Sir: Didn’t I read somewhere some time ago that Devon Francis, the POPULAR SCIENCE writer who described his flight in the supersonic jet plane in the September issue, was about to publish a new aviation book? Is it out yet, and where can I buy it?
Can the science by which man developed his implements be applied to his acts? This is the staggering idea that makes some people fear science as a Satanic force in itself. That fills others with hope equally false that science can be the answer to everything.
Fourteen feet up in space, sound engineer F. K. Harvey tries out a new wire-mesh floor for Bell Telephone’s famed super-soundproof “Dead Room.” The floor is needed to hold tons of test instruments in the geometric center of the room, but it must not interfere with the delicate tests by reflecting sound waves itself.
If father wants to he ready for the children's Christmas questions, he had better start doing his homework now.
Hartley E. Howe
CHRISTMAS Day you're safe. Between the excitement and the turkey and all the new things, the children haven't much time to give you the treatment. But the day after Christmas-get down the Encyclopedia Britannica, haul out your old physics book, look up the number of the Public Library reference service-and prepare for the worst.
TITANIUM metal—a structural metal never before available to industry, although its ore is the fourth most plentiful in the earth’s crust—now is making its debut in commerce. At Newport, Del., a duPont plant with a modest 100-pound-a-day capacity has just begun turning it out.
THE big news about the new Buieks is, again, Dynaflow. This revolutionary automatic transmission, tested on the fanciest ’48 Buieks, will be available in most of the company’s 1949 models. Introduced less than a year ago (PS, Feb. ’48, p. 113), Dynaflow has been available so far only as optional equipment in the Roadmaster.
A TESTING machine that can crush a locomotive or gently crack a walnut has joined the Navy. It will put an experimental squeeze on full-size airplane parts that must withstand the terrific stresses and strains of flight. Weighing almost a million pounds, the big machine will take specimens 10 ft.
Pilots trained in propellered planes find the winged blowtorches different —but actually easier to fly
/Veto Sensations, ISetc Jargon
Graceful, Smooth, Quiet
John F. Loosbroch
HIGH above southern Arizona’s barren mountains a student jet jockey—a member of that new breed of pilots who fly the out-size blowtorches—suddenly hears a buzz above the monotonous hiss of the wind past his canopy. His control stick flutters.
To SAVE space, the tubes in this radio are so close together that, under ordinary conditions, the set quickly overheats. But submerged in a tank of liquid freon, as shown above, the set works fine. Air Force engineers dunked the radio as an experiment, part of their search for safe ways to reduce the size of electronic equipment in new planes.
THESE mechanical fingers speed inspection and leave no messy prints on tin plate in a new U. S. Steel mill at Pittsburg, Calif. The fingers are fiber-tipped spokes of a five-ply, rimless wheel. Coming up between the rollers of a conveyer, they lift off one sheet at a time, flip it over—so the inspector can scan both sides—and lay it back on the conveyer.
GAS given off by apples makes them ripen fast in storage. This portable fan slows that chemical action, filtering the gas from air in storage rooms by continuously recirculating it through activated carbon. Based on research at Cornell, the air purifier lets a grower hold his crop 4 to 6 weeks longer for a good market price.
Cornell research in what happens when humans hit may mean safer planes, trains, and cars.
IF DESIGNERS succeed in applying newly discovered principles, they may soon produce an airplane that gives occupants a reasonable chance of surviving a head-on crash at 100 miles an hour or more. Such a plane would mean as great an advance in safety for air travelers as was brought to railroad passengers when modern steel coaches replaced flimsy wooden ones.
In industry, where every day is moving day, new machines are solving the problem of handling materials.
Fork Truck Cradles Pallet on Arms
Disposable Pallet Is 1he Answer
CONVEYERS SOLVE MANY PROBLEMS IN THE HANDLING OF MATERIALS
1,260 Jobs in a Box
EVERY time you push a basket in a supermarket, or use a shovel or wheelbarrow, you are solving a problem in “materials handling.” For materials handling is just industry’s name for collecting and carrying the pieces that make products.
You could wrap a lot of chewing gum and cigarettes in the metal foil used in one of the Air Force’s new fire-fighting suits. Made entirely of aluminum foil laminated to a cotton backing, it is designed to keep' its wearer cool by reflecting heat.
