Sir: A picture on page 183 of your February issue shows an International Diesel TD-6 being loaded on a truck by the aid of the vanishing ramp (a wonderful idea). You state that this tractor weighs nearly 18 tons, but a check on the TD-6 shows its weight to be approximately 7,300 lb.—a long way from 18 tons.
Globes with mountains and oceans shown in relief. The scale would have to be exaggerated. Maybe the globes could be molded of plastic, with land and sea in different colors.-James Froberg, Palma Sola, Fla. Coal bins with slanted floors.
IT is only human to let out that whistling sigh when your long-circling airplane comes out of the white stuff right on the runway; when your disabled car bumps safely off the pavement. Whenever fear lets go of your guts there is a tendency to say, “That wasn’t so bad . . .”
Exceptionally pure chemicals come out of these silvery pipes in the National Bureau of Standards. The two-story-high pipes are automatic distillation columns that boil night and day to separate the compounds of petroleum. Each of these compounds boils at a slightly different temperature, so any one can be separated from most of the others by heating the mixture to just the right boiling point.
One rocket has already pierced the earth’s atmosphere; a faster one might leave it and circle forever.
Two-Step Rocket Tried
Choose Your Orbit
Would Aid Solar Research
Navigating by Orbiter
SUCH revelations made POPULAR SCIENCE editors ask: Is the United States now building a new moon? No hints as clear as some of these preceded the first A-bomb’s shock wave. Space ships, defense officials now say, are “a matter of highest secrecy.”
HERE'S a rifle that you can't load without automatically locking a fool-proof safety device. It is a new .22-caliber, single-shot, bolt-action Winchester (right) designed especially for young and inexperienced shooters. The very act of loading, pulling back the bolt handle, makes it impossible to fire the rifie.
A LIGHTWEIGHT portable teletypewriter, weighing only 45 pounds, is the Signal Corps' answer to front-line communications problems. It can operate on both wire and radio circuits, sending and receiving 66 percent faster than older types.
Spoilers Smooth Landings. If you came down in this plane, you’d stay down. “Spoiler” vanes on top of the wings are automatically raised just as the plane lands, cutting its lift and keeping it from “bouncing.” The spoilers are actuated by the movement of the shock absorbers as the wheels strike the ground.
THE Navy’s newest booster rocket, with a speed of more than 1,500 m.p.h., will get supersonic missiles off to a good start. It is designed especially for launching ramjet missiles that must reach near-supersonic velocity before they can operate efficiently.
SHOWN above, posing on its way for delivery to the U. S. Navy, is the Lark, latest weapon of push-button warfare. It is a ship-to-air, rocket-powered guided missile, controlled automatically in flight. That is all the Navy will say about the new weapon, intended to knock targets out of the air, except that it has been designated the XSAM-N-2.
WHEN you're caught in a shower, do you picture yourself getting splashed by tear-shaped raindrops like those sketched at left? Contrary to popular belief, raindrops are not tear-shaped—nor would tears be, if they fell far. For a good look at a raindrop, General Electric scientists released water from a medicine dropper into a rising air stream that carried a drop, "falling" naturally in air, slowly upward past a high-speed multiple-exposure camera.
THEY laughed when Charley Nassivera began monkeying with worn-out clocks, discarded automobile radiators, and spare wagon wheels to mechanize his chicken farm. But Charley has the last laugh. Charley, who lives near Glens Falls, N. Y., got plumb tired of all the work that it took to scald a chicken, pick it, and singe it to get it ready for the consumer.
AUTOMATIC eight-inch guns, first of this large caliber to be perfected, quadruple the fire power of the U.S. Navy's new 17,000-ton cruisers. They make the U.S.S. Des Moines, completed last November, and her sister ships Salem and Newport News, due to join the fleet this spring, the most powerful warships of their class afloat.
Two debunking books have started a lively and important argument in scientific and military circles•
P. M. S. BLACKETT, a Nobel prize winner in physics, thinks Americans have exaggerated the A-bomb's importance. R. E. Lapp, a Manhattan Project physicist, fears that people are hiding from the facts. Prof. Blackett defends the Russians’ attitude toward the bomb; Dr. Lapp is mainly concerned about America’s security.
THE saw-toothed image on the circular screen above is a magnified projection of threading on a steel rod. The projector is used by U. S. Steel to spot defects that would weaken links between the sucker rods that actuate pumps at the bottom of oil wells.
