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  • OT - paint stripper

    I hadn't used chemical stripper in ages but bought some the other day to strip an old motorcycle tank. I knew something was up when it didn't stink as bad as I had remembered and then noticed that the old chemical had been replaced.

    I know the change is to make it safer but the new product is almost worthless. It took off the rattle-can layers alright but was far less effective on the factory paint. The can claimed "bare metal in 45 minutes" but I'm on my third application and the tank is still 90% covered by paint.
    ​​​​​​
    What are other people doing about this? I'm probably going to blast with walnut shells next time.

  • #2
    Try to find methylene chloride, that's what they used to make paint stripper in the "old days". I accidentally discovered a way to use it straight, without the gelling agent and wax that stays behind making it hard to prep and repaint. Methylene chloride evaporates very quickly and will burn skin and eyes, so wear gloves and safety glasses. Working in a well ventilated area, cover the object with something absorbent (old cotton flannel works well), saturate with methylene chloride and quickly wrap with plastic wrap or visqueen to prevent evaporation. The paint will blister and come off in dry sheets once the methylene chloride evaporates.
    It's all mind over matter.
    If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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    • #3
      Oven cleaner seems to work too. Rubber gloves etc. make life a bit safer.

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      • #4
        The EPA banned the use of methylene chloride based strippers for consumer use, but you can still find commercial strippers that contain it. If you wear gloves and work in a ventilated area it is safe. People who specialize in bathtub refinishing were using it in closed bathrooms and dying from the fumes. I purchased a gallon from Home Depot before it was pulled from the shelves. There is nothing like it for stripping paint.

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        • #5
          Methylene chloride is a fine solvent cement for acrylic type plastics. You can buy it off the shelf from plastics suppliers, at least here in the Great white North. I buy a small bottle with an eyedropper for cementing, but they also sell large sizes.
          "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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          • #6
            You can try citristrip. Apply it and then cover with saran wrap. Let it sit a couple of hours. It works fairly well. It's the nooks and crannies that are always the hardest places to remove paint even with the best strippers. I use different shaped wire brushes and even scribers to get the last bits after the stripper softens it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Commander_Chaos View Post
              ​​​​​​
              What are other people doing about this?
              Document your use of the product, if it does not meet the claimed performance then litigate the pants off of them.
              If you win you may then buy a new motorcycle and not be bothered with existing paint removal.

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              • #8
                I use lye for anything that can be submerged in a gallon or 2. It's much cheaper than strippers - $5 or so for a lb that makes a gallon. Clean up with water, but PPE is essential. I get it from soap-making suppliers.

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                • #9
                  I had to remove paint from some plastic parts recently, but couldnt use my stash of methylene chloride stripper becaue it attacked the plastic. Wimpy home center strippers, including citrus types wouldnt touch the paint.

                  What finally ended up working like a charm was DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid. It wasnt real fast, but it was effective.

                  Ed
                  For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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                  • #10
                    The Citristrip has contained n-methyl pyrrolidine, and has done a good job for me. The "Citri" part of it seems to be just a fragrance. While the pyrrolidine is not great stuff, it sure works, at least on the paints I have used it on.

                    If that has been removed, then I don't know what it would be good for.

                    The number of products that have been "de-fanged" by the removal of the ingredients that actually worked, is large. Most of the "TSP substitute" you have to use massively larger amounts of, since it barely works, the 3M "safest stripper" is safe for use on any paint....won't damage paint, and the list goes on.

                    Sure, many of the products were not good stuff to have laying about loose in the environment. But just discontinue the product, don't continue to sell it with a tiny fine print notice of the change, or merely a change to the ingredient list. Selling the downgraded product is like selling "new improved non-flammable gasoline" at the same price (or more) as the real stuff. If it does not work anymore, don't lie about it, just stop making it.
                    2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan


                    It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Commander_Chaos View Post
                      I knew something was up when it didn't stink as bad as I had remembered and then noticed that the old chemical had been replaced.

                      I know the change is to make it safer but the new product is almost worthless. .
                      Hahahaa! Laughing with you, not at. Somebody traded my wheaties for cornflakes cause the Jasco I used to pipe up about is as powerful a snail slime now.

                      I had a small cast part I needed to remove all the layers. I always wash the part to get rid of all oils, they inhibit the contact. Did that.

                      Applied the new stuff and it didnt melt anything cept like said the rattle can mess. The real paint just sat there waiting for the great release, never came.

                      Pros? Hmm, does not burn my skin as much, if at all. The old stuff, can on the left made my skin kinda burny just as I opened the cap. hahaa. And on tiny lil splatter drop on yer leg or arm will let you know. The new stuff smells as volatile as the old which I found odd.

                      New stuff? It kinda works. I dont know why they decreased its performance (lie). No, not going to blame anyone cept them.

                      Chemist need to improve within their scope or envelope of specifications. Cant meet the need then later. JR

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                      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                      • #12
                        I never found the real thing to do much if anything to epoxy. Removes paint, and welds many plastics, but epoxy is not affected.
                        2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan


                        It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          I never found the real thing to do much if anything to epoxy. Removes paint, and welds many plastics, but epoxy is not affected.
                          Hahaa! Right... Why do they even say that. I never have used it on epoxy, I cant see the need unless they are trying to say it will remove epoxy primer?

                          I dont know. The old stuff ate the paint and my lunch and the new stuff wants to do nadda. Oh, thats right! The new stuff doest dry out. Lay a nice slather down with the old stuff normally place some suran wrap on it so It would work before gasing out.

                          New stuff is wet 2 days out in the open on a piece of color I want removed hahaaa. I gave up... Used up the rest of my 20 year old good stuff to get the vice clean. JR
                          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                            The Citristrip has contained n-methyl pyrrolidine, and has done a good job for me. The "Citri" part of it seems to be just a fragrance. While the pyrrolidine is not great stuff, it sure works, at least on the paints I have used it on.

                            If that has been removed, then I don't know what it would be good for.

                            The number of products that have been "de-fanged" by the removal of the ingredients that actually worked, is large. Most of the "TSP substitute" you have to use massively larger amounts of, since it barely works, the 3M "safest stripper" is safe for use on any paint....won't damage paint, and the list goes on.

                            Sure, many of the products were not good stuff to have laying about loose in the environment. But just discontinue the product, don't continue to sell it with a tiny fine print notice of the change, or merely a change to the ingredient list. Selling the downgraded product is like selling "new improved non-flammable gasoline" at the same price (or more) as the real stuff. If it does not work anymore, don't lie about it, just stop making it.
                            "citri": if it refers to limonene its not just a fragrance. i have a bottle of it and it will strip (some?) paints. evaporates slowly, its and oil, so no need to wrap. good for stubborn labels too.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dian View Post

                              "citri": if it refers to limonene its not just a fragrance. i have a bottle of it and it will strip (some?) paints. evaporates slowly, its and oil, so no need to wrap. good for stubborn labels too.
                              I am not sure, but do not think the Citristrip has any limonene in it, no need, the other stuff is much better, so why waste it by using both? I have a bottle somewhere, I can look. Maybe the new "de-fanged" version has it.

                              Most of the new safer versions of products are such that whatever they are supposed to clean or remove is safe from them....

                              My favorite comment about many of the new strippers is that if you paint them onto the area to be stripped, they function as an "indicator" to show you where you need to chip all the old paint off with a scraper. You could provide the same function with a "magic marker" (felt tip marker) by outlining the area, and eliminate paying for the stripper.
                              2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan


                              It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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