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Thread: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

  1. #1
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    Default Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    It works. There has been some discussion here and elsewhere abut this tool, and using the planing blade to strip bottom paint. The company has a couple of videos up. I decided to try it for myself on Wandering Star, my 1968 39' ketch, strip planked in soft wood. The many years of bottom paint are about 1/16" thick, I'm removing it to refasten. Set on a low cutting depth and moving fore and aft I can clean about two square feet in three minutes without gouging. Some parts are slower, possibly because of layers of harder paint. The same was true using heat. This is the fastest and cleanest method I have found to strip bottom paint. Attached to a shop vac, it's so clean I didn't need gloves, and had no visible dust on my clothes. It does have shortcomings: While variable speed, the switch travel is so short that it's either on or off. It's heavy, and torque-y, so a bit tiring to use. That's the price of power I think. The instructions are modern, meaning lots of legal warnings followed by an indistinct cartoon, but it wasn't too hard to figure out. I did get it wrong the first time and chewed up the little fan blade, but the kit includes a spare. I don't expect this to work on concave surfaces. I do recommend the tool for removing bottom paint.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Pics? Or even a video? I have a similar need.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    For heavy tools, you might try a tether going upward to a block on your toerail and then back to a counterweight. I've used that on a couple of projects and it helped immensely.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    I did take some pictures, but they're not on this computer. The company has two videos on youtube I think. If you're on Facebook, I put a review and pictures on the WoodenBoat Forum Group there, which started a lively discussion. I may get around to posting the pics here, or you can PM me your email and I'll forward them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Thanks, I’ll look over there.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Interesting. I'll ordered me the turboplane and the adjustable spacer today

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    If you're on Facebook, I put a review and pictures on the WoodenBoat Forum Group there, which started a lively discussion.
    It sure brought out the armchair captains. Its good info though, thanks for posting it there.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Thanks Ben. I prefer this forum for serious discussions, though there is good information on FB too. But I find it easy to post there from my phone.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Looks like the big concern there is that you are gouging away lots of wood and leaving an unfair surface. Since you don’t think that is happening I’d be willing to give it a try.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Here’s a video with it removing bottom paint: https://fb.watch/9NN_1zH680/

    https://fb.watch/9NN_1zH680/

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Thanks for posting that link Steven. I believe that video is on Youtube as well. I was a little concerned that those videos seem to be on hard woods, my boat is soft. A previous test on my boat by a professional sandblaster didn't work well, although he had stripped teak and mahogany boats before.
    Running my hand over the hull after using the Arbortech, it feels fair. Looking in the bucket shows a tiny amount of sawdust, maybe 1%.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    it certainly seems as good as a proper disc sander, but dustless !

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Dustless is one of my favorite features. Even with vacuum orbital sanders, I always end up covered with dust. This tool has a sanding head too, I'll report when I use it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Dustless is one of my favorite features. Even with vacuum orbital sanders, I always end up covered with dust. This tool has a sanding head too, I'll report when I use it.
    I missed noticing that; seems the cutter head's not the only thing needed for self-leveling feature? They indicate the head can be used on any 5/8" arbor angle grinder unit but if self-leveling and/or truly dustless operation/chip-management is what you want you may need to add one or more of their accessories: https://www.arbortechtools.com/us/power-carving-unit/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Got the blade and the adjustable spacer at friday.
    It wonīt fit a standard angle grinder. But with a bit of work it will.
    I had to cut the thread that hold the tools 5mm down as it was protruding.
    Also the threads for the handle have the wrong angle in my makita.
    So I had to file a bit at the grinders head to allow the assembly.
    After that it worked like a charm.
    Iīll be testing this here and there in the near future.
    All in all I think buying the whole unit would be the better aproach.
    Seemīs like a good deal to me.

    Cheers Max

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    the length of the5/8th arbor is not the same on a grinder as it is on a polisher
    one of several subtle differences

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    I'll be interested in what you think of it Max. The hood and depth adjustment on the whole kit are what makes it work for me.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Arbortech Power Carving Unit for Stripping Bottom Paint

    Using this tool yesterday, I found that it worked best in long sweeps, lifting at the end as you might a plane. A shorter back and forth motion has a greater tendency to make semicircles in the hull.

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