THIS 47½-ft. structure is one of 16 slide gates that will control the flow of water through Bull Shoals Dam in Arkansas. Hydraulic pistons at the top raise and lower two five-ton gates across the 4by 12-ft. conduit. Knocked down for shipment from the Westinghouse plant at Sunnyvale, Calif., the 100-ton unit occupied three railway flatcars.
THIS machine is probably the world’s finest engraving tool. Its diamond tip, guided by an operator who looks through a microscope, can scratch 10,000 lines to an inch on smooth metal. General Motors uses it to rule gold blocks that serve as comparison standards for surface finishes on bearings and other mechanical sliding parts.
YOUR plane is a small, light, single-engine job—like the Beechcraft Bonanza Bill Odom recently flew 5,300 miles nonstop from Hawaii to Teterboro, N. J., across the Hudson from New York City. It’s nice to have a sponsor, but be sure to check your bank balance to see that it will stand a nick of $90 for gas and oil.
WITH smart design and unconventional materials, General Electric engineers have turned out a new heating plant that provides more uniform, draft-free warmth at lower cost than old-style systems. A complete hot-air system, it uses 4-in. stovepipe that fits between the inner and outer walls instead of the, more expensive rectangular ducts that require special cutting.
ICE makes a new kind of concrete block lighter, yet stronger. The ice, mixed with the concrete, melts after the blocks are cast, leaving vacuum cavities (left) that add strength, cut weight, and increase insula tion. The water from the melting ice is absorbed by the concrete, prolonging its drying time and so making it harder.
IF YOU'RE away when your phone rings, this device will take the message by recording it on magnetic wire. At the second ring, it plays a record saying you're out, then begins recording your caller's message up to 60 minutes long. It shuts off when the caller hangs up. Called the Tele-Magnet, its price is under $200.
SET up this Copy-Roll on its slim case (top) and you can make 30 photocopies an hour of a legal-size sheet. To print, put original against sensitized paper and roll them with transparent plastic tube (lower picture) enclosing light bulbs. Developer, fixer, and washing water are sponged on. Farchild Aerial Surveys makes the kit.
THIS portable, 10-pound tape recorder, for on-the-spot pick-ups, can be carried by a shoulder strap. Called the Mini-Tape, it measures only 6 by 7 by 13 inches and has a self-contained power supply. Made by Stancil-Hoffman, it has a tiny microphone that can be worn on lapel or wrist.
HERE'S a 200-yard-range two-way radio that fits all its parts—including the power supply—into an 11-ounce package you can hold in your palm. Its parts consist of plugin units that can be easily replaced. Developed by the U. S. Army Signal Corps, the set has a 2-ft., collapsible antenna.
The old disks have been re-engineered, and two entirely new recording systems are fighting for your approval.
WHEN RCA uncorked a new idea in phonograph records this spring—the industry's second big change since last summer—millions of U. S. phonograph owners found themselves with a tough question to answer. Shall I switch over to the new long-playing, 12-inch records, or to the even newer, small records put out by RCA?
FOR motorists who like the looks of a convertible but are nervous under a tent on wheels, the automobile industry has an ingenious answer. It's a car that has the styling of a convertible but the sturdy, all-steel top of a standard model. All divisions of General Motors are putting such a car into production this spring.
No—not when science has given us a dozen ways to get rid of it.
Soot “Hears” What You Can’t
George H. Waltz
SMOKE costs Americans more than five billion dollars a year. If the smoking chimney could be completely eliminated, you as an average city dweller or suburbanite would save at least $20 a year on your own personal laundry and cleaning bills.
A METEORITE that fell in eastern Siberia in 1947 was probably one of the largest on record, according to a recent ground and aerial survey that estimates its weight as about 1,000 tons. Breaking into fragments high in the air, it struck with a noise heard more than 100 miles away, blasting craters up to 92 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.
WHIPPING up supersonic cyclones of 4,000 miles an hour is easy for the odd-looking wind tunnel above, recently completed at North American Aviation’s Los Angeles plant (PS, Oct. ’48, p. 118). The new tunnel will undoubtedly be the birthplace of many guided missiles, rockets, and high-speed aircraft of tomorrow.
