My husband and I just stripped a two-story stairscase, so I can tell you this is ALOT of work, but you'll be glad you did it. Stripping is dangerous work--if you use a heat gun or use chemicals. If you can safely remove the cabinets from the wall, it would be worth it to send them to a woodworking professional to be stripped in a strip tank. A door cost us $50 to be stripped that way, so if it costs you a couple hundred or even five to do the cabinets...it will be WELL worth it. Although we used a chemical strip, as we had lots of detail work to do on the stairs, I agree a heat gun would work best on the beams. If you use a heat gun, you don't have the residue chemicals leave. Although, you may end up using a chemical strip to get the small pieces off. My overall suggestion is to find a workwooding professional who can give you advise as you work through the project for a hourly fee. Woodworking is an art, not a science, and his/her advice will save you hours of work. Good luck!