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what is the best way of removing vinyl from glass?

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:24 am

what is the best way of removing vinyl from glass?

I have a job to do which involves removing flood coat vinyl from some windows that I applied about 6 years ago - and re-doing them again. Normaly I use a hair drier to remove vinyl from glass (I'm worried a hot air gun would crack the glass) but I'm not looking forward to it. Usually loads of glue gets left behind and it's hard work. I am thinking about doing it using a safety scraper as shown on the link here (item no. 30305)
http://www.screwfix.com/search.do;jsessionid=R0XIR3GL2NUPWCSTHZOCFFQ?_dyncharset=UTF-8&fh_search=scraper&searchbutton.x=9&searchbutton.y=9
Has anyone any advice on doing it this way - is this type of tool any good (30305) or do you have any other suggestions (I wondered about trying tool 16530 but maybe it wouldn't be sharp enough)?

Tool 30305
Image

Tool 16530
Image
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:32 am

Bottom One Works For Me Phil! No Heat i find if heat applied leaves glue behind just my 2p worth!
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:32 am

I have the wee tool that takes single edge blades Phil, but it is more for removing paint spots etc, and not really man enough for removeing large areas of vinyl, the large handled one looks OK and I would go for that, but make sure you buy enough spare blades.

I had the pleasure to remove some old vinyl from a window, and that was so brittle and hard even a scraper was taking for ever.I used nitromorse, took the vinyl and glue off in seconds, make sure you mask of any adjacent paintwork though!

Peter

Peter
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:36 am

Ive got one of the glass scrapers like in the first link Phill and as Peter said, they really are only suitable for smaller jobs as the blade is so small.

The second pic is a wallpaper scraper isnt it? Ive got one in the house but I doubt that the edge would be sharp enough for what you need.

Ive been using Rapid Taks Rapid Remover lately and its very good but a little expensive.
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:42 am

Phil, I had to do this a while back. I had both the tools you have shown.

I scored the vinyl in 6" wide strips, applied gentle heat and each strip pulled off a treat. As long as the vinyl is pulled at 90 degrees to the glass it will hopefully leave minimum glue. If you pull it back on itself it will possibly leave all the glue.
I used the bigger tool for cleaning off any residue. Didn't use any glue remover, just spray with clear window cleaner then scrape.
If the vinyl has gone brittle though you have a nasty job but unless you used nasty vinyl before you should be OK.

Paul, believe me, the edges are sharp enough!
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:03 am

Peter Normington wrote:I have the wee tool


:roll:
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:08 am

2nd tool has sharp enough blades, like 4" stanley knife...

Bout £6.00 from screwfix (including purchase of 10 spare blades).

Try do it on a warm day (ha ha :roll: )when sun has been on window :

Ian
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:06 pm

best to use the correct window scraper with very fine blades. I get mine from Johnson window films.
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:55 pm

I agree with peter, cut in strips and gentle heat. Dont heat too close to edge of glass though as tight fitting frames can crack the glass. :roll:
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:20 pm

Have done an awful lot of this in the past. What you need is a Stanley Window scraper
Image

Strangely, nothing else works as good, so don't be tempted by a cheaper version- must be the angle or something. Cut the vinyl into strips, get the scraper started at a corner & start scraping. I found it works best on a cold day, as the vinyl is brittle & flies off leaving virtually no glue behind. A quick tidy & hoover up, wipe of windolean & you're away. A 6'x4' window would take me 10 mins this way.
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:47 pm

use the 6 inch scraper if you want it done quicker, about 6.00 each
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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:08 pm

i used to worry also that the heat gun will crack the window but i guess it wont happen. At winter time, it's different story but at summer, i use heat gun if needed. When we tint car windows, we'll take windows from doors out from the car, so it can be tinted fully without gaps in sides. Ill fit the film in window and heat the sides with heat gun so warm that its allmost burns my fingers. Then i'll wait that the window is back to normal temperature and heat it again. After this, the glue sticks and i can cut the edge with knife blade and the film sticks in window and doesnt lift.
I do this heat thing because the window can be put back to it´s place immediately after this, without heating, the window must lay on the table overnight before the edges can be cut and the film sticks.
I used to be afraid that someday ill crack the window but i have tinted about 500 cars with no problems. Same with big windows, i´ve heated them as much as needed with no problems.
sorry for my propably bad english. 12 beers i drank today wont help either hehehehe :D
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Post Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:44 pm

