Old furniture wood reclaiming


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Established Member
16 Jun 2008
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Personally i would never put any painted article through a thicknesser, i have done it but the risk of ruining the blades is too high, apart from the paint dulling the blades you WILL hit a hidden nail or screw sooner or later.
If someone brings you a piece of wood to thickness & says "I have checked it for nails" you can almost guarantee this will happen!
A coarse sanding disc on an angle grinder is also good at stripping old paint prior to planing.

Fair enough. It's down to judgement. I wouldn't bother putting cheap painted pine furniture through the thicknesser but occasionally come across a quality piece that has been painted. I check it thoroughly for metal with a detector and skim it a little at a time. This corrects any cupping the board as well. If the blades dull ( I haven't particularly noticed this ) I have a Scheppach sharpener with a jig to refresh them. Again good extraction with a cartridge topped extractor is essential. This probably takes fifteen minutes compared to a day of hand scraping.


Established Member
21 Jan 2021
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You can still buy the old Nitromors type but it's supposed to be trade only, though many aren't bothered - try Ebay.
Plastic scraper.
Also helps if you have sawdust or coarse PT shavings - pick gloved handfuls up and rub it in like a pan scrubber and it soaks it up at the same time.
I've been after some Nitromors for sometime, my last tin ran out some time ago and the legislation is being better enforced on ebya etc, cant seem to get it from ebey these days. I notice HSE took a supplier to court and succesfully prosecuted last year.

I was wondering about taking the HSE test and a good training course. But can only find expensive course costing £99 online or £175 at the V&A. As a home furniture restorer, I'm happy to do the work and take the test, but cant find a local supplier (lots no-longer have active web sites). The test has to be supervised, which I can understand, but don't see why the training cant be done on-line or by reading the good guidance supplied by the HSE.

The irony of this, is did a Ph.D for 3 years using DCM every day in the lab and then for a time was a Technical manager at ICI making hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the stuff and supplied Nitromors and the main degreasers globally with DCM (used a degreasent for engines, and a solvent for trainers), so I probably could write the manual. We had animal studies done etc to test the toxicity and potential carcinagisity of the stuff in order for it to be sold under REACH etc. When I started out, Chloroform and carbon tetrachloride were more common degreasents along with Trike and they were replaced with DCM as its much more stable and safe, carbon tet in particular was a carcinogen. As far as I'm aware DCM is hazardous but not a know carcinogen, its a cancer suspect agent. ICI's studies didnt reveal it a a carcinogent at normal concentrations with a margin of error.

The best solvent is DCM with about 20% methanol added ICI sold it under the brand methaclone, I suspect Nitromors is a mixture of DMC and methanol.