Discussion:
Paint stripping with brake fluid
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C. Dewick
2008-05-12 20:34:56 UTC
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I've read many positive comments on this method, and passed them on, too,
but I've never done it myself. I'm about to try it, as it's said to be
safe for styrene. But I have a couple of questions.
How long does it take, typically? Does it just soften the paint, or does
it lift it off the plastic? What about clean up of the stripped part -
soap and water?
Thanks for any and all tips.
--
wolf k.
A couple tips.
The active ingredient in the brake fluid is volatile, so be sure to cover
the jar or pan in which you are soaking your component. I find this greatly
extends the useful paint removal life of the fluid.
Also remember that regular brake fluid (the DOT-3 or DOT-4 varieties at
least) are hygroscopic so they absorb water and in doing so change
composition. So that's another reason to use it in a sealed space (such as
an old glass fish tank with a well-fitting cover).
I prefer to soak bodies in vertical jars or cans rather than horizontal
trays - they seem to take less fluid to submerge the component, and the are
easier to close re. the tip above. I have an old Planters peanut glass jar
that is perfect for a 40' HO boxcar body.
Yep that's a good idea.
If you find that you don't have enough brake fluid to cover the component
you are soaking, remember you can raise the level by adding fillers to the
jar/tray. It happens that my wife keeps her garden and flower stuff near
the deep sink where I do paint removal, and she has a supply of glass
marbles she once used for some display. I find borrowing some of the
marbles works well to fill a soaking container, particularly if I'm working
on the occasional O scale piece, and so far has gone undetected by spouse.
Geezer
Yeah marbles are really good since they're inert as far as brake fluid is
concerned and will have effect on the job at hand.

Craig.
--
Craig Dewick - HO-Scale Railway Modeller and Professional Train Manager at
http://lios.apana.org.au/~craigd or ***@lios.apana.org.au if you're game!
RailZone Australia - http://www.railzone.org - No Fundies! No RailCorp CodeCon!
http://lios.apana.org.au/mailman/listinfo/aus_rail_safety for Oz Rail Safety
Peter W.
2008-05-13 04:40:50 UTC
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On May 12, 4:34 pm, C. Dewick <***@lios.apana.org.au> wrote:
...
Post by C. Dewick
Also remember that regular brake fluid (the DOT-3 or DOT-4 varieties at
least) are hygroscopic so they absorb water and in doing so change
composition. So that's another reason to use it in a sealed space (such as
an old glass fish tank with a well-fitting cover).
...
Post by C. Dewick
Craig Dewick
That is why IMO brake fluid is more trouble that it is worth for
stripping models. I also had bad experiences (softened, discolored
and frosted plastic) when I tried the brake fluid in the past.

There are plenty of less cumbersome methods. I use several chemicals
depending on the job at hand.

If I'm stripping a metal parts I use a strong stripper such as
"Aircraft Stripper". It contains chemicals such as methylene chloride
and it'll strip pretty much anything. There are few others available.
But if those are used on plastic parts they'll turn them into gooey
mess.

On plastic I use more delicate strippers. My arsenal includes
Denatured or Isopropyl Alcohol (or a mixture of one of those with a
little acetone), Polly S Easy Lift Off, Scalecoat paint remover,
Castrol Super Clean (or a generic equivalent) and and couple of others
which I don't recall at this point.

Some of those seem to work better with certain types of paints
(lacquers, enamels). I basically experiment. If one doesn't work I
dunk the part in another one until I find one that will do the job.

Peteski
SixthtySixthSix
2008-07-09 05:29:22 UTC
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i like oven cleaner for stripping paint - it seems to simply not react with
hydrocarbon-based plastics...
Post by C. Dewick
I've read many positive comments on this method, and passed them on, too,
but I've never done it myself. I'm about to try it, as it's said to be
safe for styrene. But I have a couple of questions.
How long does it take, typically? Does it just soften the paint, or does
it lift it off the plastic? What about clean up of the stripped part -
soap and water?
Thanks for any and all tips.
--
wolf k.
A couple tips.
The active ingredient in the brake fluid is volatile, so be sure to cover
the jar or pan in which you are soaking your component. I find this greatly
extends the useful paint removal life of the fluid.
Also remember that regular brake fluid (the DOT-3 or DOT-4 varieties at
least) are hygroscopic so they absorb water and in doing so change
composition. So that's another reason to use it in a sealed space (such as
an old glass fish tank with a well-fitting cover).
I prefer to soak bodies in vertical jars or cans rather than horizontal
trays - they seem to take less fluid to submerge the component, and the are
easier to close re. the tip above. I have an old Planters peanut glass jar
that is perfect for a 40' HO boxcar body.
Yep that's a good idea.
If you find that you don't have enough brake fluid to cover the component
you are soaking, remember you can raise the level by adding fillers to the
jar/tray. It happens that my wife keeps her garden and flower stuff near
the deep sink where I do paint removal, and she has a supply of glass
marbles she once used for some display. I find borrowing some of the
marbles works well to fill a soaking container, particularly if I'm working
on the occasional O scale piece, and so far has gone undetected by spouse.
Geezer
Yeah marbles are really good since they're inert as far as brake fluid is
concerned and will have effect on the job at hand.
Craig.
--
Craig Dewick - HO-Scale Railway Modeller and Professional Train Manager at
RailZone Australia - http://www.railzone.org - No Fundies! No RailCorp CodeCon!
http://lios.apana.org.au/mailman/listinfo/aus_rail_safety for Oz Rail Safety
Peter W.
2008-07-12 02:51:26 UTC
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Post by SixthtySixthSix
i like oven cleaner for stripping paint - it seems to simply not react with
hydrocarbon-based plastics...
That is true. However, make sure to get one containing lye. Some of
today's oven cleaner sprays use other chemicals which might not strip
the paint or might actually melt the plastic. Oven cleaner is also a
pain to use as you have to spray it out which results in a fine spray
of very irritating mist (if you're not careful). I prefer using
liquids containing lye, such as Castrol Super Clean (or one of the
generic versions) or "Strip A Kit" from Hangar 3 Arlee (email:
doghaus at montana dot com).

Peteski

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