Sir: In the “Voice of Science” page of the July issue you have an anecdote concerning some Russian engineers who settled a heavy piece of equipment into a hole by placing it on chunks of ice in the hole, allowing the ice to melt and the machine to settle, and then pumping out the water.
Your new book, "Of Flight and Life", is such a direct attack on science that I have a duty to comment as editor of a magazine dedicated for seventy-six years to a wider understanding of science and technology. In the condensed version published in the September issue of THE READER'S DIGEST, you say:
But it needn’t be if you follow the experts' simple, practical advice on prevention, detection, and protection.
Basic Types of Home Extinguishers
How to fight a fire:
GET EVERYONE OUT
CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
CONFINE THE FIRE
FIGHT THE FIRE
IN CASE OF FIRE
The following article was prepared with the assistance and cooperation of the National Fire Protection Association, of Boston, and the National Board of Fire Underwriters and the Fire Protection Institute, both of New York City. This does not necessarily imply their approval of the devices pictured or described.
The Navy's test station for guided missiles is being made into the world's biggest proving ground for weapons of push-button war at sea.
Tests for Fitness
Andrew R. Boone
THE young Naval officer jabs his red pencil at an air map of the California coast. That red dot is now a pin-point target. Its exact position, 100 miles or farther out in the Pacific Ocean, is calculated. Soon, one of the Navy’s secret guided missiles roars from a launcher and arcs high into the sky.
TWO separate sets of automatic CO2 fire extinguishers, similar to those now installed on many airplanes, ships, and motorboats, stand ready to smother a fire before it can spread in this 4,000-gal. tank truck. The big trailer truck was designed for bulk transpoxtation of propane, a flammable gas kept liquefied under pressure.
THIS self-propelled camera boom saves time between shots in making movies. One man sitting at its single control—instead of a whole crew pushing—can shift it forward or backward at any of 40 speeds and as little as a quarter of an inch at a time.
KNOWN simply as the Gloster E. 1/44, Britain’s newest jet fighter may take the laurels away from the record-breaking Gloster Meteor. Although it has been flown, no performance data have been released. Powered by a single Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engine of 5,000 lb.
THIS sheet glows like a neon sign—but you can write any message you like on its glass surface with a special crayon or water colors. Edge-lighted from below by a 15-watt fluorescent tube, the lettering stands out against a sheet of black cardboard behind the glass. To change it, you simply wipe off the old message with a damp cloth and write on a new one. Litewriter Corp., of New York City, makes the sign.
A SECRETARY can keep up with dictation while the boss is away on business if he takes along this new Dictaphone Time-Master Ⓣ. It weighs only 20 lb. and fits snugly into a suitcase. Instead of wax cylinders, it records on endless plastic belts.
RESEMBLING a smoker’s pipe, the device above is actually an insect killer. When plugged into an AC or DC outlet, it turns a cake of DDT—contained in its cup—into microscopic particles. These are carried by air currents and deposited on surfaces in the room.
GREATER horsepower with no increase in gasoline consumption—that’s the boast of the new 1949 Kaiser De Luxe. Adoption of a dual-throat carburetor and a dual manifold system gives a 112-hp. performance where there was only 100 hp. before, and without increase in displacement or compression ratio.
Jet Joins the Air Lines. The world’s first all-jet-propelled passenger airliner is shown above about to land at a London airport after a 200-mile, 34-minute flight from Paris. The airframe is that of a standard Vickers Viking transport, with the wings adapted for the installation of two Rolls-Royce Nene jet engines developing 5,000 lb. of thrust each.
Teamwork by telephone brings you the best of many words and pictures available at any moment.
Program Director Calls the Turn
Image in an Image in an Image
What Telecasters Mean When They Say .....
John F. Loosbrock
LINE up half a dozen television sets in your parlor. Tune five of them to five different broadcasting stations. Clamp an earphone over one ear and, by plugging in and out, try to hear as well as see what each of the five stations is transmitting.
FARMERS sometimes have to make hay— or grain, at least—even when the sun isn’t shining. Yet wet grain soon spoils through germination, and may even start fires in storage bins and boxcars. Now it can be quickly dried without the cumbersome installations formerly required.
