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Old 14 September 2012, 20:57   #1
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Country: USA
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How to remove old adhesive from PVC

I recently purchased a used Zodiac RIB and would like to remove the old and hard to remove adhesive from failed attempts to glue D-ring kits on the tubes. The material is made of PVC and I havn't been able to find MEK cleaner locally. What else can I use that's effective?
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Old 14 September 2012, 22:40   #2
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Mek is available if you really want it. Just no longer at the big box stores in CA. It is the proper solvent and is the best for prep when gluing. Yes, other solvents will work on the glue. Be careful. Acetone ( flashes off way to fast) and abrasion can sometimes get a nice thin dried out glue layer off. Buy an organic vapor cartridge mask and some gloves. Acetone will also work decently for prep, but it just doesn't make the pvc as sticky. If you really have failed prior bonding attempts, well, that sucks. It can be a pain. I used a web/sponge sort of a abrasive wheel from Dremel to remove the thick nasty layered over bad repair attempt on the boat I bought. More controllable than bigger flap wheels. Glue doesn't stick to old glue so you have to do whatever it takes! I have not had much luck using heat on old glue. It definitely works on more recently applied glue. Post up a photo.
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Old 14 September 2012, 23:57   #3
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Thanks kelson for your help, looks like the overall consensus is MEK as the go to cleaning solvent to do this project right. Guess I'll have to order it or shop further away.
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Old 16 September 2012, 20:21   #4
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Hidden Valley as in Middle Town area? If so that is where my boat came from. I live in Santa Rosa.

What year is your boat out of curiosity?

I have a different way of cleaning off old glue than Kelson. I use scuffy pad, and acetone. Putting the acetone in a small container, and dipping the scuffy pad often, keeps it plenty wet. The scuffy pad absorbs the glue and needs to be changed often. Plus what I read was to use acetone for cleaning and MEK for prepping to glue.

MEK can sometimes be found at auto paint stores, along with other paint stores. If you can find a gallon buy it...maybe two as it won't be available for long. Tap Plastics might be an option.
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Old 09 January 2013, 10:19   #5
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NRS has MEK and they have all stores all over North America
and they have other interesting stuff as well like glues patches and accessories though i know that MEK only used for preparation not for removing old glue as its too strong and will soften and melt the PVC and can damage the outer layer try the scuffy pad with acetone works as well as the MEK but way lighter on the material
PS both MEK and acetone melts the PVC material

MEK PVC Solvant at NRSweb.com
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Old 09 January 2013, 10:39   #6
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Funny; I've mail-ordered stuff from NRS for years, and never once thought about seeing if they have actual locations other than their HQ.

I use MEK and a Dremel with a flap wheel, but it's a pretty aggressive method; you have to use a light touch and really watch what you're doing.

jky
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Old 09 January 2013, 15:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
Funny; I've mail-ordered stuff from NRS for years, and never once thought about seeing if they have actual locations other than their HQ.
I looked up my local store for NRS, and although they sell a few kayaks etc. they are much like REI (Which is also listed), and would only carry a few NRS bags and stuff like that. Not the stuff to repair boats, or upgrade equipment. Although what small boat doesn't need a paddle? I bought two! Then using material and glue purchased directly from NRS made mounts for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
I use MEK and a Dremel with a flap wheel, but it's a pretty aggressive method; you have to use a light touch and really watch what you're doing.

jky
Give some course scuffy pad a try next time. You can get it at Home Depot and Lowes. It works great, and yes I have tried an air pencil grinder (I don't ever really use my Dremel). The glue gets caught in the weave, so it doesn't get spread around as much, and pretty much no material gets removed.
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Old 09 January 2013, 15:09   #8
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just wondering what to use to remove old glue from Hypalon MEK as well or toluol
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Old 05 July 2013, 19:34   #9
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I just purchased a used Futura Mark 3 that had a small leak on the seam of one of the speed tubes and was reading here and elsewhere to learn how to do a proper patch. I think its gonna hold even though it is on the seam.

What I wanted to share is PVC pipe primer like Weld-on P68 primer is a combination of acetone and MEK. I used it and it softens the pvc very well to prep. This should be easy for everyone to find in the hardware store as sourcing pure MEK seems to be a problem. The brush that comes in the primer can is excellent for spreading the primer too
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Old 10 July 2014, 15:46   #10
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Country: Spain
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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I know this thread is old, but just wanted to say I have been in desperate need to repair the transom on my old yam400s. Where I live in Spain no one has even heard of MEK! Then there might be the translation problem also.

I tried acetone, and while it worked, it just wasn't really cutting it. Felt a bit stuck til I came across the advice mentioned here about PVC pipe primer. That did the trick and worked much better than the acetone!

The humidity is too high now, so I'm going to attempt the glue tomorrow, when its drier. Just hope it all goes well and I get my boat back into the med!

Cheers for the top tip.
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