Do any of you reclaim wood for your projects? What
do you do to prepare the stock? I have some nice
pieces but they are painted and I don't want to
use paint remover. I need to plane it down but
can't imagine running that paint through the planer.
Is there any easy way to do it?
A portable belt sander could be a good way to start, if you need another
tool. With my 3" belt sander, it takes just a few minutes per side to
smooth a 2x4x8 board. Removing paint would probably take just as long,
switching to progressively smoother grits as work progressed.
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
One of my less pleasant but more useful memories from Junior High is of Mr.
Bean chewing me out for stripping paint with a belt sander. He pointed out
that the stripper to remove that paint cost a _lot_ less than the belt. Of
course those were the days when a school could hand a 13 year old a can of
methylene chloride without risk of hearing from the kid's parents' lawyers,
Child Protective Services, OSHA, and every other agency that thinks that
"protecting the children" is a higher good than letting them learn that pain
stripper treated without due respect will burn you no matter how rich your
daddy is or what color you are.
I use a 9 inch disc grinder with a 24 - 36 grit to remove paint and
cupping and then I plane The rollers on my planer slip on painted
boards so I don't remove paint with my planer.
Having done a fair amount of work with reclaimed lumber, I would like to
offer some ideas:
First consider where the lumber came from. A few years ago, I
refinished a pool table that I built in the mid-70s. It was finished
with a "wood grain" kit (paint). Since I knew about the piece (made
from poplar and screwed together) and knew for certain that there was no
imbedded metal, I ran the rails and aprons through a planer. There was
little damage to the blades but the time spent was well worth the cost
of fresh blades. Curved parts were denuded (ooooh) by chemicals and
On the other hand, when a neighbor offered me his redwood deck, I
accepted. This stuff falls into the category of "probably OK" but I
couldn't be certain that there was no metal embedded in the wood. I
first washed the wood to get rid of as much dirt as possible. Next I
used a combination of eyesight and a cheapo metal detector to find the
bad stuff. The detector wasn't worth the powder to blow it to hell ($20
doesn't buy you much) but I found a few nails in there visually. I
pulled those out and next went after it with a hand held belt sander.
This took off some more ground in crud plus bits of old varnish. Next I
vacuumed it and took one last look for nasties. Finding none, it was
ready for jointing.
The lumber and hence several pieces of mud room furniture look rather
good. Some of the sapwood is spalted and can be displayed prominently
or cut out as your taste dictates.
Instead of sanding, consider heating (electric hot
air gun) and scraping; no dust, quickly gets through
dozens of coats. Propane torch works, too.
Then use chemical paint remover on the residue; it's
easy, quick, and effective, unless y ou have some
kind of milk paint/epoxy/powdercoat odd finish to deal with.
When the finish is off, it's a lot easier to remove the nails
so it can go into a planer...
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.