THE NEW YORK CENTRAL Railroad last month introduced to the traveling public its postwar bid for patronage between New York and Chicago. It’s a super-dooper Twentieth Century Limited with running ice water in every room, pneumatically operated doors, fluorescent lighting, both inter-car and radio telephone, and private rooms for the crew.
THE outboard motor above is running full tilt—notice the discharge from the pump—but the propeller isn’t turning over. The answer is in the button just above the operator’s right hand—the control for a new neutral, forward, and reverse gear system that has been added to the Scott-Atwater outboard.
WHEN the novel channel-wing plane at right was flight tested recently, the manufacturer claims that it leaped 15 feet into the air before the pilot realized he was airborne. Airspeed was only 30 m.p.h. Flown entirely by engine control, the craft has no ailerons, flaps, brakes, or wing area except for the channels.
THE world’s first automatic telegraph center now speeds messages from New England to all parts of the country. It relays telegrams the way a dial telephone exchange switches phone calls, picking up the incoming message and sending it out over the proper wire to its destination.
THE Army’s latest communications center can keep up with the fastest-moving troops. Radio equipment permanently mounted in a truck (above) simultaneously sends and receives telephone and teletype messages over 1,000-mile distances. A generator in the trailer supplies power for the unit, which was developed by the Signal Corps.
The mountains of anthracite silt that litter the Pennsylvania countryside may help to heat fuel-hungry America.
Silt to Gasoline
George H. Waltz
MILE after mile, as you drive through north central Pennsylvania, stretches a man-made mountain range. Its high plateaus are splotched with acres of black, caked dust and inky lakes of sludge. These are the anthracite silt banks—200,-000,000 tons of accumulated waste coal.
THE rabbit-size cars that go so fast will have to go still faster to beat the mark set at this year’s meet of miniature racers. A record 128.57 m.p.h. topped the performance of models based on real cars among 750 entries at East Meadow, N. Y.
HERE’S the latest in life rafts—a rubber dinghy, being tested by Britain’s Royal Navy, that has practically everything but its own engine. Folded for carrying, as shown at left, it weighs only 200 lb. When inflated by jerking the rip cord on a bottle of carbon dioxide, it resembles a huge automobile tire.
A NEW airplane silencer, shown above during CAA tests, works just like a car muffler—but without cutting down engine power by retarding the flow of exhaust. Instead, a stream of air blasted back from the propeller sucks the exhaust through a series of baffles in a pair of stubby, open cylinders.
THIS little box with a rod sticking out of its side is a “recording vibrometer” developed by General Electric. When held against a piece of machinery, as shown, the device writes down how much it shakes. The vibrations are transmitted by the prong, magnified 12 times by a spring, and passed on to a sapphire point that scratches jerky lines on a moving tape of waxed paper.
TRANSATLANTIC planes have begun using New York International Airport— Idlewild—the world’s biggest. This is how its 4,900 acres and 10 miles of runways look from the air. Temporary offices and waiting rooms will be replaced with a permanent terminal larger in area than five Rose Bowls.
Everybody has his own pet idea of some gadget he would like to see in general use. What is YOURS? Popular Science will pay $5.00 for each one published. Use government postcards only. Contributions cannot be acknowledged or returned.
Made in 6 hours like huge piecrust, one-piece hull for 28-ft. personnel carrier is tougher than steel.
George H. Waltz
RUGGED plastic boat hulls as big as a moving van now can be built by six men in six hours. They are literally molded and baked like huge piecrusts. The first of these revolutionary plastic boats—one of several being built for the Navy for development purposes prior to full-scale production—has just completed its test runs on the Delaware River at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
THE Consolegrand Ⓣ, shown above, solves a problem for pianists who aren’t satisfied with an upright model but haven’t room for a conventional grand piano. When not in use, it can be turned on edge and pushed out of the way against a wall. To make the change, you just press two levers under the keyboard—and lift up.
THE Tot Guard Ⓣ, clipped over the side of a crib as shown above, helps to keep a child from climbing or falling out. For good measure, it can also sing him to sleep with the dulcet tones of Brahms’ “Lullaby” from a built-in music box. Held tight by six bolts through its two parallel sheets of plywood, the safety extension, together with a removable plastic teething rail, adds a critical 8 inches to the side of any standard crib: R. Barbara Blanke Creations, Inc., of New York City, makes the guard.
