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Subject: Removing duct tape

Removing duct tape

From: Robert K. MacDowell <macdowell_r>
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2007
Janis Wilkens <jwilkens [at] museumofthenewsouth__org> writes

>We have a mid-20th-century agricultural seeder, made from unfinished
>wood, that we are preparing for exhibition. One of the handles is
>cracked or broken, and was mended by the owner with duct tape (we
>won't know exactly what the damage is until we can get this off). We
>want to remove the duct tape and effect a more secure mend,
>especially because this piece will be traveling and thus subject to
>more than the usual handling.
>Can anyone recommend a method for removing the tape, suitable for a
>non-conservator? And, do you have any thoughts about stabilizing
>such an item?

Most sticky tapes will respond to the use of mineral spirit (plain
old paint thinner from a hardware or paint store) used to dissolve
the adhesive. I would try keeping the open surface of the tape wet
with solvent for a while and see what happens, and if this doesn't
work, try carefully lifting an edge and start wicking solvent in
underneath the tape. That will be slow and painful, but it should
get the tape off. Although mineral spirit is fairly mild, be sure to
use adequate ventilation and use fire precautions. Also don't let
the solvent stay on the actual object any longer than is necessary.
It probably won't harm the object, but I'd err on the side of
caution. Good luck,

Robert K. MacDowell
MacDowell Restorations
39845 The Narrows Road
Waterford, Virginia 20197

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:27
                Distributed: Saturday, October 20, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-27-001
Received on Sunday, 7 October, 2007

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