How Can It Be Going Somewhere and Standing Still, Too?
Even a Hurricane-House Owner Has Something To Worry About
Those POTS and WOLS Will Drive Him STUN
The Drought Was a Break for the B.O.E.A.P.Q.O.T.U.S.D.O.A.
It looks as Though Some One Must Have Been Gypped
It's Not a Question of Oxygen, But How To Get Rid of the Water
"Ship-to-Shore" Communication Will Be a Real Problem Then
He Had a Fine Ride—Except for the Battery-Acid Bath
Add Your Figures Properly and It Comes Out All Right
At Any Rate, There's Been No Protest from the Rats
That's Close Figuring on Anybody's Speedometer
The Psychology of Odors Interests This Bee Keeper
The Hunter Better Get a Little Practice in Jumping, Himself
Speeds of 700 Miles an Hour Are Old Stuff for Rockets
HAVING just got through with a siege of the painters, I’ve been wondering why some one doesn’t design a “paintless house.” With stainless-steel walls, a plastic ceiling, and some sort of waterproof composition flooring provided with an inconspicuous gutter and drain, the problem of cleaning a room would be reduced merely to removing the furniture and washing it down with a hose.
A BOON to bandsmen who play outdoors in shivery weather during midwinter parades or at late-fall football games is a novel muff invented by Duane F. Rupert, of Gloversville, N. Y. Made with a durable waterproof covering of hide and lined with fleece or fur, the muff has a slide fastener to make it easy to slip on or off an instrument such as a clarinet.
SAID to be practically trouble-free, an electrically operated coal stoker for home furnaces requires no installation expense and can be mounted without even putting out the existing furnace fire. Quiet in operation, the stoker has only four moving parts, will fit all types of furnaces, and will feed coke, hard coal, or soft coal.
WITH considerable usage, window shades are liable to have their edges torn and ripped by contact with sharp brackets that hold the rollers in place. An improved bracket now on the market is offset to prevent contact between the shade edges and the brackets, as shown in the photograph above.
HOME OWNERS will not have to grope through darkened rooms after they turn the lights off when they have a new delayed-action wall-type switch which allows the lights it controls to stay on for from twenty to sixty seconds after the toggle is snapped.
DRY basements in homes are assured when foundation walls are constructed with new clay building tile having a built-in gutter that makes it self-draining. In the test shown above, which greatly exaggerates normal conditions, large quantities of water were poured into the upper rows of the tile.
INSTANTLY adjustable to hold work at any angle, a new lightweight vise for home-workshop fans or home repairmen can easily be attached and moved to any convenient spot. When attached to a bench, a turn of a wing nut allows the vise to be lowered below workbench level out of the way.
QUICKLY and easily attached to practically any size pliers by means of a spring locking lever, the handy clamp illustrated below securely locks the plier handles, giving the jaws of the tool an almost unbreakable grip. With this adjustable clamp pliers may serve as a wrench, hand vise, rigid clamp, tool holder, or gripping and locking device.
AMAZING "SNOW CRUISER" TO CARRY POLAR PIONEERS TO STAKE OUR CLAIMS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD
ALDEN P. ARMAGNAC
CRUNCHING snow and ice beneath ten-foot pneumatic tires, throbbing with the combined 400 horsepower of its mighty Diesel engines, a fifty-five-foot juggernaut with a swift airplane poised on its broad back soon will roll into polar lands of mystery.
Builders of Midget Craft Try Out Ingenious Ideas in a Miniature Air Meet
PROGRESS in miniature-airplane design was dramatized a few weeks ago when contestants representing seven countries, England, France, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, the United States, and New Zealand, battled for the coveted Wakefield Trophy at Bendix Airport in New Jersey.
WHAT the metropolitan skyport of tomorrow may look like, as conceived by Nicholas DeSantis, New York commercial artist, is shown in the illustration below. His remarkable proposal, embodied in a model that he has completed after five years’ study of the project, calls for a 200-story building capped by an airplane field eight city blocks long and three blocks wide.
"IF I only had the time, I’d take up a hobby!” Next time some one pulls this old line on you, tell him about Major Lenox R. Lohr. As president of the National Broadcasting Company, Major Lohr is one of the busiest executives in the country, supervising the operation of two nationwide radio networks with 180 stations.
X-RAY photographs of the chest, clear enough to indicate the faintest trace of heart disease or tuberculosis, can now be taken at greatly reduced cost, by means of a new machine that substitutes rolls of sensitized paper for expensive X-ray film.
FLYING through the air with the greatest of ease is no trick at all to Walter Bura, of West Orange, N. J., who designed the man-throwing catapult shown installed on the boardwalk of Lake Mohawk, Sparta, N. J. Modeled after ancient Roman military types, Bura’s catapult has an open steel framework, arranged with a steep take-off ramp on one side.
ONE shaft and seven detachable club heads housed in a lightweight canvas kit replace a whole golf bag full of heavy clubs, in a novel plan devised by a group of Chicago, Ill., golfers. In addition to the various screw-on club heads, carried conveniently in specially designed pockets, the canvas kit provides a compartment for golf balls and one for wooden tees.
PAINT brushes are cleaned quickly by means of a new electric whirling device. A brush is first dipped in a cleaning solvent, and then attached by its handle to the whirler, as shown at the left. When the motor is switched on, the brush whirls at high speed, paint being automatically removed by means of centrifugal force.
POLICING the air waves is the queer job of the “radio G-men,” inspectors of the Federal Communications Commission. At monitoring stations located in seven cities, they listen in continually to see that amateur and commercial stations stick to the frequencies assigned to them, track down unlicensed “bootleg” stations, record questionable broadcast programs, and check commercial programs to see that technicians are keeping their signals “sweet.”
EXCESS fat on any part of the body can be removed easily with a novel electric massaging barrel, according to the manufacturer. Supported by a metal frame, the barrel, fitted with closely-spaced wooden rollers free to turn, is rotated by a small electric motor that operates on 110 volts A.C. or D.C. Users may sit on the device, lean back against it, straddle it, or lean forward over it, depending on the part of the body to be massaged.
Discarded.coffee cans provided the raw material for a novel model airplane constructed by John Magarine, Brooklyn, N.Y., model-plane enthusiast. Built to scale, the ship patterned after a Korben “Super Ace” has a complete set of controls and lights, rubber tires on its landing wheels, and even an engine radiator that is cooled by water.
BASEBALL umpires can throw away their whisk brooms if an automatic home-plate duster recently invented is generally adopted. When the device is placed in operation, a valve built into the plate rises and a blast of compressed air sweeps it clean of dust and dirt, as shown in the photograph below.
STATIC electricity, the cause of many explosions in rooms where inflammable or explosive vapors are present, is counteracted by the novel ionizing electric fan pictured in the photograph above. Ionized air, either positive or negative, is created in front of the fan blades, which spread it throughout a room to counteract dangerous concentrations of static.
LEAPS above the ground are said to be made safe by a new parachute invented by O. A. Baker, of El Monte, Calif. The secret of the new safety parachute, which is so designed that it will open immediately after the rip cord is yanked, is said to be a “pressure dome,” a small 'chute within the larger one, which, the inventor claims, permits active air circulation and insures instant opening of the fabric.
WILLIE HOPPE, billiard champion, thought he was going to be made the butt of some practical joke when he accepted an invitation from Fred Waring, orchestra leader, to play a game on the latter’s “round” billiard table. Believing that a round biliard table was in the same class as a vertical football field or an underground baseball diamond, Hoppe brought along a batch of square billiard balls as his contribution to the merriment.
ESPECIALLY handy for servicing storage batteries located under the hoods of cars, a kit recently marketed holds a gallon of distilled water and provides compartments for the various battery tools. Made entirely of rubber, the unit will not scratch a car’s finish nor break if the water in it freezes.
AFTER several of his livestock had wandered onto dark country roads at night, and been killed by passing automobiles and trucks, an English farmer solved the problem by providing head and tail lights for his cattle. Tiny lamps powered by small dry cells are affixed to the horns and tails of the animals, making them visible to motorists coming from either direction along the roads that border the farm.
To MAKE his voice heard in every part of a broad practice football field, coach Tad Wieman, of Princeton University in Princeton, N. J., has adopted a mobile field loudspeaker system, which he is shown using in the photograph at the right. Wheeled out onto the sidelines, and placed in an advantageous position, the battery - operated public-address unit makes it possible for the coach to direct the practice of several squads working in different parts of the gridiron without having to walk back and forth.
