Sunday, October 15, 2017

Recycling Candle Jars

Bathroom Epsom salts storage jar.
Thrifty folks like me just hate to throw away those lovely candle jars when the candle is burned away to nothing but a puddle of candle wax, a little metal square and the black smoky residue on the sides. These things make nice canisters for all sorts of things like canisters for dry ingredients like Epsom salts, coffee creamer, sugar, salt, and even flour and dried beans. You can also refill the jar with wax and string and make another candle.  Here's how:

Coffee creamer jar ready for label.
My Sweet Baboo wanted something decorative to go with her driftwood and rock collection on the bathroom cabinet. We had a small candle that was burned down all the way. Here's how we did the glass container shown in the photo above.

  • Burned out glass candle jar and lid
  • Boiling water
  • Bottle brush
  • Microwave
  • WD-40
  • Decorative stickers
  • Label
  1. Heat the candle jar in the microwave until the candle wax is liquified.
  2. Pour off the wax. Pour boiling water in the candle jar while the jar is still very warm from the microwave. Add a little dish soap.
  3. Scrub the inside of the jar with the bottle brush.
  4. If there is any wax residue left inside the jar, spray the inside of the jar with WD-40. Wipe it out with a rag or paper towel and the wash again with a brush, soap and water.
  5. Repeat until the jar is clean.
  6. Our bathroom decorative scheme is nautical. Sheila planned to put Epsom Salts in the jar, so I made a clear label on my computer that had a border and put "Sea Salt" on the label.
  7. Next we put shells and starfish stickers strategically on the outside of the jar as shown.
  8. Position attractively in your bathroom or kitchen or whatever spot you have in mind for your new sealed container.

  • Old candle jar
  • Candle string
  • Small washer
  • Candle wax or paraffin
  • Scented oil 
  • Pencil
  • Old pan
  1. Melt the old wax and remove the stub of string and metal weight.
  2. Clean out the jar as shown above. 
  3. Melt the wax slowly in the pan on the stove. Stop when it liquifies. Don't boil.
  4. Add scented oil till it smells as strong as you like and stir it in.
  5. Tie one end of the candle string to the small washer. Cut the string so it is a few inches longer than you need to reach the top.
  6. With the washer on the bottom of jar, lay the pencil on top of the open jar across the center and tie the string to the center of the pencil to hold the string vertical.
  7. Gently pour the hot wax into the jar and fill to a half inch or so from the top of the jar. 
  8. Allow to sit and cool and when hardened, trim the the string level with the top of the jar. 
  9. Your new candle is ready to go. 
The nice thing about old candle jars is that they have a seal so that the jars can be made relatively airtight.  They're handy for a lot of things and you get that lovely smell when you burn the candle the first time before you reuse the jar.


Swan Creek Candle Company - (wax, scent and supplies)

Alternate Jar Cleaning Method (Youtube)

Three More Ways To Clean Candle Jars

© 2017 by Tom King

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Greeting Card Campaign: 9-2 National Blueberry Popsicle Day

Click here to download card
Today is one of those days we have to go with food holidays. Nobody seems to be celebrating anything else much except a few obscure saints and some tiny countries' independence days and such. So today is National Blueberry Popsicle Day - probably the least likely sort of food to get its own national holiday. The odds of actually finding an actual blueberry popsicle are pretty slim admittedly. Here's a link to a recipe for blueberry popsicles so you can make your own. Make your sweetie a sweetie and print up a card to tell her she tickles your fancy.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the popsicle.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This will save you a lot of time for thinking about her pulchritudinousness!

© by Tom King

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Read All Those Numbers on Your Car Tires

And make sense of them.....

It all began back in 2009, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, set new standards for how tire manufactures mark tires for light trucks and passenger cars. There's a whole lot of information contained in those engraved letters and numbers now. This information includes:

