I am enjoying working on my first project canoe. I have it just about ready to strip out the old varnish. I could take it to have it done commercially but for two reasons I'm thinking I will just do it myself. One, there is so little varnish left on the thing I don't think it's going to be particularly difficult, and two- I just want to do it myself. I have very much enjoyed the hours I've spent on the canoe so far and I'm not at all concerned about the hours of time I'll spend working on it stripping. I've done some searches and there are so many opinions on how to best accomplish this that I'm confused. Here are my questions. First, the canoe has a lot of just plain dirt in it. I've used a shop vac, then an air compressor and toothbrush along with a dental pick between the planks just picking off dried mud. I would like to use water to clean it before even attempting the stripping but I'm afraid the old wood with just soak up water and that perhaps this would be a bad idea? I'll probably just head to Home Depot to look for some kind of product to strip it with. I've seen a lot of suggestions on the forum but much of it needs to be special ordered. Anybody have something that worked well for them that can be purchased from someplace like Home Depot? So my plan is to put down some plastic on the driveway, apply the stripper in small sections, after it has accomplished the job scrape it off with some type of plastic scraper and finish with a scrub pad (water mixed with TSP? Acetone?). Should I use water to try to clean it beforehand? Can I just use water to rinse it out afterwards? Do I need a whole new plan? Thanks for any advice or help.