Zipper wax

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OreCoastDiver
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Zipper wax

Post by OreCoastDiver » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:35 am

There must be a better way. I'm sick and tired of the smell of my zipper wax. :vom: And I don't think it's doing the job as well as it should. I use the stick kind of wax that looks kind of like a big, white crayon.

I was helping a dive buddy at the aquarium zip his suit and it zipped real easy. He says he uses a little wax then sprays the heck out of his zipper with silicone.

I'm going to clean my zipper with white vinegar and try that. Anyone have a better idea?
Brandon
Compression is good for the soul.

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enchantmentdivi
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Re: Zipper wax

Post by enchantmentdivi » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:15 am

You can buy a lifetime supply of zipper wax at Walmart for about $1.50. Go to the canning section and buy canning wax (like for jellies and jams). One box has about four 2"x4" blocks in it, and there's no smell, it's cheap as hell, and works just fine.
Jenn

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enchantmentdivi
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Re: Zipper wax

Post by enchantmentdivi » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:18 am

By the way, I wouldn't use silicone spray at all. I've been told by an "expert" in the drysuit industry that things like Seal Saver on neck seals leaches into the fabric of the drysuit. In turn, it can make it difficult for glues to stick on the fabric when trying to replace the neck seal down the road. I would imagine spraying silicone on a zipper would have the same effect.
Jenn

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rcontrera
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Re: Zipper wax

Post by rcontrera » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:52 am

You have to think about what it is we are trying to do in lubricating the zipper.

If we just want the slide to pull easier, then the paraffin sticks from Walmart work just fine ... as long as you put it on every time you operate the slider as it flakes off easily when cold. To me, lubricating the zipper when getting in and out each time is a bunch of work and I am just to lazy to do it.

Silicone can provide easy pulling of the slider and will do a GREAT job of softening and preserving the rubber sealing surface. However, it will also soften the rubber at the "knife edge" (that part of the zipper that sticks up between the teeth when the zipper is closed). That edge is where the zipper shows wear first by fraying. Sure, you can trim off the loose threads that come loose to extend the life of the zipper. But silicone will actually shorten the life of the zipper overall by making the rubber parts too soft and eventually allowing the edge or material between teeth to tear.

Now, that said, the zipper is made up of both inner and outer parts and thin rubber sealing areas on the sides of the inner teeth. A good zipper lubricant will both lubricate the metal parts AND help preserve the sealing surfaces. There is a lubricant that comes in a stick form that is made by AGS and marketed by several companies like OS Systems, National Divers and others. It is a softened beeswax that does an excellent job of both lubricating the teeth and preserving the rubber. It is a soft stick so it is important to take off the excess when applying so that it doesn't collect dirt and debris that can gum up or jam the slider. I found that it will last somewhere between three and five dives before you have to clean and lubricate again. Of course, I am anal about my stuff and do it every time I clean my dive stuff.

Just my $.02

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OreCoastDiver
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Re: Zipper wax

Post by OreCoastDiver » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:29 pm

Thanks Ray and Jenn. I was in my NEW local dive shop South Beach Scuba (it's so nice to have one finally) and picked up some of the wax that Ray recommended. I'll give that a try. I also have a few brick of the paraffin Jenn was talking about. I use them to lubricate the bottoms of my woodworking planes (Stanley type 11s from before WWI). Good stuff and cheap -- the paraffin is cheap, not the planes.

I didn't know that stuff about silicone breaking down the rubber. I wonder if my friend does?
Brandon
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rcontrera
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Re: Zipper wax

Post by rcontrera » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:32 pm

Silicone doesn't "break down" rubber. It softens and preserves. However, the softening will allow the slider to wear out the knife edge sooner. The AGS "Zipper Ease" is softened with silicone as well as other stuff.

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