Author Topic: Use at your own risk but...PURPLE POWER!  (Read 1973 times)

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Denver Road Doug

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Use at your own risk but...PURPLE POWER!
« on: January 31, 2010, 04:05:14 PM »
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OK, I have some of the old Atlas 2-bay peaked-end "rock hoppers" that I've been planning to use as stand-ins for a rock train I'm trying to model.  Would pick one up for $3-4 about once every other year thinking I could shave off the peaks and have a very cheap foobie until someone announced a Greenville or something.  Well, recently I kinda hit the jackpot and found two separate lots of 5 for cheap so now I have 15 of 'em so I decided to proceed with stripping them.

First I tried 70% then 91% alcohol and was getting nowhere fast.  So I was searching the web for the next level and came across a thread with four primary recommendations: Simple Green, Brake Fluid, Non-acetone fingernail polish remover, and a product called "Purple Power" which I'd never heard of.  So, I went to Wally-World and bought all four.   I'm not crazy about brake fluid for a number of reasons but bought some just in case plus I have some pewter flat cars I'm also trying to strip and figured it might make short work of those and no worries (hopefully) about damaging the metal.

Bottom line...that Purple Power stuff worked GREAT, and you can get a gallon of it for about $7.  Keeping in mind:
-these are all older models and results may vary greatly on other plastics
-these had been soaking in alcohol for some time
-I only soaked them for about 20-25 minutes tops
But, the paint really kinda fell off.  Some easier than others, but I was impressed.

Then I proceeded to soak the DI flat in there and in about 3 minutes it was virtually FREE of paint.  Still a few crevices and such but overall it was pretty well instananeous.




« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 04:14:06 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Use at your own risk but...PURPLE POWER!
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 04:11:04 PM »
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BTW,
I also tried the Simple Green and the polish remover.  Simple Green had about the same effect as the 91% alcohol, and the finernail polish remover removed paint but also softened the plastic, causing the peak on one end to curl and both of the stirrups to basically fall off. (both of which I'm removing anyway, so no big loss but I suspect if I'd left it in there much longer I would've had a big gooey mess)

I didn't even open the brake fluid.  Like I said, not a fan and it wasn't really needed.
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SquirrelHollow

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Re: Use at your own risk but...PURPLE POWER!
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 07:59:50 PM »
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The "Purple Power" is not to be taken lightly.  I once dissolved the butterfly plate of a 4-barrel carburetor, in less than 45 minutes.  All I was left with was two threaded inserts, 3 screws, and the two butterfly rods.  ...Expensive mistake...

If using the 'Industrial Strength Concentrate', don't use it in aluminum pans, either.  It will eat through them in about 15 minutes.  The older containers had few warnings on them - I understand the newer containers have countless warnings about things the concentrate shouldn't be used on.

Oh... and latex gloves don't work.  Nitrile might be okay, but latex is dissolved quickly.

Also, on my list of stupid things I've done with Purple Power:  completely dissolving an Atlas/Rivarossi 4-6-2 shell.  It took about 8 hours.  I forgot it was in the solution, but got lucky - I had several spares.

It is a great cleaner / stripper / degreaser, but you really have to watch it closely.
-Robert

Uintah Railway, Utah Railway.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Use at your own risk but...PURPLE POWER!
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 10:13:41 AM »
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Robert,

Thanks for the info.  I suspected this stuff could do some pretty nasty things if left unattended so that's why I prefaced my subject line as I did.  It seemed to have zero adverse effect on my Atlas hoppers or DI/GHQ flats, and my "tank" was a standard ballpark plastic beer cup which has maintained its integrity, overnight anyway.  But as fast and effective as it worked I did have significant suspicion that it was not to be taken lightly.  I wish I had a Kato shell to test...curious if this might be the magic bullet for undecorating Brand K.

Speaking of not to be taken lightly, I have now marked fingernail polish remover off my list of crazy model railroading chemicals.  The softening of the plastic continued after I had removed and washed the shell, rendering one very mushy hopper...so I'm down to 14 now.   :(   I've already donated the remainder to my girlfriend, although I did have some 'splainin to do.  ;)
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.