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Tire patching aroma


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#1 john2dameron

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:26 AM

Members are discussing the odors associated with the printing industry. How many were around during World War II and remember the smell of patching innertubes with a hot patch kit.

My dad was a rural mail carrier. New tires were impossible to come by and the gravel roads he drove over ate tires up. He'd take a worn out tire and cut the beads off of it and stuff it into another tire to try to avoid punctures. However, he'd come home about every night with flats to fix. When the weather was cool he'd bring them into the kitchen and get out the patch kit. First he rough the area to be patched with a buffer, then he'd clamp a patch kit on to it and light it. Something in the patch pan looked like cork and had a odor all it's own; kind of nasty and kind of pleasant at the same time. The heating material would burn out, he'd let it cool a while, then remove the clamp and pan and proceed to the next puncture. I think by the time the war ended some of his tubes probably had as many as 2-dozen patches on them. He would never use a cold patch with cement; he said they would come loose.

Getting enough gas ration stamps was a problem also until he stayed home one day and all the neighbors complained about no mail delivery. He always had plenty of stamps after that.

#2 Shop Rat

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:28 AM

My dad was born on Dec. 14th, 1916. I remember him talking about when the tires on his dad's early vehicles would go flat in a way to where they wouldn't hold air anymore, they would cut a slit in the sidewall of the tire and stuff the tire full of sawdust and then use glue to hold the cut closed. He said the ride was pretty rough :eek: :o but the sawdust could be had for free and glue wasn't that expensive.....new tires were. :) And exhaust pipes were frequently fixed with tin cans and the wires off of hay bales.
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#3 Dandy Dave

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:51 AM

Talk about a ruff ride, I saw a rear tire on an old Farmall tractor a while back. Four holes were cut in the side wall, and it was filled with cement. I guess that one would not hold air any longer either and the poor farmer found a cheep fix. :eek:.... LOL. :D Dandy Dave!
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#4 Restorer32

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:23 AM

I grew up in Dad's recap shop. As late as the late '60's he was still repairing and selling car tires with vulcanized patches. At the first sign of snow in the Fall folks would line up to buy recapped snow tires or have their's installed. Wish I had a nickle for every tire I changed on Saturdays and during school breaks. These days it is common to need 4 ounces or more of wheel weights to balance a tire. Back in the day you seldom needed more than an ounce or 2 and folks would often reject a tire needing 4 ounces to balance.
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#5 Roger Walling

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:43 AM

I always suspected that many people on this site were sniffing too much glue!

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#6 De Soto Frank

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:46 AM

"First he rough the area to be patched with a buffer, then he'd clamp a patch kit on to it and light it. Something in the patch pan looked like cork and had a odor all it's own; kind of nasty and kind of pleasant at the same time. The heating material would burn out, he'd let it cool a while, then remove the clamp and pan and proceed to the next puncture."

That was a vulcanizing kit - best patches ever... and nothing matches that acrid smoke from the chemical pan !

Sadly, they seem to have disappeared from auto-stores within the last couple of years... I still have a blister-pack of them in my "tire repair kit"...
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#7 Larry Schramm

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:14 PM

I was still using them to fix tubes in the 60's. I think the type that I used was called Camel patch kits.
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#8 Roger Walling

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:13 PM

When I was in Jamaica a few years ago, I had a flat repaired at a rural gas station and he used some saw dust soaked with gasoline on a steel plate to vulcanize the tube. No ready made patch, just some glue and a piece of old tube.:cool:

#9 Rusty_OToole

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:01 AM

I knew an old timer who told me how he got tires for his Model T in the twenties. He could not afford good tires so he picked up old tires behind garages. Soak them in a pond, then put them on his car and stuff them with hay or rags. He could drive along OK but once in a while zing! a tire would go flying past his ear. Clincher rims on the old T.

#10 Skyking

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:24 AM

Members are discussing the odors associated with the printing industry.


When you're in the industry as long as I, (43 years), there is no odor. :D:D
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#11 Larry Schramm

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:37 AM

Ok, Ok, I would right a question.

I said earlier.....I was still using them to fix tubes in the 60's. I think the type that I used was called Camel patch kits.

For clarification... The brand of patch kits "Camel Brand" I did not "hot patch any camels" :D :) :eek:

That includes cigarettes as I do not and have never smoked.
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#12 Shop Rat

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:00 AM

.....For clarification... The brand of patch kits "Camel Brand" I did not "hot patch any camels" :D :) :eek: ......


Thanks Larry for clearing that up. I was getting a little concerned about you. :D
Susan W. Linden

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#13 Foggy norm

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:19 AM

Memory's, most of us gas jockey's back in the 60's repaired tire's when it was slow. Never trusted those hot patch's to be cool when you grabbed them.

Typically of working in gas station's during that time, a lot of fooling around was commonplace. When another employee or well know customer would use the bathroom...beware! Timing was the enemy, I would pull the rubber off the patch, lite it, and slide it under the door (cement floor). Depending on what business the person doing, the longer duration was preferred. The explative's coming from behind the door were priceless, and testament to the odor.

#14 john2dameron

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:48 AM

Talk about a ruff ride, I saw a rear tire on an old Farmall tractor a while back. Four holes were cut in the side wall, and it was filled with cement. I guess that one would not hold air any longer either and the poor farmer found a cheep fix. .... LOL. Dandy Dave!
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So the fellow got his tire fixed and a wheel weight that would never come loose all in one package. That must be killing two birds with one bag of cement.

#15 Restorer32

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 10:38 AM

Talk about odors....Dad rented space from a landowner to store scrap tires when he was in the recap business. The area was wooded and downhill from a country road so we would load up the truck, park it alongside the road and make sport of seeing how far we could make a tire roll downhill thru the woods. Soon about 20,000 tires had accumulated (this was pre zoning, pollution, mosquito control days). All was well until someone decided it would be fun to light the pile on fire. It burned for about 2 weeks. Fireman were virtually helpless at dousing the fire and finally basically let it burn itself out. Black smoke and burning rubber....ahhh the memories.
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#16 Shop Rat

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:58 AM

About four years ago this month a large warehouse tire storage facility was set on fire across the river from where I live. The black smoke could be seen for miles. I know the smell you are talking about Restorer32.
Susan W. Linden

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#17 billybird

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:31 PM

While we're on the subject of smells, odors and aromas, I have a confession to make. Everytime I change oil in my diesel truck { always after a run } I love to take that paper element out of the oil filter cannister and smell it . For some reason, I love the smell of that hot diesel oil. O.K. I'm out of the closet now. I feel better. Anyone else have a "smell of the hobby" they are drawn to? Here's your chance to come to come clean! LOL!

#18 Restorer32

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:28 PM

600 W gear oil is a fragrance that you'll never forget.
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:o All unrestored, shoemaker's kids, you know?

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#19 Shop Rat

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:11 PM

That puff of aroma that comes out of the can, and the sound of breaking the vacuum seal, when you open a brand new can of car wax. :)
Susan W. Linden

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#20 prs519

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:49 PM

Hey, I tape my cigarettes when they break. They have become pound for pound, as valuable as gold! And I will not apologize. I think I have one those Camel brand patch containers.
And for pleasant smells, I am fond of the one 1948-1952 or so Chev trucks and pickups emit!
I have always wondered if the rather odd shape of the hood contributes to the unique smell. Hmmm makes me wanna go find one right now!!! aint we a weird bunch?




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