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Metal Stripping

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  • Metal Stripping

    Okay, I've brought this up to a couple of other people locally and all have said it can be done but they aren't sure how.

    What I'm looking for is some kind of chemical that will strip down to the bare metal. Basically submerge a part in tihs chemical mixture, for a certian amount of time, pull it out, wash it off, dry and ready for the next coating.

    Basically lots of motor machine shops have something like this that they will clean your engine blocks free of grease, paints, etc. I will try whatever it is on a small scale (5-10 gallon tank) first and then go up from there to do larger items.

    I'm trying to get away from sandblasting everything I do. The initial cost will probably be larger but in the long run it has to be faster and cheaper.

    I'm not sure if it's some kind of acid mixture, or what it is that is used, and any help would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: Metal Stripping

    paint stripper (industrial), but if you do both steel and aluminium make sure your stripper is ok for aluminium. it should not be caustic based as caustic can seriously damage aluminium.


    • #3
      Re: Metal Stripping

      Do you have a name or company?
      Is it going to be something that I 'dip' parts in?


      • #4
        Re: Metal Stripping

        no i don t have a name . the stuff i use i buy here in montreal but you can probably find in your area if you do some research . and yes the stripper i use is liquid type not the gel type , when it is new most paint will strip in about an hour .and if i forget the part in the soution overnight it will not affect the material . filling a 10 gallon container costs about 350 $ . indutrial strippers is serious stuff wer goggles and special gloves at all times and the fumes are very strong too , not the kind of stuff you want to have in your basement.
        heres is the tecnical name of the product so you can find a company who sells such a product in your area dichloromethane )or (methylene chloride)
        make sure you are aware of all the health hazard warning about that product before using it .


        • #5
          Re: Metal Stripping

          Does not seem easy to find anything low cost that works well and is safe.

          Caswell sells Caswell Super Stripper, I read it works really well but not tried it myself yet. Stuff sounds great, sounds near perfect even, but costs like $60 a gallon or $240/5gal. I'll probably try that when I have the money, can't afford it right now though. I still need too many other things.

          For plain steel parts, valve covers, wheels, axles, etc..
          I am trying some lye and water now. Crystal drain cleaners like Draino or Red Devil, about $5 a can at the grocery store here. Lye can be some nasty stuff though. NEVER put aluminum in it!! Lye acts as a catalyst to break down water to Hydrogen and Oxygen when you put aluminum in the mix, the Oxygen literaly EATS the parts, you get an Aluminum Oxide sludge in the bottom of the tank and the part is gone. NO JOKE! I make Hydrogen this way from scrap aluminum.
          All the other safety stuff of course, the same as with any nasty cleaners or strippers you buy. Burns skin, can blind if in the eyes, maybe some fumes but I not noticed those yet, etc.. etc...
          I got a finger burn using Aircraft remover gel goop through my Nitral gloves, Lye won't be any worse, and cheaper than $10 a quart plus good for more than one use in a dipping tank! I'll never use the Aircraft Remover on steel parts again, I hate that stuff and costs too much, more dangerous than the LYE I think!

          All that said about Lye, I mixed a few gallons of water and 1 can a few days ago. I put in a Ford valve cover and let it sit. I check it at times. Yesterday it looked normal, but if I gently drag a screwdriver across it the paint chips off easy. I'll add another can of Lye soon and it will work faster. Eventually I will find how much I want to add of Lye per gallon of water to make it work as fast as I want, in my case over night will be fine. I may mix allot stronger small batch also for when I want something stripped fast. If you add cornstarch you can make it a gel and brush it on like Aircraft Remover. If you seal the part in a plastic tub or bag it keeps the gel from drying out also. Plastic food wrap may also work, but I have not tried that yet.
          Sometimes I may want to do a part that I don't have a tank for, a long bumper? In that case I'll make a gel myself.

          A LYE stripper is often used for removing paint for Masonary, concrete, bricks, etc.. even wood. Lye is one of the oldest paint strippers around, and allot safer for the environment than most store bought stuff. It's natural, you can make your own from wood ash if you have a wood burner or fireplace and burn much wood, I do but don't have any ash this time of year, will be about another month. I'll be saving the ash this year and leeching my own free Lye from it later.

