AVS619

Paint Remover Help/Suggestions

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Posted (edited)

I am at last doing some serious work on my two restorations, a 1912 Oakland and 1911 IH J-30. Over the weekend I set up the wheels to restore and refinish them but had a surprise. I have not taken paint off an antique part for about forty years so I was surprised to find that the paint stripper I bought at the local hardware store just sat there on the varnish (on the Oakland and put on about 45 years ago before I bought the car) and the original yellow paint on the IHC wheels. It seemed to sit there mocking me. After the amount of time the directions told me to leave it, nothing much happened. My memory from years ago was using Strypeeze (I think that was what is was called) and the paint/varnish just bubbled up and could be scraped off, no problem. What happened? Since hardware paint remover does not work, any suggestions on what will? In the end I will have 12 wheels to strip as I need to also do a 1910 IHC high wheel. If you have any suggestions please let me know, I will appreciate it. 

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Edited by AVS619 (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Buy aircraft paint remover..........on line. Only stuff that works today. Aircraft rules allow for the good.......IE ........dangerous stuff. Works every time.

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What Ed said... The Lowes, Home Depot, Hardware store stuff today just doesn't do much.  Luckily I have an aircraft restoration facility nearby and we often swap/help each other  with current projects.  The aircraft stuff works much better. 

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Just make sure you wear gloves dust mask or respirator and above all safety glasses,   Goodluck

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not a dusk mask or filter for particulates - a mask with a filter for organic vapors

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Posted (edited)

Another vote for "aircraft paint stripper".

 

The older paint strippers had methylene chloride as the main ingredient, but that and some solvents that were good ay softening paints (but bad for people),  were removed.

 

BTW be careful working indoors with any strippers that have methylene chloride. That's why the cautions about wearing a carbon filter mask rated for organic vapors. The fumes from MC  turn into carbon monoxide in your system. …. next thing you know,  the floor comes up and hits you.  As Mom used to say, "If your not careful you'll wake up dead." 

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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The stuff you probably used was called "Zip Strip". It is still available and I use it for some things but you don't want to chemical strip your wheels. It will just make a mess, soak into old dry wood, and get down in the joints and make more work to clean up. You will also have to wash it all out to neutralize it. Water soaking old wood creates another  set of problems. Don't remove the wood from the rims. If you can avoid removing the hubs, don't remove them either because you may have a problem centering them again. I assume that you inspected the spokes & fellos for damage, splits, cracks and rot, especially where the spokes are inserted into the fello and around the rim/wood joint. Wood is organic and biodegradable and its strength can be weakened from damage and overstress. Your wood looks solid and useable in your photos to me but poor wood is a safety issue.

 

You can blast wood wheels with dry plastic media if you know what you are doing. Sand is too coarse and tends to embed in the wood. A good media blast shop that specializes in stripping auto bodies with dry media without warping sheet metal probably knows how to do hard hickory wood wheels. Start with about 50-PSI and test a spot. Increase air pressure 10 lbs at a time if necessary. 70 or 80 PSI may be necessary for multiple layers or tuff varnish. You will need to concentrate with more pressure on the rims to remove rust. Media blasting hickory should remove the paint and a small amount of material and leave the surface equivalent to sanding with 150 grit paper. You may have to touch up a few spots with 150 grit paper but the surface is ready to be dusted off and wipe with tack rag and paint.  If you want natural wheels, blasting will remove the light staining that hand sanding will remove but you will have to bleach deep stains. You should also sand the surface more with 220 grit paper. I prefer to brush on marine grade urethane spar varnish direct on raw wood.

 

To paint wheels after blasting, brush in a good marine grade epoxy wood sealer. Fill & sand any gouges and re-seal any areas sanded thru to raw wood. Feel the wood, if ruff, lightly sand with 220 just enough to smooth the nubs but do not cut through into the wood. You can brush sealer because it soaks in and won't leave brush marks. Use epoxy auto primers on sealed wood & metal rims. NOW is when you finish sand between coats and you may only need to sand once, then finish as you would paint fiberglass.

 

You will save yourself a lot of work by media blasting and keeping liquids away from wood. That includes any automotive paint solvents until you properly seal & epoxy coat the wood.  I made a stand out of 2 X 2 lumber to hold a BBQ rotisserie motor to turn 2 wheels at a time. Its the only way to spray wire or wood spoke wheels.

 

 

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 When applying paint stripper, brush on using minimum strokes. Then wait, wait and then wait again.  Do not re brush until it is time to remove the stripper.

 Cover the wheels after applying stripper in order to prevent evaporation.

  The biggest waste of stripper in not putting on enough the first time, requiring a second coat.

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Anyone remember the Captain Lee's Spra-Strip demonstrations at Carlisle? The stripper was sprayed onto a panel out of a plastic bottle and the paint krinkled up and fell right off the surface just like magic! If any krinkled paint spots remained they were gently nudged off with a plastic bondo spreader. I have two buddies of mine right now that are trying to strip a hood & fender and can't get ANY kind of stripper to do anything. 

