Recycled wood - stripping paint

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Scored some recycled mahogany today. There was over 70 bd. ft of it that I got for about $60. The pieces vary in size. The largest is over 8 feet with a width of about 8 inches, shortest, 3 feet by 6.5. All of it is 3/4 thick. The problem is that one face of all the pieces is covered in paint. While I will test for lead, what's the best approach, to safely remove the paint/stain?
Plan to use wood for projects: boxes, small cabinets, etc.
I was thinking of just doing a chemical stripping, but someone told me, just use a belt sander. I also thought about using a planner. That stopped me because there could be nails and until I break the wood down into usable pieces, I could certainly nick a knife.
Anyone with similar experiences, willing to chime in on what they did Or just chime in anyway, this is the Internet.
MJ
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I'd use a chemical It has the advantage of not kicking up lead dust if there is lead paint present. Paint it on, wait, scrape it off. Then I'd use either a belt sander or planer to get rid of any residue. If you use a planer, get a set of new blades for after you are done as you may need them.
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If you don't have one, time to get a metal detector, also a box of 24 grit belts, some chemical stripper and protective clothing.
Clean and prep only enough for a project + 10% at one time.
Check for and remove any metal pieces.
As Ed suggests, use chemical stripper to get rid of the heavy stuff disposing of waste properly.
Clean up with 24 grit belts.
Send ONLY clean wood thru planer.
Plan your projects around 1/2" thick finished stock, 5/8" if you are lucky.
Although not painted, used a similar approach to clean up weathered 8/4 White Oak and 8/4 Brown Maple.
Have fun.
Lew
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Use a planer and plane it off. Dispose just in case. Clean the planer.
If you use chemical, it might sink deeper in the pores. I'm thinking skim cuts on the painted side only.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 6/22/2010 8:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I have done myself, use the chemical stripper, it used properly it will not "sink "into the pores. You do not lose the patina of age when you strip but you will if you plane. Besides if the paint has lead in it not only do you have maintain a clean environment but the clean up of the area will take a lot more time than just stripping it. plus no air borne lead to worry about.
len
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*snip*

Chemicals can work wonders, but if you've got to use belt sander or planer to clean up the board anyway, why mess with chemicals? OTOH, a chemical stripper might require less material removal to get to bare wood.
You could use a table saw to remove the paint on the edges, considering the table saw blade is probably the cheapest replaceable sharp tool in the shop. A $10 blade will be more than sufficent for this purpose.
I won't clean material up or cut out the bad spots until I know what I need. Imagine a 1x4x3' with a 1' bad section about halfway down on one side of the board. I can either get a pair of 1x4s around 1' long (and a 1x2 about 1' long), or a 1x2 3' long (and 2 more 1x2s 1' long).
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 23 Jun 2010 04:37:40 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote the following:

Planer. You use a planner to schedule the job. Planer blades dull quickly on paint, so think that one through before using that plan.

I'd heat-strip it and then sand to suit. Harbor Fright $10 heat gun or stripping box $$$$.
CAUTION: DO NOT USE HEAT STRIPPER OR SANDER IF PAINT COULD BE FROM 1975 OR EARLIER DATE. IT COULD CONTAIN LEAD, A DEADLY SUBSTANCE OF WHICH ONE GRAIN COULD KILL YOUR ENTIRE TOWN AND THE SIX TOWNS SURROUNDING IT! (Or so think some ecofreaks and the EPA. <shrug> )
http://www.eco-strip.com/ Oh, the ecofreaks put out a gentler heater for "only" $500! <thud>
Hey, this kit is only $2,400! http://www.silentpaintremover.com/spr/complete_system.htm
-- Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst. -- Lin Yutang
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MJ
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 18:01:13 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Recycled wood is great, but work is involved. Buy a metal detector--this will save you bucks many times over in ruining a blade.
I'd use a paint stripper--but ONLY if I had a well-ventilated area. A scraper is much better than sanding in keeping the dust (harmful or not) as low as possible. Apply the stripper thick, cover with plastic wrap, allow the stripper to work for 30-40 minutes, then scrap off the crud. Don't allow this stuff on your skin, in your eyes, or up your nose.
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wrote:

There's lots of different paints, and they all come off differently. I'd first try heat (hot air, or a fishtail tip on a propane torch) and scraping, it can work wonders on the right kind of paint. Second best, use one of the 'safe' strippers (more expensive than heat, but quite effective).
After most of the paint is off, remove all the fasteners and you can complete the job with a card scraper. Save the sandpaper for the refinishing steps. I'm assuming you won't use all 70 bd ft in one project, just dress up a few boards whenever you need some.
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I want to thank all of you who responded. So it seems that chemical stripping is the way to go.
I will be doing only what I need at a time, so it will take me years to get through the wood.
Now, can anyone recommend a particular chem. stripper that is safe. Woodcraft sells Star-10. Any good?
Thanks so much!
MJ
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If it were me, I'd start with one of the citrus type strippers as they are pretty enviro friendly and see what happens. If they don't do the job then it's time for the methylene chloride based ones. I'd also strip all the boards at once so I could see what quality the wood is. I don't see any advantage to leaving a bunch of boards with paint hiding the perfect piece for the current project. Art
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Art,
I don't see any advantage to leaving

I can see the backside of the boards, which are unfinished. I'm going to swipe them with something (tung oil, mineral spirits, whatever) to see what kind of color comes up.
Given the cost of this wood, even if I end up staining it, it's cheap.
The big task is for me: removing the paint and finding the nails.
MJ
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Most of the environmentally friendly strippers I have used are slow and marginally effective. Full meal deal Strip X or Stripeze usually do the job.
Sorry. I am environmentally conscious too but time is worth something.
RonB
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When it comes to chemical paint removers, "good" and "safe" can be mutually exclusive terms.
The "good" stuff will be NAOH (Sodium hydroxide, caustic, etc) based.
Your ability to buy it will largely be determined by where you live.
Time for Robert (Nailshooter) to jump in.
Lew
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On Wed, 23 Jun 2010 16:24:49 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

The "safe" strippers don't work as well as the hasher chemical strippers. You will need to make that decision. If I had kids in the house or did not have a well-ventilated area, I'd pick the safer stripper. The inexpensive no-brand strippers work very well, just protect your skin, eyes and lungs.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Somebody PAINTED mahogany?
Did you get this material from my ex-wife (who, while I was out of town, painted a walnut bookcase).
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Yes. White paint.
MJ
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I've seen white paint used on oak. It was the rage or something about 50 years ago.
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likely heavily lead-based and may also have copper arsenate etc. in it. Using a sander on this stuff would be a _very_ bad idea!
N
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