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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. :)
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?
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,
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
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.
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