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Old 14-04-2021, 12:59   #1
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Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I want to refinish my on deck teak handrails this spring. I'm going to need to strip them all the way down to bare wood, and my current plan is to strip them using a heat gun and scraper. The question is what's the best scraper given the rounded shape of the handrail. I guess I could use a small straight scraper but I'm not such an expert that I'd be afraid of gouging the wood. Or are handrails a better candidate for a chemical stripper? If so, which one?

Thanx
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Old 14-04-2021, 14:03   #2
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I like this stuff:

"Citristrip 17 oz. Paint and Varnish Stripper Aerosol-ECSG807 - The Home Depot" https://www.homedepot.com/p/Citristr...G807/307415482

Easy to apply, and works great. But.....mask off want you don't want stripped.

Ben
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Old 14-04-2021, 14:52   #3
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I'd stay with the heat gun approach and buy a set of cabinet scrapers. https://www.rockler.com/cabinet-scraper-set Your brightwork will love you for it!
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Old 14-04-2021, 18:11   #4
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the scraper I use. It will scrape any profile efficiently and the steel holds an edge very well.
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Old 15-04-2021, 09:38   #5
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

Did you have varnish or oil? I used the starbrite 3 step process for my teak I would post pics but this format makes it unworth it.
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Old 15-04-2021, 09:38   #6
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

Will be interested to hear how heat stripping goes. We did the sam by sanding down to bare wood. Took about 1.5 hrs per foot of railing. Then we did two coats of epoxy and five coats of varnish. We NEVER want to do that again so now we lightly sand with 320 grit and apply two or three coats well before the varnish starts to peel. Tip: donít bother with taping to apply varnish on rails, just do it freehand with care.
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Old 15-04-2021, 09:43   #7
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

A yacht maintenance company on our dock showed us how to use this and it is fantastic. https://www.reddevil.com/index.php?l...t_detail&p=822
red devil 1 inch scraper, and extra blades. even when just scraping and no chemicals, MASK OFF to prevent nicks/scratches. Then light sanding (400/600) and then special thinner 216 cleanup.
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Old 15-04-2021, 09:59   #8
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I round the corners on the scraper blades to avoid gouges.
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Old 15-04-2021, 10:07   #9
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I just finished this job last month. I used a heat gun and scraper, sanded with a random orbital sander and applied Awlwood.
The heat will soften the varnish to the point that a flexible 1.5” putty knife will take it right off. I use a hand file to round the sharp corners of the putty knife to prevent gouging and I also file the sharp edge of the knife to blunt it. The hot varnish will not resist the dull putty knife, if it does then you aren’t using enough heat. And a dull putty knife will not easily gouge the wood. You do not need to use sharp edged tools for this job if you have a heat gun.

Once the bulk of the varnish is removed the residue will be easily removed with sanding. I started with 120 to remove the varnish residue and 220 to smooth and prepare the surface. I use 320 to sand between coats to smooth and remove any runs.
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Old 15-04-2021, 14:06   #10
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

I need to do this too, but did anyone entertain removing your handrails? Thinking being: examine how they were mounted and potentially re-mount by removing area of core material greater than needed by the bolt; injecting epoxy into enlarged hole; allow to harden; re-drill holes and mount with your sealant of choice. More work removing but easier to re-finish teak while off the boat..thoughts? Oh, and re-finished teak around cockpit using heat gun, scraper, a bit of sanding then 10 coats of epifanes and 1 coat 2part polyurethane. Fairly easy to remove 4 winches and 2 cleats before. Did this in early Spring 2019 while on the hard, under canvas cover with headlamp & other lighting. Good lighting was key.
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Old 16-04-2021, 12:30   #11
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Re: Questions: Stripping teak handrails

Heat and a red devil scraper generally bigger than the 1 inch, round the corners so as not to gouge and apply heat adequate enough in constant motion with the hand scrape right behind as you go. You decide which direction is best for you in terms of hand accuracy and ability. Soften just enough so that it comes off easily. Sand carefully and not too heavily on the top surfaces where plugs are with screws beneath. There is only a 1/4 when installed beneath at best. A quarter page sander or 1/3 page vibrator is best. Ratary takes too much off too fast. Finish by hand sand longitudinally with the grain......Teak is oily and resists penetration and tooth for finishes. I use 150 for the final. THen multiple wipe downs with lacquer thinner and old towel with a final wipe moments before applying a 2 part varnish thinned with whatever is recommended by 10-20 percent or with repeated thinnings with MEK not to exceed 10 percent. It will kick readily depending on temp and humidity. Then re-coat with same with subsequent 5-6 coats with varnish. I use epiphans gloss (formulated for teak) or regular epiphans cut with schooner varnish and a bit of naptha and it flows like velvet. Done this for 50 plus years on all of my own boats and many customers, especially with teak. Bon Vente
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