank religiously got so many strokes before moving on to the next.  By the time the sailors finished working their way around the ship it was time to start over.   While holystoning has largely gone away, there is still the chipping hammer ...

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 14, 2006 7:28 PM
Hey old Navy guys! I've heard the term holy stoning in regard to teak decks. What's it mean?
  • Member since
    June 2005
  • From: Walworth, NY
Posted by Powder Monkey on Tuesday, May 2, 2006 9:25 PM
Here's a link to deck painting that uses 10 different colors.

http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~mokei/e-frame-tips.htm

  • Member since
    May 2005
Posted by Ron Smith on Saturday, April 29, 2006 12:47 AM
Quite possibly angelique or manggachapui which are similar to teak and commonly used as teak substitutes. They were experimented with in 1941 on the USS Maryland and USS Colorado in sections on the 01 level of each ship (approx. 600 square feet on each ship). It also helps that they're cheaper than teak in large quantities.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, April 28, 2006 11:54 PM

These shots from the Cutty Sark website should help:  http://www.cuttysark.org.uk/index.cfm?fa=contentImageGallery.listImages&startrow=1&directoryId=24

Caveat:  I don't think the deck planking is real teak.  Some years ago I happened to be on board the ship when the forecastle deck was undergoing some repairs.  One of the carpenters explained to me that they were using some sort of other, less expensive Asian hardwood, the name of which I've forgotten.  It was being fastened down on top of the original planking with some kind of adhesive.  (That explains why no bolts or plugs are visible in the planks.)  I think, though, that the color is just about right for unfinished teak that's had saltwater splashing, sunlight shining, rainwater falling, and people stomping on it for some time.

The deckhouse bulkheads, pinrails, and other deck furniture, so far as I know, are real teak - varnished and reasonably well maintained.  As you can see, unfinished and varnished teak look like completely different materials.

Those photos will repay close study.  One of them shows, for instance, how badly Revell distorted the dimensions of the pinrails and the deadeyes fastened to them.  (Another interesting detail:  the iron strops on the lower deadeyes are painted white, as are the rope seizings on the wire shrouds and backstays.  And in the lower right photo, notice the brass caps on the iron bollard.  They're removable.  The bollard posts are hollow; they do double duty as ventilators for the tweendeck spaces.)

Becoming a storehouse of information on this particular ship is remarkably easy.  Buy a set of the George Campbell plans.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Friday, April 28, 2006 1:02 PM
Oh, forgive me.  I'm working on the deck of Revell's 36" Cutty Sark. 
  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Friday, April 28, 2006 12:59 PM

So, what I'm getting is that Teak, or rather aged Teak, takes on something of a grey colour.

Lots of good info here Guys.  JTilley, you are a vast storehouse of information.  I stand in awe.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Friday, April 28, 2006 12:29 PM

I guess I would first have to know what vessel's teak decks you're modeling. The reason is simply that When I served in USS Newport News CA-148, she still had teak decks. They were not varnished! Weathering, and accumulated dirt were holystoned out, and the wood went grey in a short period of time.

Most of her teak deck had to be replaced, shortly after her late sixties yard overhaul. The first time we exercised her 8" guns, her decks were cut to shreds by prematurely detonating 8" rounds. The projectiles were going off almost at the muzzle. My GQ station was the projectile flat of T-2.......I left her before she went to Nam, and had her "incident" in turret #2.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:52 PM
I like Pollyscale's "aged concrete" for wood decks.  It is  a grey-ish tan color. 

It is part of their model railroad colors line- comes in the bigger bottles.

(Pollyscale's line of acrylic model RR colors are great source of colors for use on other models. The larger bottles are a better value than the little ones.)

Webmaster, Marine Modelers Club of New England

www.marinemodelers.org

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:20 AM

You might give White Ensign Models  (WEM) "Colour Coats" a try. They make a extensive line of USN colors and they are very accurate. They also make a teak color for US woodden decks. I have it and it is great.

The delivery from these folks are lighting fast, even though they are located in England. A top notch firm and people to deal with.

 

Dick Wood

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:38 AM

I can only talk about the last chapter of the Atlantic story.  When I was working at the Mariners' Museum, in Newport News, we got a call from Metro Machine, a big ship repair firm in Norfolk.  (I don't remember the exact date, but it must have been in the winter of either 1981-82 or 1982-83.)  The Atlantic had been lying on the bottom somewhere in the Norfolk area (I don't remember just where) for several years, and Metro Machine had finally been contracted to scrap her.  Fortunately somebody in the company thought to notify the museum.

When my boss and I got there (with a substantial truck in company), all that was left of the Atlantic was a pile of debris.  Metro, however, had already sliced off the last six feet or so of the ship's stern, with the understanding that the museum would preserve at least that much of her.  That piece of stern was standing on end in the mud when we got there.  It was pretty unimpressive; the letters spelling out the name on it were missing, so it was really just a nondescript steel shape.  But we dutifully loaded it on the truck and hauled it back to the museum.  Before we left Metro I rescued that piece of deck planking from the scrap pile, which Metro was about to burn. 

We mounted the stern on a steel framework that the museum staff built for the purpose.  The last I heard (which was quite a while ago) it was displayed in the museum's Small Craft Gallery.  My boss was something of a wheeler dealer.  He claimed to know where the original, carved wood letters from the stern had ended up - and it turned out he was right.  They showed up at the museum and got remounted on the Atlantic's stern.  Just who had been in possession of them, or how the boss had found out that individual's identity and induced him to part with them, I'm not sure.

In some previous transaction (my memory is pretty foggy about all this) the museum had already acquired a piece of one of the Atlantic's masts.  That one, it turned out, had not been original to the ship; it had been manufactured for one of the great racing "J-Boats" that competed for the America's Cup in the 1930s.  We used it in a temporary exhibition about the history of the Cup races.

