Removing last of the epoxy


Curious about Wooden Canoes

I've started the process of restoring an old stripper. Actually, I have no idea how old it is, as there's no ID on the boat, but anyhow.

I've used a heat gun to remove the old fibreglass, but there are still sections of epoxy left behind. I don't want to sand because I know the surrounding wood will get taken down much faster. I don't want to use solvents as that seems like a bad idea in a lot of ways. Am I safe continuing to use the heat gun and scraper, so long as I don't get the wood too hot? Insight would be appreciated. I've got a gallery going on the project on Flickr... You can see it here.

Thanks in advance!
Judging from the way it peeled off so neatly, it's not epoxy resin, it's polyester resin - not that it matters much at this point. Solvent isn't likely to do much more than make it sticky on the surface unless you soak for an awfully long time. About all you can do is to continue with the heat gun and scraper until it doesn't seem to be doing much good and than switch to sanding. The best way to avoid dishing the wood while sanding is usually doing it with a long-board. This can be a hunk of 1x4 with a cut-open belt sander belt attached to it, or something more sophisticated, but the idea is that a sanding block that's longer and used in long strokes is less likely to cut unevenly and carve hollows in the cedar.

Have you come to the realization yet that this project entails more work and is more difficult than starting from scratch and building a really nice stripper? ......because it actually does and is.
Thanks for the info and insight Todd. I'll have a further go with the heatgun. There's not a lot of epoxy left on the hull, but there are a few thicker areas.

As for the ease and workload of the project, my parents always said I liked to do things the hard way. Joking aside, there is a method to this decision. 1. I don't like seeing things go to waste when they can be repaired. While removing the polyester was work, it wasn't a terrible job, and wasn't that time consuming. 2. Doing this project will teach me many of the techniques I need to build my own stripper in the future, and do a better job of it on the first go round. 3. I've learned through experience that often, the more difficult options present a better experience and more knowledge gained, so I don't mind a little extra work. Effort isn't the only measure of a project.

All that said, ask me how I feel when it's all done. :)
My first cedar canvas was a restoration of a canoe crushed by snow. 38 ribs, most of the planking, gunwales, decks, thwarts, ect. It would of been faster to build a new boat but I wouldn't have learned near as much.


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