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Old 19-01-2021, 09:36   #1
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Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

I need to get my steel hull to bare metal. I'm going to blast most of it but there's a narrow (5" wide) keel box that the sandblaster cannot get into. It's also difficult to get to properly with power tools or a scraper. Believe me I tried but I can't get enough force onto the tools to scrape or abrade the paint efficiently. The sandblaster recommended stripping it with "Aircraft Stripper" containing Methylene Chloride or MEK but these seem to be banned in USA and Canada and no longer available. Does anyone have experience with any currently available paint stripping products that will get through anti-fouling AND 2-part epoxies?
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Old 19-01-2021, 09:45   #2
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

MEK is available in the US. The restrictions on it are how it's shipped/handled. In small amounts (Liter or so) you can find it at your local hardware store. If you need a lot (but note that the shipping is more than the purchase price):

https://www.amazon.com/5-gallons-MEK...%2C195&sr=8-10

Nasty stuff.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:12   #3
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

If it's just bottom paint, I've had pretty good luck with hardware store citrus based stripper. Put it on thick, cover with thin plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) and don't touch it for 24 hours. Warmer conditions seem to help and it may require more than one application. It would be easy enough to do a smalll test patch before purchasing the stripper needed for the whole job. I agree with the previous poster that MEK is available in small quantities. In the US different states have different availability. No idea in regards to Canada.
Either way be sure to use the appropriate PPE.
Good luck,
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Old 19-01-2021, 23:47   #4
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Are you talking about the inside of a box keel? If so I suggest you just seal it with a plate welded in and then you will not have the problem.


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Old 20-01-2021, 01:42   #5
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
Are you talking about the inside of a box keel? If so I suggest you just seal it with a plate welded in and then you will not have the problem.


Regards,
Richard.


Best solution if it's possible.
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Old 20-01-2021, 09:38   #6
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

None of the chemical strippers work today. Might try a heat gun.
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Old 20-01-2021, 10:36   #7
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Aircraft paint remover will work. It's used in many autobody shopes throughout our country
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Old 20-01-2021, 10:39   #8
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Jasco is close to Aircraft Stripper but MECL is what sort of works on cured epoxy. You can't buy any of the old fashioned "good stuff" anymore. Mechanically removing cured epoxy is the best way to do it. There is no stripper that really works well on epoxy.

Needle descaler? Try renting a sandblaster with vacuum recovery? You can extend the tip with steel pipe. Tent it and shop vac it works OK but tedious with a small blaster.

Burning it off might work if possible. It's how you clean off metal tools that have hardened resin on them. All the caveats about respirator, fire extinguisher, etc, etc...and be very, very very careful. Heat gun maybe if you can get it in there.
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Old 20-01-2021, 15:20   #9
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Many industrial PVC glues use MEK. It is usually available in 4 litre or larger cans as solvent for clean up, thinning etc.
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Old 20-01-2021, 15:35   #10
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Methylene chloride is what used to be in "aircraft stripper" and other good auto body paint strippers. Works great but it's carcinogenic. MEK is a good solvent but will do little to cured two part epoxies. Sorry I should have written DCM, not MECL
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Old 20-01-2021, 15:54   #11
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Jabsco paint and epoxy. Doesn't work well on full-on epoxy, but works well on paint over steel. May takes a couple coats. Price doubled recently to about $45/gal at home depot.

Wear gloves. By scrapers and wire brush. Still not easy, but best I've found.

BTW - jabsco is the only brand. The other brands next to it that appear to be same are not the same.

Peter
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Old 20-01-2021, 16:04   #12
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Jabsco paint and epoxy. Doesn't work well on full-on epoxy, but works well on paint over steel. May takes a couple coats. Price doubled recently to about $45/gal at home depot.

Wear gloves. By scrapers and wire brush. Still not easy, but best I've found.

BTW - jabsco is the only brand. The other brands next to it that appear to be same are not the same.

Peter
X2. Exactly so. Stuff just doesn't work as well without the nasty stuff in it. Like toluene in carb cleaner and carbon tetrachloride in brake cleaner. "Aircraft Stripper" did indeed used to be the go to stripper at the auto body supply store but the new formula simply doesn't work as well. More so anything that you can buy it in California.

If you can scratch the surface it'll help. Anything to let the stripper get under the coating because it's not going to dissolve it if it's two part epoxy.
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Old 20-01-2021, 16:23   #13
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Have used soy gel non toxic to strip most paints in tight places ,may take more than one application ,but safe to use wash out with fresh water. ⚓️⛵️
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Old 20-01-2021, 17:02   #14
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Apparently MEK just does not work on cured epoxy paints. Searching the internet leads me to believe that the wonderful "inertness" of cured epoxy is its greatest attribute along with amazing adhesion. So . . .
If you can't remove the paint in the keel box using MEK then it is probably an epoxy paint, so I would suggest you leave it there and save a lot of angst. The welding also sounds like a good idea as well. Maybe with a filler cap to fill the space with something that will look after the steel inside such as a hydraulic (alkaline) oil or maybe even just a caustic solution (NaOH), even concrete (which does have alkaline properties). Ask around the steel work shops. The problem with the welding is that it will probably damage the external paint on the keel, but if you have access to a professional blaster that could be managed. Welding may even make for a stronger keel!
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Old 20-01-2021, 17:31   #15
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Re: Best paint removers to get to bare metal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
None of the chemical strippers work today. Might try a heat gun.
Heat gun with a respirator. That's what I'd try.
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