Deep-Sea Automaton. Now sunken treasure may be sought at depths beyond reach of human divers with the strange undersea machine exhibited at right by its inventor, Hans von Schultz, in Dunen, Germany. Designed to salvage valuable cargoes from wrecks, the crewless automaton is maneuvered from the surface according to images transmitted by a built-in television camera, for which four powerful lamps provide illumination.
CARVED one on top of another, nearly a dozen wild beasts adorn a pebble about the size of a large potato, shown here. Called one of the finest engravings of its kind ever brought to light, the strange work of art was discovered last summer by Dr. Hallam L. Movius, Jr., Harvard University archaeologist, while excavating a hunting-camp site at La Colombiere in eastern France.
Fuselage Flaps Flip. Diving in formation, these Navy AD Skyraiders, with all stops out, show what they have in the way of braking equipment. In a vertical dive at 500 m.p.h., the doorlike fuselage flaps will reduce speed by about 200 m.p.h. The array of brakes comes in handy both in combat maneuvers and in a diving approach on a target.
Now yon can, for a measly $200,000. Its vacuum tubes will make up your mind for you far faster than your gray matter can.
How Univac Adds by Two's on "Gate" Vacuum Tubes
YOU can buy a machine now to do some of your thinking for you. It will give a definite answer to any question that can be expressed mathematically. Ask one of these machines how thick the cables for a new bridge should be, and it will tell you. Ask how fast a new automobile can go before its crankshaft starts to vibrate to pieces, and it will give the exact speed.
Modern chemistry is working to give you new finishes that look better, last longer, and are easier to use.
New Paint Outwears Old
One Coat Saves Cost
George H. Waltz
IS YOUR house beginning to look shabby? Cost too much to have it redecorated, you say? Maybe you’re right, but have you considered using any of those new finishes on the paint dealers’ shelves? Since the war, paint manufacturers have been vying to produce “wonder paints.” Now, revolutionary new products are available to lighten your painting chores.
APREFABRICATED tunnel, built in sections to be dropped to the bottom, may help speed traffic across San Francisco Bay. It is proposed to carry a six-lane highway under the 50-foot navigation channel. Together with several miles of trestle and a milelong causeway, the structure would stretch 6½ miles between San Francisco and Alameda.
ENGINEERING shirts to fit different sizes and shapes of men takes as precise blue-printing and assembly as building an auto-mobile. The related variables are neck, sleeve, chest, and waist. For each neck size from 13½ to 16, for instance, there is a 2-in. difference in body width; for each size from 16½ to 18, a 2½-in. difference in body.
FISHERMEN hate dogfish, the littlest sharks, for their love of lobsters and fish. But they’ve found a friend. Biologists think they’re useful—and extremely interesting. For example, put a normally gray dogfish into a white-walled tank of sea water.
Instruments that warn of unseen rays are readied for mass output to meet needs of peace or war.
Alden P. Armagnac
FROM a box resembling a radio cabinet comes a string of sharp metallic clicks like those of a telegraph sounder—infrequent at first, then in rapid succession. That is the atomic-age alarm. More and more people are hearing it. Some day your own safety may depend on it.
A NEW microscope with a built-in photo cell makes blood counting speedy and automatic. With it, any nurse or office assistant needs only 15 seconds to count red and white blood corpuscles in a blood sample and measure its hemoglobin. A trained technician, using a conventional microscope, requires 15 minutes for the task.
MAN-MADE cyclones, 10 times more powerful than nature's, will be everyday work for this big Westinghouse air compressor. Driven by two 25,000-hp. electric motors, it will whip up l,500-m.p.h. gales in a new supersonic wind tunnel at the Ames Aeronautical Lab at Moffett Field, Calif.
THIS new materials-handling fork truck can start, stop, back up, turn around, and raise, lower, and tilt its cargo boom—all without a driver. By varying the frequency of pulses of a light beam with a stroboscopic disk, an operator at a distance (hidden in picture below) can make the truck do nine separate jobs.
A SIMPLE trick long used in small sailboats with centerboards is helping to make cargo barges more maneuverable. The new barge below has a small, retractable skeg on one end. In pull-towing, the skeg is lowered to keep the barge from yawing; in push-towing, it is raised out of the way.
DR. CARROLL JOHNSON, a Chicago dentist, is shown using the Rota-Seat he invented to let him work sitting down. As seen at right, above, the rubber-wheeled stool is hinged to a plate that anchors under the patient’s chair. As the stool is moved, it carries along a footrest with a drill-control pedal.