FIRE fighters working in dense smoke and poisonous fumes no longer need to carry a heavy, cumbersome tank to supply oxygen. With this “self-breathing” Chemox mask, they can generate their own oxygen. The face mask is connected to a small, flat chest pack containing a canister of potassium tetraoxide.
THE reciprocal aircraft engine has taken a free ride on the turbine wheel. The power now wastefully spewed out in its exhaust has been harnessed and put to work on the crankshaft—adding power, range, and payload. This revolutionary development, called compounding, will add more than 1,000 miles to the range of our big bombers, and may increase the passenger capacity of our commercial air liners by as much as 50 percent.
JET engines should survive even a rough landing from an LST when packed in a new crate developed for the Navy by the Edo Corp. In one test, the new container was rolled down a six-foot-high track. The crate sustained an impact 47 times its weight, but the engine inside was bumped by a force only about eight times its weight.
THIS 810-horsepower, air-cooled engine, developed for the Army, weighs less than a third as much as a liquid-cooled power plant of the same capacity. Needing no radiator, it also not only takes up less room but is less vulnerable to enemy guns.
Now a sports coach can whisper instructions into a player’s ear without interrupting practice. The radio system that makes this possible is shown in use during workouts for the Davis Cup tennis matches. Signals are short-waved from the battery-powered transmitter at right.
HERE’S news for house-hungry America from house-hungry Australia: the Pocket Home, now in production and selling for the equivalent of $1,152. To get around legal requirements for permanent dwellings, the house is set on four small wheels.
Fighter Gets X-Ray ”Eyes.” That’s all the Air Force will say about the new radar equipment of this new Northrop XF-89. The all-weather fighter will be able, however, to seek out enemy aircraft and ground installations by night or day in any weather.
A CAR’S right front seat may cease to be known as the “death seat” if this new Safety Bar Rest works out as expected. Made of aluminum in two telescoping sections and screwed to the door, it can be pulled across a passenger’s abdomen to prevent crashing into the dashboard or windshield when an accident or sudden stop occurs.
SPURRED by a steel spring, this rocking horse gives a child a fast ride for little effort. When the rider leans back, his weight pushes the saddle down, as shown at right; when he bends forward, the spring pulls it up. Stirrups ahead of the seesaw pivot help him shift his weight to keep the horse rocking.
You can tip this inkwell on its side or upside down without spilling a drop. The secret is a reservoir around the dip well. This is filled only to the white mark on the photo at right. In any position except upright, as shown below, the ink level then remains below the openings between the reservoir, dip well, and pen socket.
THE Snow Master can make a blizzard of its own—but it’s a blizzard with a blessing. With its blower turbine set for full power, it can throw snow 150 feet to clear highways or airports. For cleaning streets, with the sectional chute adjusted for loading, it can fill a standard snow truck in less than a minute.
New sources of rays und applications for them—in medicine, industry, and research—make living safely with radioactivity our latest problem•
Alelen P. Armagnac
WHEN you see a sign bearing a magenta pinwheel on a yellow background and the words “DANGER - RADIATION,” don’t snoop! Now being used in leading atomicresearch centers, and shown above, this newly adopted warning symbol marks the entrances to “hot” laboratories and identifies containers that might be radioactive.
Sand Prevents Skidding. Getting your car out of snowdrifts and controlling skids on ice might be a lot easier with the sanding device invented by J. U. Richard, of Montreal, Canada. Sand is sprayed under the wheels through pipes from two hoppers, one under the hood and the other in the trunk.
the dispatcher “talks” to the engineer through trackside semaphores or light signals—and can shift his “orders” from minute to minute according to conditions up ahead. Boiled down, C.T.C. is a combination of almost all the automatic gadgets that have proved their worth in railroading.
PREFABRICATED schoolhouses, built mostly of aluminum, are being turned out by Britain’s Bristol Airplane Co., to meet the shortage of adequate school buildings. The exterior view shows the generous window space. Walls and roofs are insulated for warmth in winter and coolness in summer.
You don’t need to know music to play an accompaniment on the Robo-Chord illustrated here. You play chords that sound much like those of a harp by simply sliding a pick across horizontal bars. These are keyed by letters and numbers to specially prepared sheet music.