One of these days I'm going to carve a half model of the Atlantic out of that piece of teak.  It's pretty dirty, but the basic structure of it is still sound.  When we were working on that project I dug up some photos of the ship.  Her maindeck was remarkable.  The teak planks were fastened down with hundreds - probably thousands - of round-headed, polished brass wood screws, driven through holes in the steel deck beams from below.  A model of her with no visible deck fastenings would be accurate.

I'll repeat an offer I made elsewhere on the Forum a few months back.  If anybody wants to make a serious attempt at a model of the Atlantic, let me know and I'll chop off a small piece of that teak plank and mail it to you.  I don't want to sacrifice much of it (remember the half model), but I'll be glad to give up enough to make a nameplate, mounting pedestals, or something of that sort.  She was a beautiful, important ship, and a fine model subject.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • From: Walworth, NY
Posted by Powder Monkey on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:00 PM
Testors Rust in the square bottle is a good color to have in the arsenal of browns.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:55 PM
 Grymm wrote:

Okay, stupid question.  But since I don't have the colour and I'm too cheap to go out and buy it, what colours can I blend to make "Teak"?  Oh, and in what proportions?

Thanks,

Uncle Grymm

Read Rusty White's article on painting teak decks on SteelNavy.  Mix suggestions included

http://www.steelnavy.com/wood%20deck.htm

Google Images 'Teak Deck" for some good photos of the real thing

  • Member since
    April 2006
Posted by armchair sailor on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:46 PM
    I know this is going off on a tangent from the original subject but ,to Mr. Tilley, I have always wondered what happened to the "Atlantic ". Years ago I had read that had sunk at her moorings and the debate was , who would raise her and restore her to her original glory, or scrap her on the spot. Apparently, there was too much cost to restore her.....  what a shame.   I have an Ideal model kit of the Atlantic that my older brother recieved as a birthday present almost 50 years ago now that I still have in storage ( box and all ) that is one of my  "future " projects of restoration. It is interesting that if you wait long enough, you can find out the rest of the story. 
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:11 PM

Well, unfort  unately, there's no simple answer to that.  Fresh, varnished teak is a rich, slightly orange-ish brown.  Here's a link to some pictures (with the usual caveat that colors on monitors aren't entirely reliable):  http://216.105.59.114/index.asp?PageAction=PRODSEARCH&txtSearch=teak&Page=1

(That website, incidentally, is Constantine's, a fine supplier of all sorts of wood-related materials.  Worth some browsing.)

There are, of course, variations.  Lots of well-maintained, varnished teak that I've seen on boats isn't quite as orange-ish as the pictures suggest; it's closer to walnut.  Carefully-maintained varnish makes teak stay that color almost indefinitely.  If it isn't varnished, though, it fades rather quickly to a nondescript, slightly silvery grey color.  Here in my office I have a chunk of teak that was once part of the maindeck of the yacht Atlantic, the three-masted schooner that won the Kaiser's Cup in (I think) 1919 and still holds the record for crossing the Atlantic under sail alone.  I got the deck fragment when she was being broken up; she'd be falling to pieces next to a pier in Norfolk, Virginia for quite a few years, and the piece I've got may in fact have been underwater.  It still does have a noticeable brown cast to it, but if you had to label its overall color you'd almost certainly call it grey.

Except on extremely small parts, no single color will make styrene look much like unpainted wood.  A good way to create the illusion is to start by painting the surface in a color that matches the lighter portions of the wood (in this case a rather light brown with quite a bit of orange in it).  Let that dry.  Then mix up a much darker brown, in the form of a thick blob on a palette or a scrap of paper.  Dip the very tip of one finger in that mixture and rub it gently along the plastic, in the direction the wood grain would be running.  With a little practice, you'll be surprise at how much the result resembles wood.  To enhance the effect, try using a third color in an in-between shade.

I can't offer any specific paint numbers or mixing ratios.  This sort of thing really needs to be done by eye.  (There aren't any "official" colors for sailing ships.  Aircraft and tank modelers talk in terms of FS Numbers or Methuen Numbers; sailing ship modelers don't.  Thank gawd.)  And every modeler has his/her favorite paint brand.  Mine is PolyScale acrylic; other modelers prefer other brands.  Testor's has recently issued an interesting range of colors blended especially for ships in its "Acryl" line.  Model Shipways also sells a line of acrylics specifically intended for sailing ships.  All those colors are educated guesses, though.  There's no "right" or "wrong" color for a ship model. 

My suggestion (assuming you have access to a reasonably well-stocked hobby shop - not a safe assumption these days, unfortunately) is to take a look at the range of colors in the line you like best.  Pay particular attention to the browns, yellows, and reds.  Don't pay any attention to the color names.  You don't care whether a particular paint bottle is labeled "Soviet Air Force WWII Red-Brown," "Burnt Sienna," "German Panzer Yellow," or "Union Pacific Depot Buff."  What counts is what the color looks like.  Buy a few colors and start experimenting.  Take a look at the photos of real ships on the web, and the paintings of the old master marine artists.  If you have the opportunity, go visit a restored ship or two.  (Take those with a grain of salt, though.  Remember that modern paints and wood treatments don't necessarily look like those of previous centuries.)  When the colors on your model look right to you, they are right.

 

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    February 2006
What make's the colour "Teak"
Posted by Grymm on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:18 PM

Okay, stupid question.  But since I don't have the colour and I'm too cheap to go out and buy it, what colours can I blend to make "Teak"?  Oh, and in what proportions?

Thanks,

Uncle Grymm

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