AT right is a new kind of upholstery, made by electronically heat-sealing a sandwich of fire-resistant filler between two sheets of Vinylite plastic. This method of quilting is quicker than stitching and produces a material with a tough surface that is easily cleaned.
To save library space, books are now being copied photographically in microprint on file cards. For reading, a card is put into the Micro Library Reader below. This magnifies the image 24 times in projecting it on a screen. Each 3by 5-in. card—a fine-grain photographic print—holds 30 to 200 pages of text, depending on original size.
THIS liquid radiator (below) needs no central furnace, plumbing—or safety valve. It is heated by electricity and, instead of water, contains a permanent, sealed-in supply of low-expansion, heat-retaining oil. Made of pressed steel, the Hurseal unit is light enough to carry from room to room and plugs into any electrical outlet.
Ten seconds in chemical steam bath leaves transmission gear as clean as white shirt just back from laundry.
Degreasing Is Big Business
Safer to Use Than Naphtha
Portable Model Cleans Differential
WASHING heavy oil or grease off an auto-mobile transmission gear by condensation of the vapors of a volatile solvent is no thing to watch if a man scares easy. The business goes on right in front of your eyes, but at first all you see is the transmission gear, coated with thick goo, being lowered on a metal hook into an apparently empty tank.
A CONTINUOUS row of 8-foot fluorescent lamps along one railing of this bridge at Salem, Mass., throws light over the entire 32-foot roadway and the sidewalk at right. The experimental installation, by Sylvania Electric Products, lights a 500-foot section of the bridge so well that motorists can drive over it at night without headlights.
THE Vacu-Vent, recently introduced by Motor Economy Products, New York, is said to reduce engine wear by filtering gaseous impurities in the crankcase and introducing the cleansed vapors into the intake manifold. Vacuum in the manifold actuates an air-valve piston in the device, creating a corresponding vacuum that draws out the crankcase vapors.
A REVOLVING brush driven by either high or low pressure through a garden hose takes some of the work out of car washing. A stationary bumper brush reduces splashing and enables you to clean corners. The Swirl-O-Matic, sold by Melaire Distributing Co., New York, is priced at about $7.
LATEST thing in animal riding comfort is this portable, padded, railed window seat invented by W. W. Casteel of San Diego, Calif. It is a 20" diameter semicircle that hooks into the window well to give pets more air and a better view of the scenery.
A REAR-view mirror being distributed by Ford dealers hooks onto the door top so that it can't be stolen when the doors are locked. Only one screw clamp is needed for the installation. Angle of vision is adjustable from inside the car.
The heat was on in more ways than one. A used-car dealer started it when he told his young salesman to deliver or else, and an old sedan kept it going until Gus cooled things off.
Gus Finds the Hot Spot
The Heat’s Off
STAN HICKS bustled into the Model Garage office. Gus Wilson, puffing his pipe, was checking over a stack of accounts with his partner, Joe Clark. “Boss,” Stan broke in, “you know—” “I’m busy,” Gus said without looking up. “But Boss,” Stan persisted, “you know Lem Spardom?”
WATER cooling, a hand starter, and a shaft drive are among the features you’ll find in the new lightweight Velocette 149, a British motorcycle of striking appearance that’s soon to reach the U. S. market. It’s powered by a transverse, horizontally opposed twin engine with side valves.
SHOWN above is the convertible model of the Morris Minor, a small British car now being imported into the United States. The convertible sells here for about $1,600. It’s powered by a compact four-cylinder British Bulldog engine that delivers 27 hp.
FIVE world speed records for cars with 500 cc. (30.5 cu. in.) engines have been established in Italy by this twin-fuselage racer, designed and driven by Piero Taruffi. Highest speed was 128.8 m.p.h. Streamlined to cut down air resistance, the car has vertical fins to increase stability.
In this shop, they do the job without taking the wheel off the car—and can do it in less than four minutes.
Specialized Tools Aid Tire Mechanics
R. P. Stevenson
ONE day this spring a motorist drove into a tire shop on New York City's West Side. His car was secondhand, a recent purchase. Its rubber seemed good but he wasn’t sure about the tubes. Two tire men went to work when he explained that he’d like to check the tubes.
