Today in the mail I received a gigantic box of wood from India. This is no regular wood though. It’s a carefully designed and engineered wood that comes with an amazing story. So, without further delay, this is your introduction to Teekriwood.
Teekriwood from India
I recently went to India as a guest of some of the most amazing people that I have ever had the opportunity to meet. They own a company that makes wooden jewelry, and they want to make wooden rings as well.
One of the owners found my wooden ring making book, and sent me an email. After a meeting, and several conversations, I was asked to go to India and work alongside their engineers showing how I make wooden rings.
It was the trip of a lifetime, and my first time leaving the USA.
It was also the very first time I saw how Teekriwood is made. This is an incredible material, with all of the beauty of wood and none of the drawbacks.
(Throughout the post I’ll link to previous projects that I have made from Teekriwood so you can see the beauty in a real woodworking project.)
My Introduction to Teekriwood
My first interaction with Teekriwood was when I was sent a box of blanks to work with before going to India. This was necessary to give me the chance to get familiar with the material before going live in front of their engineers and being expected to deliver a good method.
If you ever find yourself in the same position, it’s really important to get to know the material that you will be working with. Having the time to work out the kinks on your own time makes you more prepared and more confident in your abilities.
Once I started working with the material, I was hooked immediately. This is an amazing medium to work with, and it’s so useful for so many projects. It was also really fun to be one of only a small handful of people in the world that even have access to this wood. It’s a very special feeling.
What is Teekriwood?
So what is Teekriwood and why is it so amazing? In short, this material is an engineered wood that is made from both real wood and resin. The way the factory makes the product is a closely guarded secret, but I can share with you the basic structure.
The natural wood in Teekriwood is Birch, and they are thin layers of veneer. Each layer is dyed a certain color depending on the look that the designer is going for, and at the same time each sheet is impregnated with epoxy in a pressure pot.
After that process is over, they are removed and stacked.
The order in which the layers are stacked is where the art and design comes in. There are so many different variations that can be made, and while I was in India I saw dozens laid out in huge stacks. After the stacking comes the press, and that’s where the real magic happens.
In the press, through a series of stages of heat and pressure, the Teekriwood blanks are formed as large billets measuring 16 inches by 32 inches by about 2 inches thick.
This process of heat and pressure sets the resin, binding the wooden sheets into one very dense, compressed wood material.
These are then cooled and sawn into the smaller blanks that you can see in the pictures. They weigh a lot more than they look like they weigh, and they have a very high quality feeling to them.
Advantages of Teekriwood
There are so many advantages to using this material. What they have been able to do through engineering is create the perfect piece of wood. Here is why:
- Teekriwood will never warp, bend, twist, or distort in any way. The wood is completely stabilized, and cannot move or change shape over time like natural wood. This is great for projects that require stability.
- The wood will also never rot or decay from age or moisture. You can get it wet, leave it out in the elements, and neglect it for long periods of time. It will never rot or age.
- Since the color is permeated throughout the material, you can cut, sand, carve, and shape the wood without the color ever changing. The deeper you dig, the color remains the same.
- If you have to make a repair, all you need to do is sand out the damaged area, and buff it to restore the sheen.
- The density is a signal of quality, and it was a nice weighty feeling even in the smaller pieces.
- Literally, this is all of the good parts of natural wood without any of the bad parts. It’s the perfect piece of wood.
See Also: How to Make a Wood and Resin Pendant
Looking at the Grain of the Blanks
One of the most amazing parts of Teekriwood is the look of the grain. As a lover of exotic and rare wood, you know that the grain and the design/pattern are where the real beauty lies. It’s not about the species as mush as it’s about the look of the individual pieces and their rarity.
When you look at the grain patterns of Teekriwood, you find the same beauty and passion that you find in natural wood.
It’s still there, all in the individual layers, and how they interact with one another through the entire piece of material.
Different pieces have different looks, and the design can be varied simply by the way that the operators build the blanks. They can be made to look very natural, or they can even be made to look very over the top.
They even have a rainbow Teekriwood that is gorgeous and bright.
This is where the real beauty comes in. The way that the designers lay out the individual sheets after being dyed makes all the difference in the look. They can create very natural looking pieces that rival some of the most sought after woods in the world.
They can also make bright looking examples of wood engineering that are very obviously modern feeling and man made. The range and the depth of this material is just awesome.
Uses and Making Projects
There are so many applications for this material and I know that I am only scratching the surface. You can use this material literally for any project on your lathe, but there is so much more than that. There are application in many other woodworking fields as well.
For example, dense, heavy, long lasting wood has been a necessity for string instruments for ages, and the biggest player has long been Ebony Wood.
Now, with this material being more dense, longer lasting, and better looking in many respects, there is an alternative.
Acoustic guitar bridges from a natural looking Rosewood style of Teekriwood are perfect for custom guitar makers, and even fretboards can be made from the material as well.
Any turning project, any hand tool, and any time you need a dense material, Teekriwood is a great choice, and a good looking choice too.
See Also: How to Make a Flat Top Wooden Ring
Finishing This Amazing Wood
Here is my absolute favorite thing about this material. It’s almost like a magic trick. The beautiful shine that you see on the pieces is not a finish. In fact, the pieces in the pictures are completely unfinished.