THE torturing drip, drip that has caused many a sleepless night can be a thing of the past, according to the manufacturer of the dripless faucet illustrated above. When the handle is released into its natural position, pressure of the water against a heat-resisting, synthetic-rubber diaphragm automatically closes the outlet.
Giant machines, “ray guns,” and new explosive aid drillers seeking petroleum at record depth in earth’s mystery zone.
Tapping the Underground Oil
“SHAPED CHARGE” OF WORLD WAR II NOW AIDS OIL SEEKERS
Andrew R. Boone
CAN drillers tap the world’s deepest oil pools—believed to lie four miles or so beneath the earth, in a mysterious region of scorching heat and fantastic pressure? Ever-increasing demand makes that oil needed, to heat homes and buildings and to power cars, Diesel trains, and ships.
YOU can’t have dinner tonight in this push-button cafe—but maybe you will some day in the future. The cutaway drawing, not quite as fanciful as it looks, shows how an ingenious designer might team up tested tricks of mechanics and electronics in an automatic restaurant that would serve complete meals, piping hot, in less time than it often takes to catch a busy waiter’s eye.
THE exacting, full-color photos needed by medical scientists can be made more easily than a brownie snap of the kids at the beach with a completely automatic camera designed by Coreco Research Corp. The doctor need only press two buttons and wind film and shutter—the camera itself does everything else.
Proposed tubes 2½ miles long would carry traffic 50 feet below surface.
BETWEEN Seattle and Bremerton, Wash., lies an arm of Puget Sound—too wide for a suspension bridge, too deep for a tunnel, swept by tides too high for a floating causeway. Problem: how to build two four-lane highways across that 2½-mile stretch of water.
LOGS too big for ordinary saws get a quick quartering in this new Triad timber slicer. Reduced into four wedge-shaped sections, the oversized logs are ready for veneering or sawing into lumber. The machine stands 18 ft. high, and its 12-ft. blade has a vertical stroke of 20 in. A carriage riding 60 ft. of rails can handle a log 25 ft. long. Moving two feet a minute, a log this size can be quartered in less than an hour. The log splitter is made by the Northwest Machine Works, of Portland, Ore.
THE paralyzed leg muscles of this little girl are being exercised by an electric current. Stimulation keeps muscles from wasting away after attacks by such diseases as polio. Recently introduced by General Electric, the machine alternately contracts and relaxes paralyzed muscles 24 times a minute without effort on the part of the patient.
TOPPING a transparent tube filled with cigarette smoke, this plastic model of a new chimney crown shows how it works. Twin rings make it windproof, and use air currents from any angle to create suction that pulls gases out of the chimney. Made by the Coleman Company, of Wichita, Kansas, the device also prevents downdrafts.
A NEW kind of dry cell, going on the market next month, has three to four times the life of others its size. Those added hours of service come from its being made—literally—inside out. Developed by the National Carbon Co., the revolutionary one-cell Eveready No. 1005-E is to be sold at first only for electrical hearing aids, but its design may be adapted to scores of other uses in the future.
K2UN calling CQ. This is K2UN, the amateur station at United Nations headquarters in Lake Success, New York, standing by. Come in please.” This call has been answered by Lieut. Gen. Curtis LeMay over his ham rig in Occupied Germany, and by scores of other hams—in the United States, Russia, and other lands.
Air Gives Emergency Power. If one of its regular engines failed, this plane could still maintain smooth flight with the auxiliary air-propulsion system patented by R. P. Martin, of Seattle, Wash. Air is scooped in through the nose and fed to air turbines that drive the propellers, keeping the plane from yawing and preventing the bad engine from completely stalling.
A CAR that takes bumps in three bites, instead of two, should ride easier, figured H. Gordon Hansen, of San Lorenzo, Calif. To prove his theory, he built the diamondshaped auto shown here. “Driving it on a rough road,” he says, “is like cutting diagonally across railroad tracks in a standard car.”
AMONG those who believe that steam power for automobiles isn’t dead is James H. Lawler, of Huntington Park, Calif. Having converted his own car, he’s gone into the business of supplying a complete power plant for those who’d like to do a conversion job.
THERE’S little doubt that you’d twist your neck for a second look if you should meet this unusual automobile on an American highway. But there’s not much chance you will. It’s made in Holland and sells for somewhere around $6,000. Called the Gatso, the two-passenger roadster has a long-beam center light that can be used independently of the normal driving lights.
