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#893819 10/23/22 3:01 am
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About to start removing the black paint on my 1971 BSA A75RV which was dove grey originally.
I intend to get it down to bare metal and repaint with dove grey.
I understand that the best paint strippers contain methylene chloride but all the strippers I see advertised make a pointy of saying "contains no methylene chloride".
Does anyone have a source for really aggressive paint strippers which I think must contain methylene chloride?
Many thanks in advance for any info.

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Probably "marine" paint strippers, which boat rebuilders use.

I agree that most of the common ones on the market today aren't really very good at doing the job
I'm stripping a Triumph gas tank and am mow opening the second quart of the stuff to strip the last third of the tank.

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Richard, one stripping technique I use, lay on a layer of stripper, then cover it with some thin stretchy plastic, let it work, then scrape, then repeat. Given the precautions of working with nasty strippers, heavy rubber gloves, the mess and waste and cleanup, the organ- and brain-destroying fumes, I try to use the gentler kinds of strippers.

But what about using your soda-blasting setup?


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A wire wheel on a pistol drill did my paint stripping , slightly less unpleasant than using stripper chemicals, a lot more noisy.


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As far as I'm aware, paint stripper containing methylene chloride is banned in the US, so I don't think you will find any in the shops. I think its also banned in the UK

Maybe try one of the alternatives and/or a hot air paint stripper gun and as Gavin suggests a wire wheel on a drill.

Years ago when I stripped my A65 frame which had been coated in Hammerite, used Nitromoors together with jet washing and a scraper in the nooks and crannys. It took repeated coats to get the Hammerite off and remember the Nitromoors burning my skin, it was good strong stuff.

No idea how well modern paint strippers work but assume they must be OK, might be worth reading some online reviews.

I assume grit blasting is not an option, but another commercial option might be to find a classic car paint stripping company that can dip the entire frame in a vat of stripping chemicals.

Last edited by gunner; 10/24/22 6:25 pm. Reason: Removed "by the Obama Govt in 2017"

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Originally Posted by gunner
As far as I'm aware, paint stripper containing methylene chloride was banned
Let's keep politics out of Britbike. A ban was proposed by the EPA in 2017, but was finalized in 2019, so crossed Administrations. However, the only relevant thing is whether the scientific evidence for banning it was well-founded. It was quite useful in industrial paint stripping operations so, like many documented examples, it's certainly possible that it would have been banned earlier had there not been lobbying against doing so.

According to the CDD "Methylene chloride (CH2Cl2) is a colorless liquid that can harm the eyes, skin, liver, and heart. Exposure can cause drowsiness, dizziness, numbness and tingling limbs, and nausea. It may cause cancer. Severe exposure can cause loss of consciousness and death." Because it is nearly odorless, the point at which you can smell it is 10× higher than the level that is considered dangerous. On the face of it, it sounds like the ban was justified.

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No problem MM, presidents name removed and post updated smile


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Originally Posted by gunner
I think its also banned in the UK
It is banned from sale to the general public. If you go to a commercial chemical supplier you can still buy it in the UK.

Originally Posted by Magnetoman
On the face of it, it sounds like the ban was justified.
I did some reading up on this chemical when I was doing some paint stripping a while ago (after the bans had come in). From what I can gather there were some fatalities that were traced back to this chemical that initiated the relevant authorities looking at what they should do.

As I mentioned above, in the UK you can get it if you go to the right place, not sure about in the US.

Depending on the type of paint, one alternative is Sodium Hydroxide ( Caustic Soda in the UK, Lye in the US) which is very good at stripping some types of paint, its worth a try as its very cheap so if it doesn't strip your type of paint then its not a huge loss.

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Originally Posted by George Kaplan
Depending on the type of paint, one alternative is Sodium Hydroxide ( Caustic Soda in the UK, Lye in the US)
An important addendum to that is, do NOT use lye to strip paint from aluminum, because NaOH vigorously attacks Al.

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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
Originally Posted by George Kaplan
Depending on the type of paint, one alternative is Sodium Hydroxide ( Caustic Soda in the UK, Lye in the US)
An important addendum to that is, do NOT use lye to strip paint from aluminum, because NaOH vigorously attacks Al.


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I've stripped 3 frames. Use a wire cup in an angle grinder. A drill doesn't have enough oomph.

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Tridentman, have a look at POR 15, about 6 years ago I bought a gallon of their paint stripper, it was the only thing that would touch the paint which was on my 400/4 tank and side panels. Used other methylene chloride paint strippers which were not as powerful.

From memory it was very potent and had to be used outside.

MEK might work if it’s mixed with something but on its own it will evaporate too quickly and the vapours will send you batty in the mean time. It works better as a de-greaser. For those who don’t know MEK and methylene chloride are not the same thing.


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Starchem Synstryp is the one to use, but wear arm length gloves, goggles and respirator.
Work outdoors

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Rustoleum Aircraft Remover seems to be one of the better modern paint removers, claiming it needs only 10 mins to remove paint.

