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Is it advisable to run wood through a planer that has already had a finish put on it, such as stain or paint?

For example, rails and stiles from an old Oak door.

I realise this is not a router question, but there is such a wealth of experience on this forum that some body will be able to advise.

Thank You
Gary
 

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It depends on the finish. I doubt any finish will hurt your blades but I'd be worried about it gumming up the works. Paint - I'd scrape. First with a regular scraper then with a cabinet scraper. It wouldn't have to be 100% clean, just get the big stuff off. But also, I'd check it very carefully with a metal detector. Afterwards, I'd take a look at the blades and clean them if needed.

And to be complete, for me to do that, it would have to be pretty special wood. Seems like a lot of work for a bit of wood.
 

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+1 what Phil said. Heartily agree with him.
 

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Plus one more. Pin nails (23 gauge) would be impossible to find under paint without a metal detector.
 

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This sort of goes back to an earlier thread. I had commented on the unconscionable waste of hardwood in the destruction of old pianos.
The points you guys made here certainly apply to what I had said; maybe it simply isn't worth the huge effort required to recover the wood?
 

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This sort of goes back to an earlier thread. I had commented on the unconscionable waste of hardwood in the destruction of old pianos.
The points you guys made here certainly apply to what I had said; maybe it simply isn't worth the huge effort required to recover the wood?
Yeah, old pianos are a really good example of where there might be wood worth reclaiming. An old sitka spruce sound board would have me practically drooling and a lot of pianos were made with super tight grain old growth QS wood. That's my definition of special.
 

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The soundboards wouldn't have had any finish on them, would they, Phil?
I have this image in my mind of the back face of a piano being raw wood(?).
 

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Hmmm, never thought about it. I've looked at plenty of piano sound boards and thought "guitar". If there is a finish on them, it's pretty minimal.
 

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An acquaintance of mine got about half of a gymnasium floor maple wood for cheap. Thought he would save a bundle by planing the surface and essentially getting new wood.

He used one planer to get the worst of the finish off, some of which was paint, and another planer to get a decent finish. He hired a helper at $20 an hour.

After he was done he decided that it would have been far less expensive to simply buy new maple pre-finished flooring.

So maybe for a small amount of wood for yourself, it may be worth it.

I did about 50 square feet of old growth Douglas fir 1 1/2" thick T & G from a floor, only because there was some excellent edge grain wood there. I checked with my metal detector first and still missed one piece of a broken off drill bit buried in the wood.
 
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