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Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

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  • Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

    Iam in the motions of stripping down an old aluminum gamefisher 14.

    I really dont want to get into stripping with chemicals.
    I tried using a wire wheel and it works fantastic, however I dont want it to damage anything.

    Is this hard on the aluminum? I will be putting a primer and paint application on it after....will I have problems with the primer sticking if I wire wheel it?

    Any help is appriciated.


  • #2
    Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

    Be very careful with a wire wheel on an aluminum hull. Steel is so much harder than aluminum that a brief lingering on the hull with a running wheel can hole your hull.

    I used stripper on mine, followed up with a handheld wire brush. Worked just fine.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!


    • #3
      Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

      Looks like I better go stock up on SOS pads.

      Thanks for saving the haul.


      • #4
        Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

        What is on the hull now? You can paint over old paint and not need a primer...... if you get to bare aluminum you will need the correct primer or nothing will stick.
        This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
        Please, shop iboats first!!


        • #5
          Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

          One other tip - if you do use a wire wheel (worked great for me and if you use a decent grinder - it'll work so much faster than a electric drill version), make sure you use stainless. My welding associate says that regular steel is not compatible with aluminum.


          • #6
            Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

            If the old paint is stuck to the hull good you don't need to strip it just scuff it and repaint.

            Alot of people that don't paint think you need to strip all the old pain off and you just don't have to, all you need is to scuff the old paint wiht some 320 and you are good to go.

            The wire wheel could cause some probelms, as mentioned aluminum is pretty soft and you could easily burn thru the hull.

            I paint cars now and then and we just use a Scotch Brite pad to scuff.

            You will want get eching primer at any auto parts store for any bare metal.
            GO IRISH!!!!


            • #7
              Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

              The only time I strip a hull down to bare aluminum is either if it's been painted poorly and is peeling, or there's corrosion that needs to be dealt with.
              Otherwise, just scuff and prime only the bare metal areas.

              For those that I have stripped bare, I get good results with the 4" 3M Scotchbrite discs on an air sander at moderate speed. A wire wheel is most likely far too coarse to use on a thin hull, not to mention that it'll leave the surface far too rough to get a good finish. Also be very careful around the rivet heads, its not hard to dislodge or damage an old rivet and create a leak.


              • #8
                Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

                Using a steel wire wheel on aluminum can leave traces of steel behind that rust when it hits the water. Switch to a stainless wheel or a flapper pad.

                My choice would be to use chemical stripper, so the abrasive methods don't wear down the hull.
                sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<


                • #9
                  Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

                  also with a wire brush it will be very rough on the hull, wont give you a smooth finish...
                  1970 Starcraft Jupiter closed bow to open bow modification
                  1970 Starcraft Jupiter V 16' restore
                  Starcraft pic thread

                  It's not "Just an old Starcraft". It's a vintage piece of American Marine History


                  • #10
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                    Re: Stripping Aluminum With Wire Wheel

                    Alright well I tried the wire brush aswell and as you said it scratches the haul a little.

                    I guess Im going to have to go the messy chemical route...

                    In the picture you cant see it but the paint is very bumpy and it dosnt stick well.
                    I paint cars in the shop now and again aswell but I was trying to figure a less messy way of stripping down the aluminum.

                    The boat will be on Great Slave Lake, North West Territories in no time...the trip is planned for June, arctic char and the 15 lbs walleye better beware!
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