Lotus Elan

Paint stripper

PostPost by: davidallen » Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:59 pm

Hi

I have stripped all the paint off my car bar the door shuts, where, because
of the concave profile, paint removal with a chisel is a little tricky!

I have discovered a paint stripper in the UK which is designed to work with
gelcoat called "safer stripper" (all kind of options with puns!)

Now, has anyone ever used this stripper and where I can buy it from? The
manufacture, Langlow in Liverpool, will only sell me it in multiples of 6
and charge ?30 P&P!

Ta,

David
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:12 pm

Hi David,

My advice FWIW is not to use stripper even if it is claimed to be safe
on gel coat.

It may not attack the gel chemically but you will still have the
potential problem of stripper finding it's way into cracks voids and
imperfections in the gel (on a Lotus? ;) and then coming out after you
have got your nice paint finish on. You will also have to wash it
thoroughly and again I would recommend keeping your bare gel as dry as
possible for the same reason.

I know it's a pain but if all else fails sand it of (dry). If you have
access to an double action electric or air sander it will not take
long with P80 production grit. Then just finish off into the corners
by hand.

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: "e s" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:28 pm

I have not found this to be a problem in practice. YOu must merely get the stripper off before it gets into the gel coat. Doesn't eat the epoxy primerby the way, and all voids and cracks should be dealt with prior to painting. Sanding can also do damage, losing contours etc
----- Original Message -----
From: "nebogipfel2004" <***@***.***>
To: ***@***.***
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Paint stripper
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 18:12:06 -0000



Hi David,

My advice FWIW is not to use stripper even if it is claimed to be safe
on gel coat.

It may not attack the gel chemically but you will still have the
potential problem of stripper finding it's way into cracks voids and
imperfections in the gel (on a Lotus? ;) and then coming out after you
have got your nice paint finish on. You will also have to wash it
thoroughly and again I would recommend keeping your bare gel as dry as
possible for the same reason.

I know it's a pain but if all else fails sand it of (dry). If you have
access to an double action electric or air sander it will not take
long with P80 production grit. Then just finish off into the corners
by hand.

John

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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:28 pm

"Sanding can also do damage, losing contours etc"

Yes fair comment E.S. you certainly need to proceed carefully
especially on corners and bodylines. I took my car almost down almost
to the gel with an air DA Sander (P80) and then did the final
finishing by hand with much finer production paper (P180).

Chaps with much more experience than I advocate keeping the shell dry
avoiding paint stripper and indeed water on bare gel coat ........

Micro-blisters are a nightmare on fiberglass without inviting problems

Keep your gel dry, don't put water, stripper or anything else on it
until you have put your spray filler and first primer coats on
........ just an opinion FWIW based on Miles Wilkins techniques.

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: c.beijersbergen » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:44 pm

I once attended a "technical seminar" organised by Lotus Club Holland where
Mick Miller gave a thorough lecture on Elan bodywork renovation. His
approach was to remove old paint completely mechanically and by hand. So no
electric grinder allowed. The major part of the old paint he removed whit a
sharp chisel. The old paint is very brittle and the adhesion to underlying
layers is not very good. Possible scratches can be cured with filler in a
later stage. His use of filler was in abundance I must say, but the result
of his work has always been immaculate. In his opinion no chemical paint
remover is allowed at any time.

Cor Beijersbergen van Henegouwen
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PostPost by: foggy » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:59 pm

has no one obtained experience with plastic media blasting, or soda,
wheatstarch, ground corn-cob, ice, CO2, or other soft materials?

I have an offer to do my lotus coupe with thermoplastic granules for
for 800 USD, un-negotiated. Seems more doable, less impact on gel
coats etc...
Steve
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:09 pm

"has no one obtained experience with plastic media blasting"

These techniques sound interesting and are obviously labour saving (if
expensive) I would have thought that provided the pressures used are
low enough not to add to the flexing/cracking and the medium used is
dry then it should be OK

I was talking to Susan (Mick Miller) recently and she was telling me
Mick always scraped the paint off dry and by hand ...... sounds like
hard work to me!.

I still prefer dry sanding because it does not cause the scratches and
gouges easily caused by chisels. That said I use an air sander all the
time (on modern rubbish :) so I do know when to stop!

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: marcfuller » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:27 pm

I am not so sure that it is correct that Wilkins says not to use
stripper. Below is the opening text of Chapter 10, page 106 from Miles
Wilkins 1984 book "How To Restore Fibreglass Bodywork". Miles Wilkins
advocates strongly in this section for the use of water soluble caustic
stripper. Has this been modified or retracted?