Riku Suominen wrote:i used to worry also that the heat gun will crack the window but i guess it wont happen. At winter time, it's different story but at summer, i use heat gun if needed. When we tint car windows, we'll take windows from doors out from the car, so it can be tinted fully without gaps in sides. Ill fit the film in window and heat the sides with heat gun so warm that its allmost burns my fingers. Then i'll wait that the window is back to normal temperature and heat it again. After this, the glue sticks and i can cut the edge with knife blade and the film sticks in window and doesnt lift.
I do this heat thing because the window can be put back to it´s place immediately after this, without heating, the window must lay on the table overnight before the edges can be cut and the film sticks.
I used to be afraid that someday ill crack the window but i have tinted about 500 cars with no problems. Same with big windows, i´ve heated them as much as needed with no problems.
sorry for my propably bad english. 12 beers i drank today wont help either hehehehe :D


That's a very long winded and laborious way to tint a car. Very few tinters in the UK remove the glass. Modern training has the film on the window and stuck and tucked into all the windows before you could even get the glass out, Most quality window films do not need heat to stick apart from a shrink to fit before removing the liner.

However and to the point here you can heat car windows all you like as they are all toughened glass,
BUT Flat glass in shop windows is nearly always laminated or annealed glass which WILL crack very easily if heated. As professional window tinters we never heat architectural flat glass.
Get a 6" glass scraper as advised, and cut into strips as also mentioned.
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Post Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:59 pm

Least laborious way to do it is to drive your car into it, remove all broken glass from the area and then call a glazier,
costs you a bit more but way quicker.
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Post Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:02 pm

Steve Underhill wrote:Least laborious way to do it is to drive your car into it, remove all broken glass from the area and then call a glazier,
costs you a bit more but way quicker.


:rofl: :rofl:
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Post Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:59 pm

Phil

I have done loads of this in the past

Done a nightshift once removing film from some very large windows took hours - the company window cleaner turned up the following morning and decided to help me out by removing film from the one remaining window he done it in 10 minutes flat - it would have taken me 2 hours

His secret weapon was warm soapy water !

I now use this all the time, with a very large scraper - like your 2nd tool I have an 8inch two handed version.

Wash the back of the film down with warm soapy water and I mean soapy.

Start scraping - the soap stops the glue from resisting the blade and lubricates the whole process - best method Ive found by far

Colin
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Post Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:54 am

Agreed with the warm soapy water Colin, but I think the reason it works is more that it stops the glue re-sticking to the glass.

Ian :lol1:
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Post Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:35 pm

callwild wrote:
Riku Suominen wrote:i used to worry also that the heat gun will crack the window but i guess it wont happen. At winter time, it's different story but at summer, i use heat gun if needed. When we tint car windows, we'll take windows from doors out from the car, so it can be tinted fully without gaps in sides. Ill fit the film in window and heat the sides with heat gun so warm that its allmost burns my fingers. Then i'll wait that the window is back to normal temperature and heat it again. After this, the glue sticks and i can cut the edge with knife blade and the film sticks in window and doesnt lift.
I do this heat thing because the window can be put back to it´s place immediately after this, without heating, the window must lay on the table overnight before the edges can be cut and the film sticks.
I used to be afraid that someday ill crack the window but i have tinted about 500 cars with no problems. Same with big windows, i´ve heated them as much as needed with no problems.
sorry for my propably bad english. 12 beers i drank today wont help either hehehehe :D


That's a very long winded and laborious way to tint a car. Very few tinters in the UK remove the glass. Modern training has the film on the window and stuck and tucked into all the windows before you could even get the glass out, Most quality window films do not need heat to stick apart from a shrink to fit before removing the liner.