MAKING comic toy soldiers from cigarettes, cigar butts, and other smokers’ materials is the odd spare-time occupation of the hobbyist pictured at work in the photograph below. Products of his unusual craft include buck privates made from painted cigarettes, with paper-match arms and burnt-match facial features, a cannon made from a cigarette holder, a commanding officer in the shape of a cigar butt with paper-match medals and decorations, and a handsome steed fashioned from a pipe and outfitted with four cigar-butt legs.
PRESSURES up to 2,000,000 pounds to the square inch—the greatest one-directional stress ever controlled and measured in laboratory research—are being applied to rocks and crystals at Harvard University, in experiments which are yielding clews to the mechanism of earthquakes, mountain formation, and other geological phenomena deep underground.
INCENDIARY bombs, believed to be one of the greatest hazards in large-scale aerial attacks on big cities, may be rendered less destructive by a device demonstrated recently in Paris, France. As shown in the illustration at the right, a metal hood containing sand is placed over the sputtering bomb.
TELEVISION in theaters, already a success in England, may soon entertain American audiences. Just opened in a New York office building, a demonstration “theater” exhibits the Baird system used abroad, which throws brilliant images as large as fifteen by twenty feet upon the screen.
To KEEP park visitors abreast of maritime activity around the harbor of New York City, a mammoth outdoor bulletin board has been erected in Battery Park, on the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island, facing the bay and adjoining the river entrances to New York docks and piers.
Headlamp Lenses Tested for Strains by Polarized Light
AUTOMOBILE headlight lenses are now tested by a leading car manufacturer with the aid of a one-way-light instrument which detects normally invisible strains in the glass. New lenses are placed on a viewing screen that is sandwiched between two sheets of polarizing glass.
LOOKING like fantastic men from Mars squatting around a steaming cauldron of some magic brew, electric-arc welders huddling over a major repair job form the subjects for the striking photograph reproduced above. The particular job on which the men are pictured working was to repair a vital broken part which caused all operations in a large steel mill to come to a costly halt.
THREE-SIDED rotating drafting tables have recently been developed to save space and increase working efficiency in a large engineering drafting room. Plans and drawings can be tacked to any one or all three sides of the table, and, simply by releasing a pedal, the desired drawing or reference sheet can be turned up in a convenient working position without disturbing drawings attached to the two other surfaces.
Chauffeur Spends Spare Time Thinking Up Ingenious Devices
JOHN E. LODGE
COBBLER, car washer, and now a private chauffeur for a Milwaukee, Wis., banker—those have been the workaday occupations of Fred R. Staudle, who came to this country from Europe sixteen years ago. But after hours he turns to his home workshop and his hobby of inventing things.
STRIKING with lightning speed, the homed toad pictured in the remarkable photograph at the left is shown hurtling its body through the air in a bulletlike leap for its prey, a cricket. Poised on some high vantage point, the toad waits until its prey is within easy striking distance, and then leaps directly at it with a speed that makes its movement only a blur to the unaided eye.
GOLF BAGS equipped with an easily attached automatic stand rest at a convenient angle for the removal or insertion of individual clubs. When the bag is stood on the ground by the golfer or his caddie, a rubber-tipped extension at the base of the bag forces two metal standards to spring outward to hold the bag so that the clubs are accessible, as shown in the photograph reproduced above.
“FROZEN” lug nuts on automobile and truck wheels are easily loosened and removed with the aid of a “sledge-hammer” wrench now available. The weighted handle swings in an arc of 100 degrees or more before raised lugs on the shaft check it, imparting a blow to loosen the nut.
RUNNING an internal-combustion motor on acetylene, a gas generated from calcium carbide and water, instead of on gasoline, is made possible by a special carburetor perfected after seventeen months of experimental work by Herman Pederson, of Brooklyn, N. Y.
HOBBYHORSES on wheels, running on a circular track, form a novel merry-go-round for patients in a special children’s ward set up in New York City’s new Memorial Hospital for the treatment of cancer and allied diseases. One-wheel hobbyhorses and chairs run around a circular track resting on the floor, and are supported at the side by attachment to a circular wooden framework that turns on a central metal column.
WHY not devise a system whereby facts and helpful advice on specific subjects could be concentrated in the form of revolving or sliding charts that could be carried in the pocket or conveniently hung on the wall of an office, workroom, kitchen, or nursery ? That idea occurred not long ago to Harriet B. Meyer, of New York City, whose business is supplying information on a wide variety of subjects, mainly to industries.
ELEVATED express highways passing through special "motorway" buildings are a feature of a plan proposed by engineers of the Automobile Club of Southern California for handling traffic problems in metropolitan areas. In the photograph above, showing a scale model of "Every City" designed to illustrate the plan, such a highway is seen entering a miniature building near the center of the model.
SKETCHING the details of major surgical operations is the unusual job assigned to Gladys E. Lande, Philadelphia, Pa., medical artist. Donning a sterile costume, complete with white gown, hat, and face mask, she observes over surgeons’ shoulders, making lightning sketches of the progress of the operation.
PAINTS that glow in the dark under the unseen rays of ultra-violet light are now available to amateur experimenters in kit form. One outfit consists of a two-watt ultra-violet lamp and reflector, operating on 110 volts A.C. or D.C., and six bottles of fluorescent paint that is colorless under ordinary light.
A BREATHING machine, which not only inhales and exhales for a patient, but also keeps his lungs under an anesthetic, was recently demonstrated to a group of American surgeons in Los Angeles, Calif., by its inventor, Dr. Clarence Crafoord, of Sweden.
Oh, “safe and sane” is a sound refrain, And thrift is a gift that’s splendid; And prudence pays in a hundred ways, And caution is recommended. But now and then in the hearts of men There’s need for more reckless phrases When the die is cast and the pulse beats fast And discretion can go to blazes! There are times to make any coin you stake A matter of calm decision.
DROPPED from any window, after its upper end has been anchored to the sill, a portable all-metal fire escape of new design may prove a life-saver in an emergency. Stirrup-shaped rungs, supported by chains, provide sure footing for safety.
To ENABLE his children to share his interest in astronomy, J. Lawrence, of Astoria, N. Y., has devised the ingenious twin telescope holder shown above. When he points his own spyglass at a star, the young observer at the other eyepiece is sure to see the same star, since the frame holds the telescopes rigidly parallel.
PROVIDING television studios with the brilliant lighting they require, without subjecting actors to unbearable heat, was the problem research engineers recently solved by designing light units employing new water-cooled, cigarette-size, mercury arc lamps (P.S.M., Apr. ’38, p. 44). Circulating water passes through hoses connected to each unit to absorb heat.
GEOLOGY students at the University of Buffalo, N.Y., after three years of concentrated effort, recently finished the remarkable scale model of the falls and gorge of the Niagara River shown at the right. The largest and most accurate map of the area ever executed, the model weighs more than a quarter of a ton, measures eleven feet long and six feet wide, and contains about 12,000 pieces of plywood, which, with papiermâché, was the material.
CAVIAR from the Canadian wilderness is now being sold in American cities as the result of a unique fish-plane service inaugurated by Capt. Roy Maxwell, World War aviator and former director of the Ontario Forestry Air Patrol. Using a swift Bellanca seaplane, Maxwell lands on isolated lakes and streams to collect sturgeon and the roe, or eggs, from which caviar is made.
COMPLETE protection of the body of a football player from the waist to the neck is afforded by a new combination guard recently introduced. The protector consists of pads that cushion shocks on the shoulders, chest, and ribs, attached to a heavy leather piece that shields the spinal vertebrae.
STENCIL signs and cut-out letters, designs, and figures are easily and quickly made with a small-size cutting device now on the market. Electrically operated, the machine cuts figures from any light material in sizes from three eighths of an inch up to three feet in height.
A TRANSPARENT handbag for women is now becoming a fashionable accessory abroad. Made of a clear, semistiff, transparent plastic material, with decorative stitching at the edges, the bag reveals its contents at all times. The owner can even powder her nose while looking in a mirror that is inside her handbag, as shown in the photograph at the right.
RUBBER noses and ears, to replace natural ones lost by accident or disease, are now being supplied to patients at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Made of latex, the spare parts may be worn until a new nose or ear can be provided by plastic surgery—or, if the patient desires, they may be used permanently.