Politics and cars shouldn’t mix, but Gus has to do some fast diagnostic thinking to keep them apart.
SENATOR BOMBEY’S red face had flushed to an apoplectic purple. His multiple chins quivered with righteous indignation. “Again, and again, it has happened!” he boomed. “And again, and again mechanics of the highest competency have examined and tested my car, and have found in it no slightest mechanical defect.
Key Hidden on Dress Snap. If you’d like to keep an extra gas-cap key hidden in your car, here’s one way of doing it. Solder half of a dress snap to the key, the other part to the head of a small bolt. Then insert the bolt in any convenient hole—in the dash flange, glove compartment, or other place where the key will be out of sight.
Forty-three years ago this month the model’s prototype was hailed as America’s foremost racing car.
IN 1905 the Locomobile Company spent $18,000 to build a special racing car, shown in model form on the opposite page. With Joseph Tracy, now a New York City automotive-research consultant, as driver, the car was sent to France for the Gordon Bennett race there that year.
BATTERY plugs that read “Add Water” when the level in a cell is low (right above) have been developed by the National Battery Co., St. Paul, Minn. The warning words are molded in the clear plastic plug, which has facets on the bottom. When a cell has sufficient water, the facets are covered and a solid black disk shows.
INSTALLED between the fuel pump and gas tank, this device lets you blow out an auto fuel line without disconnecting it. Air pressure cannot injure the pump itself, since it can be applied only when a protective valve stem is pushed down. A tire pump or air hose supplies pressure.
THIS new cover for auto sun visors holds many items up out of the way, but still within easy reach when you want them. Horizontal and vertical pockets of various dimensions are provided for credit cards, maps, cigarettes, sunglasses, coins for parking meters, cosmetics, and other small objects.
SET up in the rear of a sedan, the Autoden Ⓣ combines a traveling nursery and table. In the position shown above, it makes a table for typing, eating, or games. Lowered to rest on the rear seat, it forms a bed or playroom for a child. Since it then completely fills the space between front and rear seats, there is little danger of harmful falls.
THE three-wheel Mustang has a conventional automobile differential packed in grease in a leakproof housing. A 9½-hp., one-cylinder, L-head engine drives the 360-lb. outfit 70 miles on a gallon of gas. Small parcels may be carried in the compartment under the seat.
HERE’S the familiar Lazy Susar of the dinner table scaled up to create real comfort in the living room. When you sit alongside this drum table, nothing on it is farther away than your finger tips. A push of the fingers will swing its contents your way—radio, books, magazines, smokes, or drinks.
THE mellow luster of old leather contrasts quietly with the gleam of brass in this unusual library lamp. To make it, you’ll need a few old books, bolts, some pieces of wood, and electrical parts. Select the books for attractive bindings, picking volumes that you won’t mind gluing shut.
Eggs with corners aren’t on any hen’s laying schedule, so when I made egg sandwiches the hen fruit always hung out somewhere. Cutting the top edge off a coffee can, I shaped it like a slice of bread, with a short handle. This mold is put in the frying pan and the egg broken into it, sizzling to size.
MODELING clay, the nonhardening type, has dozens of uses around the home and shop. In addition to the ones illustrated on these pages, here are some others: Since day tends to pick up dirt and grease, you can clean a lot of things with it, including tools and typewriter type.
PATTERNED after the ugly-handsome carvings of the Maoris and other Polynesian peoples, these home-carved book ends make a rewarding, not-too-difficult project. I used Spanish cedar, which carves and finishes beautifully, but any other free-carving wood would do.
LOOK! No wires However, it only looks that way. The gimmick is two fine, almost invisible wires that run up the edges of the clear plastic from the base and into the socket support. Although the dimensions aren’t critical, here are the ones for the lamp I built: Plastic, ⅝" by 4¼" by 7"; oak base, ⅞" by 4" by 6"; oak socket support, 1¼" by 2" square.
WHEN the home carpenter or furniture builder first discovers plywood, he’s apt to wax pretty enthusiastic. “Wonderful stuff!” he’s likely to say. “Strong as iron, but a breeze to cut. Doesn’t warp much. Pretty, too—there’s nothing nicer than those hardwood veneers.