What would you do if your home were flooded? Here are simple precautions that'll minimize mud and water damage.
YOU’VE seen a lot of photos of other people’s homes half submerged by swirling, muddy flood waters. A great many of those persons never expected the water to flow over their window sills. So they made mistakes that increased their losses and suffering.
HELD fast in a frame with a 4" circular saw in the chuck, a ¼" electric drill becomes a very useful portable electric saw. I’ve found it particularly handy in cutting up large plywood panels. No dimensions are given since drills vary in size and shape.
TRANSLUCENT Vinylite bags keep clothing fresh and clean on auto trips. Hung in the car, the dustproof zippered bags can be moved right from the car to a hotel room. The retail price is about $1.60. Keko Products Division of Kennedy Car Liner & Bag Co., Inc., of Shelbyville, Ind., is the maker.
Now touring the United States is a full-sized plastic and steel model of a new British car, the Hillman Minx. Many of the car's moving parts can be seen in actual operation through the transparent plastic. The model, being displayed by Minx dealers, was built by apprentice engineers.
RUSTIC garden furniture comes high these days, but chances are that you can beat those costs with odds and ends from almost any woodpile. Old boards from a fence or shed, for instance, will do nicely for the top of a weatherproof table, while barrel staves can be turned into backs and seats of chairs.
FRUIT-CRATE furniture needn't shout where it came from. Surprisingly attractive chests of drawers, for instance, can be built from beat-up orange crates. The trick is twofold: first you take them apart and rebuild them without cracks and gaps, and then you cover them with heavy wallpaper.
THOUGH hammered out by hand, the bowl of this dish is finished in a smooth, spun-metal way that’s usually associated with expensive pieces. Use either .051" or .064" aluminum. Start by cutting a circle 7½" in diameter. Use the same center to scribe another circle about 2" in diameter as a hammering guide.
As you roll the head of the Roller Rule along a surface, the indicator on the shank records distance of travel up to 36". Franctions of an inch, down to 1/16", are shown on the head. The maker, Roller Rule Sales Co., Los Angeles, says the pencil works on both curves and straightaways and on hard or soft surfaces. Map mileages, pipe circumferences, and tailoring measurements are a few of its many uses. The instrument is made of black plastic with the numbers inset in gold color. Price is about $2.
A CRYLIC plastics, with their characteristic sparkle, can add a decorative highlight to modern furniture. The drawer pulls shown here were created in the developmental studio of Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, makers of Plexiglas. Turned handles are pictured above.
PROFESSIONALS use broad-faced hammers with thin, springy handles for metal chasing. The work is done with a rapidfire tapping that drives the chasing tool both along and into the metal. An ordinary light hammer won’t do; the small face makes it too hard to hit the tool cleanly, and its rigid handle won’t permit the fast stroke needed.
WHAT seems like one of the world's longer cats in the photo above is actually the beginning and end of two standard models. They are inspecting an electric cat-actuated door built by W. Griffin Paige, New York mechanical engineer. His product artfully compensates for cat behavior at doors, which is notoriously indecisive.
SUMMERTIME is fishing time, and any angler can double the thrill of slipping a net under a fighting bass it he's using a bug he made himself. What's more, the bugs you can whip up for about a cent each would probably cost 50 cents at most tackle shops.
Alternate-Firing Twin. Developing an estimated 1 hp. at 7,500 r.p.m., this air-cooled two-cycle engine is only about 6½" long and 4½" high. It was built by Alton Dorfmeier, of Fresno, Calif. With the exception of a pair of rough castings for the pistons, he used nothing but scrap metal in constructing the basic engine.
IN A child’s room or hallway this silhouette-shaded night light is both unusual and useful. It’s a low-cost, kitchen-table project, since it is made with cardboard and glue. Laminate two or three sheets of heavy cardboard or showcard stock with glue.
AERIAL wire, snap links, and screw eyes form a camper's clothesline that's easy to put up and take down. String the wire through clip-type clothespins and wire the links to each end. Twist the screw eyes into a couple of handy trees and the line is ready to use.
A LAMINATED padlock, safety hasp, and sliding bolt all are combined in this unit manufactured by the Master Lock Company, of Milwaukee, Wis. Attached permanently to the bolt, the padlock swings freely to permit use of the unit on either right or left doors.
