Apr 24, 2017

How To Iron On Iron-on Patches Without An Iron

Well being it was raining buckets full of Saint Bernards and Tigers today I decided there was no need in going in to work at the new Wackemall Media, Mining, Manufacturing, Farming & Transportation... sawmill.  After all, we ain't got no logs to cut and we ain't put a roof on it yet.

I think you'll agree, just standing there in the rain all day looking at a wet sawmill didn't seem very intelligent. Even if it is brand spankin' new.

So I decided being a dedicated bachelor and all I'd catch up on a few domestic chores and get my Momma off my back. Seemed like the thing to do.

Well back about 10 years ago I got me eleven pairs of them blue canvas Carhart work pants which I wear 7 days a week. I was a dedicated believer in Levis Jeans before I bought those Carharts but haven't bought a single pair of pants or jeans since buying the Carharts. I used to replace all my jeans once a year, no matter what the brand. And I tried them all. Canvas is hands down a cut above anything made from denim.

And just so you know, Greensboro, North Carolina, where I live, is the denim capital of the world. The world's two largest denim manufacturers, Cone Mills and Burlington Industries were born here. Wrangler was born here and is still headquartered here. I grew up wearing Wranglers. But denim is an inferior form of cotton when compared to the cotton canvas used to make Carhart work clothes.

But alas, the pockets in everybody's pants, even Carharts, eventually wear out causing you to lose your car keys in downtown Greensboro, forcing you to replace all the locks on your ancient Toyota because none of the local locksmiths can cut worn out keys to fit worn your out locks.

And so it became necessary that I go to the nearest Walmart and spend $3.97 plus North Carolina sales tax to buy a 22 piece package of bondex iron-on patching and repair the holy pockets of my eleven pairs of 10 year old Carharts.

Now guys, I'm sure all of you have experienced tool failures before. Drills go up in smoke while you are using them, grinders shake themselves apart, impact hammers literally explode in your hands when you're almost finished using them. But those things can be explained. We abuse the crap out of our tools, push them well beyond what they're rated to do, and often we simply manage to keep using them for far longer than the tool was ever mean to be used. It's not a mystery.

But when was the last time you used a perfectly good tool, put it away, and then it refuses to do anything the next time you try to use it? Almost never happens, right?

So why in the hell does it happen to household appliances all the freaking time? What the wackemall is going on?

The toaster works one day, the next day, no toast. The microwave works on day, the next day no microwave popcorn. The iron worked just fine months ago when I used it last but when I got it off the shelf today and plugged it in... Wackemall, not a dammed thing.

I think it's a conspiracy to sell more household appliances.

And yes, I checked the outlet. I had my brother stick a nail in it. "Wa-wa-wa-Wackemall!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. That's proof there's power there.

I still think it's a conspiracy.

But I was not to be deterred nor was I buying another Black and freakin' Decker Conspiracy iron. No Sir. Wackemall! Black and freakin' Decker can stick that iron up each other's wackemalls for all I care, I loaded up my Carharts, my pack of 22 bondex iron on patches, the ironing board, and took everything to the shop beside where the wet Wackemall Media, Mining, Manufacturing, Farming & Transportation... sawmill sits waiting for logs, and carried everything inside.

Then between Saint Bernards and Tigers falling from above I braved my way out to the scrap metal pile where I found me a 3" piece of 3" x 1/4" angle iron and a steel sheet about 6" x 6" square. I think it was about a #12 gauge sheet but I'm not too good with gauges. It was thicker than a steel frying pan and thinner than a cast iron frying pan.

Then I set the ironing board up in my welding shop and turned the first pair of Carharts inside out.

Now I'll admit there's a risk of fire when ironing this way. And while I did scald the first couple of pairs just a little bit most of it will never show because it's on the inside of my pants. Buy the time I got to the 3rd pair I had it down pat. Anyway, here's how I ironed the patches on my pockets.

I began by placing the Carharts on the ironing board inside out just as you would for normal iron-on patch application.

Then I selected the size patches I needed and placed them on the pockets with the slick (glue) side towards the fabric.

Next I placed the 6" x 6" steel sheet on top of the patch.

Then I placed the angle iron on the top of the steel sheet.

The next step was to clamp both leads of my TIG welder to the angle iron.

Plug in the welder and turn it on!

Wackemall! In seconds that piece of angle iron was cherry red and the heat is transferring through the steel plate into the fabric to heat the glue and bond it all together.

Or burn the shop down if you leave it hooked up too long.

Reckon it's a good thing we built our shop from concrete block. But like I said, I only scorched the first couple of pairs. After the first two, the steel was hot enough I only needed my welding gloves and a big pair of pliers to move it from one pair of Carharts to the next. I could probably do five or six pairs between charges.

You know the lights in the shop didn't even flicker. Must be that bolt I used in place of that fuse that used to blow all the time.

Now I'm not suggesting you try this at home or even in the shop. Here at Wackemall Media, Mining, Manufacturing, Farming & Transportation... we go to extremes to push the envelope, bust down doors, see new horizons, seek new adventures... Well, you get it, we're different, that way.

But hey, I'm never bored and there's no holes in the pockets of my Carharts.

And if you see my brother, please don't tease him about his hair sticking all straight up. He's still pretty upset with me about the electrical test.