View Full Version : When using flame for paint removal...

09-07-2003, 07:51 PM
...what do you folks do about such things as fuel tank vents? :eek: What other 'surprises' are out there for somebody looking to use a torch/weed burner to remove paint?


Bill Poole
09-08-2003, 07:55 AM
STOP! ALERT! STOP! I never said anything about fuel tank ANYTHING with a torch, large or small.

This weed burner thing is for the careful and cautious, not the young and foolish. It is super fast and will allow you time to BE SAFE and still sand and paint the same day.

When you start, start slow. Use the smallest flame and soften the paint and scrape. Then turn up the flame a little and heat a little longer and scrape a little less. Then turn up the flame a little more, heat a larger area evenly until you blister the paint and effortlessly scrape and the paint will nearly fall off. The main idea is to go slow and learn as you go. It would be a bad mistake to go fast at first and call your insurance adjuster for a replacement boat, it ain't gonna happen.

09-08-2003, 12:02 PM
Painters around here used to use that method to strip old buildings, till a couple of historic churches burned to the ground. The problem is no matter how careful you're being with what you can see, you don't know what's behind. (like eaves stuffed with old birds' nests)
Watch out for even the tiniest opening in the surface, where flame will penetrate beyond what you can see.

Ed Neal
09-08-2003, 12:24 PM
Open flames are dangerous. Try one of these. Use it to warm the paint to the bubbling stage and strip it off with a putty knife. It can catch the paint blister on fire if you hold it in one spot too long.

Warner Tools Electric Paint Remover
Provides 1,000 watts of concentrated heat in a 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" heating surface to soften nearly 23 square inches of paint at one time. Features open shield door to get under edge of siding, flip-over resting stand, cool plastic handle and 3-wire ground cord. 120V.

bob goeckel
09-08-2003, 11:48 PM
a good woodboat is the only way to get that good charcoal flavor on the marshmallows!

09-09-2003, 12:23 AM
I was just wondering about diesel fumes being present when using open flame. I didn't know if folks were plugging fuel tank vents or what?

Then I started wondering about things like holding tank vents, battery vents, propane systems, etc.

The heat gun is certainly a much safer route, but there was talk of using various sorts of torches, so I thought I'd ask what those guys were doing in that respect.


[ 09-09-2003, 01:25 AM: Message edited by: BW ]

Dave Hadfield
09-09-2003, 09:05 AM
When I stripped and refinished the Sitka masts on my ketch 4 years ago, I tried chemicals, electric heat guns, and an open flame. The flame was much the best. It does most of the work, keeping the scraping to a minimum.

I made a flame spreader that crimped onto the end of the propane bottle and quickly learned how to fan it across the wood just right. I defy anyone to find scorch marks on my masts.

To do a hull, I'd use an 11lb bottle and a long hose with a burner end.

Risks? Not many, using a little care. Keep a fire extinguisher handy inside and out. And a couple of 5 gal pails of water. Clean up your scrapings.

If the planks have opened up so that the flames might actually penetrate the hull, well, perhaps you might be well advised to stop, soak the hull to swell it up, and then start again.

On deck around fuel tanks obviously you're going to have to modify the procedure and use chemicals or a sander.

09-10-2003, 11:03 PM
I'm presently refitting a 50 ft seiner for personal use and have been using an electric heat gun for scraping paint. The boat's been out of the water since Feb and the seams have opened. Some have lost their seam stopper. While teaching the missus the fine art of becoming a first class scraper hand, I happened to noticed tiny sparkles issuing from a seam when heat was applied. You guessed it, the heat was enuf to singe the cotton.