Contact cement removal

I picked up a little two drawer chest made out of maple at a garage sale for $5.00. It had a "aftermarket" plastic laminate top that I removed, but I need to get rid of the remaining contact adhesive. It released pretty easily, and there is probably an original finish underneath (it will have to be refinished). The bond between the adhesive and the old finish isn't real good. I can work some off with a putty knife, but it would take a lot of time to do the whole top. I know if I use a belt sander it will gum up a lot of belts. Good ideas are welcome.
Thanks
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the trick is getting something to dissolve the cement, but not affect the finish underneath it. you might try some mild strippers. i know acetone will do in contact cement, but it will really do a number on most finishes.
you might also try a hair dryer or heat gun, carefully.

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Acetone

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Probably not a good idea. Acetone is a bit *too* active as a solvent, and it *will* damage the finish underneath. It's also one huge fire hazard.

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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If other solvents don't work but acetone does, dilute the acetone with alcohol. It will not be as aggressive. Will still be very flammable though. I'd use it outdoors.
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Agreed that it will damage the finish but the OP has already indicated that the finish will have to be re-done.
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Yeah, but the trouble I see is that the acetone may dissolve the existing finish and carry it deeper into the wood, making it much more difficult to redo.
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have to be re-done.

I see, that may be.
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(ToolMiser) wrote:

Wipe it down with mineral spirits (paint thinner). That will probably soften the contact adhesive, and loosen it -- you should then be able to remove it easily with a putty knife.
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I would consider mineral spirits.
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ToolMiser said:

I used Lacquer Thinner to clean up the excess slop I had on a router table top and drill press table. They were edged with oak and poplar and LT didn't seem to harm the wood, but it would probably strip ANY finish to the bare wood. I got NO swelling of the wood, as with water based substances. Wet a rag with LT, wear glove, provide cross ventilation, and scrub away the bulk of it. Then use a Sandvik card scraper to remove the remainder.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Ask the pharmacy for 90 percent rubbing alcohol. Regular rubbing alcohol is 70 percent.
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One here carries both but on different shelves.

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On 29 Sep 2004 23:02:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ToolMiser) calmly ranted:

I use a heat gun and putty knife to remove the thicker part and lacquer thinner to get the rest, once it's dry and the heat gun is put away.
If/when you re-laminate, make sure to keep windows/doors open. (Ditto lacquer thinner) Contact cement contains chloroform.
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On 29 Sep 2004 23:02:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ToolMiser) wrote:

A scraper or even a 1/4" thick piece of glass should work well. See if mineral spirits or acetone does anything to the adhesive.
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Thanks everyone for the ideas, I'll let you know what works for me.
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