SOME unknown 18th Century craftsman originated this design, perhaps as a plant stand or sewing box. It was discovered in the form of a miniature in the South. The model was one fourth the size of the little plant holder in these photographs; that is, its dimensions were doubled to make the project shown.
THIS is the time—before cold weather really sets in—to check radiator valves. It’s easy to clean them and replace faulty parts. You’ll be repaid with quicker and better heat plus a fuel saving. Radiators in the average steam-heated home have two of three kinds of valves, depending on whether it’s a oneor two-pipe system.
LATEST piece of nursery furniture in Australian homes is this mobile unit that serves as a high chair, play wagon, or tea wagon. At left, with the back rest lowered to complete the table top, it is a server. At right, it is a high chair with a cupboard for toys and a rail for clothing. The sliding top locks with a safety catch to keep a baby securely in the chair. It was designed by Sidney Gumbrell, of Melbourne.
Two rectangles cut out of the side of a tobacco tin make it a practical ash tray for shop, den, or hunting camp. Even in a breezy spot, ashes generally stay put because of its shape. However, it is easy to empty the tray by just opening the lid of the can.
DEEP, heavily loaded shop drawers slide smoothly on rollers made from spools. Use the same size spools on each one, screwing them to the side of the drawer. If you don’t have that many spools, cut up a length of hardwood dowel and drill for screws.
If party guests have to leave their wraps on the bed, cover the spread with a transparent tablecloth. Coats will not soil the spread nor will they pick up any lint from it. Dye will greatly improve the appearance of the worn parts of a rug. Applied with a window spray, the color goes on evenly and makes the signs of wear practically invisible.
Battery Powers Tiny Car. An auto battery and starter motor are all the engine this miniature car needs. It was built by Vernon Garrison, a painter employed by Northrop Aircraft, Hawthorne, Calif., to suit his four-year-old daughter Barbara Jean.
LONG used in Europe (the photo above shows a main street in Zurich, Switzerland), this simple bicycle stand may be just what you have needed to keep your kids’ bikes from being draped over the back-porch railing. It’s simple to construct and the dimensions can be varied to accommodate anything from junior two-wheelers to motorcycles.
EXPANSIVE bits often mar surfaces by lifting chips beyond the finished diameter. There will be less likelihood of damage if you first cut to the depth of the spur at a smaller diameter. Then reset and cut to final size.—Will Thomas, Kenmore, N. Y.
A FLAT cast-iron sink, set bottom up, makes a sturdy foundation for a small stationary gas engine. Bolt the engine to the sink with wooden blocks between. The sink absorbs enough vibration to prevent troublesome “creeping.”—W. Anderson, Salem, Mass.
These two basic operations underlie the making of sound joints in wood.
Cutting End Rabbets
Grooves and Dadoes
Router and Combination Plane
Eawin M. Love
LIKE the first pair of long pants, the first rabbet or dado joint is a real milestone in a novice craftsman’s experience. Making butted or cleated joints is something that the noncarpenter does almost instinctively. But to make a well-executed rabbet joint is to take an unmistakable first step down the road toward woodworking craftsmanship.
Saw Attaches to Drill. A 6" circular saw made by Future Products Company, of Portland, Ore., can be used with most electric drills. It rips or cuts material up to 2⅛" thick and can be adjusted for beveling at any angle up to 45 deg. Binding straps secure the attachment to the drill. Not a production tool, the attachment is intended for handymen and occasional users. It’s called a Lite-Saw Ⓣ.
Kemode Mfg. Co.
Soldering Iron Has Own Heat. The reaction of a metallic powder and oxidizing agent supplies heat for a soldering iron introduced by Kemode Mfg. Co., of New York. Sealed in a cartridge that’s inserted in the iron, the powder and oxidizer react when a spring-tensioned plunger is withdrawn and allowed to strike a primer. One cartridge is good for 8 or 10 minutes of soldering. The iron sells for about $5, the cartridges for about 12 cents each.
Kemode Mfg. Co.
Screw-Driver Blade Reverses. This is a screw driver with a double purpose. There’s a regular bit on one end, a Phillips bit on the other. Spring action at the center of the blade keeps it secure without play, yet it’s quickly turned end for end in the plastic handle. Vaco Products Co., Chicago, supplies it for about $1.
Kemode Mfg. Co.