However and to the point here you can heat car windows all you like as they are all toughened glass,
BUT Flat glass in shop windows is nearly always laminated or annealed glass which WILL crack very easily if heated. As professional window tinters we never heat architectural flat glass.
Get a 6" glass scraper as advised, and cut into strips as also mentioned.


I know, its a long way to tint, BUT.. my friend takes rear windows off from allmost any toyota in about 7 minutes/door. Volkswagens takes few minutes more with homemade tool, because the mounting of window is a bit tricky.
BUT.. when you tint those little windows in doors, quite often there´s no black .. uhm.. what is it called?.. i call it black edge now :), so you cant tint it so it looks like its done in factory. With the window taken off the door, theres no little gaps between the window and the seal.
(im sorry, my english sucks here).
3 local major car dealers calls me if they need tint in brand new car, the car visits my shop before getting even lisence plates and final cleaning, and in 90% of cases, the result is as good as when ordered with tinting from the factory. That missing 10% is reserved for little dust or small piece of hair what happens sometimes :D
Takes more time but the result makes me smile (usually) :D
80% of cars are simple to work with, but that last 20% can give you a bad headache. For example opel omega B (what ever model of vauxhall it is in uk), anyway, we have to drill some blind rivets to remove the glass... ..well, i guess i have written enough, ill get some more beer and continue watching tv


:lol1:

I must add an edit here: when i look at my father (age 56), and my own head, my quess is that in 15 years, the hair problem is gone :DDDDD
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Post Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:19 pm

removing

hi

i do almost no signs at all, but i did see on an american web site a rubber flap wheel that removes vinyl from almost any surface including body panels and windows in seconds.

it fits in a drill and spins the rubber flaps over the vinyl lifting it in one operation..

would be a good investment if you do a lot..


regards
Richard
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Post Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:23 pm

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Post Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:38 pm

Re: removing

Richard Davies wrote:hi

i do almost no signs at all, but i did see on an american web site a rubber flap wheel that removes vinyl from almost any surface including body panels and windows in seconds.

it fits in a drill and spins the rubber flaps over the vinyl lifting it in one operation..

would be a good investment if you do a lot..


regards
Richard


You can get it here in the UK from Jag
Demonsrated a few times at the NEC Sign Show
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Post Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:32 am

removal

hi

I bet they cost an arm and a leg though,

I import marine canvas tools from the USA often cheaper than you can buy them here, americans are easier to deal with too and dont add on 500% profit..

richard
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Post Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:42 pm

Re: removing

Richard Davies wrote:hi

i do almost no signs at all, but i did see on an american web site a rubber flap wheel that removes vinyl from almost any surface including body panels and windows in seconds.

it fits in a drill and spins the rubber flaps over the vinyl lifting it in one operation..

would be a good investment if you do a lot..


regards
Richard
Would think that to be a painfully slow way to take vinyl off glass. A standard Stanley scraper that uses knife blades or indeed the 5" 'razor blade' style are by far the fastest & more efficient way to do it. Spray the glass with slightly soapy water / application fluid & it comes off without leaving ANY residue...
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Post Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:11 am

Riku Suominen wrote:
callwild wrote:
Riku Suominen wrote:i used to worry also that the heat gun will crack the window but i guess it wont happen. At winter time, it's different story but at summer, i use heat gun if needed. When we tint car windows, we'll take windows from doors out from the car, so it can be tinted fully without gaps in sides. Ill fit the film in window and heat the sides with heat gun so warm that its allmost burns my fingers. Then i'll wait that the window is back to normal temperature and heat it again. After this, the glue sticks and i can cut the edge with knife blade and the film sticks in window and doesnt lift.
I do this heat thing because the window can be put back to it´s place immediately after this, without heating, the window must lay on the table overnight before the edges can be cut and the film sticks.
I used to be afraid that someday ill crack the window but i have tinted about 500 cars with no problems. Same with big windows, i´ve heated them as much as needed with no problems.
sorry for my propably bad english. 12 beers i drank today wont help either hehehehe :D


That's a very long winded and laborious way to tint a car. Very few tinters in the UK remove the glass. Modern training has the film on the window and stuck and tucked into all the windows before you could even get the glass out, Most quality window films do not need heat to stick apart from a shrink to fit before removing the liner.

