Chemical dip to remove lacquer?

gmtfd

Dirt Disciple
I have a couple of '94 Marin polished aluminium frames which I'd like to de-lacquer (IFT and Rocky Ridge). I'm not too keen on going down the paint stripper route. I've read on here that I might be able to get them dipped and stripped, e.g. at a place which refurbishes alloy wheels. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of doing this?
 

Paul R

Senior Retro Guru
I think the chemicals they dip wheels in would still mark the alu not sure if the alu could be polished back to a shine afterwards or not you would have to ask the company who would be doing it.
 

danson67

Retrobike Rider
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Any alloy wheel stripper will be fine.
A 0.1% methylene chloride/dichloromethane-based dip should remove any lacquer without touching the aluminium, as long as it's not an epoxy-based powdercoat.
This is what most wheel refurbishers use. Nasty, controlled stuff requiring ventilation and respirators, though.
There are several safe, mildly acidic strippers around which are fine for home use, such as Biostrip, but these often need to be used hot.

Make sure to avoid any alkaline strippers such as caustic soda (often used on furniture and doors etc), as that will literally eat the aluminium.

All the best,
 

gmtfd

Dirt Disciple
Many thanks for this info, that’s really helpful. I don’t fancy getting into stripping stuff at home so if I can take the frames somewhere to get them done I will be made up. Do you know if the steel parts (brake bosses etc) could be affected by the chemicals?
 

danson67

Retrobike Rider
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Unlikely that the steel parts will be affected, as the acids involved are not very strong.
But just in case, mask up with soft plastic tape (electrical insulating or plumber's Teflon etc), or easy enough to unscrew the bosses. They're usually fitted with threadlock, so a little heat (hairdryer/hot air gun) will help to soften it.

All the best,
 
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