Handle Grips Any Tool. Here’s a tool handle with a chuck that gives a positive grip on a shank of any shape. A twist of the wrist shifts it from one tool to another in a matter of seconds. Some of its applications are pictured above. A product of the Speed Corp., of Portland, Ore., the handle sells for about 85 cents.
SHOWN in the photo is a little sedan chair believed to have been carved in China some 300 years ago. A copy is easy to make. For the chair, use ⅛" white pine, thinner if you prefer. The drawing shows the flat parts full size. Complete the carving before assembling the parts with glue.
IF THERE’S an old expansion spring about ¾" in diameter lying around your workshop, you can quickly make all the key rings that you’ll ever need. Simply cut off about one and a half turns for each ring and file the cut ends smooth. If the spring is too hard to cut with pliers, nick it with a small triangular file.
How some chemical compounds make case-hardening steel a cinch in your own home workshop.
Walter E. Burton
HARDENING the surface of iron or steel is one of the most ancient crafts in the mechanic’s kit. Smiths of bygone centuries knew some ways of producing sword-resistant armor. Similar, though improved, techniques are used today to harden gears, machine parts, tools, and countless other things that must be hard and resistant on the outside but can’t afford to be brittle on the inside.
Mixer Used as Drill. Geared kitchen mixers and juice extractors make handy lightduty electric drills. The one at right above will run a ¼" drill through steel nicely. Don’t try to use a light, high-speed, direct-drive drink stirrer, which won’t have enough torque.
IF THERE’S a shortage of drum sanders in your shop, you can overcome it at practically no cost. Just beg, borrow, or rescue from the scrap box one or more used washing-machine rollers. From these, you can make drum sanders of any length and any diameter that’s less than the actual diameter of the roller.
A COMBINATION bulletin board, mail desk, and memo pad, this home message center rounds up all those stray shopping lists, letters, and don’t-forget notes in one prominent spot. The pint-size wall desk is another PS Practical Solution designed by the Editor for his own use.
A NEW type of electric sprayer that operates on the vibrator principle has been announced by Burgess Battery Company, Handicraft Division, Lake Zurich, Ill. Called the Vibro-Sprayer Ⓣ, the device uses no compressor or motor and works on any 115volt AC line.
THIS versatile spray outfit is made more versatile by a number of interchangeable parts. Manufactured by Cesco Products, Inc., Chicago, the basic unit includes a footoperated compressor, a triggered handle, and two paint containers, each with its own spray head.
Gadget Aids Print Washing. Connected to a faucet, this homemade washer sprays out 16 streams that agitate and separate washing prints. Plastic strips ⅛" thick and 1" wide are heat-shaped and cemented together to make the holder. The tube, which is about 7/16" o.d. with a 1/16" wall, has holes ⅜" apart made with a No. 53 drill.
Reach out with your camera to get big, detailed pictures from far away. Here’s how to do it.
HERE’S an inexpensive substitute for a telephoto lens. What it does is pick a small area from what was intended to be a long-focus 4" by 5" field, confining the image to a 1¼" by 1⅝" film frame in a pocket-size camera. Compared to the tiny image produced by the original camera lens, you wind up with whopping magnification, some 6½ diameters with the setup shown.
FOR SHADOWLESS closeup photos of mechanical parts, jewelry, and other small objects, try aiming your camera lens through a bright circle of light. By altering a circular fluorescent lamp and mounting it on a flat aluminum ring, I made the handy table-top light shown here.
OLD motors taken from discarded vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, kitchen mixers, and the like can be put to good use in the shop. But an effective speed control is often indispensable. One solution that can be applied to small universal AC-DC motors and even the 24-volt DC type is shown above.
AFTER undercutting a motor commutator, it is necessary to reseat the brushes. This is often done by pulling sandpaper around the commutator, but you’ll save yourself some work by letting the burrs on the slots do the job. Insert the brushes and rotate the armature a dozen turns or so.
A HANDY holster for an electric soldering iron of the transformer-operated type is made by attaching a tube to the transformer. It should be slightly longer and about ⅛" more in diameter than the iron. The hardrubber tube shown is secured by a strip of aluminum and a bolt.
ARE you allergic to sneak thieves? Would you like a little advance warning when visitors cross your lawn? Want your car’s headlights to open garage doors? Maybe you need an electric eye to help you keep watch. There’s no end to the chores that a suitably rigged phototube will perform.