ALL your drawing pens are always visible for quick selection and use in this rack. The base is ¾" by 2½" by 10". Use a circular saw to cut three 3/16" by ⅜" grooves at a 20-deg. angle. I glued strips of corrugated cardboard in the grooves to hold the pens upright.
RADIAL molding, which gives a ruffled rim, puts this tray in the “one of a kind” class. The ruffles are shaped on a circular saw with a homemade cutter. Mount a 1" by 12" turning blank (I used walnut) on the lathe faceplate, face true, and turn the edge true.
TO LOOK at them, you'd think these ornamental strips would be hours in the making. Two of them have an internal pattern, and few craftsmen can guess how it got there. The secret is in plastic memory. Acrylics like Plexiglas and Lucite, if shaped while hot, return to their original form when reheated.
Butt joints are the easiest to make by hand, but rabbets and miters have a lot else to recommend them.
Edwin M. Love
BOX sides would be easy to cut and fit if boxes had only three joints. It's the fourth that causes all the trouble. There’s no wood to spare for a second try at that last joint. It fits—or else. The fit is particularly critical in a mitered corner.
COILS of rope or twisted wire are substitutes—but only substitutes—for column clamps. In gluing up the staves of a post or built-up bowl, special clamps usually pay off both in time saved and improved work. For putting columns together, it will be worth your while to make one or more sets of these efficient chain clamps.
SPOT polishing, that de luxe method of finishing fine metalwork, becomes easier to do and more uniform in result with this spring-loaded tool. The cushioned plunger prevents excessive pressure on the abrasive, which lasts longer because the grains aren’t crushed, and work is less likely to creep under it.
THE magnet in the handle of this screwdriver picks up bolts, screws, and small parts that are dropped in inaccessible places. I used a magnet about 5/16" by 1½" that I bought at a hobby shop. You can either force or cement it into a hole drilled in the handle.
LIFT this handy little soldering iron off its cradle and it gets hot enough for use in a matter of seconds. Put it back, and the current automatically shuts off. Resistance provided by a 1,000-watt heater element, wired in series, fits the iron to 115-volt current. Without the resistance, it will operate from your car battery.
Toolpost Is Rigid. Quickly adjustable for tool height, this toolpost gives the utmost rigidity for boring, turning, and facing. The rake of the tool doesn’t alter in height adjustments, as sometimes happens with slotted posts. This rigidity is especially important if you use carbide-tipped tools.
Cuts Sheet Metal. A sheet-metal cutting tool that attaches to any ¼" electric drill is now produced by the Nord International Corp., of New York. Called the Nibblex, the attachment is said to be capable of making a circular cut with a radius as small as 1".
ALUMINUM or other metal foil, such as is used to wrap film, is easily fashioned into molds for candles. A glass may be used as a form to shape the foil. If the foil is backed by paper, fold the metallic surface inside. Stubs of old candles, paraffin from jelly glasses, or any other suitable wax is melted and poured in the mold.
A PRACTICAL way to remove moldings or quarter round without splitting or damaging them is to push the nails through. A tool for this purpose can be made by grinding down a nail set as shown in the drawing at left.—Victor H. Lamoy, Upper Jay, N. Y.
IF You lose a valuable fishing lure over-board, tie a stout line to your dip net and use it as a drag. The net, dragging over the hooks, will often become entangled with them. The lure then can be hauled to the surface.—G. E. Hendrickson, Argyle, Wis.
No TOOLS are necessary to remove the head of the Heddon Pal Reel, making it easier for a fisherman to brush the mechanism with solvent and apply clean oil. The frame may be left attached to the reel seat while the head is removed. The maker, James Heddon's Sons, of Dowagiac, Mich., says the construction prevents the loss of small parts while removing the reel head.
REFLEX printing is a handy photographic process to know even though you have no interest in photography as a hobby. With it, you can make quick copies of such things as letters, drawings, or text matter and diagrams in books and magazines.
Condenser Improves Flash. The new Jen-Flash above, made by the JenProducts Company, New York, consists of a small capacitor and a hearing-aid battery. A charge stored up in the capacitor when a bulb is inserted makes it possible to use as many as four lamps without booster batteries.
After digging all around a big storage tank that I wanted to remove, I found the soil underneath so pressure packed that I couldn't budge it. By then I was ready to blast the tank out except that I wanted it undamaged and I didn't have any dynamite anyway.