A NOVEL method of destroying rats has been developed by James G. Anderson, who runs a pest-exterminating business in Vancouver, B. C. As shown above, he records a rat’s squeals. When an amplified recording is played back near a rat hole, he claims, the rodents are scared stiff and scurry out.
Central plant air-conditions business buildings spread out over 16-acre shopping center. Individual meters tell how much each tenant should be charged for his “cold.”
PIPED air conditioning, supplied and billed just like cooking, gas, will cool the business buildings of a new housing development on Long Island. The stores, offices, theaters, and restaurants in the 16-acre shopping center (shown in color in model above) will get their air conditioning from a central plant that is more than a mile away.
COLORFUL and crystal-clear plastics that won't curl up even in boiling water -as shown in comparison test above-wifi soon be available at the same price as materials that do not resist heat. The new polystyrene, developed by the Kop pers Co., is intended for combs, table ware, kitchen utensils, and radio cabinets.
SALT is the tire engineer's latest prescription for quick stops on winter roads. A new recapping material called Wintrac , developed by U. S. Rubber, has tiny salt crystals imbedded in it. As the rubber wears, the crystals drop out, leaving large pores that grip icy roads to shorten stops and prevent skids.
”Fossil Tree” Found Alive. Students of prehistoric plants compare the discovery of this tree, a dawn redwood, to finding a living dinosaur. A University of California scientist recently found several hundred growing in China. They belong to a race previously believed to have died out 20,000,000 years ago and known only as fossils.
There are survival techniques for householders as well as explorers. You can be comfortable without utilities—if you know the tricks.
Many Caught Unprepared
Don’t Heat the Whole House
George H. Waltz Jr.
JUST about everything in our modern allelectric homes responds to the flick of a switch. This kind of push-button living is fine—as long as there’s power behind the push buttons. Without electric power—and a break in a single wire can knock it out—our ultraelectric households become more old-fashioned than Grandpa’s weatherbeaten farmhouse. There a wood stove, kerosene lamps, and a hand-pumped well provided at least the minimum comforts of home.
THE first four-door convertible to roll off the production line since the war is this Kaiser with an all-plastic top. The covering is a nylon fabric, available in a variety of colors to match the upholstery. Gone is the customary rear-view slit.
IF THE color balance of your subject’s light doesn’t match the balance of your color film, this Spectra color-temperature meter will tell you at a glance exactly how much correction is necessary. Just point it at the light source, squeeze the trigger on its pistol grip, and a needle instantly registers the color temperature of the light to within 100 degrees Kelvin.
MACHINE-TURNED fittings and a simplified focusing mechanism cut the cost of this new microscope for high-school science students. Its fine adjustment, for example, has only 10 parts, as compared with 50 in a standard laboratory instrument.
You can skim down a snowy hill on this new Sked without long practice in keeping your balance—and with less danger of hitting a tree. When an obstacle looms, just rock back on both footrests to press drag brakes, projecting from both heel guards, into the snow.
MAKING coffee of uniform strength depends on controlling the amount of coffee used, the amount of water, water temperature, and how long the water is in contact with the coffee. All four factors are regulated automatically by the new Cory coffee brewer below.
LIGHT shines right through this Fiberglas pipe, as you can see in the photo below. Yet it’s so strong that the Army is testing it for pipelines to carry gasoline and oil. The new pipe is not only tough and noncorrosive, but so light that a 20-ft.
THE new Austin convertible costs $4,000. What do you get for your money? For one thing, a higher compression ratio than in any present American stock car. For another, a battery that should outlast the car. Sleekly streamlined, this new English import boasts a 90-hp., four-cylinder, overhead-valve engine with a 7.5-to-l compression ratio.
JUST as a horse can pull more weight than he can carry, this light semi-trailer greatly boosts the load capacity of a truck or Jeep. The truck is quickly shifted from pickup to trailer use. After the bed is removed with a block and tackle, a fifth wheel is bolted on and the truck backed under the trailer.
IF THE filler pipe of your gas tank is concealed by a fender door, here’s a way of preventing fuel theft. Called Fen-DorLok the accessory enables you to open the door by pushing a button mounted on the instrument panel. The door locks automatically when it’s closed.
