Monday, December 03, 2007

Why didn't I think of this before?

Paint removal has been a relatively easy process for most of the interior woodwork. The tricky part has been getting the paint out of the nooks and crannies of all of the crown molding at the window and door heads. I have been using the Speedheater and though it easily removes paint from flat work, these areas are another matter. After scraping away with an Exacto blade for countless hours, an idea finally came to me: if only I had a tool that could get into these areas - kind of like a mini-sander. Wait, I do have such a tool!!! I quickly ran to the basement and found my Dremel. It took a lot of patience and care but I think that using the Dremel was a success. I used a very small pointed carving bit for the tight corners and then a round drum sanding bit for the rest. This saved a lot of time and frustration. I also did very little damage to the actual wood (unlike the occasion gouge I would get when using the blade and sandpaper) but it still took quite a bit of time due to the nature of the tool. Perhaps if I had better eyesight and hand control it would have been easier. I also wish my Dremel had a lower speed - that too would have helped with the control.
The only unfortunate thing is that I didn't think of this until I was on the last bit of paint stripping in the bedroom. The window trim is about 75% sanded. I decided to not strip the window stops and will likely cut new ones instead (when I do the window restoration next...). The existing stops are cracked and several areas have completely fallen apart - likely from when people have removed them in the past. I am still on schedule for painting by this weekend.


Jennifer said...

What a good idea! I love my dremel... it has a very low setting (5,000 rpm) because I use it for the doggy nails, so it sounds like it will be great for stripping the detail work on the doors! Thanks for the hint!

jm_houseinprogress said...

Hey! Great idea!

You should borrow our Fein. There are some great attachments that would make that work really easy and you can dial down the speed to be much slower than a Dremel. (Check out the profile sanding set on the Fein site.) Shoot me a note if you want to try it out.

Andy said...

Whoever said duct tape is the ultimate tool obviously never had a Dremel. Not that duct tape isn't awesome, of course...

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

JM, Thanks for the offer of the Fein - it looks pretty cool - I haven't seen them before. If I choose to strip the wood in the kitchen (next year), I'll be in touch about it. This springs an idea (maybe not an original one): a Chicagoland tool exchange for us housebloggers and perhaps a yearly gathering where we can get back the tools.

john said...

Yikes! Watch out for that lead dust, especially when power sanding.

To avoid the lead dust we use steam heat:

and on the mouldings we grind pull-type scrapers to match the profile of the moulding. Here is a recording of one of the live video conferences where I show the custom profile scraper:

how to make it, grinding the profile with a dremel, and using the scraper.

(demonstrated on a window sash profile, but methods work on any wood moulding)

This discussion has a link to a PDF file download with a complete article on grinding profile scrapers:

take care, work safe and keep in touch

by hammer and hand great works do stand

Lisa@Take90West said...

Just wanted to say Hi, found you from the blogroll at Elizabeth Hill Cottage blog. I saw Oak Park and wondered if it was OP, Il? Your home sure looks like an OP bungalow. I've enjoyed reading the about your projects. We use to live at 910 N Taylor, a bungalow built in 1918. We completely re-habbed it and reading about your projects brought back a lot of good memories about living in a small bungalow and the great feeling of accomplishment that comes with being proud of your home. We outgrew that little house about 4 years ago, but I don't think you ever forget your first home.

Good luck with your rehab!