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RECYCLING

Wire You Throwing Away Those Hangers?

September 26, 1998|From Wire Servies

It may not be true that wire hangers reproduce in your clothes closet when the door is closed. But wire hangers do accumulate, get tangled together and clutter up the closet.

Now, here's good news: Wire hangers can be recycled for many uses. Here are a few:

Painting

* Bend the ends of a piece of wire hanger at a right angle and securely tape the ends to the side of a paint can with the middle section of wire running across the can opening. Use the wire instead of the rim of the can to tap the excess paint from your brush. The wire will keep the paint from getting into the lid groove and from dripping down the side.

* To park your paintbrush during a break, twist a piece of wire hanger around the lower part of the handle with pliers and form a small hook by turning the ends of the wire downward. Then you can hang the brush on the edge of the can so that the bristles stay in the paint and don't dry out.

* The hook on top of a wire hanger makes a great tool for squeezing excess paint from a roller. To shape the hanger into a cleaning tool, bend the "wings" of the hanger back with the middle pointing in so that they can be held together as a handle. Then starting at one end of the roller, pull the hanger hook down the length of the roller several times. Turn the roller slightly with each pass.

Storage

* Make a rack on the back of a hall closet door to hold gloves and caps from a hanger and clothespins. Mount three screw eyes on the door. Straighten a wire hanger and feed it through the eyes, slipping it through the springs in two or three clip-on clothespins as you go. To secure the rack, bend the wire around the screw eyes at each end.

* Finding a place to put a hot soldering iron so it won't roll away or damage something in your workshop can be tricky. One solution is to make a stand for your soldering iron out of a wire hanger. Bend the wings into an M-shape so that only the tips of the wings and the hook rest off the work surface. Then rest the tool in the "valley."

* Use a wire hanger to speed drying of rubber boots and other footwear. Bend the hanger so that the bottom goes over the hook, forming two loops on either side. Slide the boots through the loops, sole side up. Hang the assembly over a hook or a nail.

* You can make a handy tool from a wire coat hanger that will show you exactly where to mount your pictures. Cut a 10-inch piece of a wire from a hanger and file one end to a point. Using pliers, bend the pointed end at a right angle and form a finger-size loop at the other end.

To use the tool, insert the pointed end under the picture wire or sawtooth hanger. Position the picture on the wall, holding it by the looped end of the tool, and gently push the point into the wall to mark the spot.

* When running cable for a new electrical outlet, make fishing for the cable less frustrating. Tie a strong magnet to the end of the fishing line and lower it through an opening above the new outlet's location. Push a straightened coat hanger, with a hook at one end, through the hole. When the magnet locks on to the wire hanger, guide the magnet out through the hole.

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