Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
Hotrod 97

Is there a way to remove tube model glue without damaging plastic?

Recommended Posts

I have several glue-bombs that I plan to restore. Is there any way to dissolve or remove the tube glue without hurting or damaging the kit plastic?

Edited by Hotrod 97
Fixed grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably not. The plastic cement actually melts the styrene plastic where it's applied.  Kinda like welding metal. 

Once you get the parts apart, you can clean up the edges with a file, and sand (and possibly fill) the flat areas. 

Edited by El Roberto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends A LOT on just how much glue was used. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Robert stated, there's really no way to remove the glue as it's purpose is to melt the plastic together.

That being said, if it's not a total loss glue bomb, glue damage can be repaired in some circumstances.

 

 

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful use of a razor saw or #11 blade or even a rotary tool may help to separate the parts. You might have to sacrifice some mounting tabs, or slots in the process, but those can be re-established during the rebuild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was restoring the '74 Corvette, I got disgusted with how much glue was used to put in the glass, I got out my Dremel and ground it out!

So much was used that the roof was damaged.............

P1016383-vi.jpg
P1016384-vi.jpg

Of course, I had to fill in the depressions which I did with my Dynatron Putty-Cote.

P1016394-vi.jpg
P1016395-vi.jpg

Now one would never know what damage there was unless I showed them. That can be the drawback to buying a builtup......too much glue can be used which sometimes can be more trouble than it's worth to fix. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes, if you pry too hard, you can pull a hole right through the plastic. (I may, or may not have experienced that!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option is to get the model really wet, put it into a zip lock bag, and place it into the freezer at least overnight.  If the glue is not too heavy this will work sometimes. You probably need to get used to the idea, you will be doing some bodywork repair of some of those glue joints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I occasionally use my Dremel with this type of bit in certain cases like getting glass free from the locators.  Be steady and careful.

 

dremel-rotary-tool-bits-106-64_1000.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Removing tube glue without damage would be like trying to separate two pieces of steel that are welded togeather without damage. Not gonna happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only restored one minor glue bomb, but after separating the parts and sanding the surfaces down to the original styrene level, any remaining glue should not need to be removed, correct? Depressions would need to be filled and a good coat of primer/sealer should be all that's needed before paint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been Glue Bomb rescues fir decades ;

  Freezer Bag as described above . 

Freezing the attached parts . When removing the items at regular intervals . Pry Gently and firmly . It amy take years as I currently have some interiors I am prysing he dashboards free from . 

Genuine Turpentine applied and pried on . I made the mistake is dunking a 23 Chevy Van Body to separate the fenders from .. I forgot about the unit .. Two years later I remembered .  I have a squished down Van Body .. Eye Droper and daily prying .. All these methods work for me .. Patience .. Thanx 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing...repeat NOTHING...will "dissolve" the old tube glue, as was the OP's question.

Yes, there are multiple ways of disassembling heavily-glooed models, but they ALL involve some kind of damage to the separated parts.

I've bought dozens of "rebuilders" (primarily rare kits that would be stupid expensive if pristine). Most can be disassembled and saved, but some have so much gloo slathered on them, and so much subsequent damage and distortion (like Bill Geary's photo above, but much worse), that they're lost causes, usable only for a few parts.

It's always a roll of the dice, and no matter how "rebuildable" the seller may claim something is, you never really know until you have it in your hot little hands. So far, I've only had about 5% turn out to be too bad to repair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Nothing...repeat NOTHING...will "dissolve" the old tube glue, as was the OP's question.

Yes, there are multiple ways of disassembling heavily-glooed models, but they ALL involve some kind of damage to the separated parts.

I've bought dozens of "rebuilders" (primarily rare kits that would be stupid expensive if pristine). Most can be disassembled and saved, but some have so much gloo slathered on them, and so much subsequent damage and distortion (like Bill Geary's photo above, but much worse), that they're lost causes, usable only for a few parts.

It's always a roll of the dice, and no matter how "rebuildable" the seller may claim something is, you never really know until you have it in your hot little hands. So far, I've only had about 5% turn out to be too bad to repair.

That's about the best synopses I've heard on the subject so far.

I concur. :)

 

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all the above plus if its been painted i soak them in easyoff overnite, this does nothing to the glue but CAN cause parts to separate that were painted before gluing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank all of you very much for the informational replies! The glue-bombs that I’ll be working with are bad, but not as extreme as some I’ve seen. A few of them do have some depressions in the roof from too much tube glue, but there shouldn’t be too many (if any) parts that are a total loss. With some careful prying and maybe some help from a Dremel or Xacto, I should be able to salvage the original parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...