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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Removing the yellow coating from a tape measure? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
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I spent most of the afternoon last Sunday with 3-in-1 oil and a pumice stone, scraping the yellow 'paint' off six feet of a replacement tape measure blade, for an effect I'm working on. After some polishing, it looks really good. However, I just had an idea for some improvements to the effect that will require me to prepare quite a few more feet worth of tape measure.

The Dremel attachments I tried (plastic and steel wire, and sandpaper) either had no effect or threw off so many sparks that I worried about grinding through the blade. It took me all afternoon to finish six feet with the pumice stone manually- does anyone know a faster/easier way to do this?
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Thomas Wayne
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Go to an automotive finishing supply store and ask for "Aircraft Remover". This stuff is the most aggressive paint/epoxy/polyester resin solvent I've ever used. I'm not going to ruin a tape measure testing it for you, but if this stuff doesn't do the job, nothing will.

TW
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Michael Baker
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I did this years ago to make a vanishing bird cage. You can imagine how many yards I had to clean/polish. I used progressively finer grits of sandpaper. I wish I'd known about the Aircraft remover.
~michael baker
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EsnRedshirt
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Thomas, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. For the curious, I did a bit of research- the active ingredient's methylene chloride, and it appears to be available in other paint/epoxy removers as well- heck, I spotted some products containing it on the Home Depot web site. The only down side is that I may want to pick up a gas mask when working with it...

I'll pick up some tonight and give it a shot; even if it doesn't work on the tape measure blade, I've got an old dresser I've been thinking about refinishing...
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ClintonMagus
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I purchased some paint remover at my local hardware store that took the paint off the can it was in, so I bet it would work.

As for "aircraft remover", I could have used some of that a few weeks ago at the Atlanta airport...
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MickeyPainless
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Don't know that I'd use something that toxic for stripping furniture as it may eat your glue joints and swell the wood grain!
Dr. Solar
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I just striped an antique chair I've put off since 1977 using the methylene chloride type stripper. It does not pop grain nor affect glue. As far as masks go, 3M makes a paper type latex paint mask that has a gray tint to it because of a charcoal membrain that takes care of most chemicals. You can only use them once though because leaving them around the shop for days the trapped oders work their way throughout the material and putting it back on days later, you might as well hang your nose over the open can. Phew!!!

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gw156
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What about using steel wool?

Wouldn't that remove the yellow from the tape measure and allow it to be painted if desired?
chill
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I've used methylene chloride based stripper for years with no ill effects to either the wood or myself. read the container and look for the "voc" content. the higher this number, the faster it works. the one I use most has a voc content of 750. work in a well ventilated area and definitly wear protective gloves, eye protection and such.
bob
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EsnRedshirt
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Well, I tried some Jasco paint and epoxy stripper last night. As it turns out, modern tape measures have a plastic coating that resists the paint stripper, so it's not really "wipe on, wipe off" as I'd hoped. The Jasco did manage to loosen the coating, though, to the point where the pumice stone can remove it in probably a quarter of the time it could before.

Didn't need a mask- I did it outside, with heavy gloves on.

gw156, steel wool works, but it's slow. The pumice stone provides quicker results. I should note to anyone else trying this that once the paint is off, polishing is quite easy using white metal polish and a Dremel with a felt buffing wheel.
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gw156
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Thanks for the info and the trailblazing on this!

I have a couple tape measures that I have been planning to remove the coating on and you have saved me a great deal of time with this thread.
makeupguy
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I'll let you know right now..

you really can't.

Even if you get the yellow removed.. most of the tapes I've seen in the last decade or so have the numbers almost embossed on them. Even when the yellow is gone.. the residuals of the numbers stay around.

SOMEONE could make decent money.. not a fortune mind you.. but decent money by ordering a mile or so of this material BEFORE it goes to the tape measure factory.

The guys that make the cages get it.. someone else must be able to get the wider stuff. Abbots gets it.. hmmmm..
ClintonMagus
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Years ago at Harbor Freight I purchased a cheap tape measure whose numbers began to wear off after a year or so of use. Obviously, there was no plastic coating on it. Maybe a good course of action is to buy the cheapest tape measure out there and see if the stripper will remove the paint.

Also, I can't tell from the description, but does this company sell unprinted tape "stock"?.

Tape Measure Material?
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Scruffy the Clown
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Coldwater,MI
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You might also try MEK (Methyl Eythel Keytone) It is truly vicious stuff. Do yourself a favor, and get yourself some blue nitrile gloves. MEK can be absorbed into the blood stream through the skin.
If that doesn't work, try contacting stanley, and see if you can buy it unfinished.
Tate
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Quote:
On 2008-01-18 01:21, makeupguy wrote:
SOMEONE could make decent money.. not a fortune mind you.. but decent money by ordering a mile or so of this material BEFORE it goes to the tape measure factory.


Um, I work IN a tape measure factory. Smile What magical use can metal tape be used for? And who would I sell it to?

Tate
Steve_Mollett
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Acetone; let it soak in it.

Be careful: fumes and VERY FLAMMABLE.
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chill
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Quote:
On 2008-01-24 18:18, Tate wrote:

Um, I work IN a tape measure factory. Smile What magical use can metal tape be used for? And who would I sell it to?

Tate


http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=26
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ChrisG
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Quote
"Even if you get the yellow removed.. most of the tapes I've seen in the last decade or so have the numbers almost embossed on them. Even when the yellow is gone.. the residuals of the numbers stay around."

Wouldn't the numbers be hidden?

ChrisG
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