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How to remove shellacked bar tape?

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How to remove shellacked bar tape?

Old 12-12-10, 07:24 PM
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IknowURider
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How to remove shellacked bar tape?

Ok never encountered this one before (just lucky)

This bar tape on this aluminum bar set form the 1981 is cloth tape with shellac, or who knows what Fuji used. Peeling this stuff off by hand will take days.

Quick solutions? Battery acid? These are Nitto bars , worth saving.
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Old 12-12-10, 07:30 PM
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shellac can be removed with denatured alcohol.
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Old 12-12-10, 07:38 PM
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Rubbing alcohol will soften the shellac.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:29 PM
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You want to be careful with the type of alcohol you use when softening a brush that has had shellac hardened on it, or softening a shellaced surface that you want to keep nice. Alcohol with too much water in it will make the shellac haze up. If you are not trying to save the surface, it is not so important what type of alcohol you use.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:36 PM
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Why will it take days?

There are two ways - either take a razor and go from center to end, then start peeling, or start at the finish end and just unroll. I've done it a number of times either way, and it takes all of 5 minutes. Max.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
Why will it take days?

There are two ways - either take a razor and go from center to end, then start peeling, or start at the finish end and just unroll. I've done it a number of times either way, and it takes all of 5 minutes. Max.
This was my experience as well. Unless someone got sloppy putting it on, this should do it - and possibly a bit of alcohol on a green scrub pad to clean up the residue under the tape if the shellac was super-saturated.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:43 PM
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I agree with the cut-and-peel advice, alcohol will leave you with a sticky and nasty mess that you still have to cut and peel. Save the alcohol for cleaning up the mostly-bare aluminum.
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Old 12-13-10, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by IknowURider View Post
Quick solutions? Battery acid? These are Nitto bars , worth saving.
Worth saving? In what scenario do you ruin bars by removing tape? Is the battery acid suggestion a joke? I don't follow.

I believe you are over thinking this one. I always run a razor blade along the underside of the bars.
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Old 12-14-10, 07:50 AM
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Try using GoofOff.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:33 AM
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Cloth tape with shellac should peel right off and leave nothing behind. I stripped some bars last night. I didn't cut the tape, I unwound it. It may have taken all of three minutes. Stop overthinking and just do it.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:47 AM
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I had old gummed up tape on some bars, but it wasn't complete, so I just went over it with a wire wheel on the bench grinder. All glue and residue gone in 5 minutes.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Cloth tape with shellac should peel right off and leave nothing behind. I stripped some bars last night. I didn't cut the tape, I unwound it. It may have taken all of three minutes. Stop overthinking and just do it.
I tried the usual razor blade method, unravelling with needle nose plyers etc. This is bar tape from the Fuji factory from 1981. It is incredibly stuck on. Serious attic baked-on mummification. The brake hoods were completely melted, like dripping/gooey.

You practically have to stand on the bars to get the tape off, and then it tears off in 1 CM bits and pieces, enough to make you insane. This could be a time consumer. I may just freak out and whittle it off with a hunting knife, but I don't enjoy making accidental cuts in aluminum bars.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by IknowURider View Post
I tried the usual razor blade method, unravelling with needle nose plyers etc. This is bar tape from the Fuji factory from 1981. It is incredibly stuck on. Serious attic baked-on mummification. The brake hoods were completely melted, like dripping/gooey.

You practically have to stand on the bars to get the tape off, and then it tears off in 1 CM bits and pieces, enough to make you insane. This could be a time consumer. I may just freak out and whittle it off with a hunting knife, but I don't enjoy making accidental cuts in aluminum bars.
In that case get a gallon of denatured alcohol and a dishpan or something so that you can soak the bar. It will dissolve the shellac.

On second thought, make sure it's shellac by wetting a bit with alcohol. If it doesn't start to dissolve it may be lacquer.
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Old 12-16-10, 10:48 PM
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How much can one say about this subject? Cut, rip, clean.
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Old 12-17-10, 12:26 AM
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Try spraying a light mist of denatured alcohol on a section, give it 3-4 minutes, and see if that improves the removal. Gradually work up the quantity and the time it sits until you find a technique that works well.

One thing you will want to avoid is having any shellac dripping onto any other bike parts (frame, rim, brake calipers, etc.). It's a real pain to remove. (Don't ask me how I know this.)
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Old 12-17-10, 02:15 PM
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Ok, I'll try that. I'm thinking paint remover would probably be the stuff. I am just leery about accidentally gouging aluminum bars, a slit becomes a crack... If these were crappy aluminum bars or steel, I'd probably be ripping away with a serrated edge kitchen knife...
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Old 07-29-19, 10:37 AM
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I know its an old thread, but best one I can find. Any tips on removing shellacked tape from a frame? Bad decision. I know. But need help with removing it without destroying the powder coat underneath. Thanks!
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Old 07-29-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by justinsdrake View Post
I know its an old thread, but best one I can find. Any tips on removing shellacked tape from a frame? Bad decision. I know. But need help with removing it without destroying the powder coat underneath. Thanks!
Shellacked tape over powder coat? Have you tried just pulling it off? That's normally all that is required, at least for handlebars.

Borax solution will dissolve shellac, nearly as well as alcohol. Works best with warm or hot water, but even cold it will still dissolve shellac over time. Maybe soak some rags and wrap around the tape for a soak? Might take a few hours or more.

As always with this sort of thing, test the finish first to make sure that the borax solution doesn't eat the powder coat.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IknowURider View Post
Serious attic baked-on mummification. The brake hoods were completely melted, like dripping/gooey.
You're dealing with heavily oxidized materials here - chemically very different from what was originally present. The shellac will be a hard, insoluble, crosslinked polymer. The tape itself is likely to be brittle, so it breaks apart rather than peeling off.
A commercial paint stripper might soften up the shellac, enough to make removal easier. Scrape with a plastic blade of some sort (putty knife) if you're worried about the finish on the bars.
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