HERE’S a cutaway of the hydraulic fork that you’ll find on two of the 1949 HarleyDavidsons, the 61and 74-cu. in. overheadvalve models. Synthetic oil of high viscosity dampens the action of the long helical springs. The fork has a total stroke of 5½". Other changes in these models include larger front brake, Timken upper and lower steering-head bearings, and cylinders treated to resist corrosion.
With a balky 1936 model instead of a sleigh. Gus plays Santa in two different places at once.
Martin Bunn A FEW minutes earlier the hands of the Model Garage clock had pointed to quitting time. Wrapped in heavy coats and mufflers, Stan Hicks and Greg Jones, the grease monkey, were leaving. Gus Wilson was still at his bench, working over a carburetor.
Plastic Shows Lights Are On. If a headlight burns out, you’ll know it without leaving the car. Edge-lighted along the lower surface, a horn-shaped indicator cut from plastic carries the illumination up. where you can see it. A good cement job will hold it on, or a metal strip screwed to rear corner can can be clamped by lamp rim.
Tempted to build a tiny car around an air-cooled engine? This article gives practical pointers and tips on design.
IT'S not easy to look at one of the small air-cooled engines you can buy fairly cheaply these days without dreaming of building a midget car around it. If you try it—and plenty of people have— you may end up with anything from an overgrown motorized coaster wagon of practically no utility to a slick little trick that’ll do you proud on the highway.
Here’s how to lick this Christmas chore without tangling yourself in yards of red ribbon. Use he-man materials and stay away from frills.
BEGIN your gift wrapping this year by tossing out conventional notions. Tissue paper isn’t necessary, colors needn’t be red and green, and fussy frills aren’t musts. Pick some rugged paper and go to work. Don’t try to wrap unboxed, irregularshaped gifts—you’re apt to wind up with a lumpish, turnip-shaped job.
A QUICK hit with the younger set, this merry-go-round lamp is a doublebarreled gift because it will also please parents. Finished in the brilliant colors kids like, it looks much slicker than its hand-tool origin suggests. Saw out the base and horse from ¾" stock or thicker, preferably plywood.
REGULATION showcase equipment — knife brackets and knife standards—form the principal parts of these quickly built bookcases that have neither sides nor fitted joints. Besides brackets and standards, you’ll of course need wood for the shelves and perhaps a plywood panel.
Winter built a window for me one bitterly cold Sunday when a pane of glass was broken. We couldn’t get a glazier that day and I couldn’t find anything to tack over the break. I hooked the shower hose to the sink faucet and sprayed little bursts of water over the jagged hole.
THE three main parts of this homemade mixer are a Wound-field, surplus aircraft motor with the armature and field windings connected in series, a coffee-maker handle, and a 6" radio extension shaft. I put them together in an evening, added a 6' cord, and the mixer was ready to use.
GLUE can be cooked without burning and kept warm while it is being used by suspending a 200watt infrared lamp over the pot. The same lamp will increase the working capacity of an electric soldering iron. It preheats the work and the solder will run freely.
IRREGULARITIES in a lacquer surface, including deep sag marks, can be removed with a razor blade in a suitable holder. Draw the blade across the surface, holding it at about the angle shown. Continue scraping until the surface is even but try to avoid cutting down to the base coat.
You can do fast sanding and yet end up with a smooth finish on your work by cutting and mounting a disk of fine sandpaper inside a coarse disk as shown in the drawing. Use medium fine paper for the inner disk. Do the heavy sanding on the coarse part and then move inside for the finishing.
THIS is a low-cost housing project that you can lay out and put together with a minimum of tools. In fact, the parts of the bungalow pictured here were cut out with only two simple tools—a mat knife and scissors. The basic material is a 4' by 8' sheet of ½" wallboard.
WHILE shopping one day in a hardware store, I came across a stock of hammer handles. Why not, I thought, use them as legs for the bedside table my wife had been wanting? The case itself could be a butt-joint job, but I wanted some ornamentation to relieve that shoebox look. I had no way to make molded edges or a paneled door.
THE impressive appearance of these book ends is far out of proportion to their simple construction. Begin by making the back plate from 1/32" brass, aluminum, copper, or other sheet metal. Cut each piece 6" by 7½" and bend back 2" of the longer dimension to slip under the books.
CALLED “Armchair General,” this game for two requires skill in deceiving your opponent as to where you are shooting from and the piece used. Likewise, you must figure out where his pieces are to make hits. Two identical boards are needed. Lay these out as shown on 12½" by 16" plywood, using 1½" squares.
