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Jul 23rd, '13, 21:57
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Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Jul 23rd, '13, 21:57

Today I was making tea on my 6 year old tea table/tray. It's a large table. Very flat, very plain, with a little ledge on top. It doesn't have a plastic tray underneath but has a drain hole. Cost me about $60 new. I don't remember where I bought it from.

I was cleaning it after making tea and washing it off and wiping it down when I noticed the little ledge in the center had been pulled up on one side. I looked underneath the table and there was water everywhere. Along the entire center of the table, from one side to the other side, was a huge crack and water was obviously getting through it. The little ledge had actually warped, rotted, and caused a crack to form. Not sure how this happened but it happened.

I had previously dried and stored the tray in a closet for 3 years without using it. I guess the inside of the wood may have rotted while in storage.

So now I'm in the market for a new large tea table/tray. Preferably one that won't leak or rot. Just another thing I have to add to my growing teaware list.

Jul 24th, '13, 02:51
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by theredbaron » Jul 24th, '13, 02:51

That is one of the exact reasons why i prefer the teaboat/ceramic plate for cups set up for teas that are water intensive, such as semi-fermented and Pu Erh teas. As long as you don't break them - they'll hold forever, and won't rot.
Wooden trays i only use for Japanese tea set ups, which don't require the pot constantly poured over with water.

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Jul 24th, '13, 20:06
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by MarshalN » Jul 24th, '13, 20:06

Happens all the time - if you let it dry out without using it for a long time, it'll warp. Once you use a tea table regularly you have to keep using it or it's gone.

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Jul 24th, '13, 20:19
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Jul 24th, '13, 20:19

Yeah.

I bought a similar tea table yesterday. Almost the same exact design and size for $65 with shipping, but the new one doesn't have the ledge in the middle, the slats are horizontal and not vertical, and there's Chinese writing all over it.

Here's the link for the new table:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261065892551

I tried to repair the old table with hot glue and just seal the cracks and everything. There seems to be no rot but it did warp down the middle and crack in half. The glue seems to be holding under hot water but it looks terrible.

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Jul 26th, '13, 12:40
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by MarshalN » Jul 26th, '13, 12:40

The glue might fix it for a little bit, but it won't take long before it gives out again. Once a leak has started it's hard to fix.

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Jul 26th, '13, 15:49
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Jul 26th, '13, 15:49

Yeah, it's a temporary fix that I only need to last for 4 days until I get the new table. Seems to be holding for now. I have a second smaller and better built table that I can also use if this one starts to leak but that table has to be emptied often when using because it's small.

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Aug 10th, '13, 17:10
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Aug 10th, '13, 17:10

So I got the new tea tray a couple weeks ago. It's a large $50 tray I got from an ebay seller in Texas. The same guy I bought my previous tea table and quite a lot of my teawares from.

It looks cheap and feels cheap, but it gets the job done. However, after 2-3 days without use I found the glue on the top part (lid?) had a bunch of weird pink and white dust around the seams. It also looks like the seams have been broken. What's this dust stuff? Is that the glue?

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Aug 10th, '13, 20:48
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by Joel Byron » Aug 10th, '13, 20:48

Could be glue, or maybe grain filler that wasn't cleaned off properly before the finish was applied.

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Aug 10th, '13, 22:51
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by jayinhk » Aug 10th, '13, 22:51

Sounds like epoxy. I'd keep water away from the seams...

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Aug 11th, '13, 00:20
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by chrl42 » Aug 11th, '13, 00:20

Try to use a compressed type next time, the more compressed the better, or a stone tray. Cheap bamboo trays are not durable, that's why they are cheap. The value of tea tray often goes with its functionality.

Taiwan started to produce extra compressed wooden tray few years ago (I'm sure many teachatters are used to)..and many other awesome trays are in China and Taiwan....problem is..a shipping cost :(

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Aug 11th, '13, 01:04
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Aug 11th, '13, 01:04

Table cost is also a problem.

I would love to get one of those tables made from a carved out chunk of tree trunk. Those are awesome. But they come with a hefty price. :(

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Aug 13th, '13, 16:23
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Aug 13th, '13, 16:23

Used some elmer's wood glue on the seams to reseal them. Used 2 or 3 layers of it and smoothed it out. Looks pretty good now and no more weird dust.

I'm also repairing my broken table using this glue. It should hold and be leak-proof when it dries.

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Aug 13th, '13, 17:41
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by Joel Byron » Aug 13th, '13, 17:41

Unless you got the waterproof stuff, it will dissolve eventually. Most normal wood glue is not waterproof, it will release with moisture and heat. A better glue for your broken table might be a high quality marine epoxy.

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Aug 13th, '13, 18:54
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by JD » Aug 13th, '13, 18:54

Yeah I found out later today when using my table that elmer's wood glue is not strong stuff. It melted and turned into white paste once water and heat hit it. This was after a day of drying.

What would "high quality" marine epoxy be? I found Ace marine repair epoxy on ebay for $4. Is that good?

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Aug 13th, '13, 19:32
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Re: Tea Table/Tray Ruined

by Joel Byron » Aug 13th, '13, 19:32

I've only used the hardware store stuff once, and didn't have good results. It did not cure hard. Maybe try this:

http://www.boatersland.com/wsy610.html? ... 4Aod7gIAQQ

It fits in a caulking gun. Some people can have allergic reactions to epoxy, but it's usually after long term exposure. Still, you should use a facemask and nitrile gloves and follow the manufacturers safety precautions. I believe that after it cures, it is inert. I haven't used this particular product before but have used this company.

If you do use epoxy, I'd let it sit in a well ventilated area for a week or so before using it. It usually cures completely in 48-72 hours but I'd let it go a little longer.

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