STRIDING along over rows of hotbed frames on a giant Russian farm, the novel electric combine pictured below performs all the operations required for the cultivation of hotbed crops. Operated by one man, the machine opens the frames, scatters soil, levels the beds, marks out rows, sows seed, waters, weeds, fertilizes, sprays, and pollinates plants.
DEFYING the force of gravity, an aluminum bowl that is part of a novel device known as an “electromagnetic levitator” fascinates crowds at the New York World’s Fair by floating in air with no visible means of support. Developed by General Electric research engineers as a demonstration of electric and magnetic forces, the bowl is invisibly supported by the force arising from the interaction of electric currents induced in it and a magnetic field created by coils and an iron core in a housing underneath.
WEEDS, high grasses, and other vegetation along railroad right of ways are now being cleared with a new swinging-boom fire machine. Operators of the new machine, which rolls over the railroad tracks, man controls that swing a fire-breathing boom fifteen feet or more to the side of the track, as shown in the photograph below.
BUILT for as little as $150, a low-cost ultracentrifuge developed by Dr. James W. McBain, of Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., makes it possible for any research laboratory to own this useful apparatus for separating materials. Extremely small in size, the device operates on the same principle as the cream separators used in dairies, whirling substances in containers at high speed until their heavier components break away from their lighter ones.
WITHOUT leaving their cars, naturalists, sports spectators, and automobile tourists can obtain a magnified view of distant scenes and objects when they use a telescope mounted in a recently introduced support that fits snugly over the top edge of a lowered car window, as shown in the photograph at the right.
LIGHTNING slashes from the sky into a heavy stand of Douglas fir, threatening to wipe out in a scorching conflagration nature’s work of two centuries. Can forest rangers anticipate the blaze and beat it to the punch by mobilizing men and tools at strategic points? How far away can rangers see smoke from even the smallest blaze?
BY MAKING one bullet do the work of two, Tex Corey, expert marksman, of Clearwater, Tex., has carried the title of “Economical Sharpshooter.” As his target Tex sets up a tripod on which he hangs a steel backstop having a small shelf at the bottom.
TO ADD to the comforts of traveling on long motor trips, a new pillow recently introduced for car use acts not only as a cushion but also as a handy toilet case. Opening a slide fastener that extends around the side of the novel pillow reveals an interior compartment fitted with a comb and hairbrush, manicuring tools, soap, a full-size towel, a clothes brush, and a pocket in which can be carried medicine or other accessories.
OUTDOOR bowling alleys installed not long ago at Manhattan Beach, N. Y., were made practicable by the use of a new alley-surfacing material said to be unaffected by rain, strong sunlight, or extreme changes in temperature. The conventional gutters lining the sides of the alleys also serve as drains to carry off water during rainstorms.
BROADCAST musical programs can guide airplane pilots unerringly to their destination when they use a new homing device developed by Henry Wolff, of San Francisco, Calif. A pilot heading for New York City, for example, would tune in a New York station.
MORE than eighty percent of the nicotine in tobacco smoke is said to be removed by a filter pipe recently announced. Smoke drawn from the pipe bowl to the mouthpiece passes through two halves of a cigarette, which act as filters to absorb most of the nicotine.
YOUNG SCIENTIST FILMS LIGHTNING FROM ODD SKYSCRAPER LABORATORY
E. W. MURTFELDT
TRAPPING lightning on film from a skyscraper laboratory thirty-nine stories above one of the busiest corners in the world, at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, is the unique task assigned to William H. Eason, young General Electric scientist.
MAINTAINING the position he has earned as public enemy No. 1 to the snapping turtles of Long Island is the task that keeps Arthur L. Lucas, of Center Moriches, N.Y., busy. For five years, Lucas has waged war on these underwater killers, which he feels are probably the greatest menace to the game fish and wild life of the region.
WHOSE fault was the accident? Besides testing brakes and controls of a car involved in a crash, police can now check up on the driver himself. A new “interval timer” is attached to the gas pedal and brake, the motorist shows how he attempted to stop his car, and a telltale dial indicates to the nearest hundredth of a second how quickly he reacted.
DESIGNED for use after the bath, a new dressing-table accessory for women sifts scented powder, through holes like those of a salt shaker, upon a brush with long, soft bristles. A reservoir within the handle holds a month’s supply. Since the handle is made of transparent plastic, a glance shows when it is necessary to insert refills, which are supplied in glass cartridges.
"Silent" Air Drill Spares the Nerves of City-Dwellers
No LONGER need city thoroughfares resound with the nerve-racking clamor of pneumatic drills, when a new pipe is laid or a leak repaired, if a new British invention proves successful. Called a “silent” air drill and recently given its first tryout in a London street, it was declared by observers to be inaudible above the sound of passing traffic.
RAISING strong, healthy puppies in pens fitted with wire-mesh floors elevated a foot above ground level, as a protection against parasites, is the accomplishment of Leon F. Whitney, Connecticut biologist and dog expert. Recognizing the fact that turkeys, chickens, ferrets, raccoons, and other animals were given a better start in life by being brought up on wire mesh, Whitney adopted the plan as an experiment in dog raising several years ago.
ROCKS that bend, or float in water, or can be sawed like wood, are the strange materials that occupy the time of scientists in a laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Mines at College Park, Md., whose business it is to study and develop various queer minerals for commercial and scientific uses.
WOOD replaces canvas in the sail of a novel model ice boat designed by a European inventor. A radical departure from conventional designs, the original of this streamline craft has a sail made of lightweight, laminated wood, fashioned in somewhat the same manner as the wing of an airplane.
EASILY attached to any part of a car, a novel reflector button just marketed jiggles constantly when an automobile is under way to gain the maximum attention of drivers of approaching cars. The button is attached to a steel spring that is resilient enough to vibrate the button even when the car is moving over the smoothest highway.
ONLY one third as heavy as ordinary sponge rubber, a new type of rubber now available is said to be made up of millions of tiny sealed cells containing nitrogen. Since no oxygen can reach the interior of the product, and thus forward the process of oxidation which is rubber’s greatest enemy, the new material is said to have superior wearing power and durability.
ROCKETING at high speed over sixty-five feet of twisting track, tiny cars whirl around an amazing scale-model roller coaster built by Robert Weisel, High Land, Pa., high-school student. In the photograph above, Weisel is shown adjusting the chain drive that lifts the cars up one of the inclines.
MOISTUREPROOF and resistant to splitting, reeds made of a new plastic material for use in saxophones, clarinets, and other reed instruments are said to be equal in tone quality and volume to cane reeds now generally used. One of the new plastic reeds is shown at right, compared with a cane reed.
STUDENTS from a middle-western school, living in a fully equipped “highway yacht” and assembling for class each day in a different town, are traveling about the United States to visit historic sites and learn by observation as well as instruction.
AUTOMATICALLY recording the exact pressure applied and the amount of air expelled from the lungs, a new mechanism aids in training beginners in the technique of artificial respiration. The device, which is housed in a compact case measuring nineteen by sixteen by fifteen inches, records on a graph data about the work of each student during a five-minute test.
ON A vast natural proving ground in southern California, embracing four mountain ranges, two deserts, and several dry lake beds, sun-baked research engineers of the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation are piling up staggering mileages on a fleet of trucks, tractors, and passenger automobiles to gather data on fuel consumption, engine performance, and other factors that may provide clews to increased power and economy for all types of gasoline-driven motors.
FOLLOWING a ten months’ series of intensive experiments with a battery of ingenious optical testing machines in the laboratory and on the road, Dr. Andrew H. Ryan, of Chicago, 111., working in conjunction with the research staffs of the Fisher Body Division of General Motors and the Libby-Owens-Ford Glass Co., recently revealed that passengers looking at an angle through the side windows of closed cars suffer sixty-two percent less eye fatigue when the automobile is equipped with safety plate glass than when safety sheet glass is used.
WHAT is said to be the world’s smallest ice-skating rink was recently constructed in a display window of a New York City furniture store as a novel means of letting passers-by and possible customers know about the cool shopping conditions afforded by the store’s new air-conditioning plant.
ACCORDING to Mike Steddom, groundskeeper at the University of Oregon in Eugene, efficiency and not laziness is the reason why he constructed the odd jinricksha lawn mower pictured below. Starting with a gasoline-driven hand mower, Steddom secured an old wheel chair and hooked up the two.
BILLBOARD blimps, carrying flashing neon signs through the night sky above big cities, form the latest innovation in spectacular advertising. The aerial electric signs, developed and patented by Goodyear Rubber Co. experts, spell out sentences a word at a time like many of the big displays on New York’s Great White Way.