WITH a few dollars worth of materials, you can revamp an old chair into an up-to-date piece of furniture. The old-timer pictured in the inset at right cost $1.50. The sponge rubber, plywood scraps, and artificial leather were less than $5. Cut off the back of the chair at a height that suits you, and remove the splat—the thin center piece.
THESE glittering Christmas-tree ornaments are much simpler to make than they look. No soldering is required, and the only tools you need are a pair of ordinary tin snips for the rim cuts, and a pair of “duck-billed” snips for the patterns themselves.
INDOORS or out, a youngster will have as much fun pulling this toy around as you’ll have building it. None of the dimensions is critical since this isn’t a scale model, but those given in the photos on this page and the next will help you in turning out a realistic plaything.
CUT a 1½" strip of transparent tape and lay it sticky side up. Cut a ¾" piece and lay it sticky side down in the center of the other, leaving ⅜" of the first strip projecting at each end. Lay the card or sheet to be indexed on one sticky portion and fold the other over.
CHILDREN learning to read will like (and be helped by) this simple toy. Part of a word is lettered on the slotted upper disk and part on the lower disk. By turning the upper one, the letters of one word at a time can be made to match. Cut 16 slots in one cardboard disk.
IF YOU work with small parts, you can make ready containers for them from the glass sections of ordinary household fuses. Remove the metal by turning it off with a pair of pliers as shown in the photo.— Shepard G. Saunders, Mattapan, Mass.
GLASS bricks that had been damaged on one side were salvaged from a house construction job and made into decorative flower vases. The rough edges of the broken glass were smoothed down with a small hand grinder. A file would do instead.— Robert* Hertzberg, Jackson Heights, N. Y.
JARS that come with press-on lids make excellent beakers for the darkroom, laboratory, or kitchen when fitted with a removable handle. This is especially useful in handling hot or corrosive liquids. Cut a 1" band of stainless steel long enough to encircle the jar and overlap 3". Drill a ¼" hole 1¼" from the outer or overlapping end. Solder a ¼"-20 nut over the hole on the inside. Drill a file handle undersize for a ¼"-20 bolt and file the head of the bolt flat.
PACKING and gasket materials of rubber, fiber, and asbestos for repairing leaks are contained in this handyman kit made by the Zimmerman Packing Co., Norwood, Ohio. Leaks in steam, water, gas, ammonia, acid, oil, and gasoline lines may be stopped with washers and gaskets cut from the sheets.
LOCK two pieces of acrylic plastic and any reasonably thin object in the small but potent press shown at the left, heat and clamp it according to directions, and you’ll wind up with a single solid piece in which the object is magically sealed for keeps.
Dog Vise Has Many Uses. Jaws are independently adjustable on this universal dog vise, made by Deroy Products, Inc., Louisville, Ohio. As a safety precaution, the rack has pins to prevent the jaws Light Built into Ruler Vase. When you must take a measurement in a poorly lighted spot, here’s a 72" snap-back flexible steel ruler that gives all the illumination you’ll need.
YOU might succeed in driving tacks with a sledge, but it’s easier with a tack hammer. Likewise, if you’ve ever attempted fine carving, you know ordinary carving tools don’t fit the job. These midgets do. File them to shape from ⅛" drill rod.
Parallel Is Height Gauge. Accurate layout often calls for a vernier height gauge, but this tool is too costly for most home shops. However, one or more adjustable parallels, available for $2 apiece or less, will often serve. To use, set the parallel to the desired width with a micrometer, lock the screw, place the parallel and the work on a flat surface (say, a machine table or a piece of plate glass), and mark carefully Kitchen Gomes to Shop.
AT FIRST glance the change gears at left may seem conventional. But a few dodges make it possible to switch them in a jiffy, rendering the various feed ranges more readily available, so that you’ll use them rather than hand feed. Threading setups are easier too.
IN CHASING or engraving jewelry and the like, it’s a problem to hold the work securely. The professional jeweler’s ball is too costly for the amateur. Two easily made substitutes, shown below, hold the work firmly at any angle the craftsman prefers.
