Thank you for the help you gave me. Our local hardware is able to order a Warner Heat Plate for me and they are approximately $50, just like you said. They are willing to order it for me, if I so wish. It could be here in a few days.
But, the hardware personnel was wondering if I should be using a heat plate for removing what might be lead paint. We feel, but are not positive, that the original primer and paint was lead based, because we can see that the original colors were white with a red trim. That was the style in the 1930's when the house was built. Was there any other paint available, other than lead based, in those days?
I took off a small chip of paint, going down to the cedar wood, and examined it under a magnifying glass. The total thickness of the chip is approximately a thirty-second of an inch. Next to the wood is a grey layer, then white, and finally the last two coats of grey that were applied.
The hardware personnel thought there might be some sort of safety concern in removing lead paint with a heat process, but he was not sure. He wondered if we should contact what he called a "lead abatement company" to remove it professionally. The problem there is that I'm sure that would be very costly and we simply don't have the money.
Are you aware of the safety factors in removing lead paint with a heat plate? Is it, in fact, a vital factor only for those who chose to be careless and not follow advice? Is it mainly a fire hazard or a health hazard? The hardware personnel had no clue as to what the factors might actually be.
My thoughts, so far, have been to: 1) use the heat plate on several laps, 2) use a scraper to remove that section of paint, 3) wash that section, and 4) go on to another section and repeat that process. Does that make sense?
I have talked to a number of professional painters. None of them are enthused about actually doing a thorough job of fixing this house up right, e.g. getting all the paint removed and starting from scratch to apply primer and paint properly. They all seem tired at the thought and say it would not be cost effective because of the amount of labor involved. But, they all note that this cedar siding is in excellent condition at this point. Of course, it won't stay that way with all the peeling and alligatoring that is taking place.
I might be rambling on too much, but these are the things I am trying to consider in my efforts to preserve what I feel is a beautiful home and a wonderful part of America's heritage. I've even been saddened by the fact that not everyone cares about this home as much as I do, as they attempt to convince us to put on new siding, vinyl siding, or metal siding.
At this time, I think I would feel most comfortable doing the whole job ourselves and personally making sure it is done right, with love and care.
From your storehouse of knowledge, could you tell us what factors we need to be concerned about, what makes sense with our financial limitations, and what is the historically correct way to restore our Tudor cottage.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. I want you to know that we greatly appreciate your concerned advice.