SOAP BUBBLES are the projectiles fired from a toy gun placed on the market not long ago. A mouthpiece located at the butt end of the barrel has two separate holes for blowing small or large bubbles. Rapid blasts of air directed through both holes in the mouthpiece will produce a cloud of minute bubbles.
MAKING detailed studies of poisonous insects is the job of Dr. Ralph H. Smith, professor of entomology at the University of California at Los Angeles. Many of the insects whose bite most people consider deadly are actually harmless, Smith has determined.
NICKNAMED the “vitamin house,” a model dwelling displayed at a recent convention of the American Dental Association was constructed of foodstuffs containing all the vitamins necessary to the development and preservation of sound, healthy teeth.
GOLD-PLATED ROSEBUDS and copper-plated bunches of grapes were recently displayed at an electroplating convention in New Jersey. LONGEST MUSCLE in the human body is the sartorius which runs from the hip to the knee. THIRTY THOUSAND BEES, in a swarm, once descended on a boy riding a bicycle along a country road.
To MAKE it possible for high-speed airplanes to take off and land at reasonable and safe speeds, Michael Gliwa, of Chicago, 111., has developed a novel system of telescoping auxiliary plane wings. Spreading outward, platelike sections slide from a hollow storage slot in the trailing edge of the plane’s fixed wing, as illustrated above, to increase the effective wing area of the plane.
SQUEAKS, chatter, and other noises caused by the improper fitting of an automobile brake shoe and lining into the brake drum are said to be eliminated by a new tool. After the lining has been attached to the shoe, both are shaped to the correct arc by a gradual bending process with the tool.
KEEPING pace with a revived international interest in helicopters, autogiros, and other types of rotating-wing aircraft ( P.S.M., Feb. '39, p. 124), the College of Engineering of New York University, in New York City, has recently established a course in gyroplane design that is said to be the first of its kind in the world.
As AN interesting hobby and as a means of attracting customers to his store, John F. Pitts, Fayetteville, Tenn., grocer, raises his own crop of bananas in a curious vertical greenhouse. Pitts planted a twelve-inch sprout of the tropical tree in 1936, kept it in his store during the winter, and transferred it to open ground in the spring.
NINE years ago, R. Hensley, of San Leandro, Calif., was making a bare living trucking peach pits from a cannery and dumping them into San Francisco Bay. But as the result of a bright idea he had, he now makes a profitable income selling the pits as fuel.
FISH SKINS, specially dried and tanned, are now being used in Italy for the manufacture of shoes. Six or seven skins pressed tightly together into one thickness are shaped into shoe uppers that are said to be strong and serviceable. Although the fish-skin material is made especially for shoes, it is also used for making machine belts and brake linings.
FRESHLY picked strawberries and raspberries placed in a cool, gas-tight room and treated with a thirty-five to forty-percent concentration of carbon dioxide for from four to seven hours are said to keep fresh for forty-eight or more hours longer than berries not given this treatment.
FLEXIBLE arms and legs that can be twisted in any direction are the outstanding feature of a new doll to be on the market before Christmas. The limbs of the doll are made of braided wire so that children can twist or pull them to make the doll assume any attitude desired.
BELIEVED by aeronautical experts to presage a new trend in propeller design for all types of airplanes, a four-bladed propeller, shown in the photograph above, is now being tested on a U.S. Army pursuit plane. With the new four-part prop, engineers state, engine power may be increased from its present maximum without increasing the length of propeller blades.
“AQUAPLANING” on dry land, towed by a speeding car, makes a risky but thrilling sport introduced by junior college students at St. Petersburg, Fla. By shifting his weight, a skillful rider can swing the board in wide arcs from side to side. He must lean far backward to keep its front in the air, since the board, unlike those used in the water, has a constant tendency to flatten out—and collision with a half-buried rock would mean a none-too-gentle spill.
WAR PLANES now even carry guns in their “pants.” The illustration at right, of a new Polish fighting craft, shows how a machine gun is attached to the streamline fairing of the undercarriage. Like other guns installed in the plane, it is fired by remote control from the cockpit, as the pilot points his machine head-on at the target.
COLLECTING powder and shot containers—dating from before the time of Columbus to the last powder flask patented in 1891—is the unique avocation of C. Stanley Jacob, of Plainfield, N. J. A powder horn of the Revolutionary War, a family heirloom given him thirty years ago by his grandmother, started Jacob on his strange hobby.
DOG POWER drives an odd vehicle constructed by Z. Wiggs, eighty-year-old dog trainer and former railroad worker of Denton, Tex. Operating on the squirrel-cage principle, the dogmobile has a giant central wheel which is revolved as a dog walks or runs on its inside surface.
YEARS ago, Walter C. Leavitt, of Warren, Me., used to spend part of his spare time making scale models of famous sailing ships. So accurate and so detailed were his miniature vessels, however, that he soon was in demand by maritime museums all over the world as an expert repairman for their old ship models.
STREAMLINE, Diesel-powered trains are now being introduced on the cog railway that hauls sight-seers to the summit of Pike’s Peak, Colo., 14,109 feet above sea level. Replacing steam-driven engines, the Diesel motors installed in the train’s power car are said to cut running time by thirty percent, while slicing operating costs in half.
PRACTICALLY odorless to humans, a powder now available is extremely offensive to canine nostrils. When the powder is sprinkled on sofas, chairs, or personal belongings such as shoes or slippers, dogs will not go near the items. And when dusted onto the threshold of a room, it is claimed, the powder will keep dogs from entering.
THREE compartments in a single developing tank just introduced are said to simplify developing operations in the amateur darkroom. Each compartment has its own light-tight cover and a drain plug. The adjustable film rack takes either film pack or cut film up to four by five-inch size.
EXACT timing of any of a number of photographic operations necessarily carried out in absolute darkness is possible with a novel “audible timer” in which a hammer strikes off the seconds with taps that can be easily heard. Operating on alternating house current, the device has a constant-speed motor which is controlled by a handy switch that is easy to find in the dark.
RETOUCHING of other things than pictures is sometimes a necessity for amateur photographers. To satisfy this need, a new “enamel-base” paint is now marketed for touching up trays, sinks, and other porcelain or enamel-finished articles that occasionally chip or become discolored from use.
SIMPLY moving a lever on the side of the new enlarging easel pictured in use at the left sets any desired margin up to two inches on the finished print. A calibrated scale facilitates setting the lever at the proper point. Additional margin spacers are provided on the outside of the device.
DESIGNED to fit the built-in sockets for range finders with which several makes of miniature cameras are equipped, a compact new automatic flash gun now available can be slipped quickly on or off a camera. Synchronized with the shutter, it is effective at shutter speeds of from 1/200 to 1/1,200 of a second.
ATTACHED to the lens of any eight or sixteen-millimeter movie camera, the cable-release-operated device pictured at the right and below permits amateurs to make gradual “fades” at the ends of their movie shots. Its special design keeps the picture oblong in shape until the very end, a feature often lacking in fade-outs.
Counting five points for each poser you get right, you should be able to get eighty—that is, if you want to call yourself good. Ninety is excellent. Check your results on page 248 1 To tune in different stations, radio fans 1 adjust (a) rectifiers (b) variable condensers (c) recuperators (d) airfoils.
Maybe Somebody "Put the Bee" on George Knowles, But Good Luck and Carbon Monoxide Kept Him from Getting Stung, Anyway
GEORGE KNOWLES ÍS one of those lucky fellows who don’t have to let the chore of earning a living interfere with their having a good long vacation every year. He takes off six weeks each summer, and he always spends them in the same way—fishing up in the State of Maine.
MAKES METAL FLOAT MYSTERIOUSLY IN THE AIR AND FRIES EGGS OR BOILS WATER WITHOUT EXTERNAL HEAT
WITH this easily built repulsion coil, amazing electrical stunts can be performed like some of those that fascinated the spectators of two of the most popular science shows at the New York World’s Fair last summer. Large aluminum or copper rings may be shot into the air with considerable force, and plates of the same material may be made to float in air, apparently nullifying the force of gravity.
BY COMBINING a harmonica and a kazoo as shown, it is possible to change instantly from one to the other and get a wide range of tones above and below the regular harmonica scale, as well as a variety of trumpet and blue notes. A ten-hole harmonica is used, and the four center holes are drilled right through the back.
