View Full Version : Stripping Plywood Lapstrake
06-13-2003, 12:42 AM
I just aquired an old 12 foot plywood lapstrake sailboat I wish to restore as a first project.
With fear of delaminating the plywood with Chemical stripper or heat what is the best,
safest, and or easiest way to get rid of all the paint?
06-13-2003, 09:12 AM
Heat will work fine. An electric heat gun and scraper is my preferred method, and it doesn't damage the plywood. If the plywood delaminates under those conditions, you don't want to sail the boat farther than you can swim.
06-13-2003, 10:04 AM
what keith said! use a pull type scraper, do a little bit everyday and before you know it you'll be in scraper nirvana! :D
06-13-2003, 10:33 AM
Be careful with the heat, because it can cause the epoxy to release. If you have a variable temp heat gun, make sure it is on the lowest temp that will work to soften the paint. Apply the heat very carfully around glued joints.
Edited to add: These comments only apply to glued lap-ply construction. If it's fastened mechanically, then you wouldn't need to worry about heating the joints.
[ 06-13-2003, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: Scott Rosen ]
06-13-2003, 10:43 AM
I was really worried about that at one point, since I also use a heat gun and scraper to clean up epoxy drips and the fillet along the glue line of lapstrake planking (works great), so I did some experiments. I could burn the wood very badly without getting the joint to come apart in the least. I think what happens is that it's very hard to heat the joint all the way through. Wood's a good insulator, and the back remains pretty cool, even with a brutal application of heat to the front of a thin plank. Also, cured epoxy doesn't actually melt, it just gets a bit rubbery, so the joint strength doesn't seem to be diminished all that much. Heating and cooling (within reason) may actually strengthen the joint once it cools by promoting a more complete cure, or so the guys at System 3 told me. As far as I can tell, if you use the heat gun at all reasonably, you don't have to worry.
[ 06-13-2003, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]
06-14-2003, 08:56 AM
Keith, Bob, & Scott, Thanks for the advice. Looks like heat is the way to go. I do own a variable temp gun so control should be easy. she was assembled with rivits so the joints should stay together. Thanks again, George
06-14-2003, 10:12 AM
Wood is a pretty good insulator as Keith says.
Um, does paint remover damage the glue used in plywood. I wouldn't have thought so. Anyway just quit applying it when the paint is off.
06-14-2003, 10:37 AM
I just stripped my Chris Craft lapstrake hull with a paint remover, designed not to de-laminate the plywood laps. It worked great. It's by Peel Away. They have many different Peel Away products, the key is getting the "marine" version. The company assured me that it would not de-laminate the plywood. Most large paint stores carry it. A couple coats of CPES and a lot of paint later, all is well. Not sure though, if it was to de-laminate, would occur later, or right away. So far so good.
06-18-2003, 05:57 PM
Thanks Norm and Kelsey...At first I didn't think Paint stripper would cause a problem. I have seen a lot of veneer furniture stripped without problem. But then I thought about the age and more, all the plywood edge exposed along each plank and thought I should check to see if anyone had any advice. Thanks again!
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