          I have used it before in much stronger solutions on steel and such than I mixed up now, but it has been awhile.
          If you do a google search for "Lye paint stripper" or "Homemade paint strippers" etc.. you should get tons of results about using LYE. For steel it may be the best and cheapest stripper, but still need something else for aluminum though.


          • #6
            Re: Metal Stripping

            Neutralize the lye with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar.

            Would be good to keep a mix around the work area for safety in case of skin contact or spills etc.. and use splash resistant gogles or such. Working with nasty strippers, cleaners, and such I like a clear full face shield also.

            Just hosing a steel part off is probably good enough, but I will have a tank of 50/50 to dip my parts in after stripping and before the next step.


            • #7
              Re: Metal Stripping

              yes lye is one solution for stripping , but for me it takes too long and i do plenty of aluminium so i still need a stripper for it . and yes i have done the test of leaving a sample aluminium part in lye for 24 hours , it completely dissolved.


              • #8
                Re: Metal Stripping

                I was out of LYE today, could not find Red Devil so I bought Draino Crystals
                I hope they did not screw things up, it not the same stuff I had before.
                The can has what looks like metal shavings in it, actually looks like aluminum. I hope they did not do something stupid like add aluminum and other junk. Kinda a fine blue crystal power, some whiteish blue beads, metal? Not same stuff I used before!

                A by-product of making hydrogen with lye/water and aluminum is heat. Surely they did not add aluminum to dry lye to make heat to melt away grease when mixed with water?? Ya, that would be just what I would want comming out of my drain in the kitchen next to a stove with open flame pilot lights, HYDROGEN

                This stuff turned kinda blue liquid and a hard to see the bottom of the tub, but it sure did look like a black or gray aluminum oxide in the bottom when the fizzing stopped.

                I mixed a fairly strong solution, about 3-4 tablespoons to 1 quart water, it did not work as well as it should have so far.

                That valve cover I had been soaking looked the same this morning as yesterday when I checked it. Lighty drag a screwdriver over it and paint chipped off, but did not LOOK stripped. I hit it with a water hose to rinse it off and all but a few flakes of paint washed away. Heck it might have been done yesterday or even before?? I stuck a pulley in the tank tonight and will look in morning. That was a Draino that was old and did not have any metal shavings in it.


                • #9
                  Re: Metal Stripping

                  I don't like this draino junk I bought, forget draino. It cost me about $6!
                  I found at the normal old hardware store, 100% LYE in a larger bottle and only cost me $4
                  Kinda a generic label just says. "Drain opener, 100% lye" And that's just what I want

                  I took out a couple parts from the old draino lye I had and they washed clean with a water hose. What few flakes of paint did not rinse off rubbed off easy with a finger or wire brush.
                  That new Draino junk I just bought did nothing! And yes, I think it has aluminum shavings in it to make heat or something, when I dumped it today it certainly looked like aluminum oxides in the bottom of the pan.

                  SIMPLE GREEN, it removes paint if used full strength! I soaked a car engine bracket in full strength green for a day or so, flushed pretty clean with a water hose. For fast work not sure how good this would be, but it worked. I will be wanting to do like FORD truck twin beam front axles soon. No rush for these so I can soak for a week if I have two.

                  I'll try aluminum in the simple green soon. For now I think for steal/cast iron parts a strong lye will be good and cheap.


                  • #10
                    Re: Metal Stripping

                    aircraft grade stripper from advance auto. spray it on, wait 3min, and it bubbles right off. "aircraft grade" sounds dumb, but i think it's just stressing that it can be used safely on aluminum. i used this on a bicycle frame and it left the aluminum nice.
                    Figure Finishing


                    • #11
                      Re: Metal Stripping

                      This is what i use and works great ...Its the last one on the page.. Works Great stripping powdercoating , even cold,hot or room Temp...

                      KLEANSTRIP / Pt#: KLE-CSG14
                      GUN KLEANER[5GAL]