SOMETIMES a window shade will pull loose at one side where it is attached to the roller. If small tacks or other fasteners are not on hand, a good repair can be made by refastening the shade to the roller with several strips of cellulose tape or other gummed tape.
A BARBER devised the jig illustrated for sharpening the scissors used in his own shop as well as many brought in by customers after they discovered his skill in putting a keen edge on old shears. Any small oilstone or whetstone that can be inlaid into the handle may be used.
A BICYCLE lock is likely to wear the paint off the fork where it rubs against the enamel. This can be prevented by slipping a length of rubber tubing on the shackle of the lock. The rubber also eliminates objectionable rattling when the lock is being carried while RIDING.-CHESTER MOWERY.
MAST bands for ship models can be made from narrow strips of cellulose tape applied in a sufficient number of layers to give the desired thickness. When painted black, these look like iron BANDS.-ANTONIO GELINEAU.
A POCKET tack puller and driver can be made, as shown, from the shank of a discarded cold chisel about 4" long. The end is cut at a slight angle, and the slot is made by using two blades in a hacksaw frame. The end is next ground off to give the claw a sharp edge.
WHERE to store card tables when not in use is a troublesome problem in most homes. A novel solution is to keep them in a pair of bookcases like those illustrated. Although at first glance nothing appears to be unusual about the bookcases, they are a little deeper than usual and have a double back between which the folded card tables can be placed.
AN ALARM clock used on a night table can be improved by making a turntable base for it as illustrated. It is then possible to rotate it and shut off the alarm without picking it up, and there is also less danger that it will be pushed off the table or dropped.
Razor-Blade Holder for Use on Craftsman's Worktable
D. W. CLARK
STIFF-BACKED safety razor blades are used by many model makers and craftsmen, but they are dangerous when left lying near the work because they are likely to be forgotten, and a sudden move of the hand may result in a serious cut. It is much safer to make a holder or stand for them such as the one illustrated.
Old Auto Gas Tank Forms Lighting Fixture for the Workbench
HALF an old automobile gas tank, if split along the center seam, forms an excellent reflector for lights above a workbench or shop machine. Select a tank made of two pressed steel halves with rounded ends and corners, joined with a lock seam. As the soldered seam is not readily opened, cut on one side of it with a one-end hack saw, a cutting torch, or a ripping chisel.
MODEL makers and experimenters who have occasion to build small storage cells by cutting down regular battery plates ( see P.S.M., June ’31, p. 108) can profit by several ideas I have found practical. One is to use wire solder for connecting the plates and bringing out the leads as shown at A. The second is to mount a strip of celluloid at each end of the jar to hold the binding posts as indicated at B. This keeps the posts high and dry to prevent corrosion.
WHEN the rubber rolls of a wringer become old and cracks appear, their useful life and appearance can be prolonged by painting them with a white rubber-base tire coating of the type now obtainable at most automobile supply stores and public garages.
A SAW that will fit into the narrowest places when trimming shrubs may be made from part of a hack-saw blade and a piece of broomstick. Slit the wood for about 5" and insert the blade. Bore a hole so a screw may be driven in through the hole in the end of the hack-saw blade.
SOLDERING irons, pans, and other utensils can be held over a Bunsen burner by means of the simple type of stand illustrated. From a machine shop obtain a piece of 5/16" cold-rolled round steel rod 3' long. Round off the ends with a file; then, starting at one end, heat the iron red hot and bend it into a ring about 4" in diameter.
FOR laying out wooden disks or faceplate turnings, the angle block illustrated will be found a great aid. It consists of a square piece of plywood to which two wooden strips are screwed to form a right angle. The work is placed in this angle, and a square is used along the two strips.
UNIQUE Hallowe’en costumes of the type illustrated can be made at small outlay for material. The three-legged twins, for instance, require a special coat and shoes, but old pajamas will provide the trouser legs. The perambulating dog house is constructed from a large cardboard carton and painted green with a red roof.
A MATEUR theatrical performances are often marred by exasperating waits between acts while the scenery is being shifted. There is no reason for such delays. The successful handling of scenery depends upon teamwork among the stage crew and skill in manipulating the sets.
IN USING the very fine graduations on an architect’s or engineer’s triangular scale, you will find it helps to attach a small magnifying glass to it as shown. The holder is constructed from soft sheet metal, and the magnifying glass is adjusted to the most convenient position merely by bending the support.
A SMALL, shaded night light of the plug-in type can be converted into a tester for electric appliances as illustrated above by removing the switch mechanism and soldering two leads about 36" long to the contacts. The leads are inserted through the switch opening and knotted on the inside.
WHEN an unfinished spindle turning has to be removed from the lathe, it is important to mark it so that it can be replaced later with the spurs of the center in the same position they originally occupied, otherwise any slight variations in the spurs might cause inaccuracies.
INEXPENSIVE but modern-looking doors for use in cottages, attic rooms, and similar places, may be made by covering frames of common lumber with wall board as illustrated at the right. The wall board is cut ½" smaller than the frame all around, and is fastened with nails 1 ½" apart.
OLD-STYLE combination gas water heaters of the type illustrated at the left sometimes take a long time to heat up. This may be due to the considerable loss of heat through the open lower end and can be corrected by cutting a sheet of old tin or galvanized iron to fit in the bottom where indicated.
IF NEWLY cracked dishes are boiled in raw skim milk, their life may be materially extended. Dishes so treated will be found to have lost their cracked sound when rapped with the knuckle. They will last almost as well as dishes that have never been cracked.
HERE is an effective model-railway layout that enables two or three trains to run at the same time, each being separately controlled. When desired, two persons can operate the system together, each controlling one of the sections. If distant-control equipment and Ogauge track is used, as illustrated, the arrangement will fit a platform as small as 4 ½' by 10'.
ANY amateur craftsman who has had a little experience in bending wroughtiron will be able to duplicate this attractive indoor trellis. It was designed by Dr. C. H. Lauder, of Arcadia, Calif., and is intended to be fastened over a window in the dining room, kitchen, or breakfast nook.
Holding Nails to be Started In Out-of-the-Way Places
PHILIP E. WILLMAN
WHEN a nail must be started in an out-of-the-way place such as high up on a wall, it may be held in position by means of a waste strip of pressed composition wood or heavy cardboard, as illustrated at the left. Cut a slit about ½" long in one end with a pocketknife and push the nail or tack into the slit.
CHROME-PLATED reflectors for photoflash or photoflood lamps are easier to clean if they are coated with ferrotype polish or floor wax. The coating of wax not only enables finger prints and dust to be removed quickly, but also prevents scratching the plated SURFACE.
ALMOST every small child acquires a string of toy automobiles, but he is not so likely to have a garage to keep them in. One can be built very quickly, as shown, from ¼ " plywood nailed together with 3/4" No. 18 wire brads. The narrower of the two roof boards is nailed on, but the wider one is hinged at each end so that it may be raised.
Feet of Portable Typewriter Anchored by Suction Cups
PAUL F. PODUSKA
To OVERCOME the tendency for a light typewriter to slip around on a desk, suction cups may be attached in place of the ordinary rubber feet as at the right. On some makes of typewriters, the bolts that hold the feet are the same size as the bolts vulcanized into ordinary suction cups.
SCREWS, nuts, brads and small machine parts can be kept in systematic order by using tobacco tins. Mark the tops with white paint or scratch the words in the paint of the tin top. Thirteen standard-size tins will fit into a wooden cheese box. A typewritten list of contents may be pasted on the end of the box.
HOW TO BUILD AN ACCURATE SCALE MODEL OF the PICTURESQUE REVENUE CUTTER"JOE LANE"
THE Joe Lane was one of the first vessels designed especially for the Revenue Marine, forerunner of the U. S. Coast Guard. She was built in 1848-9 by Graves and Fenbie in Portsmouth, Va., and served many years on the Atlantic Coast running down slavers, smugglers, and pirates.
THE addition of a miniature steering wheel to a baby’s auto seat of the type illustrated above will keep a small child content during a long ride and prevent him from reaching for other objects or possibly falling in an effort to grasp the real steering wheel of the car.
WIDE boards can be squared on a small circular saw by reversing the normal position of the miter gauge so that the farther edge instead of the nearer edge of the board is pressed against it. A saw table of the size illustrated below will allow a board 7" wide to be squared off in the usual way, but when the gauge is reversed and placed at the rear as shown, a board fully 14" wide may be squared with ease.