MAYBE you’ve never thought of cutting threads on your wood-turning lathe. But if you can mount a chuck on the outboard end and if you have a slide rest, it will creditably cut almost any thread. The nut is removed from the longitudinal feed of the slide rest, permitting the top slide to move freely parallel to the ways.
HERE’S a water-powered dishwasher that doesn’t need any electrical or permanent water connections. Although small, it’ll take the average service for four people, as many as 22 pieces of china plus silver, at one washing. After stacking the dishes in the basket, you connect the hose to the faucet, put in a little detergent, and turn on the hot water.
HERE’S a clutch arrangement that allows easy shifting of belts on a wood lathe with an underneath motor drive. When you step on the treadle, the cable raises the motor enough so that the belt goes slack. The setup also gives you the advantage of stopping the spindle without switching off the motor.
A NEW home fire extinguisher contains carbon dioxide packed under 850 lb. pressure. When you turn the nozzle, it emits a rush of snow-like, solidified carbon dioxide that quickly smothers grease, electrical, and other fires that water won’t control.
HERE’S a homemade plastic pen and set of interchangeable points that will help you boost many ordinary photos to salon quality. With the pen you can get precise control in applying reducers, intensifies, and opaquing solutions. I find it much easier to use than the customary brushes. For the barrel use a length of ½" plastic tubing.
NOW you see it, now you don’t! It looks like an ordinary mirror until you push the button. Then it lights up and a photo appears in place of the mirror. The trick is a transparent two-way mirror, which you can buy at a glass supply house, with a color transparency behind it.
Homemade Foot Switch. With a 50-cent accelerator pedal, a neon glow lamp, and a sturdy 115-volt push switch, you can make a handy darkroom accessory. A piece of ½" by 3" by 10" wood forms the base, while the 2" by 3½" stepped block was sawed from a two-by-four.
You can play it through its own speaker, any nearby radio, or you can combine both at the same time.
LIST OF PARTS
Henry C. Martin
ARGE households can get the most out of this centralized control system that pipes music anywhere in the house, but you'll also find it handy .if you have anything larger than a one-room apartment. Here's a unit that combines two types of record player-a direct amplifier and an oscillator that broadcasts through any nearby radio. The features may be used together, or either one will work by itself.
Three-In-One Book. Servicemen and experimenters can now study three tubebase diagrams simultaneously. A new booklet issued by RCA contains three complete sets of basing diagrams bound one above the other. The user can turn to a different page in each of the books, thus bringing together related information on over 475 tube types.
EVEN a little radio or amplifier can do more jobs than you usually give it credit for. If its tone is good—that is, if its loudspeaker and output stages are up to snuff— it can be used as an audio amplifier for microphone or phono pickup. The one or two audio stages in a small set, however, frequently aren’t enough to get comfortable volume.
FM Dipole Hidden Behind Sofa Extra Loop Helps Small Radios
IF EITHER you or the landlord objects to your hanging an FM antenna on the roof, this indoor rig may help you get reception. Antenna and lead in are of one-piece construction, consisting of a length of 300-ohm ribbon lead-in. Wrap a few turns of tape around the wire 28" from one end and split it down the center.
Making big ones out of little ones is standard operational procedure for furniture tops and large panels.
Edwin M. Love
SO YOU need a wide board for that table top. It’s easy enough to step around to the lumber yard and pick up a piece of plywood, but that’s expensive and you can’t cut a decorative molding on the edges for a varnish job. The plies would show. The answer is gluing several pieces of solid stock together.
IF YOU have to trim the bottom of a door to clear a rug, this gadget will automatically stop the under-door draft. In building it, the trick is to determine the angle of the wedge blocks. This angle governs the point at which the bar will rise. If the edge of the rug is very close to the door, the angle will have to be small.
ONE thing that makes milk an ideal food is its physical structure. It's a solution, suspension, and emulsion all rolled into one. The milk sugar (lactose) and most of the mineral salts are in solution, the proteins are dispersed as colloidal particles, and the fat particles form an emulsion.
Little Image Blows Up Big. Projected television pictures can be brought to life on a screen in sizes from a few inches up to 4' by 6' and larger depending upon audience requirements. Lens adjustments similar to those on a film projector regulate picture size.
MY HOT-AIR furnace, though fitted with an automatic damper control, has overheated dangerously when a cinder has propped open the ashpit door, or when thç dampermotor chain has come off. For peace of mind, I rigged up this warning system.
