Replacing a Zipper pull

I’m a fan of trying to repair stuff as it can really prolong the value. Too often in this day and age people throw out perfectly good stuff that can be fixed with a little bit of patience. The zipper on one of my favorite fleeces failed and I could not do it up or remove it… a repair was pretty simple and a fraction of the price of  taking it in to be fixed. This fleece has a plastic zipper so I could not remove teeth to get the slider off (with metal teeth you can replace the slider by removing a tooth and then re-attaching it). As you can see the pull had worn through and it kept coming off the slider.

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First I removed the broken part. Then I made a replacement from 1.5mm copper wire (16-14AWG). I formed this into a rectangular shape with an overlap using needle nose pliers.

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Then put this through the hole in the slider and closed the loop. (oops forgot to take a picture before I soldered it). I own a soldering iron so I joined the wire with solder (being careful to keep the heat from the zipper and fleece by using the pliers as a heatsink), but epoxy glue will work just as well. File the ends to keep them smooth so they don’t snag.

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and now it works just like new.

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You can do the same with a paper clip (although copper will wear well as it is ductile and was easy to join)

Zombie Candles

If you are like us and you live in a northern clime, you may like the brightness of candles. We typically burn them in our fireplace as it a great safe place for it.

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And of course you end up with lots of left over wax.

Well its pretty simple to generate an everlasting supply. We call them Zombie candles as we can take some larger Ikea candles and get at least 3 or 4 lives from each one. We light them in a handy ceramic tray that we also purchased at Ikea and when they burn down we recover the wax.

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To melt them we use a steel pot in a pan of water that we heat on the electric stove… that way you don’t run a risk of fire. Keep the pan below boiling temperature … paraffin wax melting point is less than 70C.

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For moulds, you can purchase fancy ones, but we just use the typical cardboard milk and juice cartons that have a waxy layer inside so they release easily.

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For the wicks you need cotton twine.. you can buy it made for wicks with a loose weave very cheaply … I’ll stress that you need to use cotton… don’t use any type of plastic string as it will burn. We’ve tried a few methods for keeping the wicks straight… you can tie it to a washer (that you will recover when you remelt the next time)… or pre-dip it in the hot wax you are melting. Hang the wick from a wood skewer.

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Once the wax is melted, the old wicks and any washers tend to sink to the bottom… so you can now take the pot with oven gloves and pour the wax carefully into the moulds.

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Let the candles cools for 24 hours and you have a reborn candle.

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If you want to inject more colour, you can use cheap kids wax crayons added to the mix. We think this is a great way to enjoy candles and be economical about it without throwing away the usual wax meltings.

As always.. be safe with candles. Never leave burning candles unattended or use them near flammable items, children or pets. We use a butane lighter to light them and a snubber to put them out.