Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

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Michael Baresi
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Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Michael Baresi »

I've got an old Harmony 1203 and someone put some waterslide decals on the spruce top to cover up some damage where the bridge was once removed.
Does anyone know a good tip to remove them without damaging the wood ?
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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Peter Wilcox »

If they're on top of the finish I'd think you could soak them off with time under a damp cloth or paper towel, maybe use a hair dryer to heat them.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Michael Baresi
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Michael Baresi »

Peter Wilcox wrote:If they're on top of the finish I'd think you could soak them off with time under a damp cloth or paper towel, maybe use a hair dryer to heat them.
Thank Peter. Tried it but didn't work for me
I've also tried naptha and mineral spirits and neither worked.
I could go at it with lacquer thinner but there goes the finish.
I tried small drops of acetone and that disolves the decal but damages lacquer too
I'm thinking of trying some 2000 grit wet sanding. :?

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Bob Gramann »

If you have time to try soaking again, try adding some detergent to the soak solution. It might break the surface tension enough that the water could penetrate into the decal. It’s always possible that someone put a coating on it, though. Maybe abrading the surface would allow more soak in? And, rather than using a wet cloth, forming a little puddle on top of the decal might help. You could use masking tape dams. Otherwise, it sounds like mechanical removal (scraping or sanding) might be your only choice.

I used to use decals for my logo when I first started building. Once they were under the lacquer, they were permanent. Fortunately, I never had to take one off.

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Randolph Rhett
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Randolph Rhett »

You're trying to REMOVE them? Geeesh. Some people don't appreciate class. ;-)

Mark Wybierala
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I like it. Also its a bit of history. You could make up some elaborate story about the W.

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Michael Baresi
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Re: Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals - Update

Post by Michael Baresi »

The decals have been removed !
I used an amalgamator recommended by Frank Ford via a link posted by Barry Daniels (thanks)
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier ... ator1.html

As expected the amalgamator will take off not only the decal but also the lacquer.
Well my other last alternative on these stubborn decals would be to sand them off so I went with the amalgamator
Pics detail my progress.
I found that waiting 10 or 15 minutes was sufficient and with a little coaxing from a razor and a plastic pallette knife they came off easy although they dissolved completely and didn't peel off in one piece. There is still some lacquer left so hopefully a little wet sanding will bring it to life
IMG_20190218_133106348.jpg
I started off scraping it with a razor
IMG_20190219_110941275.jpg
The wet goo wipes off with a paper towel. Being careful here and trying not to wipe off the lacquer under the decal
IMG_20190219_111040458.jpg
IMG_20190219_111738370.jpg
A plastic pallette knife works better
IMG_20190219_114758167.jpg
This pic shows bare wood where a previous luthier has removed the bridge. I'm sure this was the reason for the decals as they covered the damage that was done.

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