Outer Ring
  1. The type of tire - Start at the tire model name on the outer ring of the tire. Move clockwise around the outside ring of the sidewall. You should run into the letter "P". P stands for "Passenger Tire" "LT" stands for Light Truck.
  2. The aspect ratio - The next three numbers following "P" gives you the width of the tire in millimeters. Next there will be a slash mark and a second number after the slash. This number is the height of the tire. Put the first number over the second number and you'll have the ratio of width to height. This fraction is the aspect ratio. In the photo above the aspect ratio is 185/60.
  3. Radial mark - The next letter, if it's an "R" tells you the tire is a radial. If there's no "R", it's not a radial.
  4. Rim diameter - The next pair of numbers is the diameter of the rim in inches. The tire in the illustration fits a 14 inch rim.
  5. The load index -  The next number and letter pair lists the load index and speed. The load index indicates the tires carrying capacity. For instance, 89 = 1,279 pounds, 88 = 1,235 pounds, 87 = 1,201 pounds, 86 = 1,168 pounds, and 85 = 1,135 pounds. Load indexes for light trucks and cars range from 70 to 126
  6. The Speed Rating - The speed rating is the maximum speed for the tire. Here are the letters and what they mean:
    L     75mph     120 km/h     Off-road & light truck tires
    M    81mph     130 km/h     Temporary spare tires
    N    87 mph     140 km/h    
    P     93 mph     150 km/h
    Q    99 mph     160 km/h     Studless and studdable winter tires
    R    106 mph    170 km/h    HD Light Truck Tires
    S    112 mph    180 km/h    Family sedans and vans
    T    118 mph    190 km/h    Family Sedans and vans
    U    123 mph    200 km/h  
    H    130 mph    210 km/h    Sport sedans and coupes
    W   168 mph    270 km/h    Exotic sports cars
    Y    186 mph    300 km/h    Exotic sports cars
  7. Treadwear - This next 3 digit number is a comparison between a standard test tire and this particular tire. They run the tires side by side around a 400 mile loop in West Texas. If the subject tire wears the same as the test tire it gets a 100 rating. If it does twice as well it gets a 200; three times and it gets a 300 rating. So the 220 rating above means the tire did 220% better than the test tire.
  8. Traction - The next data on the outer ring is the traction rating. There are four ratings.
    AA - the highest rating is followed by A, B, and C. These grades are measurements are G-force ratings on asphalt and concrete under dry and wet conditions. 
  9. Temperature - This is a temperature resistance grade. The grade is established by measuring a loaded tire's ability to operate at high speeds without failure by running an inflated test tire against a large diameter high-speed laboratory test wheel. The rating is an A to C rating. A rates the tire over 115 mph. B rates the tire 100 to 115 mph. C rates the tire 85 mph to 100. All US built tires must be at least rated C for temperature resisteance.
Inner Ring:
  1. Maximum inflation pressure - Follow the small letters around the edge of the rims. Starting below the tire name you will find the maximum permissible inflation pressure followed by the US DOT tire identification number the Tire ply, composition and materials used in manufacture. 
  2. Radial or not - Moving counterclockwise, tire markings repeat if it's a radial, but this time spells it all the way out.
  3. Tube or tubeless - Most tires are tubeless, but on the outside chance it's not here's where it tells you.  
  4. Made in ???? - Some tires which are made outside the US list their country of origin here  somewhere before the DOT code.
  5.  DOT Code - The Department of Transportation (DOT) code uses this format: XXXX XXXX XXXX.  The first two letters designate where the tire was manufactured. The next two letters and numbers are a code for the tire size.  There may be 4 letters and numbers next if the tire is sold in Europe. Look for an "E". If not sold in Europe, these number codes may be omitted. If you do not see 11 or 12 characters following DOT, you may have to look on the other side of the tire. The final group of four in this long number which may be continued on the other side of the tire tells you the week and year in which the tire was manufactured.  "2417" would indicate a tire made in the 24th week of 2017.
  6. Tire Ply and Composition - Tire makers are required to list the materials and number of layers of each material used to reinforce the rubber. Here is a sample of how it may be printed on the sidewall: TREAD PLIES: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL+1 POLYAMIDE SIDEWALL PLIES: 2 POLYESTER 
  7. Maximum Cold Inflation and Load Limit - This final marking refers how much weight you can safely put on the tires. If you have four of the tire shown above with a load limit of 1300 lbs. per tire, that means the vehicle, passengers and load shouldn't exceed  5200 lbs. or a bit more than 2 1/2 tons. That's why some trucks use dual wheels over the payload bed. It's not for looks although a dually really looks cool. The extra two tires increase the load the tires can safely carry. That way you can haul a granite boulder or two without flattening your tires.
That's a rough idea of what tire markings are all about. Some of these markings might be particularly useful if, like me, you've ever had to buy used tires because you just put your kids back in school and had to buy $400 worth of notebook paper, pens and Ninja Turtle and Strawberry Shortcake backpacks. You can at least tell read the tire markings and tell when the tire was made. That way you don't wind up running around on 25 year-old rubber.