Stripping Tanks: Build or Buy?

Finishers discuss commercial sources of stripping tanks, and ways to rig up your own. October 28, 2005

I am looking to buy or build stripping tanks for refinishing and restoring in my shop because the work is becoming too much to handle by hand. Does anyone have any sources or suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
It depends on the size of what you are stripping. I have made strip tanks by using a removable head 45 gallon drum filled with Chemcraft Tank Stripper.

From contributor J:
I like to use a flow-over recycling system for speed.

From contributor B:
I like Benco Sales. They are one of the best for removers and tech support. They also have all the equipment required for the stripping process.

From contributor D:
The companies I listed all have fantastic sales support, tech support and related equipment. They all have a good line of products.

Seneca differs in that they concentrate on non-mthylene chloride strippers. It is difficult to choose between Benco, Besway and Kwick Kleen because they sell similar products. Hood also falls into this catagory but Hood does not have quite the varied selection of strippers that Besway, Kwick Kleen or even Benco has.

I prefer a mthylene chloride based stripper that is not fortified with alkilines. I get mine from Kwick Kleen. I also get my nitrocellulose lacquer from Kwick Kleen because it is inexpensive (not a factor) and it cures to a harder film than Sherwiin-Williams (too soft) and MLC nc lacquer.

From contributor R:
Years ago I made a stripping tank from 3/4 MDF with a Melamine face. It measured approximately 6’ long x 4' wide and 16 inches tall. I used yellow glue and a bunch of grabber screws placed about 4" apart from one and another.

I placed it on two sawhorses; the front saw horse was shorter than the rear one. I drilled a two inch hole on the bottom of the front area, and then plugged it with a big two inch cork. I would take care of whatever I had to strip, then remove the cork and strain the material back into a five gallon bucket for further use.

I like the Metheline Chloride Based Remover from US Cellulose. I will admit that I had a minor leak or two, but after a years use the MDF swelled up to create a tight, leak proof container. When I wasn’t using this container I flipped it over on the horses and used it for a sanding table.