"Chapter 10
Paint strippers and preparation for 'ground-up respraying
I am constantly being asked about how far to go on a respray and whether it
is safe to use paint strippers. The answer to the first question is that if
you require a perfect finish that will last for years, and time and money
are not at a premium, then always strip the car back to bare glass and
start again. If the car has the original paintwork that is perfectly sound,
then a good flat off will be sufficient. The more resprays the car has had,
the worse the finish becomes, because the thinners in the paint softens the
pre?ceding layers to form a key when applied, and this can raise up old
repairs that one can't see. The familiar cry of 'that wasn't there before'
arises as the car has old feather marks, bumps and hollows showing through.
I, at Fibreglass Services, will not undertake any resprays with over four
previous sprays in evidence unless the car is stripped first. I appreciate
economics play a large part, but the end result is never satisfactory
unless a total job is done. My record is 17 different colours on a 1962
Lotus Elite; the car was smothered in paint cracks because it was so thick
in places. If you decide to strip the car then adhere to this pro?cedure
and you won't go wrong. Firstly, understand the use of paint strippers. As
we've seen, paint stripper is a very strong alkali?methylene chloride
(washing soda is a very, very mild alkali)?and it attacks fibreglass, but
by being sensible no damage will result. Only use Nitromors Water Soluble
available throughout the UK in all sizes. Do not use the turps type (white
spirit) for the obvious reason, that you don't want to wash the body down
with turps as you won't get it out of the fibreglass. Do not buy the
special fibreglass paint strippers; these are intended for marine
applications only and they are so weak that they will not touch cellulose
or synthetic car paints."




At 12:28 PM 2/28/2005, you wrote:


"Sanding can also do damage, losing contours etc"

Yes fair comment E.S. you certainly need to proceed carefully
especially on corners and bodylines. I took my car almost down almost
to the gel with an air DA Sander (P80) and then did the final
finishing by hand with much finer production paper (P180).

Chaps with much more experience than I advocate keeping the shell dry
avoiding paint stripper and indeed water on bare gel coat ........

Micro-blisters are a nightmare on fiberglass without inviting problems

Keep your gel dry, don't put water, stripper or anything else on it
until you have put your spray filler and first primer coats on
........ just an opinion FWIW based on Miles Wilkins techniques.

John

-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
http://www.lotuselan.us
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:28 pm

Marc, you may be right! I had not read the book for some time and was
sure Wilkins warned against strippers. It looks like he advocates
water soluble only. On that basis I think he is wrong (OK I admit it,
What do I know?) but it just doesn't seem sensible or desirable to me
to be splashing water about on bare fiberglass. This topic has arisen
in discussions from time to time and the concensus has always been
(and sensible in my view) that the shell is best kept dry because
ensuring it is fully dried to avoid susequent microblistering is
difficult. In the same way fillers should NEVER be wet flatted -
filler absorbs water like a sponge!

I guess I must therefore stand corrected and state that I followed a
modified Wilkins technique ;)

He advocates the correct repair of gel cracks by grinding them down
fully and possibly adding new mat but at least surfacing tissue to
ensure that they do not re-appear. He also advocates the use of
polyester spray filler before the primers and paint system. I
therefore differ with him only in keeping water away from the shell
until you are trying to achieve the final smooth finish for the colour
coats.

It makes no sense to wet the glass and then struggle to dry it out
when you do not need to ........ but as I said at the start of this,
what do I know?
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: marcfuller » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:38 pm

John,

I heartily agree with your rationale - if you will have a struggle getting
it dry, don't get it wet.

Fortunately dry is not a problem in my area.

-Marc





At 02:27 PM 2/28/2005, you wrote:


Marc, you may be right! I had not read the book for some time and was
sure Wilkins warned against strippers. It looks like he advocates
water soluble only. On that basis I think he is wrong (OK I admit it,
What do I know?) but it just doesn't seem sensible or desirable to me
to be splashing water about on bare fiberglass. This topic has arisen
in discussions from time to time and the concensus has always been
(and sensible in my view) that the shell is best kept dry because
ensuring it is fully dried to avoid susequent microblistering is
difficult. In the same way fillers should NEVER be wet flatted -
filler absorbs water like a sponge!

I guess I must therefore stand corrected and state that I followed a
modified Wilkins technique ;)

He advocates the correct repair of gel cracks by grinding them down
fully and possibly adding new mat but at least surfacing tissue to
ensure that they do not re-appear. He also advocates the use of
polyester spray filler before the primers and paint system. I
therefore differ with him only in keeping water away from the shell
until you are trying to achieve the final smooth finish for the colour
coats.

It makes no sense to wet the glass and then struggle to dry it out
when you do not need to ........ but as I said at the start of this,
what do I know?

-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
http://www.lotuselan.us
marcfuller
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:53 pm

Hi Marc Again ;)

I just dug the Wilkins book out and had a look. He does recommend
stripping down to the layer above the gel and then finishing by hand.
But for some bizarre reason suggests wet flatting the remainder off!

Production paper at around 120 to 180 grit is ideal for removing the
final paint coat. It is designed to be used dry and at that stage the
light scratches left by it actually give a really good key to the
spray filler coat.