The way you “finish” a piece of Teekriwood is by buffing it. Since the resin is fully absorbed into the material, and the two ingredients are effectively one thing after pressing and heat, you only need to polish the wood to get a very nice gloss and a finished look.
This is so awesome, because you can go from completed project to finished project in minutes. You can also handle the material immediately after buffing because there is no finish that needs to dry. It’s like a little magic trick going from bare wood to shiny gloss just with a buffing wheel.
In the factory, their master artisans were able to polish pieces of Teekriwood to a very high gloss in seconds on the buffing wheel. They were all very good at their craft, and they took the wood to a whole different level of beauty with just a few passes under the spinning buff.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
My Plans for This Batch of Wood
Now…I have very big plans for this particular batch of wood. This is an incredible gift that I received today, and I would not be doing the giver of that gift justice if I did not make their gorgeous wood into many different projects and share them with the world.
So, with that in mind, I will be back in the shop about mid July and I already have several projects worked out for this wood shipment. I can’t give away every detail of course, but so I don’t leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, I’ll tell you that they are tool related.
I have always loved making hand tools. Not only do you get to work on a great project, you also get to make something that will advance your woodworking skills farther. As a beginner project, tool making is one of the best things you can do with your time.
That being said, I plan on making several hand tools with the Teekriwood. Not only will these tools be amazing looking, they will also be very functional. The density of the wood will help the function, and the weight will impart a quality feel.
The wood will never warp, bend, twist, or distort in any way. This means my handmade Teekriwood tools will be just as good as the day I made them even long after I am gone. I’ll be able to give these tools to my kids, who will then be able to give them to their kids, and so forth.
This material is literally letting me make legacy projects of heirloom quality that I can see passed down through my house as long as they are needed. It’s a humbling feeling, and I can’t wait to get started.
See Also: Heirloom Sanding Block Tutorial
Sharing My Projects With You
Of course, it should go without saying that I will be posting tutorials and step by step instructions on how to make all of these tools. I’ll be demonstrating them with Teekriwood, and until the material is available to the general public, you can play along with any nice looking species you have in your shop.
I’ve been working with the company and seeing if they will develop a small line of Teekriwood that looks like natural exotic wood species. It’s my hope that they come to market with a material like this, because I feel like it will be such an awesome advancement for the craft of woodworking.
That brings me to my next point. Teekriwood could one day save the rain forests of the world.
Saving the Forests of the World
All the best wood to work with is either endangered, close to endangered, or nearly extinct. Some of the most amazing looking and most desired types of wood in the world might only have a few decades left in them before they are gone.
Several types of wood are already gone commercially. Most notably Brazilian Rosewood for acoustic guitars is long gone for factory use, and the private market stuff is very expensive.
There was a time when people thought these resources would never end. So much so that they cut down the trees at waist height rather than bending over to get the whole tree. Now, you can’t find the stuff legally almost anywhere, and when you do it’s too pricey for most makers.
Sadly, this is the story with a lot of the best looking types of wood in the world. With Teekriwood, you can have nearly the same look, without any of the negative properties of natural wood, and in a way that does not further deplete endangered resources.
You get all the good without any of the bad, and you get a material that is in many ways superior to natural wood. Teekriwood, under the right circumstances and with the right support could become an effective replacement for many of these exotic types of wood.
All it needs it a little nudge by some creative woodworkers.
Teekriwood Tips and Tricks
There are some interesting things I learned working with Teekriwood. If you are ever lucky enough to get your hands on some, you will need to know these things. Here are a few of them:
- The material itself is very strong. In fact, I had to use a ten ton automotive press to break a piece that was half an inch thick and two inches wide. I literally could not break it through any other means.
- Drilling requires a bit more speed than normal. Don’t linger with the bit otherwise it can get hot. Go as quickly as the bit will allow, and you will drill perfectly every time.
- The material cuts nicely with saws, but it cuts like a very dense piece of wood. You will need to advance the piece carefully, and cut with a purpose. The cut will go a little slower, but that’s ok.
- Use a backer board to prevent blowout when drilling, just like any other wooden material.
- Carbide lathe tools eat this stuff alive and the density helps you get a very smooth finish even before sanding.
- Turn Teekriwood at a higher speed, and you will carve very well.
- Teekri Wood is a material that is made from wood and resin. Like any resin, you need to protect yourself from airborne dust and particles that come from cutting and sanding the material.
- This is as simple as a good respirator, or a mask rated to handle the compounds in resin. You owe it to yourself to protect your body at all times when in the shop, and working with Teekriwood is no exception.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know all about Teekriwood, stick around for more from me about this awesome material, and my trip to India working as a ring making teacher. It was a lot of fun, and I really look forward to sharing my experience as well as all the projects I’ll be making from the wood.
This is a truly magical experience to be part of only a small group of people in the world with this material in their shop. It’s almost like a top secret woodworking mission where I get to experiment with the material before it hits the open market.
I’ll keep you posted on that too, because after you see what you can make, you will definitely want to get some of your own.
If you have any questions about Teekriwood, please Post a Question and I’ll be glad to answer it.
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