Saturday, February 28, 2009

Removing Roofing Tar (With a Twist)

The "twist" is that it a van's roof. Of course! Plus, it's on the inside!

This weekend (and I'm guessing next as well), I'll be trying to remove tar from the inside of the roof panel. It's hard, odorous work that, when successful, yields a toxic tarry sludge. I then scarp it off (and put it in the MacDonald's coffee cup that, moments earlier, held my morning coffee) and repeat, and repeat and repeat. The result as I left it about 4 hours ago was a mess, but generally less tar concentrated in a few spots. In the end, I used normal paint remover and that worked about as well as any other commercially available solvent in my opinion. It was going to cost me $800 to have the tar-stuff removed by sandblasting. I expect the solvents will cost be about 25% of that when all is said, plus a lot of time.

Thanks to Roly's website I learned the name of the shop in Ajax Ontario that did the "restoration" for the Reactine van (see the "Canada's three vans" post below). That van was brought to Canada from Mexico and it was in pretty sad shape on arrival. Consequently, a lot of parts were jettisoned in favour of newer alternatives. I emailed the owner of the shop on Roly's encouragement. Maybe there's some original parts that aren't being unused. I like the comments on the Reactine site that explained they "searched the world" for an authentic J-Van", before finding one in Mexico. I chuckled to myself: "I found two on Vancouver Island last summer!"

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