Planer and finishes?

Hi,
I have some old woodwork, specifically door frames of decent dimensions and lumber. They're at least 30 years old and can't have been refnished in over 25 years, the length of time I've lived here. Not stained, but I've no idea what they're finished with. It's not shellac and it's not poly and it's not rubbed but that's all I can tell with my meager experience<G>.
Would it trash my planer blades to run these through to remove say a 64th or two from each side? Or do I have to sand or use a paint remover before using the planer?
My research showed both yays and nays to this but none quite the same situation as mine, so thought I'd see what the prevailing thoughts were.
Pop`
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pop` wrote:

I don't know about the damage to your blades but no way will you be able to get away with a 64th on each side. The wood is sure to have some twist, bow, cup, etc. that will require you to take off more. Why not pull a piece down and see what a scraper will do on the back side. I've used one of these to 'sand' tight corners with good results after sharpening with a file.
http://www.hectorshardware.biz/shop/product.asp?dept_id 0804&skuw4995&
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It would not "trash" your planer however the finish may be tough on the blades. That said, 30 year old wood may very well dull your blades also. Wood gets harder the longer it dries and sets. Have you ever cut "old" dead Oak tree limbs with a chain saw? About 10 years ago I repaired an Oak table for a customer. The glue had failed on the round table top and I had to cut the joints open and run them all through the jointer minus the old glue that had been removed with the TS blade. The "sharp to begin with" jointer knives had to be resharpend after straightening all the boards.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pop` wrote:

I'd be more worried about lead paint being spewed around your shop or yard. Peel-Away works very well at removing multiple layers of mystery paint. Slather the stuff on the woodwork, cover it with the fabric and press it into the contours, then go away for a day or two, come back and peel it off. There will be very little additional scraping and sanding to do. If you want to plane it from that point, it's safe to do.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A lot depends on whether or not you sharpen your own blades. They'll need it after, and possibly during. It can have a lot of crud trapped inside the layers of finish. With proper dust collection, shouldn't cause problems, but if it's paint you're playing with of over 60 years vintage I'd do a dust mask too, and work outside. Lead you know.
Preferred is a thickness sander and some 24 grit. AlOx doesn't worry much about dirt.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George wrote:

Even much more recently than that. The EPA's web site says that 80% of homes built before 1978 have lead paint. http://www.epa.gov/region02/health/leadpoisoning.htm
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Of course the harmful effects of lead based paint, while real, are greatly exaggerated. It's not like people were dropping like flies prior to 1990. If it's something you are around and exposed to over a long period of time I would be concerned, but no need to get carried away. Dust collection and a dust mask will be more than sufficient. I work on a lot of home from the early 20th century, usually I don't even bother with a mask (cant breath with them on), no ill effects yet.
The same goes for: Mold, asbestos, saw dust, concrete dust, plaster dust....
But then again, maybe I just like living on the edge. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Locutus wrote:

Not having a major phobia about the risks is fine, but if you can easily avoid exposure there's no reason to be exposed at all. The stuff certainly ain't good for you. In the OP's situation, using something like Peel-Away is a no brainer. It'll save his planer blades and pretty much eliminate dust and lead. What's not to like?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

I never gave lead a thought since this is natural unstained wood with a varnish-like finish, but I do at least use a cloth mask and a fan whenever I'm making lots of dust or chippings. The mask keeps me from blowing sawdust when I blow my nose, and the fan keeps the stuff the vacuum can't get from getting behind my glasses. If I could only get my TS to work as cleanly as the planer now, I'd be all set! :-))
Happy dust to y'all,
Pop`
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, it was a good idea while it lasted<g>. Lots of good responses guys; thanks to all. I'll do it the "right way" and get rid of the finish first. I wasn't looking to cut a corner as much as I was avoiding something that wasn't necessary. And yeah, I noticed old wood, I mean really old, seemed a lot harder but I always thought that was "just me"<G>. Glad I checked; thanks again to all who responded.
Pop`
Pop` wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.