I didnt really want to start on this, but Was laid off a couple of weeks and had to do something. It had about three layers of old paint and dirt and even clods in it when I stareted scraping. I removed the bargboards and mouldings to make it a little easier and as it turned out it wasn`t the hardest job Ive done. Picking your tools is what takes the longest. Finding ones that work well for a particular job. I used the old 5 in 1, a sharp chisel to get into the square corners and a couple of small files and rasp`s that were cheap but have proved to be most valuable. Only a couple of the little pyramids needed repair. It took about a week to get it scraped and sanded, but I dont fool around, Im working on it when im there just like my real job. Its really getting hot here now and it really saps your energy. I.m using Valspar oil primer and oil base paint. A house sits outside all the time like your car, and they dont use latex on cars! The original paint was oil and everwhere I stripped the original paint the wood was in great condition and all the corners werwe as sharp as the day they were milled. The places where the PO repainted in latex 20yr ago didnt fair so well and the biggest mess of all is where he just slapped paint on the porch posts with out priming. I hope I never have to go thru that again. Im also reframing the remainder of the front porch and rebuilding the front balcony. More on that later.