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Old 09-25-2003, 03:22 PM   #15
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razorknife?

Is the adhesive soft or hard(brittle)? A single edge raorknife my strip the adhesive....may scratch aluminum a little but it will be covered up with new tape....lol...jem
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:32 PM   #16
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Removing the Attractive Woodgrain Applique

Citristrip:

I was able to remove all but 15' of the decal from the 345 with only a handheld dryer. The aluminum sitting in the sun helped also.

On the 15' that gave me trouble, I hit with the Citristrip on a warm day, let it work about a half hour, and scraped it off with a plastic scraper.

The Citristrip did not remove all of the adhesive underneath, but there was not much of that left.

Now, I had to hit the black accent stripes above and below the woodgrain several times with Citristripto loosen them up.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:52 PM   #17
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I'm getting ready to remove mine soon. Anxiously awaiting Jeff's results.

Dennis...looks cool without the stripe. Are you leaving it "natural"? Also...is that some polished aluminum I see?
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:51 PM   #18
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...looks cool without the stripe. Are you leaving it "natural"?

The jury is still out on what goes back, if anything.

It will be easier to add rather than to take it away.
I will probably try some vinyl "test areas" prior to installing permanent decals or striping.



Also...is that some polished aluminum I see?


Yeah, no turning back now. There were areas that the clearcoat was letting go (none left on the roof at all), so to do it right, it all needed to come off.

I've tried SS, nuvite, and a 3M compound.

No outstanding technique yet.

Tonight, I'll give it a shot with wetsanding with 1000 and 1200 grit paper.
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Old 09-25-2003, 07:14 PM   #19
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Wow...Can't Wait to see it

Wow...you are way ahead of me on what we've been planning for our exterior. We saw a pic of that highly polished AS MH on the "favorite MH pic" thread about a year ago and that was the clincher for us to buy an AS. I know you can't get the newer MH's to polish up to a mirror shine but I've tried a few small test spots and I like the look a lot.

Keep me posted on your progress and techniques please. I still have some mechanical things to work on with ours which are keeping me from the "fun" stuff (like polishing and interior changes). But I do plan to polish the nose in October.
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Old 09-25-2003, 07:45 PM   #20
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Steve:

I've had the 345 since January, and for the first 3 months there was not more than 1 day that I was not underneath of her.

I'm glad that THAT part of our relationship is over!

Basically, I picked a really sound unit, but the interior carpet and upholstery were really gross.

After replacing the carpet with Pergo, redoing the upholstery, captains chairs, and all of the interior side panels, I really like what I've ended up with.

Had to replace the forward AC, that was not expected, but I've mounted an interior AC that's vented and drained to the outside via the couch area. Used the area forward of the Propane tank for a downward air vent and tied the drain into the overhead AC drain. WIth quick connects and valves on the water drain, the changeout to the interior AC is quick and easy. The unit also acts as a heater/dehumidifer, so I've pretty well got all of the seasons covered.

I built a 55' X 16' X 14' tall carport over the driveway next to the house, the heat load from the sun was unbelievable down here. Also, I no longer worry everytime a thunderboomer rolls through.

It's been a long and expensive summer, but the end is in sight.

Really looking forward to using her now that the weather is cooling off.
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Old 09-26-2003, 02:21 AM   #21
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Try Goo -gone

This product work great a removing glue residue.. used it to take tape residue off my camper trailer that I used to have .. and than washed off it off with soap and water.. have used it on many things.. available here in Canada at Canadian tire and I believe Walmart.. Annie1976
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Old 09-26-2003, 10:49 PM   #22
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The Continuing Saga

Now, I'm really PO'd (and that doesn't stand for Previous Owner in this case). Deposited another buck to the "cuss jar" today (the Wife can hear plasphemy from 100 yards away, with the vacuum cleaner running, and count them as fast as I spit them out - how do they do that?, must be their training from bringing up children)!

Out of desperation, violated my own principles of avoiding nasty strippers. Suited up and applied a coat of Savogran Strypeeze (with Acetone, Toluene, Methanol AND Methylene Chloride). Got a nice "buzz", but the results were still the same, albeit in 1 hour versus 4 hours. The decal came off, BUT the glue is still there!

In case you're wondering why I have so much spare time on my hands, I was semi-retired after selling my business. But, got called back to do some consulting on the EPA Hudson River PCB (makes the fish taste bad) dredging project.

I'll be involved with siting the dredge spoil landfill(s) on shore from the operation. The majority of people and Government are in favor of dredging the River, but where do you put the waste - NIMBY (not in my backyard)! The "watchdog committee and pollution posse" are on the move and the signs are up, i.e. "Dump the Dump", etc. Should be interesting.

So, it may be a while before I get back to the Airstream project and this Forum.