To joint a circular saw, bring the top of the teeth just below the saw table. Start the machine and pass an oilstone back and forth across the revolving saw. Raise the saw a trifle and continue until all the teeth have been touched by the stone.
DESIGNED especially for Boy Scouts, this necktie rack is shaped like a maple leaf and painted green. The leaf may be cut by hand from ½" thick wood with a coping saw or on a power scroll saw, if available. Five holes are bored to receive wooden dowels, ½" in diameter by 2" long. The rack is fastened to the wall with a single screw.
Small circular saws are usually set with an ordinary saw set or with a hammer-and-anvil set. Bend only the upper third of each tooth. Combination saws are, as a rule, hollow ground and therefore require no set. Clamp the saw in the filing vise and file ripsaws with a slight bevel on top.
ANY busy housewife will appreciate the step-saving efficiency of this movable kitchen table. It has a built-in electrical unit that permits any two kitchen appliances, such as a waffle iron and a percolator or a toaster and a mixer, to be used simultaneously or separately, as desired.
BESIDES being neat and workmanlike, this rack for wood-turning chisels is convenient to use because the chisels may be removed and replaced so easily. Pine will serve for all parts with the exception of the slotted piece that supports the chisels, which preferably should be of maple, oak, or other hardwood.
NOW that hammered aluminum has become so popular, amateur craftsmen who are interested in decorative metal work will enjoy making pieces of this type. Two simple pieces to start with are the crumb tray and scraper illustrated, which require only about a square foot of 18-gauge sheet aluminum.
ORDINARY sawhorses take up considerable space when not in use and are awkward to carry from one job to another, but this difficulty may be overcome by making them so that they will fold up. Any sound 1" by 4" boards can be used, even pieces taken from packing cases, unless the sawhorses are required for heavy duty, in which case dressed hardwood is better.
AN ALARM for a poultry house door can be made by cutting a mortise high up in the door jam and installing a set of old Ford coil points or similar contacts, as shown. A roundheaded screw is then screwed into the edge of the door in such a position that it will press against the inner contact when the door is closed, thus forcing the points apart.
A PAIR of gas pliers and a C-clamp will serve in an emergency as a substitute for a small pipe wrench. This combination is especially useful when it is necessary to get into places too narrow for a 10" or 14" pipe wrench, as, for example, between a union nut and a fitting coupled together with a close nipple.
Home Workshop Club Constructs Street Signs for Home Town
THE COMRADERY OF CRAFTSMEN
VISITORS to Niles, Calif., will have no difficulty in finding their way around, because seventy-five street signs have just been completed by the Niles Homeworkshop Guild and are being erected with the help of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Credit for the idea of making the signs goes to Dr. T. C. Wilson, who also obtained the assistance of the town’s business men and arranged financial aid for the project.
ALTHOUGH BUILT FROM INEXPENSIVE MATERIALS, IT HAS EVERY IMPROVEMENT A CAMERA ENTHUSIAST COULD ASK
VIRGIL C. WILLIAMS
FEW miniature enlargers embody as many desirable features as the one illustrated, yet it cost only fourteen dollars for materials, including two condensing lenses. It is designed to take a regular camera lens of 2" focus. Obviously, those who wish to make a simpler and still less expensive miniature enlarger can eliminate some of the features and modify the construction to suit their purposes and the materials available.
THE dominant light should fall across the material so as to illuminate the parts that stand out in relief, but not the hollows. The secondary lamp is then used to illuminate the hollows, thus avoiding coal - black shadows.
HOTOGRAPHIC records of technical objects are more valuable if they include a scale to indicate the size of the various parts. This is especially important when the photographs are to be used later as a guide to construction. A simple way to provide such a scale is to draw lines with black drawing ink at 1" intervals on a length of adhesive paper tape, such as masking tape or drafting tape, and mark every twelfth line with double lines.
A HEAVY suction cup from a coat hook of the type sold in ten-cent stores may be used for supporting a photographic light on any flat, smooth wall or ceiling. This is often more convenient than using a conventional lamp stand, which is somewhat cumbersome and not always high enough to throw the light down at the desired angle.
PLACED under a developing tray, an electric heating pad will keep the solution at the desired temperature in a cold darkroom. Unless the pad is waterproof, lay several sheets of paper or a piece of oilcloth over it. A thermometer should be kept in the tray as a check on the temperature, which is easily regulated if the pad is of the variable TYPE.-RAY KERSHNER.
TROPHIES that are suitable for many kinds of awards can be made from sections of a log about 9" long and 5" wide. Northern white cedar was used for the trophy illustrated, but elm, maple, ironwood, oak, and other woods have also been used. Avoid any with scaly or flaky bark.
AN ORDINARY bottle cork will protect small chucks from dirt and dust when they are not in use, especially the more accurate chucks used on drill presses and lathes. It is a good idea to fill a chuck occasionally with light machine oil, cork it, leave it overnight, and then pour out the oil the next day.
WHEN it is necessary to scribe a circle on sheet metal, a small pool of wax from a candle will hold the compass point securely without marring the surface. By this method it is possible to avoid making a prickpunch mark.—A.B.
SOMETIMES the fronts of bureau or desk drawers stick badly because of wear or sagging of the drawer runs. The weight of the drawer, when it has been pushed all the way in, makes the back end drop from the horizontal, and this causes the drawer front to tilt slightly and bind.
DOUBLE-SURFACED Hectograph SPEEDS UP DUPLICATION WORK
EDMUND C. HANLEY
MADE with two gelatin surfaces, this hectograph or duplicator may be stored away free from dust, and the work also may be speeded up because two copies can be rim off at the same time. The frames are ½" oak strips glued to pieces of three-ply ¼" veneer. The inner edges are beveled to lock the gelatin in the wooden pan.
Long-Handled Dustpan Saves Housewife from Stooping
NO STOOPING is necessary with this handy nontipping dustpan which is made of 26-gauge galvanized iron and a handle taken from an old carpet sweeper. The metal is cut and bent as indicated. The top and side edges are rolled back for a smooth finish.
NONSKID rug lining of the cork variety makes an excellent covering for the wood facing on the miter gauge of a circular saw. It is attached to the wood with rubber cement. The stock to be sawed has no tendency to slip when it is held against the rug lining.
Rip Fence of Saw Inverted under Table When Not in Use
WHEN not in use, the ripping fence on a circular saw table of the type illustrated can be inverted so that it will slide back on the underside of the guide bars. It is then entirely out of the way, yet instantly available. This is better than standing it in a corner or placing it on the floor of the shop, which is so often done.
THE danger that waste pieces will fall from a band-saw table and come in contact with the belt may be overcome by making a guard as shown below. Strap iron 1/16" thick and 1 1/4" Wide is bent to conform to the belt and pulleys, allowing about 1" clearance, and fastened to the bench top or metal stand with screws or bolts.
A SMALL abrasive disk for finishing model parts can be made by cutting off a discarded auto-engine valve about 1" from the head. Some valves have a flat head, but one with a convex head can be used by grinding the top flat. A disk of sandpaper or emery paper is cemented on.
HERE IS A ROLL FOR HIKERS AND CAMPERS THAT PROVIDES MAXIMUM WARMTH WITH MINIMUM WEIGHT
WALTER F. DEBOLD
MINIMUM weight, compactness, and warmth are of great importance in a sleeping bag. The one illustrated has kept me warm and comfortable in the high Sierras when still water has had a half-inch covering of ice. The materials: A gray goose down comforter 72" by 84" (sateen covered); 6 yd. 34" wide waterproofed balloon cloth; a slide fastener 36" long, and a spool of No. 40 linen thread.
Electric Wires Rubbed on Concrete to Strip Insulating Material
INSULATION can be stripped quickly from the ends of an electric wire by rubbing it vigorously against a concrete floor, sidewalk, or wall. Several quick strokes will strip the insulating material off one side, exposing the copper. A twist of the fingers will then remove the remaining insulation.
MANY amateur craftsmen and, indeed, quite a few refinishing-shop operators do not get full value for their money in the use of sandpaper. Wrong grit sizes are chosen, papers are improperly torn and not used both ways of the sheet, and the used portions are not cleaned for further sanding.
A DRAWERLIKE container to catch the sawdust, shavings, and small scraps brushed off a workbench may be made as illustrated at the right. A frame cut from ¼" plywood is arranged to slide in two grooved strips screwed under the bench top, and a sugar sack or other cloth bag is tacked to the frame.
