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Stripping cedar

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Don Fleischut, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Don Fleischut

    Don Fleischut Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am looking for recomendations on stripping 100 years of varnish off a cedar canoe. I need to do it indoors in winter, so a power washer option won't work. I prefer a wipe off type over a scrape off, as I don't want to damage the cedar
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Stripping can be done in many ways, but none are more efficient than semi-paste methylene chloride-based chemical strippers. Use in a ventilated area, and protect your skin, though :eek: . Scrapers, even metal ones, work fine as long as you just go slowly and smoothly. It's not the scraper that gouges the wood, it's the scraper operator (from a life-long hunter but strong advocate of gun control, that statement sounds ominously like the propaganda from the "other side"!).

    After stripping, clean the wood with a strong solution of TSP, and then use a quality 2-part cleaner/bleach and/or oxalic acid to bring back the beautiful natural patina of the aged wood (see the blraching thread elsewhere on the forums).

    happy stripping :eek: ,
  3. Oyster

    Oyster Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What is the interior wood finished with now, as I assume that you are thinking about the outside? Is the boat stripped with small strips and what type of framing is inside? The reason I ask is after you end up strippping this boat, I would consider minimum time unfinished, to keep from any seperation.
  4. OP
    Don Fleischut

    Don Fleischut Curious about Wooden Canoes

    canoe stripping


    It was a general question. I strip 5 to 6 cedar canoes a season. It is strickly to remove years of varnish and grime from the interior without harming the cedar. The outside is almost always covered with canvas. I am looking for a product that will not blind me and can be used effectively indoors in the winter.


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