15 minutes with a 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel - Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
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15 minutes with a 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel - Bigfoot

Following some of the outstanding advice I've found digging through the forum here, I decided to try a 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel to remove the faded and chipped vinyl graphics on my recently acquired 1989 Bigfoot B-17G Deluxe. This is the product, which is available through Amazon, although I purchased mine here in Alaska from a local auto body supply outfit.

3M Stripe Off Wheel

As you can see, it made quick work of removing the graphics on the front of the trailer. This is after only 15 minutes of work. I used some brake cleaner on a rag to remove the residual adhesive and gunk. The trailer is heavily oxidized while the gelcoat under the vinyl is like new so you can see where the graphics used to be. But I plan to eventually clean it with Barkeeper's Friend and apply a nice thick coat of polish which should blend the "old" and "new" together a little better.

Whether I will apply new graphics at some point is undecided. I have a background in graphic design and could easily create the vector art necessary for a plotter to cut out new vinyl, but I want to see if I like it "naked" first.

The first shot is after about 5 minutes of using the wheel.

Next is after 15 minutes, stripes are gone.

Last is the wheel mounted in my cordless drill in case you are wondering what it looks like.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_0519.jpg   IMG_0525.jpg  

IMG_0534.jpg  
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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Thanks Mike,
Worth a try. The RPM's are important in my job for various tools to work at their optimum.
Can you or anybody else explain 3M's comment:
"Use on tools with 4,000 RPM . MOS: optimum speed is 2,000 RPM plus or minus 200."

The numbers seem conflicting to me.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:00 PM   #3
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I removed the stripes from my Lil Bigfoot with the 3M wheel and used the high speed setting on my cordless drill.
Worked great.
It also removes silicone.
John
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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Roy,

The information in the actual manual that comes with the wheel is more explicit. Here is a JPEG of it, and a crop of the tool recommendations in case it's difficult to read in the full-page image. The 4,000 RPM limit is a maximum, but not the optimum speed.

My little Dewalt variable speed cordless there has a high torque/low speed setting, which runs 0 to 400 RPM, and a low torque/high speed setting that runs from 0 to 1,500 RPM. I used the high speed setting, mostly at the full 1,500 RPM limit, and it worked great.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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3M-Stripe-Off-Wheel-manual.jpg   stripe_off_wheel_tool_detail.jpg  

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Old 06-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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I removed all my remaining Scamp graphics the other day, peeled right off, even after 11 years. Of course it was HOT out. Less than 10 minutes of peeling and then a little clean up with 91% alcohol on a rag to remove any sticky gunk and little bits.

I'm right there with you on the super shiny under the graphics thing. MAN this trailer must have shined when brand new! And man has it suffered in the mere 10 months I've owned her. She had a gloss when I bought her, if not super shiny.

I really need to do some polishing and waxing, but part of me wants to pull into a paint shop and spend stupid money I really shouldn't!
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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Thanks Mike,
That was exactly the info I was looking for.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Thanks Mike,
Worth a try. The RPM's are important in my job for various tools to work at their optimum.
Can you or anybody else explain 3M's comment:
"Use on tools with 4,000 RPM . MOS: optimum speed is 2,000 RPM plus or minus 200."

The numbers seem conflicting to me.
maximum operating speed 4000 rpm.
ideal operating speed 2000 rpm.
operating speed of my powerdrill,,,about 12rpm if i jiggle the wire just right,think i gotta get a new one.<_<
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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Thanks! I think you just answered my questions about removing adhesives from a fiberglass surface.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Thanks! I think you just answered my questions about removing adhesives from a fiberglass surface.
I see you've got a '11 trailer? If that's what you're removing from I think peeling, with a little added heat if need be (hair dryer) will >>dramatically<< easier than rubbing off with chemicals and abrasives.

I understand on older hard/cracked vinyl that's not going to work.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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I absolutely concur with Dylan. If you can remove the vinyl by peeling it, with or without assistance from heat, I would go that route. Much less chance of damage to the substrate, and probably faster and cleaner too. In my case the vinyl was so dry and cracked that I could only get a confetti-sized chip off each time when I tried to peel it. It would have taken me a month of Sundays to accomplish what I did in 15 minutes with the wheel. But test-peel your vinyl first before going the wheel route.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
I absolutely concur with Dylan. If you can remove the vinyl by peeling it, with or without assistance from heat, I would go that route. Much less chance of damage to the substrate, and probably faster and cleaner too. In my case the vinyl was so dry and cracked that I could only get a confetti-sized chip off each time when I tried to peel it. It would have taken me a month of Sundays to accomplish what I did in 15 minutes with the wheel. But test-peel your vinyl first before going the wheel route.
Agreed, you'll know pretty fast if peeling will work. But mild heating is easy and won't harm a thing. Like a hair dryer. A heat gun held in the same place a long time could do damage, but you'd be melting/burning the decals at that point. When I tried peeling in cold weather I just got flakes. But when nice and warm. Peels right off in big long stretchy pieces, very easy, fast and kind of fun.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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If you polish/wax without decals you will probably need to strip wax to apply new decals. Just something to consider.

Nice of you to post the pictures and link.
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