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Thank you all for your replies. The two sets of wheels are entirely different. The Oakland wheels had the wood replaced in the 1970's and then varnished and the IHC wheels are original. I found some Strypeeze but t seems to be the new formula and while it does some removal, it seems it will take a gallon for each wheel. I will try some aircraft stripper but will that affect my ability to varnish the Oakland wheels again rather than paint?

The IHC wheels will be painted. One more question, I have to take all the paint off my wife's 1936 Cord so I can repaint it. Will aircraft stripper work there too?

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Methylene chloride strippers are neutralized with warm water. Let dry and out gas for 24 hours and your good to go.

 

BTW, MC based strippers are used by many professional furniture refinishers/restorers and I've yet to hear of problems if the directions are followed. I've used it many times in boat yard work and in my restoration work of wooden antiques. 

 

Paul

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I have been using methylene chloride stripper for years. I have found that applying a heavy coat and letting it sit for 20 minutes or so burns through most old paint. Scrape it off, then use hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons per gallon of Soilax ( a cleaner available at your local house paint store, used by painters to clean before painting)  or Borax Powder, scrub off the remaining stripper and paint. The Soilax acts as an emulsifier, allowing the stripper to mix into the water. Scrub until all paint is removed from all surfaces, cracks, and crevasses. Hose off the wood and wipe dry; I use compressed air to blow the water out of the cracks and crevasses. Let it dry, then sand and finish as desired.

Wear full length chemical resistant gloves, an old apron, a vapor respirator, and a face shield. When you get some stripper on your skin, and you will, stop immediately and rinse the affected area with cold water. It will cause chemical burns.

 

MC is highly corrosive, so use outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Once, we stripped a bunch of stuff in our enclosed shop, and the vapors caused every single bit of exposed steel in the shop to flash rust. 4,000 sq. Ft. Shop. Took weeks to clean everything.

 

Great stuff, works like nothing else, but just be careful with it 

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Scrape them or use flexible sanding blocks - there are rarely great substitute for good old fashioned elbow grease and time. 

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If you use MC stripper wait for warm weather and do it out side while wearing the above protective gear....Bob

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A few years ago I did 5 wire spoked wire Model A wheels and used brake fluid worked good   ps I had access to a large amount of it took about 5 qts.

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Do a search for Turco 5351, it’s the best that I have used.

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Thank you for the additional comments. All have been helpful. 

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Going back to what The 55er said, I bought a gallon of Captain Lee's stripper at Carlisle quite a while back. The stuff ate through the can and seeped out all over a metal shelf in my garage. What a mess. I never get to use any of it, but it stripped the hell out of that shelf.

Also, I vividly remember an attractive young lady working the counter at Captain Lee's. It was a bit difficult concentrating on the pitch, but maybe that was part of the sales technique.

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Ahhh, the attractive young lady. NOW you remember! I often wondered if those panels were just freshly painted the week before the Carlisle meet so the paint would fall right off. 

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I did my wood wheels which were also yellow a year or so ago. I used citrus strip, applied liberally and then wrapped each wheel with saran wrap and left it do it trick for a day. Worked pretty good, buy by no means removed everything.  It seems there was a red primer underneath the paint and while some of it came up not all did. Then I refinished with multiple coats of spar varnish using steel wool between coats.  There is no getting around its a lot of work to strip wood wheels to bare wood.

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Maybe I'm missing the point here...

 

The EPA banned Methyl Chloride and NMP based strippers from retail sale in March 2019. An exemption was recognized for trained professionals and the Department of Defense users. The so-called "aircraft strippers" that are sold at your local parts stores are non-MC formulations and share weaknesses of the other non-MC strippers. Unless you meet the trained pro criteria, you can't legally buy MC-based stripper.  So the question is what's the best alternative?

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Thank you for all of you who replied and those who did so recently. My wife has given me plastic wrap and I found a gallon of Strypeeze (new formula) but I am going to wait for warmer weather so I can use the stripper outside. In the meantime, there is a lot more to do. I was hoping to get the Oakland done this year but the IHC J-30 will still take longer. My wife, Joyce, found it (a real barn find) and bought it for me for my fortieth birthday. I won't say how old I am now but I am on Medicare. The Oakland was here before I met Joyce. Life got in the way but now it is time to finish them. Thank you all again for your suggestions!

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58 minutes ago, Peter S said:

Maybe I'm missing the point here...

 

The EPA banned Methyl Chloride and NMP based strippers from retail sale in March 2019. An exemption was recognized for trained professionals and the Department of Defense users. The so-called "aircraft strippers" that are sold at your local parts stores are non-MC formulations and share weaknesses of the other non-MC strippers. Unless you meet the trained pro criteria, you can't legally buy MC-based stripper.  So the question is what's the best alternative?

Well the answer seems to be get trained as a pro, then you can buy all you want. Anybody know how to do that?

Terry

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