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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the best way to sand away gel coat to get to bare fiberglass.

I have tried sanding discs on an oribital sander

And then on my 5” grinder I have used the flap discs, abrasive sponge looking ones, and even wire brush. Seems like the grinder does the best but hard to get the disc flat with the bolt. And also sometimes digs too much.

I know it takes time but wanted to see if there was a better approach.
 
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What are you doing? I mean, tell me more about the project and why your goin down to raw glass. But if you need to remove a lot of material quickly a grinder or belt sander is about as good as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Redoing transom on my old Johnsen type skiff. Looks like the boat has paint over the gel coat and 50+ years of who knows what else.

Just for a good bond.
 
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Redoing transom on my old Johnsen type skiff. Looks like the boat has paint over the gel coat and 50+ years of who knows what else.

Just for a good bond.
Ok, then do as @DuckNut said. But be careful, it will remove a lot of material in a hurry! You can go up to 50 or even 80grit and still rip right through it! I use a 7” grinder, belt sander, 2” mini grinder, and a 1/2” air file for most of my “prep” work.
 

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If it ain't broke tweak it a little....
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Just for my knowledge will paint stripper safe for fiberglass eat into the gel coat? I've only used it to refinish fiberglass doors on the house and it works real well.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Just for my knowledge will paint stripper safe for fiberglass eat into the gel coat? I've only used it to refinish fiberglass doors on the house and it works real well.
Paint stripper strips paint, it will not do anything to remove gel coat.

Grinding or sanding is the only way to remove gel coat.
 
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