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  #1  
Old 03-23-2007
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Glue removal question

Hi. I am restoring a sailboat and have a question about glue removal. There is a large, solid-wood bulkhead that the previous owner had covered with some some sort of particle board. It is a nice piece of wood so Id like to clean it up and stain it. I am having serious trouble removing the glue. There is tons of it and it is harder than the wood ti is stuck to. I placed a space heater on it and heating up the glue has helped some but it is still very slow going with the scraper. Has anyone got any suggestions to make this a little easier. Thank you.
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Old 03-23-2007
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If you knew what kind of glue it was, you could possibly use a solvent to soften or dissolve it.
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If heat seemed to work, why not try a heat gun and a scraper.
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Odds are it was the traditional "contact cement" a permanent mustard-yellow solvent based cement. Various petrochemical solvents like acetone probably will help (don't dare use anything that can make a spark around this, and don't breath it, use good ventilation) and there are some generically called "rocket fuel" that might do it faster.

There's one miracle in a spray can called "Klean Strip" brand "Premium Stripper" which will teach you a new respect for rubber gloves, but works miracles. Read and follow the warnings--it's great stuff but like any power tool, you don't want to use it on yourself.

After that, you're back to a paint scraper or cabinet scraper and sanding.
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Old 03-23-2007
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Additionally, be careful of getting too aggressive with sanding. Chances are what you think is a solid wood bulkhead, most likely is marine grade plywood with a thin hardwood veneer. The inner laminations, once exposed, will create an ugly blotchy effect when stained.
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if it is contact cement even acetone prob. won't touch it. you would have to submerge it and break the surface of the cement to get to react even slightly. the only thing acetone will do to the surface is make it sticky after a while then the acetone evaps it will make the surface harder than before. agree with heat gun the only trouble is you have to be very careful not to scrotch the wood. you really have a time consuming mess on your hands
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Old 03-25-2007
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3M has an adhesive remover. I think they call it "general purpose adhesive remover". I've bought it in both liquid and aerosol cans. Expensive, and boy do you need ventillation, but it has worked well for me.

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Old 03-26-2007
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Methyl-ethyl-ketone, or MEK, will take it off in all likelihood and it does not evaporate as quickly as acetone. Read the warning label first. You will probably want to apply it with a rag or cheap paint brush-wear rubber gloves-and then scrape with a wide blade drywall knife. Mind the ventilation as recommended.
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Old 03-26-2007
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You will probably try a few things before finding the right one. Put Contact Cement Remover, available at home depot for a few dollars on the list.

The chances of getting this stuff off cleanly without damaging the veneer (It would be very odd if it wasn't ply) are pretty slim. Good news is that with some patience, you could reveneer, assuming that it is easier than just replacing the whole thing.
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Old 03-28-2007
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Talking it worked!

I went and bought some "kleen strip", and followed the directions. It worked great so I went ahead ripped all off the crappy particle board glued to the ceiling and kleen-stripped the entire length of the boat, 36'. The process of applying it (above my head), sealing it with plastic (it has to be airtight to work) and scraping was tedious and messy but now I've got nice, clean, and nearly new-looking marine plywood to work with. I wonder how I should dress it up?
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