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Thread: Non Chemical Paint Stripping.

  1. #1

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    Non Chemical Paint Stripping.

    I need to paint my Aeronca Sedan wings. Has anyone had any luck with a non chemical stripper method, like walnut shells or buffing on aluminum? Thanks!

  2. #2
    DaleB's Avatar
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    I have not tried those methods, but Citristrip works well on most paint. It's not a methylene chloride based stripper, no strong solvent smell. In fact not much smell at all, just a mild orange aroma. We've stripped dressers and chests in the basement and you can't smell anything in the house. Finish comes off like it was never stuck to begin with, and the stripper isn't HAZMAT. My plane is painted with some sort of automotive base/clear and Citristrip takes it right off of metal.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  3. #3
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    I know people who have used both walnut hulls & soda blasting on aluminum, & depending on the panel thickness you have to be very careful that the blasting process does not warp the panel from the pressure of the media hitting it. Soda blasting seems to be preferred as it is a more delicate material. (See this link - http://www.eastwood.com/abrasive-bla...int-with-media ) That said, I know more than just a few people who have had to have at least portions of their show cars re painted (if not the whole car) due to chemical paint stripper not being thoroughly cleaned out of cracks between the panels then seeping out later & ruining the paint.

  4. #4

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    They make a plastic blasting media specifically for fiberglass and aluminum. I have used it in my bead blast cabinet on aluminum and it works great, no reforming the substrate. I'd estimate it will cost about 3 - 5x more than chemical stripping. There's also soda blasting, will take a long, long time to do set of wings. I'd go with the chemical strip option.

  5. #5

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    Thanks, folks. Food for thought. Anyone know if the soda blasting or Citristrip is corrosive? I'll have to look at the cost but a little extra time isn't a deal breaker at this point. Getting a lot of water to my work area is a hassle so something other than chemical stripper would be preferred.

  6. #6

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    Even if you had $100,000 in equipment and a special hangar to recycle plastic media it would still take more time than stripper.

  7. #7

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    Baking soda is neutral. It won't cause any corrosion.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    Even if you had $100,000 in equipment and a special hangar to recycle plastic media it would still take more time than stripper.
    To some time it requires is a low priority. Time is all we have.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Downey View Post
    To some time it requires is a low priority. Time is all we have.
    Stripper is cheaper. Stripping the two Sedan wings is easy if the wings are removed from the airplane. Because if assembled, doing the bottom by reaching overhead is hard to brush on stripper. My paint shop used a stripper spray gun for assembled airplanes.

    Brush on a 1/8" thick coat of Methylene chloride stripper and use a stiff brush to scrub it around to mix with the paint. Repeat with more stripper til bare. Then wipe it all off with rags before it dries with a few gallons of water from a bucket if the water is short (as the the original poster said). Use a pressure washer to blast the seams if possible.

  10. #10

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    Home Depot sell a stripper that comes with a little spray bottle for applying the stripper, works rather well. best have all the protective equipment installed. don't allow that stuff to get on you.

    I spray about 2 square feet, allow it to work, then move the old paint and stripper to an other area. reapply stripper to the first area and brush the paint that didn't come off on the first application, when it is all removed, I use a 3"X6" piece of .016 2024 aluminum to gently move the stripper over to the new area. then scrub the first area with soap and water, rinse and move on.
    Last edited by Tom Downey; 05-20-2017 at 12:27 AM.

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