But, I thank all of you wonderful people for responding to my requests for help. And please, "Practice Safe Stripping"!

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 09-27-2003, 08:13 AM   #23
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Dennis- how bout some interior photos of those new panels and flooring?


Also as for the stripe removal, I striped over my old woodgrain. You could never tell even looking at it closely. Maybe too late to do that now if the striping is partially off.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:18 PM   #24
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I'm Stripping Now

Got up this morning and decided to attack the decal stripping project by "brute force". Realizing I've got to get up and go to work Monday (like most normal people), can't waste any more weekend daylight hours surfing AirstreamForums or questioning the local "expert's" about which magic potion to try next.

Got to get on with it or the old girl will be under a blanket of snow before long - wish I'd built a carport, like Dennis, years ago and wouldn't be doing this project now.

Anyhow, no more messing around with test panels. Masked off the whole driver's side (South side- remember this). Then plastered on a generous coating of "Back to Nature's MultiStrip" - I swear by it (not at it).

Went back to where I had previously left off and began scraping away again, inch by inch. Remembering the Silver Bullet's advice, I got a lot more aggressive with the razor knife. Yeh, it leaves some scratches but gets the job done. After all, this area is going to be sanded (320 grit), etched, primed, painted and covered by a new decal later on.

Not sure I would recommend getting this aggressive scraping if you're going to clearcoat or polish. But I did try a test strip with the 320 grit on an orbital sander, then messed around a bit with 1500/2500 grit by hand. It was starting to polish up the way you Big Boys do it, with no sign of the razor knife scratches, but you didn't here that from me.

Well, about a half hour into stripping and painting, I look down the coach and see stuff peeling off and falling to the ground. (Strangely enough, Don Boyd called me from Arizona last night to answer some questions and we got off on religious topics - I'm suspecting he might have said a prayer for me)! Not sure if this is divine intervention or what, but someone's sure looking after me. Bottom line - finished the whole side in 5 hours! Actually had time left over to work on the "honey-do list".

Well I'm not going to dispel the idea of outside help, but looking at this scientifically (as an Engineer) think this is what happened: I started on the worst (South side, remember) part of the coach, which gets a lot of direct sunlight and has literally baked the plastic (decal) and glue (adhesive) to the metal. The part where the "miracle" happened has been shaded for years by a big lillac bush. Putting 1 + 1 together and finally coming up with an even number, think I have the answer - do you? Looking forward to going around to the other (North) side tomorrow and see if the theory is correct.

Now, Steven, it's time for you to start, "misery loves company". Here's a few tips I've learned in the past month:

1) Mask off area below rub rail with 4' wide (X 75') pretaped plastic (cheap and readily available). Put some cardboard down under the work area (driveway) cause you're going to make a sticky mess. Buy a 10 pack of heavy duty paper towel (blue ones), cause you're going to need them. Invest in a good pair of rubber gloves, splash goggles and wear a long sleeve shirt; that's all, no moon suit or respirator required.

2) Use "Back to Nature MultiStrip" - user friendly non-toxic and cleans up with water (try paint/wallpaper store). When it dries out, it's done working (longer is not better). 4 hours, as previously stated is too long - more like 30 min. on woodgrain decal and 1 hr. on background decal - observe bubbling. Leaving it overnight will cause you to start over. If you need more time to let it work, it has been suggested covering it with plastic to retain the mositure, but haven't tried that.

3) Strip the woodgrain decal first, then go after the background decal (with a plastic putty knife). Don't fret if everything doesn't come off with the first coat. Just get off what you can with reasonable effort, apply another coat of stripper and repeat (expect 2 to 4 times).

4) The glue (adhesive) will be your worst nightmare. I've yet to find a product that will take it off, even the very last remnants. Use the razor knife (perpendicular to the surface, not as a scraper). Once the gummy decals are gone, you can get pretty sloppy with the remaining residue. Any last traces may be sanded off, which tends to plug the paper rapidly. Try hand sanding, rather than by machine, to keep the heat down.

5) You will likely discover that the worst looking (weathered) areas strip the hardest and conversely the best looking areas strip the easiest.

6) If you don't already have one, start a "cuss jar" - the Wife keeps the proceeds and will get her involved in the project. (mine didn't get a penny today, I was a Happy Camper).

7) Keep the faith and remember, "You've got to be dumb enough to start it, and smart enough to finish it"!

I have some digital photos of the project which I will post, as soon as my "Computer Guru" (Don) "spoon feeds" me in getting them uploaded.

Now, with all this "sweat equity" invested, I'm thinking of customizing the decal replacement and trim paint with something more modern, as Alan and Peter have done. Any suggestions - pro or con.