However and to the point here you can heat car windows all you like as they are all toughened glass,
BUT Flat glass in shop windows is nearly always laminated or annealed glass which WILL crack very easily if heated. As professional window tinters we never heat architectural flat glass.
Get a 6" glass scraper as advised, and cut into strips as also mentioned.


I know, its a long way to tint, BUT.. my friend takes rear windows off from allmost any toyota in about 7 minutes/door. Volkswagens takes few minutes more with homemade tool, because the mounting of window is a bit tricky.
BUT.. when you tint those little windows in doors, quite often there´s no black .. uhm.. what is it called?.. i call it black edge now :), so you cant tint it so it looks like its done in factory. With the window taken off the door, theres no little gaps between the window and the seal.
(im sorry, my english sucks here).
3 local major car dealers calls me if they need tint in brand new car, the car visits my shop before getting even lisence plates and final cleaning, and in 90% of cases, the result is as good as when ordered with tinting from the factory. That missing 10% is reserved for little dust or small piece of hair what happens sometimes :D
Takes more time but the result makes me smile (usually) :D
80% of cars are simple to work with, but that last 20% can give you a bad headache. For example opel omega B (what ever model of vauxhall it is in uk), anyway, we have to drill some blind rivets to remove the glass... ..well, i guess i have written enough, ill get some more beer and continue watching tv


:lol1:

I must add an edit here: when i look at my father (age 56), and my own head, my quess is that in 15 years, the hair problem is gone :DDDDD



Hi Riku!
I was just wondering if you also remove the side windows and how hard is it to actually reomve them? are they usually put in place with a super glue? The reason we are asking is because we started to do some tints,and are not reallly pleased with the result we get on the roll-down side windows. So we were thinking of removing the windows just so that we can avoid getting the ugly gaps on the sides, which by the way are hidden due to the rubber edges.
Hope that I made my point and that you got it?
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Post Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:33 pm

Simon Polakof wrote:
Riku Suominen wrote:
callwild wrote:
Riku Suominen wrote:i used to worry also that the heat gun will crack the window but i guess it wont happen. At winter time, it's different story but at summer, i use heat gun if needed. When we tint car windows, we'll take windows from doors out from the car, so it can be tinted fully without gaps in sides. Ill fit the film in window and heat the sides with heat gun so warm that its allmost burns my fingers. Then i'll wait that the window is back to normal temperature and heat it again. After this, the glue sticks and i can cut the edge with knife blade and the film sticks in window and doesnt lift.
I do this heat thing because the window can be put back to it´s place immediately after this, without heating, the window must lay on the table overnight before the edges can be cut and the film sticks.
I used to be afraid that someday ill crack the window but i have tinted about 500 cars with no problems. Same with big windows, i´ve heated them as much as needed with no problems.
sorry for my propably bad english. 12 beers i drank today wont help either hehehehe :D


That's a very long winded and laborious way to tint a car. Very few tinters in the UK remove the glass. Modern training has the film on the window and stuck and tucked into all the windows before you could even get the glass out, Most quality window films do not need heat to stick apart from a shrink to fit before removing the liner.

However and to the point here you can heat car windows all you like as they are all toughened glass,
BUT Flat glass in shop windows is nearly always laminated or annealed glass which WILL crack very easily if heated. As professional window tinters we never heat architectural flat glass.
Get a 6" glass scraper as advised, and cut into strips as also mentioned.


