Sunday, March 22, 2009

Removing The Side Art

I finally started work on this thing! Yesterday it warmed up to about 55 degrees (after snowing the day before!) so I decided to start working on the Donkey Kong. The first thing I did was remove the side art. This was very very time-consuming. The existing side art came off in about an hour per side but it took twice as long to get the glue off - what a pain!

This is what I started with:

Even though the art was mostly peeled off of this side there was still leftover glue all over the place which had to come off.

After reading some threads over at BYOAC, I realized there were several different ways to go about this. Some people use a belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper and just let it eat through the art down to the wood. Other people spray/brush on some chemicals like paint stripper or something and then scrape the art off. I decided to try the third option I read about - a heat gun and lots of patience. It seems to be the least messy way of cleaning up the sides.

I don't have a heat gun but I do have a hair dryer (well, my wife does Evil) so used that. It worked quite well. I put the hair dryer on "hot" and turned it all the way up. This melted the glue just enough for the art to be peeled off. I started of by gently scraping with the end of a flat head screwdriver and when I got enough of the art up to grab onto I started peeling. It didn't come off all at once - there were lots and lots (and lots) of little pieces to pull off.

After removing the side art it was time to remove all of the excess glue. There was an outline on each side where the side art used to be:

My wife suggested trying Goo Gone which I had never used before. It worked but it took a lot of elbow grease to get rid of all of the glue. The process was spray on the Goo Gone, let it sit for 5 minutes and then rub it off with a cotton rag. This was the key - for some reason paper towels weren't working - at all. Once I switched to the cotton rags I noticed an improvement right away.

If you look close you can see all the glue balled up - this stuff was extremely sticky and was tough to get off of my hands even with a towel. I was constantly running inside the house to wash my hands and then continue (I had to pick up the glue balls with my fingers to get them off of the cabinet). Once I thought everything looked nice, I washed the entire side using soapy water (per the Goo Gone instructions). This was the finishing touch - everything came off!

Here are some final shots of the sides - it doesn't look like much but this was after about 6 hours worth of work.

Nice and clean! Next up - using some bondo to fill all the holes and imperfections. More later.

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