Unfortunately, will probably be getting rid of my second love after all these years, due to changes in lifestyle. Wife says we have to dispose of "non-performing assets" - Airstream is #1 on the list, and think I may be #2

Thanks a bunch, people. I'm outta here - nuf (way too much) said.

Very Best Regards,
Jeff

"I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go".
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Old 09-28-2003, 05:24 PM   #25
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The glue (adhesive) will be your worst nightmare......

Some of the solvents I tried this weekend on the decal adhesive residue, and their grades I assigned for their performance in assisting the removal of the Attractive Woodgrain Decal adhesive on the 345.....


Citristrip F

Toluene F

MEK F

Mineral Spirits F

Goo Gone F

Acetone F

Xylene D-

There HAS to be a better way.

The application of Xyelene for a sufficient period of time (it dries quickly) was the only thing I found that even softened the adhesive a bit, then was able to scrape off a bit with a plastic scraping blade. Don't want to go the metal route just yet, I may want to leave it polished.

I tried wet sanding with 600 grit paper, but that did no good. I"ll try wet sanding with 360 next in a test area.

Luckily, I have only about 10 linear feet of the adhesive left to strip.

I'll try to find some "Back to Nature MultiStrip" to compare.


I'll try for some pics later this week.
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:05 PM   #26
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Misery Loves Company

Dennis:

Thanks for joining in - wish Steven would be "dumb enough to start it" so we could make it a threesome

Quote:
Some of the solvents I tried this weekend on the decal adhesive residue
<Snip>

Wow, you're into the High Test stuff. Here's some more chemicals to add to the list, that I tried out of desperation (the night I got into the Heineken and tried everything under my workbench and kitchen sink) - all got an F:

3M Woodgrain & Stripe Remover
3M Woodgrain & Stripe Adhesive Remover
3M General Purpose Adhesive Remover
NAPA Enamel Reducer
NAPA Lacquer Thinner
NAPA Kleanzeasy Surface Cleaner
DuPont Tar & Bug Remover
CRC Brakleen
Gumout Carb & Choke Cleaner
Brake Fluid
Starting Fluid (Ether)
Windshield Deicer (Methyl Alcohol)
WD-40
PVC Primer
Goo-Gone
Goof-Off
Baby Oil - Liquid & Gel (Mineral oil)
Vinegar
Ammonia
Clorox
Heineken
Heineken - sprayed on after filtered thru kidneys

Mechanical means that I've tried (in order) include:

Plastic Putty Knife
Scotch Pad
Razor Knife
Orbital Sander (320 grit)
Heat Gun - 1400 degrees (aluminum melts at 1600 degrees)

Mechanical means that I've considered (in order), but fear would damage the aluminum include:

12 Gauge Shotgun (00 Bird Shot)
Dynamite (40% Nitro)
Shoulder Launched Missile (Stinger or equivalent)
Small Thermonuclear Device (100 Kiloton)

Now, it's obvious you and I combined have more chemical weapons in our arsenal than Iraq. Hope the Feds don't monitor this Forum for "buzz words", or we're in BIG trouble.

Quote:
There HAS to be a better way.
I wish.

Quote:
Luckily, I have only about 10 linear feet of the adhesive left to strip.
Lucky you! I turned the corner today and am starting around on the good (North) side - things are looking up.

Quote:
I'll try to find some "Back to Nature MultiStrip" to compare.
Good stuff, I swear (oops) by it.

Quote:
I'll try for some pics later this week.
Me too, as soon as I get some "hand-holding" from Don (where are you, Guru?).

Gotta go and deal with the "restless natives" on the Hudson River this week. Woo-woo!

See ya,
Jeff

P.S. Have discovered that the biggest problem on my project (as pointed out by the Wife) is the owner/operator - an impatient, procrastinating, perfectionist Engineer, not a good candidate for the job
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:11 PM   #27
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I may look dumb...but...

I think I'll wait for you two to finish first

Unforetunately I'm still in the mechanical stages with mine...appearance improvements will have to wait. But...when I do start, I'll have two shining examples (mirror shine that is) to follow!
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:31 PM   #28
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see what you two made me do!

OK...got tired of working on stuff under the MH so I grabbed the aircraft paint stripper, some aluminum polish and an old towl.

Here is about five minutes of hand rubbing and buffing. (the reflection is my fence next to the MH). Figured the grey needs to come off anyway so its a good place to test polishing techniques without committing to the entire polishing job.

Read a little about wet sanding first to get the grain out then hitting it with SS using my 7" Snap-On polisher/buffer. Apparently you can get a mirror shine on post a 81 AS. Might test this next weekend.

I can see where this could look great and easily eat up many weekends polishing instead of camping. Since I keep it at the office maybe I could have a polishing hour instead of lunch?

The woodgrain is calling to me...can you hear it?
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