I know, its a long way to tint, BUT.. my friend takes rear windows off from allmost any toyota in about 7 minutes/door. Volkswagens takes few minutes more with homemade tool, because the mounting of window is a bit tricky.
BUT.. when you tint those little windows in doors, quite often there´s no black .. uhm.. what is it called?.. i call it black edge now :), so you cant tint it so it looks like its done in factory. With the window taken off the door, theres no little gaps between the window and the seal.
(im sorry, my english sucks here).
3 local major car dealers calls me if they need tint in brand new car, the car visits my shop before getting even lisence plates and final cleaning, and in 90% of cases, the result is as good as when ordered with tinting from the factory. That missing 10% is reserved for little dust or small piece of hair what happens sometimes :D
Takes more time but the result makes me smile (usually) :D
80% of cars are simple to work with, but that last 20% can give you a bad headache. For example opel omega B (what ever model of vauxhall it is in uk), anyway, we have to drill some blind rivets to remove the glass... ..well, i guess i have written enough, ill get some more beer and continue watching tv


:lol1:

I must add an edit here: when i look at my father (age 56), and my own head, my quess is that in 15 years, the hair problem is gone :DDDDD



Hi Riku!
I was just wondering if you also remove the side windows and how hard is it to actually reomve them? are they usually put in place with a super glue? The reason we are asking is because we started to do some tints,and are not reallly pleased with the result we get on the roll-down side windows. So we were thinking of removing the windows just so that we can avoid getting the ugly gaps on the sides, which by the way are hidden due to the rubber edges.
Hope that I made my point and that you got it?


Sorry this is getting a bit off topic but I need to say I am with callwild,I have been tinting for sixteen years and have yet to find the need to remove side glass from most normal cars The only exception I can think of recently is the Bentley Continental and the Aston DB9 as the rubbers are too deep and tight to properly fit film behind.

Back to the original question unless you are 100% sur of the glass quality beware of using heat car glass is toughened as previously mentioned,commercial glazing could be many things.If you are using a scraper keep the window well lubed soapy water is fine and change you blade regularly.
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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:52 am

Thanks for the reply Raymond! I'll take that under consideration!
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Post Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:37 pm

Peter Normington wrote:I have the wee tool that takes single edge blades Phil, but it is more for removing paint spots etc, and not really man enough for removeing large areas of vinyl, the large handled one looks OK and I would go for that, but make sure you buy enough spare blades.

I had the pleasure to remove some old vinyl from a window, and that was so brittle and hard even a scraper was taking for ever.I used nitromorse, took the vinyl and glue off in seconds, make sure you mask of any adjacent paintwork though!

Peter
I USUALLY USE A STANLEY SINGLE EDGED TRIMMING BLADE IN A "SAWING" MOTION--AND THIS WILL REMOVE THE TOUGHEST OF VINYLS.
I PRESUME THAT THE LIQUID THAT YOU REFER TO IS ACTUALLY "NITROMORS" PAINT AND VARNISH REMOVER. A CELLULOSE THINNER WILL DO EQUALLY WELL AND IS LESS CORROSIVE IN ONE'S SKIN AND LESS LIKELY TO DAMAGE SURROUNDING SURFACES.
I FIND ALSO THAT ADHESIVE RESIDUE CAN BE EASILY REMOVED WITH SOME PETROL ON A ROUGH TEXTURED RAG- ALLOW THE ADHESIVE TO SOAK AND IT BREAKS DOWN QUITE QUICKLY.
(APOLOGIES FOR "CAPS" AN OLD WEAKNESS)

Peter
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Post Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:12 am

Gwaredd Steele wrote:Have done an awful lot of this in the past. What you need is a Stanley Window scraper
Image

Strangely, nothing else works as good, so don't be tempted by a cheaper version- must be the angle or something. Cut the vinyl into strips, get the scraper started at a corner & start scraping. I found it works best on a cold day, as the vinyl is brittle & flies off leaving virtually no glue behind. A quick tidy & hoover up, wipe of windolean & you're away. A 6'x4' window would take me 10 mins this way.


I use the stanley too. Even to remove signs off of paintwork. There is a knack to it. Beware that each blade has a blunt side and a sharp side.

The sharp side is great for glass but not for paint. Using the blunt side (flip the blade over), rest the handle on the paintwork, and its the perfect angle to remove vinyl off a painted surface.

Practice first because it is a knack as I say. I can strip a bus in under 60 minutes, but in the wrong hands, you can wreck the paint in under 3 seconds :-?

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