Time to Reflect

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Getting Stuck In

Anyone who has converted a school bus will be familiar with the reflective tape used to cover every square inch of the exterior surface. Bonded to the bus like chewing gum in hair, it takes a lot of patience to remove it. When you think you’ve scraped off your last piece, another strip appears from nowhere.

Armed with a heat gun and scraper, I started on the sides before reaching the front and back. The tape was brittle from 15+ years of sun exposure in the Nevada desert. The tape would soften under the heat, and snap into tiny pieces once cooled.

After peeling the tape off, I found it left adhesive residue. The Goof Off which had torn through the adhesives and sealants inside the bus completely failed in the face of reflective tape. Instead I found success with the rubber eraser wheel which I’d used on the vinyl letters.

It took a full day and a half, even with the help of a friend, but the bus is now free of reflective tape. 



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