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Ungluing, undoing old glue, removing old glue advice


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I have this nice little canoe that I am planning on rebuilding. I want to remove the decks and bulkheads. I wonder what advice anyone would have to best remove them with minimal damage.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is a habit, not an act.

~ Aristotle 

 

I could carry, paddle, walk and sing with any man I ever saw. I have been twenty-four years a canoe man, and forty-one years in service; no portage was ever too long for me, fifty songs could I sing. I have saved the lives of ten voyageurs, have had twelve wives and six running dogs. I spent all of my money in pleasure. Were I young again, I would spend my life the same way over. There is no life so happy as a voyageur's life!

~ The Voyageur, Grace Lee Nute

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That would be dependent on what kind of glue was used. Can you tell?

Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:: Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans), Hanseatic Cog Wutender Hund, John Smith Shallop
Completed:  Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch, 1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)

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I have no idea...  but I figured using denatured alcohol was a good bet. It wasn’t long before I was able to get the decks off. Does that mean the glue was PVA or something else?

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is a habit, not an act.

~ Aristotle 

 

I could carry, paddle, walk and sing with any man I ever saw. I have been twenty-four years a canoe man, and forty-one years in service; no portage was ever too long for me, fifty songs could I sing. I have saved the lives of ten voyageurs, have had twelve wives and six running dogs. I spent all of my money in pleasure. Were I young again, I would spend my life the same way over. There is no life so happy as a voyageur's life!

~ The Voyageur, Grace Lee Nute

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Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol.  The solvent for PVA is isopropyl alcohol, but the properties of short chain alcohols are very similar.  So it could be PVA.  Hide glue is denatured by ethyl alcohol - especially if it is hot, so it could be a hide glue.

NRG member 45 years

 

Current:  

HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly

Other

Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers

 

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4 hours ago, Osmosis said:

Is this going to be a log of your restoration. Cause you know I'm in.

You bet! You inspired me to do this. I was perfectly happy looking at it on the shelf but your Peterborough looked so sweet that I just had to do something. I spending some time thinking about how to approach it before starting the log. Maybe tonight. I’d like some input from my friends here as I don’t think I have all the answers to accomplish what I want. Thanks for your interest!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is a habit, not an act.

~ Aristotle 

 

I could carry, paddle, walk and sing with any man I ever saw. I have been twenty-four years a canoe man, and forty-one years in service; no portage was ever too long for me, fifty songs could I sing. I have saved the lives of ten voyageurs, have had twelve wives and six running dogs. I spent all of my money in pleasure. Were I young again, I would spend my life the same way over. There is no life so happy as a voyageur's life!

~ The Voyageur, Grace Lee Nute

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When you start the restoration, put it in the Scratch area and add "Restoration" to the title.  

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

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6 hours ago, Jaager said:

Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol.  The solvent for PVA is isopropyl alcohol, but the properties of short chain alcohols are very similar.  So it could be PVA.  Hide glue is denatured by ethyl alcohol - especially if it is hot, so it could be a hide glue.

Thank you, I never would have guessed that each type is different enough to make a difference.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is a habit, not an act.

~ Aristotle 

 

I could carry, paddle, walk and sing with any man I ever saw. I have been twenty-four years a canoe man, and forty-one years in service; no portage was ever too long for me, fifty songs could I sing. I have saved the lives of ten voyageurs, have had twelve wives and six running dogs. I spent all of my money in pleasure. Were I young again, I would spend my life the same way over. There is no life so happy as a voyageur's life!

~ The Voyageur, Grace Lee Nute

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The trick in every situation is to use a solvent (starting with water!) that does the trick without damaging surrounding paint or finishes. Looks like you hit it right.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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  • 2 months later...

I'm new to this site so I'm late on this topic but, if the glue is Tite Bond or some other variety of common "wood glue", vinegar (acetic acid) will soften it.  If it is "wood glue" and it's been hard for a while, like what you have, it's necessary to go a step further and make up our own batch of stronger acetic acid. 

 

Photographers Formulary out of Montana sells Glacial Acetic Acid - mixed up diluted, it's for the stop bath in the photo process.  GAA is the strongest form of acetic acid.  A 40% solution and time will soften hard wood glue.  Just keep applying it with a small brush; it may take a few hours. 

 

GAA is considered a hazardous substance so it will only ship UPS ground.  It freezes at around 50 deg F and looks like ice, hence its name.  The fumes are very strong, as bad as ammonia, so keep it away from your nose and take the same precautions with the undiluted liquid you would with any acid. 

 

I've used this process on maple boards and aircraft-quality birch ply with no problems to the wood or delamination of the ply.  I still shoot and process photo film and prints so I mix up a very dilute solution of GAA all the time; just be careful.

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