Polyurethane removal

John Greer

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Am restoring another canoe but this one has had several coats of urethane applied over the years rather than varnish. I'm used to using BIX on the varnish but this doesn't seem to have any affect or at least very little on this finish. Anyone have any experience removing this nasty stuff with success?
We've been using Dad's Easy Spray - available at Sears, k-mart and Walmart. It's the usual methyl chloride stripper but it seems to hold the goop in suspension nicely and doesn't seem to get sucked back into the wood and harden like a rock if left until dry. It will remove polyurethane with multiple coats of stripper. It comes with a spray bottle but we just brush it on.

Thanks Dan. May give it a try or just live with what's currently on the canoe. I've managed to scrape some away but it was a major effort just for a small amount. Always have worked with varnish so didn't realize just how different the polyurethane was until I started to strip it. Did find several other options on the web from commercial sites but they sound pretty harsh.
Heat Gun

Have you tried a heat gun? I haven't used it on polyurethane, but recently did a job on really stubborn paint with one. With a little practice it went quick too.

Let us know how you make out.
No Fitz haven't tried my heat gun. May give it a try but at this point I've about decided to leave it alone and just work on the spots I wanted to clean up the most. This is an old chestnut I bought over 30 years ago and at some point I put polyurethane on it.