High and low battery positions as well as AC and DC operation give this versatile set surprising economy.
LIST OF PARTS
Henry C. Martin
TWO resistors can make a big difference in a radio circuit. In the little set pictured here, they make a whopping difference in economy and battery life. You've seen standard three-way portables that operate on 90 volts of B battery or from an AC or DC line.
Switch Cuts Radio Volume. Phone conversations needn't be interrupted by loud radios. The Rad-lo, sold by Nelson-Foote Mfg. Co., Boulder, Colo., consists of two wires that connect to the speaker and a switch that is placed near the phone. Other listeners aren't disturbed as the switch cuts volume but doesn't turn off the set.
PLANNING a hiking trip through a national park this summer, my wife and I wondered what to do with the baby, who has to go along. Here’s how we solved the problem. At a surplus store, I bought for 49 cents a carrying case intended for a field radio.
WITH half a dozen old hacksaw blades, you can make a small garden rake that’s often useful in spots where you couldn’t work with a larger one. Break off the tip of each blade so you have a square end. Bend about ⅜" of this end to a right angle, heating first to soften the metal.
WHEN the valve seat in a toilet becomes pitted, a new ball valve doesn’t always stop leaks. With the tool shown, I’ve been very successful in refacing such worn seats. I start with a coarse grade of auto-valve granding compound, finish with a fine grade.
MANY of the older electric ranges don’t have the heating efficiency of the newer ones for a simple reason. They lack a reflector below the open-coil elements. You can remedy this at little cost. Buy a few sheets of aluminum. After removing the drip pans from beneath the elements, cut aluminum to fit into the pans.
THE Denver & Rio Grande’s Montezuma, for which plans appeared last month, had a four-wheeled tender. On this were mounted three tool boxes, which, probably carried the usual engine tools, extra brasses in case of hotboxes, rerailing frogs to lift derailments off the ties, and chains to link up broken drawbars.
Twine Starts Bolts. Ben H. Clare, of Wellsville, Mo., suggests you use twine the next time you have to start a bolt in a hard-to-get-at spot. Wrap the bolt with twine, hold it in place with a finger or screwdriver and pull the twine. Sometimes it may be necessary to taper the end of the bolt.
THOUGH I built this cart primarily for my outboard motor, I’ve discovered many everyday uses for it around the house. It hauls the ash can, carries groceries, serves as a portable laundry basket, and becomes a wheelbarrow with the addition of a box.
Two adults can move this play equipment from one spot to another to follow sun or shade. Built by Frank Motte, of Nuevo, Calif., 2" black iron pipe is used throughout with 1" pieces for the braces across each end and at the corners. All joints are velde.
WITH a hacksaw and a wrench, you can form these cold-rolled square steel channels into frames for workbenches, tables, storage bins, motor mounts, racks, supports for conduit and cable, and other utilities. Made by Unistrut Products Co., Chicago, the square channels have one side open.
ORDINARY asbestos pipe covering makes a neat, safe insulator for the exhaust manifold (arrow) of an inboard marine engine. Although the exhaust-pipe run is usually short, the bare pipe is still a potential source of burns and fire. Regular pipe covering used on home furnaces can be cut to length quickly and fastened in place with metal straps.
BUILT especially for outdoor use, the dart board pictured here can be left outside summer and winter in sunshine or rain. The 32" square target area is asphalt fiberboard—the kind used as a liner when asbestos shingle is installed over old wooden shingles.
WITH a few simple tools and the necessary lumber, you can tailor screens to fit your windows and—just as important— save a big bite out of your budget. The tools you’ll need are a hammer, saw, scissors, and perhaps a plane. Besides the lumber, you’ll need tacks or staples and, of course, screening.
THIS simple but brightly painted tooth-brush holder will make a hit with most youngsters. Lay out the pattern on hard composition board or ¼" plywood and cut it out with a coping or jigsaw. Drill a ½" hole in a ¼" piece of wood and nail and glue it to the bottom center.
BUILT of lightweight aluminum-alloy tubes, this 60-power telescope does double duty as a microscope. When the five tubes are collapsed, the four lenses are positioned automatically for use as a microscope. The eyepiece is adjustable for magnifications of 15, 30, and 60 times.
BLACK thread can be knotted into excellent imitations of chains for ship models. I first stick a row of pins through a piece of cardboard. Then I tie an overhand knot around each pin, as shown in the drawing. To finish the chain, glue the ends of the threads together and slip the chain off the pins.
