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Cutting/Sealing nylon cloth

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  • geoflyfisher <geoflyfisher@yahoo.com>
    I am a bit amazed at the number of articles around about building equipment (like hammocks) which talk about sealing the edges with a candle. It is, of course,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2003
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      I am a bit amazed at the number of articles around about building
      equipment (like hammocks) which talk about sealing the edges with a
      candle.

      It is, of course, necessary to do something to keep the material from
      turning into fluff where it is cut. But the kayak building community
      (we use 8 oz ballistic nylon) has found great ways to cut and seal at
      the same time.

      The easiest is to cut with a hot knife instead of scissors. Buy a
      cheap steak knife or pearing knife with a wood handle. Heat the
      knife blade in a propane torch until it glows dull red about an inch
      from the end of the blade. Cut with the blade and the edge is sealed
      as you cut. You can cut 18-36 inches before needing to heat up the
      blade again.

      (Don't try to hide this knife in your wife's knife drawer... it is
      permanently yours.)

      If you need to seal the edge of an already cut piece, then it is a
      little easier to use the side of the propane torch flame than a
      candle flame. It does not wander around like the candle flame can.

      Finally, there is no need to seal silnylon... the stuff does not
      unravel and can be sewn without any treatment of the edge. This is
      the one "plastic) fabric I cut with scissors.

      Well, this post may already be obvious to most of you, but if you
      have been slaving over the edge of a candle flame, it will save a lot
      of time to try these techniques out. I still remember slavishly
      siting in front of the candle flame with my first frostline kits 20
      years ago! Those days are gone. Do it the easy way.

      Rick
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