You need just one hand to apply cellulose tape with this dispenser. After a coil of tape has been threaded from the case, you press down the end, and draw the applicator along with firm pressure. When the desired amount of tape has been applied, you tilt up the device and a small knife cuts the tape.
STARTING with an ordinary pencil, you can quickly produce a low-value variable resistor for experimental work. Cut away one side of the pencil until the graphite is exposed. Then slip on a pencil clip and adjust so the ball contacts the “lead.”
A COIL spring on this jeweler’s-type magnifying glass serves either to hold the lens on a horizontal surface or as a means of clipping it to your glasses. You can also wear it as a jeweler does. The spring compresses so the glass can be kept in a compact leather pocket case.
WHEN putting in window panes or framing pictures, I find the device sketched above a great time saver. The dovetail slot holds the point firmly against the glass and frame while the other end is tapped with a hammer. Another advantage of the holder is that points may be moved to position without slipping.
ON A breezeless day, red danger flags at obstructions or excavations droop down around the staff and are not readily seen. Such warnings can be made more distinct if an old hacksaw blade is riveted diagonally across the flag. This stiffens the flag so it remains unfurled.
OPERATED by a clock spring, the siren of this portable alarm screams for 35 seconds after the trigger is tripped. The maker, Electro-Protective Corp., Newark, N. J., suggests it might be used in the home to call for aid in an emergency, besides its obvious use by bank messengers, truck drivers, store owners, and others for protection against criminals.
IF YOU have a piece of veneered furniture that needs refinishing, raised edges or blisters in the veneer should be repaired first. Heated metal disks will do this job on veneers that have been applied with water-soluble glue. Use disks of steel, brass, or aluminum about 1/16" thick.
A FEW years after the waves of gold seekers had swept westward in ’49, an early settler—now unknown—built this conveyer to move water 200' up a steep mountain side. Today, it serves the present owner, Al Cook, bringing water from a mountain stream to the doorstep of his cabin near Virginia City, Mont.
Extension Lamp Hangs Ring Pocket Watch Has Alarm Bell
THREADED into the socket cap,a fixture ring turns an extension cord into a portable hang-up light for the home, shop, or garage. Just put screw hooks over the spots where you want to use the lamp. The ring may be taken from a discarded ligh fixture of the chain-supported type, or you can purchase it.
MANY toys, gifts, and novelties of clear, thermosetting plastic may be formed with the 16-piece Kelon Liquid Plastic Kit, according to the maker, Pittsburgh Fabric Products Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa. The plastic can be cured in a double boiler on the kitchen stove, and it may be colored, sawed, drilled, and machined with woodworking tools.
GLENN CARLSON, of Kingston, Wash., designed and built the bulldozer blade shown in the top photo and drawing, and attached it to the hydraulic hoist on his Ford-Ferguson tractor. The maneuverability achieved by this rear-end mounting enables the tractor to perform many additional farm chores.
TRACTORS equipped with this safety switch aren’t likely to tip over on a steep incline or a heavy pull because the motor goes dead when the front wheels rise beyond a safe angle. Tilting the machine more than the predetermined limit causes a steel ball inside the cylindrical chamber to roll backward and actuate a switch that shorts the ignition. When the tractor levels, the motor can be restarted. Warren Manufacturing Co., Inc., Clinton, N. C., produces the switch.
AN AUXILIARY transmission that gives a greater selection of gear speeds helps to increase the usefulness and work capacity of a tractor. The inset shows such an attachment manufactured by Sherman Products, Inc., Royal Oak, Mich., for use with the Allis-Chalmers’ WC tractor.
FIVE pieces of lumber can be converted into a sawhorse by simple wing-nut adjustments of these sawhorse brackets. No nails or bolts are needed, so the unit can be disassembled just as readily for easy transportation and on-the-spot use.
A CHILD can sit either in or at this new Baby-Sitter Using it as shown above, he can turn any direction in a swivel chair of adjustable height. With the chair removed, the center opening in the doughnut-shaped top can be covered with a matching plywood disk.
THE road scraper at right has recently been put on the market, by the Cruver Mfg. Co., of Chicago, as a companion piece to the tractor to which it is coupled. Copied after a real-life counterpart, on a scale of 1 in. to 2 ft., it is assembled from 15 plastic parts cast in only two molds—one for the larger pieces, one for the smaller fittings.