Sit back and relax . . . this two-tube remote control puts the pick of the programs at your fingertips.
LIST OF PARTS
HOW do you measure the distance from your favorite armchair to the control knobs on a radio? You can count inches, centimeters, or the seconds it takes you to get across the room, but they won’t tell you much. The real test is the effort you have to spend when you’re settled down comfortably.
TV Set Works on AC-DC. A television receiver that will operate on 115-volt DC as well as AC of any frequency from 25 to 60 cycles has been announced by Raytheon-Belmont, Chicago. The set employs a 200-kc. RF power supply to provide deflection voltages up to 4,200 volts on DC and 5,500 on AC.
WIDENING the usefulness of a portable belt sander, this simple jig enables you to machine-sand edges flat and square with a face. It consists of two pieces of ¾" lumber, one cut out to form a cradle for the sander, and the other a backing surface or base.
WORKING like a chain pipe vise, this homemade wrench grips a wide range of pipe sizes. Its 12" long frame is bent up from strap iron, with a clearance hole for a bolt in the short bend. A bicycle or motorcycle chain is bolted to the other end. The lever is laid against the pipe, the chain wrapped around the way you wish to apply force, and a link hooked on.
GIVING 3-to-1 speed reduction and clutch control, this unit is designed to drive scooters, lawn mowers, and the like with small gas engines, or to provide slow speed on drill presses and other machines. Hinged at the center, it “breaks” to slack off both belts as in the small photo.
A HANDFUL of shop scrap, plus an hour or two, are the chief ingredients of this little homemade motor. Showing in capsule form how the big ones work, it’ll buzz furiously on three or four dry cells. Cut off 1¼" from a husky nail, and around it bend a straightened paper clip as shown at right.
You may need a coping or scroll saw in a hurry and have none at hand. Here’s one you can make. Pass an ordinary pin-end blade through the holes in a hacksaw blade. Behind the pins, slip C-washers cut from sheet metal or made by slitting small common washers.
Here’s a way you can have running water at minimum cost if there’s a natural supply near your home.
How Hydraulic Ram Acts
WHERE conditions are suitable, a hydraulic ram is a very economical method of pumping water. The first cost is all you need to consider. Thereafter, a properly built ram will operate for years at no expense except for possible minor repairs.
Why Does the Fountain Stop? Here’s a fountain that flows, stops, and then flows again, intermittently, until all the water in the jug has run out. At first, water flows from the jet faster than it can escape through the ⅛" hole centered in the pie tin.
THIS anemometer is quite easy to build and reasonably accurate. By checking with a standard instrument, I found that at wind velocities below 10 m.p.h. its error ranged from 5 to 10 percent. At speeds above 10 m.p.h., the error did not exceed 5 percent.
WHEN a beaker of liquid containing undissolved solids is stirred with a circular motion, the solids collect in a central pile on the bottom of the beaker. This seems paradoxical: centrifugal force should apparently throw the solids out to the side of the beaker.
THE ample diameter and soil-resisting properties of vitrified clay pipe suggest a number of practical applications for leftover pieces. To make a storage place for a watering hose, bury a length of wide pipe bell end up. Put a layer of sand in the bottom for a drain, and cut a wooden cover (see sketch A).
PARTS of an old plow make up the framework of this light garden tractor, built by W. G. Shackelford, of Vienna, W. Va. A ⅝-hp. engine drives it through two V-belts and a drum. With a herringbone pattern of lugs welded to the drum, enough traction is obtained to pull the teeth through relatively hard soil.
If you have an axe to grind, here are some tips on how to go about it. They are recommended by the Norton Company, of Worcester, Mass., makers of abrasives and grinding wheels. Sharpen the axe on a slowly rotating sandstone or suitable artificial abrasive wheel.
AN INGENIOUS machine for cutting threads in large pipe has been devised by Walter A. Gustafson, well driller of Washburn, Wis. The power source is a 2½-hp. gasoline engine, belt-driving a 24" Model-T Ford wheel attached to the front end of a Chevrolet truck transmission.
COMBINING lightness and handiness with full ½"-drill power, this new drill made by Portable Electric Tools, Inc., Chicago, weighs 9 lb. and has a demountable handle for work in tight spots. At a full load speed of 240 r.p.m., it handles a ½" drill in steel, a 1" bit in hardwood, or a hole saw up to 2½" in diameter.