In the companion volume on Fiberglass Painting he advocates a longish
timescale when painting (between coats etc) so perhaps he has a
foolproof method of ensuring that the glass is thoroughly dry?

I have heard mention of fiberglass shells being placed in an oven
(spray booth) at a low temperature to dry them out. This is NOT a
recommendation but I have heard of it!

In the same book he shows a picture of micro-blisters. I think
anything you can do to avoid that problem occurring is worthwhile.

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: "e s" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:28 pm

Water is not a problem

Time is the problem.

The only people who worry about water are production shops who strip it oneday and want to paint the next. Remember that any voids that can hold water are going to ruin your paint whether there is water in them or not

There is more water in your compressed air than will be left in the glass after wet sanding.

As I recall now we did scrape quite a bit of the acrylic laquer respay paint off with a scraper.

Badly done media blasting is the worst thing that can happen. Well done it is probably fine



----- Original Message -----
From: "nebogipfel2004" <***@***.***>
To: ***@***.***
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Paint stripper
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 21:52:47 -0000



Hi Marc Again ;)

I just dug the Wilkins book out and had a look. He does recommend
stripping down to the layer above the gel and then finishing by hand.
But for some bizarre reason suggests wet flatting the remainder off!

Production paper at around 120 to 180 grit is ideal for removing the
final paint coat. It is designed to be used dry and at that stage the
light scratches left by it actually give a really good key to the
spray filler coat.

In the companion volume on Fiberglass Painting he advocates a longish
timescale when painting (between coats etc) so perhaps he has a
foolproof method of ensuring that the glass is thoroughly dry?

I have heard mention of fiberglass shells being placed in an oven
(spray booth) at a low temperature to dry them out. This is NOT a
recommendation but I have heard of it!

In the same book he shows a picture of micro-blisters. I think
anything you can do to avoid that problem occurring is worthwhile.

John

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"e s"
 

PostPost by: "Nick Giovas" » Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:55 pm

Steve,
Where are you located? I'm in SE Michigan and have been looking into media
blasting as well and have one quote at $750. I have only found one shop
that does it so far.

-----Original Message-----
From: foggyalfa [mailto:***@***.***
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 2:59 PM
To: ***@***.***
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Paint stripper



has no one obtained experience with plastic media blasting, or soda,
wheatstarch, ground corn-cob, ice, CO2, or other soft materials?

I have an offer to do my lotus coupe with thermoplastic granules for
for 800 USD, un-negotiated. Seems more doable, less impact on gel
coats etc...
Steve









To search the mailing list archives:
http://www.escribe.com/automotive/europ ... index.html

CopyrightC LotusElan.net and the author:

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PostPost by: twincamracing » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:43 am

has no one obtained experience with plastic media blasting, or soda,
wheatstarch, ground corn-cob, ice, CO2, or other soft materials?

plastic media blasting is my preference and, much like glass bead
media, comes in different sizes, a medium "grit" is best as the coarse
stuff can cut into the 'glass and the fine stuff takes forever to cut
through the paint.

makes a difference when you have an old lacquer paint or a hard
urethane

I have an offer to do my lotus coupe with thermoplastic granules for
for 800 USD, un-negotiated.

if the shell is bare and you are doing door jambs, inside lids, around
doors etc rather than just the exterior surface seems a fair price.
soda also works but i wouldn't recommend doing steel panels or Lotus
chassis with soda as it is difficult to get out of corners and crevices
and will rot the steel. walnut shells and similar leave an oily film.
ok for steel where it gets wiped down with a metal prep but tricky to
get out of 'glass. haven't used wheatstarch, ground corn-cob, ice, CO2.

cheers,
scott



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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:37 am

I tried all sorts of chemical strippers that said they were safe for gelcoat
and found they all would soften the gelcoat if they were left directly on
it. They were find if they were only applied to paint and removed before
they got through the primer which was really hard.

My advice is to get out the orbital sander and 80 grit paper. I used 120
grit and higher and it took forever. If I were to do it again I would use 80
grit and get it done with. You can always build it back up if you grind too
much, but then it isn't too easy to sand off too much.

Rob LaMoreaux
Ann Arbor, MI USA
(734)-971-5583
Cell (734)-604-9280
Email: ***@***.***
Too many Hobbies.... Too Little Time
1969 Lotus Elan....It's not a restoration, it's a never-ending adventure.

I have stripped all the paint off my car bar the door shuts,
where, because
of the concave profile, paint removal with a chisel is a
little tricky!

I have discovered a paint stripper in the UK which is
designed to work with
gelcoat called "safer stripper" (all kind of options with puns!)

Now, has anyone ever used this stripper and where I can buy
it from? The
manufacture, Langlow in Liverpool, will only sell me it in
multiples of 6
and charge ?30 P&P!

Rob_LaMoreaux
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