FROM a cylindrical 5-gal. can it is possible for anyone who has had some experience in metal work to make a small tool box. Cut a 7" wide opening in the side, as shown, and turn the edges for smoothness. A lid of 26gauge galvanized iron is formed to fit over the opening, and the ends are bent over and under the projecting rim at the top and bottom of the can.
A SLOT in a bronze casting had to be surfaced parallel with the face. In the absence of machine tools, this was done by using an ordinary woodworker’s routing plane. The tool bit was made from a short length of drill rod, which was heated and bent to the shape shown.
OF TOOLS ITALIAN resembled a modern machinist’s parallel clamp. His idea is still good because in certain emergencies a parallel clamp will act as a wrench. It is even more accurately adjustable to the exact nut size than a wrench, and the jaws will not spread. Care must be taken, however, to hold the clamp so that its screws will not be bent.—D. S. GARDE.
A SOLUTION of ammonium citrate of practically any strength is an excellent rust remover. Used hot, it removes rust in a minute or two; if cold, it will do it overnight. When it is not convenient to lay the article in the solution, as for example the long steel sword scabbard illustrated, a layer of cotton cloth may be wrapped around it and the hot solution poured over the cloth.
To HOLD back the water when repairing a small A in a concrete dam, I applied a mixture of one part plaster of Paris to five of prepared cement. When it set hard, I finished the patch with regular cement.
ORDINARY drill boxes or indexes have only one place for each size drill, so it is always a problem to know what to do with duplicate drills that accumulate in the course of time. I make holders for them from pieces cut from corrugated paper boxes into suitable lengths and of a width equal to about half the length of the drills they are to contain.
Hot Water Tank Cut Lengthwise with Double-Bladed Hack Saw
IF AN old hot water tank has to be cut lengthwise to make a trough or outdoor flower box, a neat job may be made by using a hack saw altered so as to hold a blade on each side. This is done by drilling the shanks and inserting pins that extend far enough to hold the blades.
PORTHOLES for a small model of an auxiliary sloop were made by winding very fine copper wire around a needle many times, cutting off the turns, flattening them with a hammer, and pinching them together with tweezers in order to form rings. These were cemented carefully in place one by one to form the tiny porthole RIMS.
WHEN a number of flathead wood screws have to be driven and no countersink bit is at hand, a substitute can be made from a fairly long flathead screw which has a head of the same diameter as the screws to be used. Bend the shank of the screw to nearly a right angle, and fit a 5" or 6" length of brass or steel tubing over the point.
BEFORE starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings or blueprints. These always give the design of the boat as seen from three different viewpoints. The profile drawing, or elevation, shows the boat viewed from the side; the plan is a view from the top or bottom, and the body plan shows how the boat looks when viewed directly from either end.
AFTER I had tried several standard methods of cleaning old brier pipes to remove their rather strong taste and odor, I discovered a new treatment which seems to give more satisfactory and permanent results. The pipe is allowed to become thoroughly dry and the inside of the bowl is scraped clean.
HOUSEWIVES who send their laundry out and wish to weigh it beforehand can do so without undue effort by using a small spring scale tied to a cord and running over a pulley as illustrated at the right. A strong cup hook can be screwed above a convenient doorway for supporting the pulley.
Special Wooden Wrench Loosens Tight Faceplate on Lathe
A TIGHT faceplate on a woodworking lathe is sometimes difficult to remove, especially as most lathes come equipped with only one wrench for this purpose. A simple expedient is to make a second wrench from ¾" plywood as shown, with ¼" carriage bolts set into it to match the holes in the faceplate.
AN EXPENSIVE - LOOKING fireplace screen of modern design can be made without difficulty for about five dollars. The size is determined by the fireplace opening, so draw the opening full size on wrapping paper and sketch in the outline of the screen in such a way that it cuts slightly within the upper corners.
THERE are many ways to start a nut on the threads of a bolt located so that it is almost impossible to reach it, but one of the simplest is to fasten the nut on the forefinger with a piece of cellulose tape, as shown at the right. Punch a hole through the tape to correspond to the hole in the nut.
HOW would you like to transform your home laboratory into a miniature factory for obtaining useful products from minerals, with yourself as its amateur chemical engineer? You can roast ores to obtain important metals, convert plain-looking stones into sparkling white crystals, operate a rotating kiln, and magically separate wanted minerals from unwanted ones by a flotation process.
A TWO-INCH pipe cap will make a serviceable heavy-duty mortar for pulverizing the rocks, minerals, and crude chemicals that you use in your experiments. Its pestle is a six or seven-inch length of half-inch pipe, threaded and fitted at each end with a half-inch pipe cap.
TO COMPARE their relative sensitivity to light of different colors, you can test photographic printing papers and “color-blind,” orthochromatic, and panchromatic films as shown. Let light pass through a horizontal slit in a cardboard mask, and focus it with a reading glass on an easel.
WITH an electromagnet or strong permanent magnet, support iron filings beneath a sheet of cardboard as shown. Insert a sheet of iron between magnet poles and cardboard, and the filings drop; sheets of wood, glass, brass, or plastics have no such effect.
SET a rectangular strip of glass or other material diagonally in an oblong pan, and pour in a little more than enough water to cover it. Tap a sheet of cardboard, as above, so that ripples run the length of the pan. The ripples bend, then straighten, as they pass the obstacle, much as light does in passing slantwise through a pane of glass with parallel sides.
Homemade Electrophorus for Static-Electricity Tests
To MAKE your own electrophorus, melt powdered sulphur and fill a coffee-can lid to the brim. When cool, smooth with sandpaper. Fit a smaller can cover, flat side down, with an insulating handle such as a penholder attached with sealing wax.
STAND a bird cage on books to insulate it. Place an electroscope inside, with wire connecting the ball to the cage. Connect the ball of a second electroscope, outside, to a corner of the cage. Now pass a spark from an electrophorus to the top of the cage.
DID you ever wish, when you tried to cross a busy street, that you had a hundred eyes planted all over your head? If you want to get a general idea of what you would look like when so equipped, examine a dragon fly, honeybee, house fly, or moth; or a crawfish or similar crustacean.
ASIMPLE microprojector that can be made for almost nothing is shown in the drawings. It consists of a light-tight cardboard housing with a ground-glass screen at one end. The image formed by the microscope is projected on the screen with the aid of a mirror or prism mounted on the eyepiece.
Radio, Phonograph Built into Bench of Electric Piano
THREE forms of musical entertainment are available in a single instrument, illustrated in the photograph at the left, that takes up less room than an ordinary upright piano. The instrument comprises an “amplifier piano,” an electric phonograph, and a radio.
FOR receiving weather broadcasts and other long-wave programs, the handy converter illustrated is designed to attach directly to any broadcast-band receiver of good design that will tune to 1,550 kilocycles. A handy switch enables the operator to cut the converter in or out.
AN ALL-WAVE tuning assembly for set builders, in which tuning is done simply by twirling a dial through a full turn to bring in stations throughout the various frequency ranges from five to 550 meters, has just been introduced. There is no gang switch to be set when changing from the broadcast band, for example, to short or long wave, the assembly providing smooth transition from one band to another.
CUTTING electric consumption as much as fifty percent when maximum power is not required, a lightweight, portable radio receiver incorporates an ingenious device which can be turned on at will to add hours of service to the set’s built-in batteries.
WITH all working parts carefully machined to insure easy assembly, materials in kit form for constructing a “radio-newspaper” receiver to attach to your present radio have just been marketed by a well-known radio manufacturer. When assembled, the unit is identical in detail with the built-up “radio-newspaper” receiver sold commercially.
PROVIDING good volume and selectivity, the compact four-tube, A.C.-D.C. receiver illustrated will appeal to weekend travelers who like to take their radio entertainment with them, for it is more than just an ordinary portable set. Besides its own cabinet, it has a neat overnight luggage carrier into which it slips along with your toilet articles and the few apparel necessities for a short trip.
MOUNTED on the bracket of a book light, this tiny broadcast receiver will be found extremely useful while reading after you’ve gone to bed. Earphones, two small batteries, aerial, and ground complete the set. Instead of the usual radio-frequency choke in the plate lead, a 10,000-ohm, half-watt resistor is used, while a padding condenser with a maximum capacity of .0004 mfd. forms the tuning condenser.