PAINTING those awkward “galvanized eels” known as conductor or gutter pipes is greatly aided by a pair of short stakes through which large nails have been driven. With one stake driven in solidly, slide the pipe on its nail, engage the other nail in the pipe, and tap the stake down.
THE inside of this 20' gutter, which is made of coated beer cans, required no painting. I first cut out both ends of all the cans, and then soldered together enough at one time to make a 3' section, keeping the seams aligned. This length was then cut open alongside the seams and the cut spread apart 1" before adding more cans.
THIS drafting tool gives you three of the angles most commonly used in mechanical drawing—30, 45, and 90 deg. It can of course be made in other sizes than the 6" one detailed above. Scribe the layout on ⅛" clear plastic after removing the masking paper. Drill two small holes at the points indicated. Scribe the lines deeper, place so the waste overhangs an edge, and snap off as you would glass. Smooth edges with a fine file.
EVERY time I reached for the shaving cream in our medicine cabinet, I was showered with curlers, eyebrow pencils, and face powder. This didn’t start the day well. To fix things, I built three small plastic drawers, two narrow ones for my wife’s cosmetics and a wide one for shaving things.
THIS reel stores up to 50' of garden hose and hangs against the house to keep the hose from dragging over plants set beneath the faucet. The reel has four ¾" by 1¾" by 22" legs separated by four stretchers to give it an inside width of 8". Drill holes in two of the legs and knot in a length of rope to permit hanging the reel from the sill cock.
GUIDE scales and a saw-cut line scribed or painted on the table of a bench saw will speed up the making of rough cuts. Lay a straightedge along each side of the blade to locate the cutting line and approximate kerf width. Next lay out inch marks and smaller divisions on each side of this line.
Two rubber bumpers—the kind that can be bought in plumbing shops for use on toilet seats—and two doorstops will hold a drawing board at a good angle on a desk or table. They’ll also protect the surface on which the board rests. Use a thin cleat down each side of the board and screw on the parts.
T-SQUARES, scales, triangles, French curves, and other drafting tools can be cleaned quickly with cigarette-lighter fluid. Keep it in a bottle that has an applicator on the end of the cork. This setup also is handy in removing the remains of cellulose tape.
A NEW way to clean steam-condenser tubes, shown above, uses nylon brushes instead of metal or rubber plugs. This not only saves time but is better for the tubes, says the West Penn Power Co., which developed the process. A brush, with a coneshaped steel washer welded to its pushing end, is shot through each of the tubes by water delivered from a nozzlelike gun under 200-lb. pressure.
THIS new top for kitchen tables, made of laminated plastic, resists chipping, heat, stains, and acid. As shown by the test pictured above, even flames and burning cigarettes leave no mark. The Daystrom Corp. makes the table top of seven layers of plastic impregnated with resins.
THIS simple tool saves both time and wear on your hands or gloves in lifting and laying building blocks. Made of cast aluminum, the Block-Lift Ⓣ has no working parts. It just grips the end web of a concrete or cinder block between open jaws, as shown above, and hangs on firmly by leverage exerted by the weight of the block.
THIS aluminum battery case for airplanes lets a pilot do acrobatics in the sky without worrying about spilling acid. Developed by Reading Batteries, Inc., of Reading, Pa., to hold its Rebat S 24 Ⓣ aircraft battery, the 22-oz. box has a trough in the bottom to catch any acid that may spill and a tube for draining it off.
AFTER 14 years of carrying passengers, this old Mack bus has been converted into a service truck. Now the Cincinnati Street Railway Co. uses it as a mobile repair shop and tow car. The driver and a crew of mechanics ride in front, protected from the weather, and tools are stowed in the back.
THIS truck-towed trailer, resembling an antiaircraft gun, is a mobile weapon in man’s war against harmful insects. Liquid insecticide, injected into a stream of air from a powerful blower, sprays from its nozzle as a fine mist. Mounted like a turret, the unit can be turned in a complete circle to blanket a wide swath.
THIS new Red DevilⓉ paint scraper has a removable blade of specially hardened steel so tough that it can even be used to shave off dried cement or plaster. The blade is shaped to prevent digging into the surface under the paint, and the two corners of the cutting edge have different shapes for getting into tight corners and around moldings.