How many of you DIYers have tried to remove striping, vinyl lettering, or even bumper stickers and found it to be a tedious, if not impossible job? During the course of my GL 1000 resto, I found something pretty remarkable and inexpensive to do this task.
It's made by Astro Pneumatic Tool Company and is available through NAPA stores, and likely elsewhere. The cost....under $10. It's a rubber compound disc that you use with a drill that is rated at no more than 4000 RPM. There is a significant caution on the packaging about the drill speed.
Basically, you just use light pressure and it "erases" the material! I had my doubts, but I needed something to remove the striping from the Vetter luggage to do the repainting. The harsh chemicals one might use on metals to remove striping were out of the question as this stuff will very likely damage fiberglass and plastics also. Heat is also used commonly, but again, damage to the plastic was a very real danger. What to use? I posed this to my paint guy at NAPA and this is what he recommended.
Here's how it works. This is the "before" picture of one of the saddlebag lids.
Now, I attached the Astro disc to my Hilti cordless drill and started to "erase". You use the edge of the disc, not the flat. Remember, light pressure is only needed. Heavy pressure will enhance the wear on the pad and damage the painted surface. The pad does wear during the course of removing the material, but it looks like you could do the complete striping of several full size trucks before it wears to the point of discarding it. The are markings on the pad for when it gets worn to the point of tossing it. It is a lot of pad and wears slowly.
What I saw in mere seconds was remarkable. The striping was gone! The paint was not damaged much less the plastic itself. There is a rubbery residue left behind on the surface, but this can be easily removed with a surface friendly solvent or polishing compound if the surface is not being refinished.
That's all there is to it. There is a smell of burning rubber that accompanies the work, but this is apparently normal as you are wearing the pad and heat is generated. No biggie.
Now, the end result.
Total time spent on this lid.....less than 3 minutes! Now, it's ready to light sand and primer for it's repaint.
Oh, this is something you won't want to do on the kitchen table if you like harmony in your home. The "erasing" process does make a bit of fine particles go all over the working surface.
I highly recommend this tool for your next refinishing job where there is a need to remove striping, etc.
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