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Thread: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

  1. #1
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    Default What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    'May seem a trivial question, but I'm curious to know what the "experienced" paint strippers or "wooders" amongst you do when stripping paint on your boats with a heat gun (note I say on your boats, not on flat house boards or flat furniture).

    I've been stripping paint with a pretty old and basic (but well cared for and sharp) "pull" type of scraper, like the one in the middle here:



    This has worked well enough for me but I do get quite sore wrists from a few hours of using it.

    I've bought a disc sander and a load of discs and tried it out this evening and find that because of the depth of the paint to remove I will still need to do quite a lot of heat stripping before employing the sander to clean up the final bits of paint.

    Having had a bit of a look at various paint stripping techniques on the web I notice that ALL of the "how to strip paint with a heat gun" video's show the "stripper" using the flat spatula type paint scrapers that you push into the paint. I have those scrapers as well but don't find them as useable as the "pull" one.

    I know, like everything, it's horses for courses and we should do what works for us, but what do you find works best for you?
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    A long time ago, I saw one like these, but with a nob above the blade.

    You used it two handed...

    Seemed like a good idea.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Pull, using the ProPrep when possible, cheap scrapers when it will hit fasteners -

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Pushmepullyou.

    Pull with the king of scrapers shown.

    Push with a card scraper
    Steve Martinsen

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    .
    I use the same scrapers you've shown Greg, and with a pulling action rather than a push.

    If the circumstances were right I might use a flat 'putty-knife' affair with a push action instead, but haven't found a need to so far.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    Pushmepullyou.

    Pull with the king of scrapers shown.

    Push with a card scraper
    +1

    Doug

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Pull, using the ProPrep when possible, cheap scrapers when it will hit fasteners -

    I'm not a pro - but having filled 2 40 gal. trash cans to overflowing with paint from my boat, I found the above to work best - pulling obviously. Pushing (to my little brain) seems to run the risk of catching grain & lifting a chunk of wood.

    The scraper has to be sharp! The sharper the better.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    I've been very happy with the Bahco scrapers - very sharp, and stay that way. The carbide blades are two sided, and are narrow in depth and extend past the the edge of the holder allowing for really fine detailed scraping in corners.



    Heating with a Milwaukee 570/1000-Degree F dual temp heat gun.



    Pulling to avoid gouging or tearing the grain - it should be noted that in some cases I may be pulling away from myself, but this type of scraper will not work well be "pushed."
    Last edited by dpetrzelka; 05-07-2010 at 11:56 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    +3ish on the flat paint scrapers.
    The little shaped ones sound like fingernails on a chalkboard(which makes my hair stand on end).
    Broken carbide router bits epoxied into the end of a dowel, so the blade acts the same as above, work very well also.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpetrzelka View Post
    I've been very happy with the Bahco scrapers - very sharp, and stay that way.
    I just bought a Bahco scraper with the carbide insert. I really like it and now I wonder why I have worked so long without.
    Steve Martinsen

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    I am basically a puller. My preferred tool is a ProPrep, though I believe they have stopped production in recent months.

    Pushing with a putty knife or similar generally results in gouges for me unless the paint or varnish is really ready to be removed.

    Strippers? Heat guns are fine. Soy Gel, Multi-strip, Citrus Strip and Star 10 all work well and are sort of green (compared with Jabsco).
    Last edited by John P Lebens; 05-07-2010 at 02:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Thanks all, I don't feel like such a splitter now, I'll stick with my pulling method, though may go and check out those scrapers you mention above. It is interesting though, that when searching for it I couldn't see one "how to" video on the www using a pull scraper.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    The key to the whole thing is to keep a new 8" smooth file in your pocket, and re-sharpen the scraper as soon as it ceases to amaze you with its performance.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    I've used a scraper which I think is called a skarsten or something like that-similar to those shown above, with a replaceable blade. Seems to work well
    Phil

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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    The key to the whole thing is to keep a new 8" smooth file in your pocket, and re-sharpen the scraper as soon as it ceases to amaze you with its performance.
    Yea, but make damn sure you file it OFF THE BOAT if you are working aboard. The filings will rust forever and painting over it is hopeless.

    The proper method is to scrape by pulling. The "push with a putty knife" is a technique used for thick layers of latex house paint, not boat work. What you do, if you are right handed, is to acquire the ability to hold the heat gun in your left hand (the Milwaukee is great because it is light.) and the scraper in your right hand and work in a continuous motion from right to left, with the heat gun (or propane torch, if you are really good at it... heat guns are pretty weak and move too slow for a pro) leading the scraper slowly as you scrape. Work from the bottom up (heat rises) so the next section will be half softened before you work on it and if you can keep up a rythm, it will go rather quickly. LET THE HEAT GUN DO THE WORK! Not the scraper. The paint or varnish should be soft enough that you just drag the scraper over it and it flakes off. If you are getting tired "scraping," you're not letting the coating get hot, and soft, enough.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Thanks Bob, dare I confess that I have indeed been working from the top down? Doh!!! (The poorly thought out logic being though, that the top, under the deck frame, has been the hardest to get to).
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    When you are using a heat gun,
    A) Beware of the scraper with a plastic handle
    B)Beware of the flesh and hair that is(was,oops too late) on the back of your scraper hand.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    When you are using a heat gun,
    A) Beware of the scraper with a plastic handle
    B)Beware of the flesh and hair that is(was,oops too late) on the back of your scraper hand.
    R

    A) no problem - happy with my wooden one
    B) - yes, oops too late..... quite often
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    PULL.

    Thank you.


    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What's your paint scraping technique? Push or pull?

    this is one of those sneaky threads that appears innocuous but turns out rather useful
    Chuck Thompson

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