Exquisite Teak

It is hard to find much on a WWII era battleship that relates to woodworking. Iron and steel rule for the most part.


My daughters and I visited the USS North Carolina (BB-55) located in Wilmington, NC. I have been there many times; it is one of those things that never gets old to me. The girls love because it is like the world’s largest playground with lots of places to hide from dad. Every time I visit I see some part I never noticed before.


Today it was the decking, more than an acre of almost flawless 8/4 teak. I never really looked closely at it before (I know, I am stupid), perfectly laid and fitted the entire 728 feet of deck. The deck drains were even perfectly executed. What is most amazing is this deck is not the original, it was replaced in 1998 with teak from Myanmar.



One other thing that was kind of neat were the seats in the galleys. Same idea as Mr. Schwarz’s workbench seat except these had a locking mechanism for holding them in the in or out position. I guess this was a battleship only option.img_4159


If you are ever in the Wilmington area the battleship is a great place to stop and spend an afternoon, or the whole day.

— Will Myers


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6 Responses to Exquisite Teak

  1. Who got all the “old” lumber?

    • Will Myers says:

      The old decking was cut up in six inch blocks and sold for souvenirs in the gift shop.

    • Some was offered by Woodcraft as knife scales and pen blanks. Some were offered as bottle stoppers. I was fortunate enough to have bought some. The knives sold like hotcakes!

  2. nrhiller says:

    Thank you for noticing the deck and sharing your observations (as well as your humor) with us. Sometimes the thing that’s hardest to see is the one right in front of your face. (How do I know this? Don’t ask.)

  3. Friedrich Josef Grassl says:

    Dear Sirs,

    maybe interesting for you, I am working sometimes as an consultant in Asia this months in Thailand. The company I am attached at the moment, has an old sawmill, closed down 30 years ago, this 2 logs still there. caqn you imagine all the logs were moved by elefants?

    There is no real teak anymore in Thailand, only bits and pieces, and some plantagen teak.

    if you need real teak you hae to go to laos, and there itis illegal, only Burmese teak is leagal.



    a regular reader of your mails!


  4. Alex A. says:

    When I was in high school I worked at the Battleship Missouri (BB 63) Museum with a couple of friends helping out with the restoration work (I have no idea who convinced them that High School students were a good choice but we were all Eagle Scouts and the son’s of Navy Vets). We did your usual brass polishing, painting, and general clean up work and only got lost in bowels of the ship a few times.

    For some reason they gave us the task of restoring the muzzle plugs that the Naval Archives sent to the museum. We polished the brass, sanded the wood, and varnished everything. They appeared in the movie Pearl Harbor and can still be seen today.

    I guess we did a good job because I ended up on the “deck crew” repairing/replacing the teak decking material and abating the rust underneath. The work we did was no where as good as this though the Missouri was a newer class with simpler decking. Good memories.

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