CONSTRUCTION and emergency crews working at night can hook this small Bantam trailer to a truck or car and carry their lights right up to the scene. Two 1,500-watt flood lights are mounted atop the trailer’s 18-foothigh, folding tower. A gasoline-powered generator supplies the electricity.
SMOOTHER action and a more precise fit are claimed for this round breech bolt that replaces the usual square bolt in Marlin’s new line of high-power, lever-action rifles. A solid steel bridge in the receiver provides greater rigidity and a streamlined appearance.
ENGINE blocks for new Dodge cars are shown being dipped into tanks containing a chemical solution that deposits an oil-absorbing coating on the cylinder walls to improve lubrication and prevent scoring. The process, electrically timed, etches minute pockets in the metal and fills them with crystals of manganese iron phosphate.
THE dark wheel in this picture is a crankshaft-vibration damper used in Ford engines. Because it works in a sealed bath of oil, the device was hard to test in operation. Now that’s done by the apparatus in which it is mounted here. This jolts and twists the damper with electromagnets and notes its behavior on the dials at right.
DIRT that sifts into the rock ballast under railroad tracks has to be cleaned out now and then to keep the roadbed springy. Once a job for picks and shovels, this now is done faster by machines. Newest of these is the British ballast cleaner shown in action above.
THESE new accordions are the first to be made entirely of plastic. The reed plate is molded in a single piece, and largely as a result of this simplification each instrument has only a tenth as many parts as a comparable one of conventional design.
PRECISE molding and careful spray painting give this all-plastic doll a lifelike appearance. Tiny fingers, for instance, are separated—not bunched—and faithfully reproduced down to such details as nails, knuckles, and palm lines. Practically unbreakable, the new doll is made by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.
THIS new machine for auto-repair shops tells how badly a radiator is plugged up by pumping water through it and measuring the rate of flow. There’s only one hose connection to make, one switch to throw, one valve to control. The meter at the top then shows the result in gallons per minute.
DESIGNED especially for motorcycle policemen, these new sun glasses protect the eyes against wind and dust as well as glare. A flexible nosepiece and cables at the temples hold their extra-large lenses snugly against the wearer’s face, eliminating backdraft when he is riding at high speed.
Two for One. Hinged at two points, this new double-decked waffle iron turns out two full-size waffles in the time ordinarily required to cook one. You just pour batter into the bottom section, let down the middle part, fill it with batter, and close the lid. It recently, was put on the market by the Serva-Matic Co., of Chicago.
small sharpener that gives ice-skate blades a hollow-ground edge is offered by the Beta Products Co., of Middle Village, N. Y. The gadget is %" in diameter and 2/4" long and has a replaceable aluminum-oxide stone.
New Broom Sweeps Cleaner. The bristles of this plastic broom may be kept crisp and shiny by washing in warm water. In addition, the maker, The Modglin Co., of Los Angeles, says the broom sweeps cleaner than the old-type broom because static electricity generated by the plastic bristles pulls dust from rugs and floors.
Atomizer Carried In Purse. This midget perfume atomizer loads from the bottom like a cigarette lighter and sends out a mist-like perfume spray when the button on top is pressed. H. Herzog & Co., of Chicago, prices it at about $5.
Whipper Mounted in bracket. The Brac King Whipper is easily set up or dismounted for storage by slipping it in or out of a bracket that screws to a table edge. A hinged joint at the top of the up right permits the blades to be swung up out of the way to remove a bowl. The National Die Casting Co., Chicago, is the maker.
Now Toast Pops Down. This new electric toaster has wide openings at the top to take either bread or rolls. When done, the finished toast is automatically dropped out of the opening on the side. Delta Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, is the maker.
The National Die Casting Co.
Chair-Desk Combination. A builtin fluorescent lamp is a feature of this compact, modern desk and chair set offered by Stephen Nemes, of Chicago. The unit occupies very little space and may be bought in a wide range of colors, even in color combinations to match other furnishings in your home.
AS most of our readers know, the first question PS editors ask about a possible story is: “Where do you put the camera?” More than two and a half years ago we asked that routine question about the “Wac Corporal’s” research mission into the ionosphere (PS, May ’46, p. 66).