Removing Fiberglass

Dan Lindberg

Ex Wood Hoarder
I know this has been discussed many times here but.

A new project is glassed and I suspect that the resin used was epoxy.
I've had good luck removing glass with polyester resin but haven't dealt with epoxy yet.

Any good tips/guidence for removing it?

First, make sure that you REALLY want this boat. If you spread the work out over the next 150 years or so it won't be too bad. The only other alternatives are heat and careful use of a scraper or putty knife or grinding it off. In either case, the softness of cedar presents a problem. A poor application of the cheapest epoxy available will still stick well enough that it usually exceeds the grain strength of the cedar. This means that the heat has to do the work and you can do very little tugging on the glass or you risk peeling-up wood with it.

Grinding is difficult because fiberglass is much harder than cedar. As soon as the sander gets through the glass, it tends to dish the soft wood under it - and it happens so fast that you can't really prevent it. Some of the really harsh chemical strippers will soften epoxy, but I doubt they'll really do much more than make a big gooey mess out of the canoe.
Thanks Todd,

I will confess to having second thoughts about this canoe.

I think the 1st step wiill be to confirm or not that the resin is epoxy.