See this YouTube demo [video:youtube]
[/video]


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Gunner, I believe that is the old Rustoleum with methylene chloride. That video was made in 2016 before it was outlawed. I've used the old stuff and it acted just like that. I've also tried the new Rustoleum "aircraft stripper " and all it does is make a big gooey mess and doesn't start to remove the paint. Don't waste your money.

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Well spotted, I didn't notice the video was from 2016, here's a video of someone using the new formula Rustoleum, which seems to work for them. I expect the effectiveness of the paint stripper differs depending on various factors such as paint type, thickness, etc. So it's going to be hit-and-miss finding the best one for a specific application.

[img]
[/img]

Last edited by gunner; 10/23/22 11:59 pm.

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It might work on some paints but I didn't have much luck with 50 yo enamel.

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Originally Posted by htown70
It might work on some paints but I didn't have much luck with 50 yo enamel.
Agreed, but it works pretty well to strip rattle-can paint before sending something off to the paint shop.


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Like the UK it would appear that the US has banned Methylene Chloride paint strippers from the retail market but it is still available for business too business use. Therefore if you want a paint stripper that actually strips paint it might be worth taking a box of beer to your local paint or vehicle restoration shop.

If I was to call it pleasant stuff I would be lying but like so many things that overzealous regulations seek to ban it does require a dose of common sense when you use it!


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Rod, that's the problem.
Because a few stupid people have NO "common sense," in an effort to "protect" them from themselves these regulations affect all of us.

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Jeez... Eastman Kodak is among the few stupid people with no common sense....


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Here's a place with methylene chloride stripper available.
Benco b-17 stripper

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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
Because a few stupid people have NO "common sense," in an effort to "protect" them from themselves these regulations affect all of us.
By definition, 50% of the population have IQ less than 100, and common sense tells me a significant fraction of the people most likely to use paint stripper aren't in the genius category. Common sense also tells me that if people are able to buy products containing hazardous chemicals, many of them will incorrectly assume it is safe for them to use those products despite warnings in 6 pt. font printed on the sides of the cans that common sense tells me they won't read.

Personally, weighing the inconvenience to TM (and me) of not being able to buy paint stripper with methylene chloride, against the well-documented serious health hazards to a significant fraction of potential users of that product, common sense tells me sales of that product should be restricted. But, of course, I could be wrong about this because it's just my common sense talking.

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Quote
Personally, weighing the inconvenience to TM (and me) of not being able to buy paint stripper with methylene chloride, against the well-documented serious health hazards to a significant fraction of potential users of that product, common sense tells me sales of that product should be restricted.

Completley agree, and what worries me is the undercurrent of opinion which seems to assume any modern non methyene chloride paint stripper is somehow inferior and lacks the power of the earlier formulas.

It would be interesting to find a comparison between the original methyline chloride paint strippers and modern equivalents. Even if the modern types are slower, then surely thats a price worth paying in exchange for the health hazards of methylene chloride?

Just my opinon of course.

Last edited by gunner; 10/24/22 7:37 pm.

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Gentlemen--- thank you all for your extremely useful comments-- I truly appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I last stripped the paint completely off a complete bike several years ago---in the context of the comments it was certainly before methylene chloride was banned. I must admit it was very easy--- using a brush I "painted" on the stripper and the paint bubbled up almost instantaneously.
But I have read and heard from friends that the current strippers (non metyhylene chloride) would not give Gypsy Rose Lee any competitive worries.

Incidentally a friend read this thread and called me recommending using a flame and a new wire brush.

Just as points of interest:
-- Gunner--it is a BSA Rocket Three so not an OIF.
-- Allan--- POR-15 no longer sell a paint stripper. I think they discontinued it when methylene chloride was banned. They used to be based about 15 miles from where I live, and they sponsor an Old Bike Night which I help to organize so I am pretty much up with their products.
-- Tony-- sorry-- I didn't get the Eastman Kodak reference

So--how am I going to approach the job?
It seems that there are four basic possible approaches. They are:

1. Use a wet stripper.
Either a widely available non methylene chloride stripper with plastic wrap as recommended by Kurt.
Or procure a methylene chloride stripper on a business to business basis. I am sure that I could get some if I put my mind to it but I read MMans quotes about the stuff and even if I did put my mind to it I am not sure there would be anything left of my mind afterwards (not that there is much to start with!).

2. Blasting.
Use sand/shot/bead/soda.
Of these I would only use soda blasting and have a soda blasting kit.
However I have to use it outside in the roadway and need a good fine day to do that.
Fall is definitely with us here in NJ and it is raining as I write this.
So-- possible but non preferred.

3. Mechanical.
Wire wheel alone or wire wheel/wire brush aided by hot air gun or flame.
As a point of interest I tried this out this afternoon on the A75RV brake pedal.
Using a hot air gun did not touch it but a flame with a wire brush did a good job.
A bit slow but retained all the fine features of the component.

4. Sodium Hydroxide
In a sense a variant of #1.
But needing outside usage and needing to flush generously with hot water makes it non preferred.

So I am going to start off at least with the old fashioned method of blow torch plus brush.
However I am not going to risk a flame on the rear suspension units so might just try a scraper and elbow grease on those components.

Thanks again for all your help.

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