Friday, July 08, 2005

Chemical Greg

I’ve got to strip the two doors off the top part of the Frankenstein Hutch. They have 3 panes of original wavy glass that I don’t want to break. The first thought was to remove the panes and use the heat gun. The trouble is they are put in with putty instead of the wooden stays you sometimes see for indoor use. I don’t want to risk breaking the glass trying to chisel out the putty, so this means I’m going to resort to chemical strippers.

This is a tough choice because I love my heat gun. It has almost become an extension of my arm. I’m like some kind of heat gun enabled Borg from the old Star Trek TNG series. I don’t dare say it out loud, but I once thought about saying, “Resistance is futile” to the paint as I apply the heat gun and strip it off. I’m a bit of a pencil-necked geek, but I’m not ready to take that next step in my evolution in to Geekdom that I am willing to start quoting Star Trek out loud when no ones around. I will happily do it when others are around if I think the campyness of it will get a laugh, but not when I’m alone. That is just too weird.

So it’s time for an evening of chemical cocktails. I like the really caustic stuff. I am way too impatient to wait the several hours or days for the environmentally friendly stuff to do its job. Unless I end up with irritated skin from a few splashes I know I’m not using the right stuff. I may die of exposure at some point, but at least I’ll get the job done quickly.

Actually it shouldn’t take too long. The doors are 80% glass and I’m not going down to bare wood. I just need to get off the paint that looks like it was put on by Jackson Pollack. In fact, I once wondered if maybe my whole house was painted by Pollock. It would be worth a fortune. Perhaps I should contact the MOMA in San Francisco and have some of the woodwork appraised before I strip everything.

8 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Okay, here's my entry in the world's biggest cheeseball contest: I've been known to have Queen's "We are the Champions" in my head when I'm tackling a beastly board. And no, I don't sing it out loud.

love the Borg comment too

merideth said...

mmmm...heat gun borg...nice

I say go for the peel away or that awesome (though expensive) soy stripper...who posted about using that on their doors? i need to find the stuff...

derek said...

I've given up on the enviromental stuff too. It's slow, expensive, and I've heard the water based stuff pops the grain, which you don't always want to do.

Greg said...

Jocelyn,

I wonder if the Queen song is as bad or worse than me singing that song from Rocky I. The one where he's on the steps jogging in place.

Hey, have you ever heard of The Art Wallpaper Mills in Chicago? I think that was you on another blog that said you were in that industry. They're probably no longer in business.

The pictures below are from wallpaper in the kitchen of my house circa 1910.

http://windsweptsoftware.com/myhouse/House/house43_lg.jpg
http://windsweptsoftware.com/myhouse/House/house42_lg.jpg

Jocelyn said...

way cool wallpaper or as we call it "wallcovering" or even more trendy "surfacing material". Yes, it was me that is in the business. I haven't heard of that company though- but it looks very neat. How interesting that Chicago wallpaper made it to the west coast. Have you googled that company name yet?

When I get to the Chg. Historical Society in the fall researching our house, I will have to check out that company. If I find anything, I'll let you know.

Greg said...

I Googled it every which way I could think of and found squat. That's what makes me think they are no longer around. Don't make any heroic efforts to find info. it is just one of those minute pieces to the old house puzzle.

Trissa said...

I don't have patience when stipping either, so the stronger the chemicals, the better. I'm not usually a fan of them, but they make the task so much easier! My favorite place to work is on our front porch- there's a nice view & a good breeze. I haven't used a heat gun yet, but Nick just ordered a quartz heater and he's going to make his own. I guess the one he has doesn't work very well...

Greg said...

Cool, you're making a home-made "Silent Paint Remover". I'll be very interested to hear how that comes out. The SPR is supposed to be very good for stripping siding, but at $400 a pop I doubt I'll be buying one anytime soon.