Spring sprung around here last week (went from plowing snow away from the Boler
to dodging mud to get to it) so now it's warm enough to get out and work on the trailer. By coincidence, a recent Lee Valley catalog showed a plastic scraper blade
which seemed like it might work for removing the various kinds of stuff previous owners have plastered around the windows
on my Boler
, without scratching the gelcoat.
In previous attempts, the only way I have found to reasonably cleanly remove the silicone around the windows
was to carefully slice it flush with the trailer body surface with a sharp knife. A metal scraper scratches, and softer scrapers don't peel the silicone off cleanly.
Here's what Lee Valley is selling: the ScrapeRite
razor-style blade (25 plus a little plastic holder for $10), shown with a $3 blade holder and the more common $2 style, both holders from the painting
tools section of Home Depot:
Here's the holder, extended for blade change, with the regular single-edged steel blade on the left, and the plastic equivalent on the right; then the assembled scraper, and a side view of the beveled blade:
Now the test... the silicone was removed with a single pass of the scraper along the body, then one at right angles to that along the window frame. I cleaned up the lower part of the area with a few seconds more scraping. I didn't see any scratching, but another method may be required to get the surface completely clean.
The ScrapeRite blades come in three hardnesses: the only ones in stock were the general purpose (colour-coded orange), which I am guessing are the appropriate ones anyway.
This is only a first test, but the plastic blades look like a reasonably-priced and comfortable-to-use (with a suitable holder) alternative to less effective soft scrapers, harder-to-hold improvised materials, or gelcoat-scratching metal tools. Now for a few hours of finding out if they prove up to their promise!