PC power paint remover

Has anyone in the group had any success with the porter cable power paint remover ? I would appreciate any comments as to the viability of this tool to remove paint from a drop siding pattern, the material is cedar and has a number of coats of paint.
TIA Ed Angell
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wrote:

I'm going to try to keep this short, although, I have a lot to say on the issue.
First question, what type of paint?
A bit of background.....I have a 98 year old home sided with poplar. It had numerous layers of peeling paint when we bought it back in 1993. Plan was to strip most of it off before repaint. The porter cable was one of the tools tried. The problem was, the last coat of paint, prior to our stripping attempt, was latex. This gummed up the carbide disks on the Porter Cable in no time. Sure, they can be tossed in a bucket of lacquer thinner, and cleaned with a brass brush after the paint has softened, but doing that after stripping every 3 sq ft sure puts a pinch on the operation. In addition, there was no dust collection provision on the model I was using (don't know if they have changed that), which means that it through a nasty stream of lead paint particles everywhere. I'm not a total safety weenie, but scattering great clouds of lead paint dust to the winds is not a good thing, and can guarentee the local EPA types, if enlightened by a neighbor, would drive the point home. If the disk could be slowed down, and dust collection added, it might work. But, for my situation, it was a failure.
Metabo has an interesting unit out that looks like it might hold more promise. There have been a couple of good reports that I have come accross with Google, but have never seen one in the flesh. It seems to be a carbide planer type device with dust collection. Problem is price; somewhere around $450. Would like to find one to rent before making the plunge.
The item that worked best for us was a Warner hotplate. Basically, a rectangular electric calrod element under a sheet metal protective cover (approximately 4"x6"). Since there are no moving parts, it is silent in operation and on flat surfaces, it works much better than a heat gun: since it keeps the heat on the surface of the wood, where it is needed.
If used with brain fully engaged, it is safe. But don't use heat to strip the underside of horizontal surfaces, like porch roofs, due to the likelyhood of easily ignitable dust buildup on the backside, keep a live water hose, fire extinguiser, and wrecking bar nearby. Also, stop well before you leave the homesite. That said, I never set anything on fire.
BTW, in days past, you could buy these things through Old House Journal. Mine was less than $60. I don't know if that is still the case.
As an aside, we never did fully strip our house. Just stripped the worst areas and did a lot of scraping (good quality 1 1/2" stiff bladed putty knives sharpened at around a 50 deg angle and sandvik carbide blade scrapers worked the best). Any sharp transitions were feathered with 60 grit sandpaper on a DA sander.
Hope that helps, David Glos
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.
Best Regards,
Ike
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Hi Ed I purchased one of the power paint removers to use on my old house. My house was built around 1917 and has many layers of old paint on it. Using the coarsest carbide disc that Porter Cable makes the 30 or 40 grit the sander would do a good job of removing the paint for a little while. In use, the disc gets hot and paint sticks to the disc rendering it unuseable. There is no way that I know of to clean the discs. They are expensive, about 7 or 8 dollars each some years ago.. The problem I experienced with the sander might have been just the type of paint on my house. I would try to rent one of the sanders and use it before I bought one. Hope this helps. Travis

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