When I restored mine I tried many different ways. The ones that was the most effective was. Sandblasting, by far the easiest and quickest but if you don't have access to a good one then it wont work out for you. Don't waste time or money on Harbor Freight hand held blasters.
Another way that worked good for me on the legs and a few other parts was a 25/75 mixture of simple green and water. I let parts soak for 3 days and the paint will peel right off. No hard work at all. Hardest part is not messing with it. Make sure you get aluminum safe Simple Green if you use it on aluminum.
A die grinder with surface prep pads. I mainly used this before primer and paint just to be able to get a good bond.
Either way good luck with your adventure. I know I enjoyed mine.
Here is the link to my before and after photos and a few other things that helped me at the time. http://www.shopsmith.net/forums/showthread.htm?t=2632&highlight=regnar
Your before and after pictures looked GREAT. Very nice job.
You mentioned using a simple green solution to soak the parts. You also mentioned to get "aluminum safe" Simple Green. Do you recall which one you used? I ask becasue I went out tho thier website and in the FAQ section, searching for "aluminum" they say:
Aluminum - Is it safe to use Simple Green® on aluminum?
When used with caution and according to the instructions, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has been safely and successfully used to clean aluminum. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, Crystal Simple Green® Cleaner/Degreaser, Simple Green Pressure Washer Concentrates, and Pro Series™ Simple Green® Automotive Cleaner have been used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times for unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green® product residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.
That statement obviously made me hesitant to give 'em a 3 days soak.
Sunny San Diego
Mark 5 "Greenie" SN 309828, Born Oct '55, Acquired Feb '09, Born Again May '09
Mark 5 Jigsaw SN 65001, Born Aug '55
Mark 5 "Greenie" SN 287942, Born Dec '54, Acquired Oct '09. Came with Magna Eng. Jointer SN 17792, Born Jun '54, awaiting restoration
ER10 - SN 72883, Born ~Sep '52, Acquired Apr '09, Restoration started Jun '09, Born Again Jan '10
ER jigsaw, awaiting restoration
Pro Planer SN??, Born ?, Acquired Mar '10