CAMPERS and automobile tourists who sometimes have to shave at night without adequate lighting can save themselves an ordeal by attaching a small rear-view mirror of the inexpensive auxiliary type to one of the car headlamps by its rubber suction cup.
How can I grease my car, which has new-style hydraulic fittings, with a grease gun made for the old-style fitting? That problem stumped me until I tried putting an old-style fitting on the end of the gun and then using it in the normal way. The bottom of the old fitting makes a perfect union over the top of the hydraulic fitting.
THE SMALL tools that I keep in the dashboard compartment always rattled against each other until I hit on the idea of stowing them in the fingers of an old leather glove. The glove keeps them together, but prevents metal-to-metal contact.—H. J.
FOR motorists doing body or fender repair work, a handy adjustable-height seat for use while working can be made from a junked screw-type auto jack. Make the seat by upholstering a wooden disk. Then weld a metal plate to the top of the jack and fasten it to the bottom of the disk with wood screws.
WHILE changing a tire on an unlighted road some dark night, you can be sure that approaching motorists are warned of your presence by fitting out your tool box with a few red-glass reflector buttons of the type used for road markers and bicycle “tail lights.”
BECAUSE of reflections from its convex glass front and its shiny chromium face, the dashboard clock on my car was often difficult to read without taking my eyes off the road for too long a time. To overcome this, I painted the tips of the hands a brilliant red.
IN ORDER to prevent water from running down inside the doors when an automobile is being washed, I have found that it is a good idea to fasten pieces of oilcloth or canvas over the windows, as illustrated above. The strips are held in place by being pinched between the top of the frame and the top of the window.
A FEW simple changes will transform a radiator bug screen into a winter front for cold-weather use. Cut out a piece of leatherette to the exact outline of the screen, and then join the two with paper rivets or other fasteners, with the screen facing out.
CHRISTMAS is less than three months away, so now is the time to start planning those gifts you intend to make yourself. To assist you, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY offers a wide variety of projects, including attractive pieces of furniture, beautiful ship models, toys, radio sets, and miscellaneous items.
Precision-Shaped Hull Contained in Kit for "Joe Lane" Model
COMPLETELY shaped and routed out to the correct deck levels, the hull in our construction kit (No. 11S) for making a model of the Joe Lane needs little to be done to it except the sanding. This makes it possible for anyone to complete the model with only a few simple tools.
HEAVY iron presses for flattening photographic prints are expensive, but a substantial wooden press can be made at low cost. All the 1 ¼" thick oak used for the press illustrated was salvaged from old furniture, and the only expense was less than a dollar for the carpenter’s vise screw.
A SMALL cloth sack attached to a faucet as illustrated will strain rust and other particles from water to be used in preparing photographic solutions or washing negatives and prints. It also reduces splashing. Any close-woven cloth through which water will flow may be used.
IN PROCESSING prints, many photographers use an acid short-stop bath, but this loses its efficiency after a number of prints have been dipped in it without giving any indication of its diminished strength. A test may easily be made, however, by inserting a strip of blue litmus paper. If the paper turns red, the bath is still fit to use.
CAMERA filters may be protected and kept free from dust and scratches in a case made by folding and stitching a piece of chamois skin as shown. Before a filter is removed for use, any lint that may have collected on it can be removed by giving it a slight rub between the fingers while still in the CASE.
PHOTOGRAPHIC prints may be washed efficiently in an ordinary developing tray if a sheet of glass is fastened to one edge, as shown. The glass, which should incline to the bottom of the tray at an angle of about 45 deg., may be held in place with two spring clothespins.
SPRING wooden clothespins are frequently used to hold negatives while drying, but the drying assembly illustrated is a somewhat novel adaptation of the idea. Holes are drilled through the pins above the springs so that they can be threaded on stiff wire obtained from a clothes hanger. Beads or short pieces of tubing may be used to hold the pins apart. The free ends of the wire are then bent around and fastened into a hook.
BOOKS, especially large volumes in sets such as encyclopedias, often fit between the shelves so snugly that it is difficult to remove any one of them. A simple remedy is to fasten a strip of wood about y2" thick along the top of each shelf at the back to serve as a stop.
Worn Water Faucet Repaired by Drilling and Grinding
RUSSELL C. FRITH
To REPAIR a water faucet, the seat of which had become so deeply grooved that it leaked continually, I took the tap apart and drilled out the grooves with a 5/8 " drill. This left the seat so rough that it would soon spoil the rubber washer, so I ground it smooth with valve-grinding compound applied on the head of a 2½" by ¼" carriage bolt. The bolt was turned by gripping the threaded end in the chuck of a breast drill.
ADJUSTABLE tool-post blocks of the type illustrated have several advantages. Tool bits, for example, can be ground left hand on one end and right hand on the other, and to change from one to the other is merely a matter of backing the set screw off a quarter turn and swinging the tool into cutting position.
NEEDING a small worktable for some model-making equipment, I rummaged around in the basement and found an old two-burner oil stove. I removed the oil pipe and burners, replaced the top with 3/4" plywood, and added a shelf in the space formerly occupied by the burners.
ALTHOUGH various wall-type devices are sold for removing the caps from bottles, one of the most convenient can be made from an ordinary flat metal bottle decapper of the hand type. Drill three holes for wood screws in the handle end and bend the metal slightly in the middle; then fasten it to the end of the kitchen cabinet or in some other accessible place where a basket can be placed underneath to catch the loose caps as they fall.—A. W. STEIN.
THESE are the correct answers to the Question Bee on page 146. Compare your results with the letters in this list and give yourself five points for each one you had right. A total score of 75 to 85 is good; 90 or better is excellent. EARN some pocket money by sending us interesting and entertaining questions.
“COLD water on your face, hot water on your razor”—that is the recipe for a smooth, pull-less shave, according to Peter N. Peters, authority on cutlery. By chilling the skin before shaving, Peters explains, you increase the firmness of the tissues that surround and support the hair follicle, so that the beard will not bend before the blade.
TEETH may some day be coated with a lacquer similar to that now used on automobiles, furniture, and finger nails, as a result of experiments being conducted by Dr. J. T. Gore, Philadelphia, Pa., dentist. According to Dr. Gore, the lacquer protects the tooth enamel against the decalcifying action of acid in the stagnant saliva, which he believes to be the cause of tooth decay.
IF A FEATHER fan is required for a costume party, amateur theatricals, or other purposes, an excellent imitation can be made from pale blue crêpe paper. First, obtain eight thin hardwood sticks of the type on which five-cent, chocolate-covered ice cream is sold, drill holes in both ends, and paint them gold.
A SMALL electric hand grinder is easily converted into an eraser for use on pencil or ink drawings, or typewriting. Obtain a pencil with the desired type of eraser, remove the rubber from the ferrule, and cut the ferrule from the pencil. Remove the lead from the small piece remaining in the ferrule and fasten the ferrule to a screw type mandrel such as is used for holding hand-grinder accessories.
LEAD is often used by model makers for shaping small parts, but a better material, especially where stiffness is essential, can be obtained by asking a local printer to give you a few scrap linotype slugs. Type metal can be worked almost as easily as lead, will not clog your files so much, and holds its shape BETTER.-ERWIN LA HAINE.
A SIMPLE way to apply a soft metal tip to the end of a lathe dog screw is to drill and tap it to receive a roundhead brass machine screw. The diameter of this screw should be between a third and a half that of the chamfered end of the lathe dog screw. Insert the brass screw and file the rounded end slightly flat. It will grip the work satisfactorily, yet will not scratch or mark it.
IN WORKING around the house, car, or shop, there is always danger that one will tear his clothes or overalls on a nail or some sharp protruding part. Such tears can be patched temporarily and prevented from becoming further ripped by applying surgical tape or any other adhesive tape, such as masking tape or drafting tape, on the inside of the TEAR.-ANDREW A. CHRAMCEVICH.
MANY small, soft-hair paintbrushes, if they are used in lacquer for model work, have an annoying habit of shedding hairs, and sometimes the whole tip falls out of the ferrule. This can be prevented if the brush is prepared, before using it in lacquer, by coating the heel of the bristles where they enter the ferrule with silicate of soda (water glass) or a thin glue solution.
TO OBTAIN an A-l ground finish on aluminum and its alloys, kerosene is an excellent lubricant and coolant. It does not, however, carry away heat as readily as a water compound and, therefore, should not be used for rough grinding. In machining large work when the tool perhaps has to travel eight or ten feet, a light placed permanently near the faceplate or chuck does not help a great deal.