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Old 19-11-2014, 10:48   #1
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Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Trying to get all the old glue off the interior fiberglass is a real pain. This boat had glued foam rubber with vinyl over it. I don't know what adhesive Catalac used, it reminds me of contact cement. Still semi soft and difficult to remove. I don't want to use lacquer thinner inside the cabins. I've tried sanding sponges, an both hand held and spinning wire brushes.

Now I'm wondering if perhaps one of those hot air guns might make this stuff easier to peel off. Has anyone tried one for this purpose?
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Old 19-11-2014, 11:05   #2
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

An ordinary blow dryer will work, if not try peanut butter or cooking oil
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Old 19-11-2014, 11:08   #3
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

I hesitate to use any oils because we're painting some of it.
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Old 19-11-2014, 11:16   #4
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

How about Goof -Off?

Goof Off 16-oz. Professional Strength Remover-FG654 at The Home Depot
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:05   #5
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

I tried Goof Off. And a couple other "citrus based" products. One was slightly better, but in general it made more of a mess than it was worth.

I hit it with an 1800 watt hair dryer yesterday, just to see if heat might help. And it definitely did help to a small degree. I found that if I just work real gently around the edge of a section of glue, and get it loose without ripping it off, then the heat applied to it makes it a little easier to slowly, slowly SLOWLY peel it off in one much larger piece. The heat makes the old glue flexible again.
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:24   #6
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

MEK is what you really need for removing old glue,works a charm.
it is a solvent but it will save hours of risky burning

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Old 30-11-2014, 06:17   #7
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Find someone with OCD and leave them alone in the boat for a couple of days. They won't stop until it is all off…

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Old 30-11-2014, 07:13   #8
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Been reading the forums for the a few months. Finally found a topic in which I can contribute, so I joined. I'm a chemist in real life.

atoll is correct: MEK is a good bet. However, an easier alternative is acetone, which can be purchased in large quantities very cheaply at any home center. If you want to first test whether it will work for you, borrow a bit of fingernail polish remover from someone...it's also acetone.

If you find acetone to be too harsh, you can back off with alcohol (isopropanol or isoproyl alcohol from any drug store or supermarket). If you find acetone to be too weak, you might see a slight improvement with MEK, but will find that a much stronger solvent such as paint thinner (mineral spirits) will do the job. However, that stuff is pretty harsh, and not pleasant to breath. Be sure you have good ventilation, because not only is it toxic, but it's very flammable.

I recommend starting with acetone first.
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Old 30-11-2014, 07:35   #9
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Likely its contact cement, which is a bitch to remove. For me two Guatemalans worked really well.
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Old 30-11-2014, 07:48   #10
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

One thing to try is sharpened acrylic scrapers. I took an old sheet of 1/2" acrylic, from a fish tank, and cut it into a variety of slugs @ 6"x1" and then bevel sharpened one end and rounded the edges on a belt sander. I use them all the time when working on fiberglass. They will strip 5200 off easily without damaging the gelcoat at all. Gotta keep them sharp though as they dull pretty quickly.
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Old 30-11-2014, 07:48   #11
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
For me two Guatemalans worked really well.
Two of those with OCD and that boat wouldn't have a speck left on it!

Unfortunately, the OP has alliumphobia, so that rules out Guatemala for him.

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Old 30-11-2014, 08:21   #12
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

I second the suggestion to try a heat gun. The thing most people do wrong with a heat gun is heat ones small spot and try to remove the glue (or tape, registration sticker, etc.). Work the heat gun back and forth and be patient. If the glue is not releasing, keep going. Once you can begin to peel it off, just another minute or so is best. If you own a boat you need a heat gun. Harbor Freight has inexpensive ones that will do just fine. Be careful where and how you set it down when it' still hot.

I also second the suggestion to use acetone. The trick here is to first test the surface to make sure the acetone won't damage it (acetone will damage many plastics). Then, saturate the glue with acetone and allow enough time for the acetone to loosen the glue. Wipe it off with a cloth or paper towels and keep changing the cloth or towel so you're not just spreading the glue over the surface. You may gave to repeat this process a couple times. If you're working indoors, provide ventilation.

If you own a boat you need a can of acetone. Don't bother with nail polish remover, a can of acetone is $8 at your local home center or paint store. Don't remove the metal seal under the cap, just punch a hole in it with a screwdriver or awl.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:46   #13
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re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Two of those with OCD and that boat wouldn't have a speck left on it!

Unfortunately, the OP has alliumphobia, so that rules out Guatemala for him.

Mark
Fear of garlic?

...must be from all the stress of being an international spy! ;-)
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:15   #14
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Re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Fear of garlic?
Actually, the broader term describes fear of the Allium genus, which includes leeks.

Garlic just happens to be the most common form, but we all know Canibul is not common…

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Old 01-12-2014, 09:16   #15
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Re: Heat Gun for Glue removal?

Ah, that makes more sense. "Leaka-phobia".
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