Sanding clapboards after stripping

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Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Drew Marold on Tue Jul 16, 2002 12:23 pm

My wife & I are undertaking to repaint our 113 year old 3 story Victorian. You could probably write an entire book about paint problems using only our house for examples. We've got mold, chalk, cracking, blistering, aligatoring, you name it. I have been using a Metabo to strip down to bare wood, and my question is how best to sand afterwards. My wife has been using a 1/4 sheet finish sander to clean up the clapboards, but it's slow, and the paper snots up pretty quickly. Any recomendations on how best to sand this ?

A couple pics of the work in progress
Drew Marold

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Chris on Tue Jul 16, 2002 3:58 pm

I'd use either a belt sander or a random orbit sander myself. The belt sander will take off a lot of material quickly, so you'd need to be careful with that. A RO sander won't remove material quite as fast, and it's easier to handle. Both are far better alternatives to a 1/4 sheet sander.

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Heidi on Tue Jul 16, 2002 5:20 pm

Drew, I am impressed with all your work. I would also recommend the RO sander. That is what we have used to sand a fair amount of trim on our porch. We also have a 3 story victorian which is in need of paint, but I don't have the courage to stand on a ladder past the first floor. From your pictures I see that you have some scaffolding made out of wood. Could you tell me how you set that up and how you reached everything, especially the area over your sloped porch roof. Any ideas on reaching those high up places without hurting yourself would be appreciated.


Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Drew Marold on Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:58 am

The scaffolding hardware we bought at Home Depot. It was ~$330 for (2 of everything) pump jacks,ground anchors,workbench/guardrail holder, and six braces. The uprights are 20' long 2x4 (actually a 2x8 ripped to width) and the walk surface is 2x10x16' undressed staging planks. Each upright is 2 2x4s nailed together. To make it square you could add a strip of 1/2" plywood in the middle, but it's not absolutely necessary. We then attached one set of braces at about 5' and another at 15' on the uprights. Stood them up,planted the foot, check for plumb and nailed the lower braces to the house. I then went up the ladder for the uppers. I eventually had to put a step ladder on the work platform to reach high enough to attach the upper braces just below the soffit. This step was (if you'll pardon the pun) the height of sketchiness. Trying to balance on the ladder which is on two planks while nailing is not for the faint of heart. With the top ones in place I removed the middle ones, and lowered the bottom ones af far as I could, to get full run of the wall. As for working over the porch roof, that's something I have to figure out myself. The guy at HD suggested nailing a joist hanger to the roof and attaching the upright to that. I own an arc welder,so I've been thinking about fabricating a foot plate with angled socket to match my rook slope, then nail that to the roof much like a roof jack. For the driveway side where we have to reach the peak from the ground, I'll have to splice in more 2x4 to my uprights.

Drew Marold

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby John Craft on Wed Jul 17, 2002 9:29 am

Boy, do those pictures bring back memories . . . not necessarily good ones ;-)

Drew, we swear by Norton's 40 grit 1/3 sheet paper. It holds up without breaking for a long time, doesn't clog, and with a light touch you can get a very smooth finish you wouldn't associate with such a coarse paper. Our local Home Depot carries it most of the time - Norton's item number is #48290.


John Craft

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Sara on Wed Jul 17, 2002 10:54 am

Oh I sympathize with that close up of the paint picture!! We are still dealing with that, but no where near as high up! I just wanted to tell you that you have a BEAUTIFUL home that will look like a Gazillion bucks when you are done! Good Luck!

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Evelyn on Wed Jul 17, 2002 12:17 pm

Love your screen door. If you ever want to get rid of it remember me!!!!

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Drew Marold on Wed Jul 17, 2002 12:25 pm

That door was hand made by one of the previous owners. We like it quite a bit ourselves. The front door still has the original twist-the-knob doorbell too.
Drew Marold

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Terry G-B on Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:50 am

I'll support the RO (DA in some worlds)route. They ar well suited for various work and quite effecient. Plus they have one handed operation for those 50' up situations.

Both Norton and 3M have improved abrasives the last couple of years. New ceramic abrasive with anti-clog coatings are more expensive but well worth it. A 120 grit cuts as agressively as an old 100 grit and so on through out the chart. Wear time is 3-5 times longer then the past.

Wow, sanding the exterior. Makes me feel cheap and lazy part way into our Queen Anne cottage.

Terry G-B

Re: Sanding clapboards after stripping

Postby Drew Marold on Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:06 am

Thanks to everyone who suggested an RO sander. I went out & bought a Bosch 3107, and it works quite nicely. We also got our first shipment of replacement clapboards this weekend. While going through an old issue of OHJ (circa 1988-89) we read an article about clapboards that profiled Bill Donnell of Donnell's clapboard mill. He's still in business and still makes them the old fashioned way. We got a batch of quarter sawn 5.5" wide clapboards for $1.04/ft. They're much much nicer than the crappy cedar ones you get at HD, or even any of the local lumber yards. Plus the orignal ones on the house are pine, so it's the proper board to use.
Drew Marold


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