NEEDING a quick way to measure the roads, land, and hiking trails at my Maine fishing camp, I built the wheel pictured here. The circumference is 73½'. A revolu tion counter on the hub keeps tabs on the distance covered. To use it, a man just pushes the wheel ahead of him as he walks along.
HERE'S a scientific puzzler. Like a free body falling vertically, a ball rolling down an inclined plane accelerates at a uniform rate. As Galileo demonstrated, the distance travelled is proportional to the square of the time of descent.
CHIEF ingredient of these serpent eggs is mercuric thiocyanate. You can buy it at chemical supply houses, or you can mix your own. Either way, wash your hands after handling it. It's poisonous. To make it, add several drops of ferric chloride solution to a saturated solution of mercuric nitrate.
YOU'LL find many uses around your home for a small dolly. Simply attach four swivel casters to a rectangular piece of wood, about 1" by 9" by 14". With this, I've handled a 300-lb. radiator quite easily. By building up the height with scrap boards, you can move just about any piece of heavy furniture.
A CHISEL rack is handy right behind a lathe, but there it collects a mess of chips and shavings. If you space the rack about 1" away from the wall or backboard, the chips simply fall past it to the floor.
IF YOU'VE ever planted potatoes by hand, you know it takes a lot of stooping to do the job right. Here's a trick that enables you to plant them quickly and still avoid an aching back. Sling a bag of cut potatoes over your shoulder and drop them down the pipe, one by one, moving the planter forward each time a distance equal to the spacer on the bottom.
LICENSE plates are kept secure but you can change them easily if you use a new type of holder put on the market by the Ajay Specialty Co., of Newark, N. J. An aluminum frame for the plate is also provided. The holder itself consists of two main parts, each with a retaining lip along one edge.
Do you keep electrician's rubber tape in your tool kit? Chances are you have the thin, black, tarry friction tape that's everybody's patch-all. But the other kind, a thick, live, stretchable strip, is handy too. Pull off the cloth backing, and you have a surface that sticks stubbornly to itself.
BESIDES mowing your lawn, you can plow and cultivate your garden with this small gasoline tractor. Although it has only one wheel, it balances easily and steers by pressure on the pivoted handlebar. No tugging or lifting is required. Made by the Bolens Products Division, Port Washington, Wis., it’s known as the Huski Yard-Boy.
STRINGED instruments are tuned visually with a tuner made by Ardell Mfg. Co., Long Beach, Calif. It's placed as above, the string strummed, and peg turned. When a steel rod in the unit reaches its widest oscillation, the string is in tune.
WIRE shelf racks taken from an old oven or ice box make excellent guards for the bottoms of screen doors that are apt to be kicked in by children or dogs. If the available rack is long enough, just staple it crosswise over the bottom of the screen.
THERE'S no need to install a regular gate in a barbed wire fence just for the sake of an occasional crossing. Instead, place two lengths of garden hose on parallel strands. You then can pass through without the threat of torn clothing.
A SINGLE viewer in this all-metal, 4 × 5 press camera lets you make all focusing adjustments without taking your eye from the one window. Called a Vue-Focus, the new viewer combines optical view finder, range finder, night-focus light, and automatic parallax.
To give doctors clearer pictures of your insides, GE has stepped up the power of this new diagnostic X-ray apparatus from the conventional 100,000 volts to 130,000. Yet added safety devices, including an automatic exposure timer, give both the patient and operator increased protection against excessive radiation.
IF these tubular, germicidal lamps are used with your hot-air heating system, you can be sure the air you breathe is pure. Before recirculation through the ducts, air is exposed to the lamps' ultraviolet rays to kill any germs. Made by Westinghouse, the tubes are said to be as powerful after a year's burning as when new.
A NEW, low-cost sponge rubber that won't burn can be applied and vulcanized directly to rugs, upholstery, and shipping cartons. Called Spon, the compound can be shot from a hose, cast in open molds, or run off in sheets. The photo above shows how it is used to back a carpet strip.
THOSE tiny, two-way portable radios widely used in front-line communications during the war are now being made for amateur and public-safety use. This 33½-pound, battery-powered Sperti model operates on two bands, 144 and 148 mc., and has an average range of three miles over flat or slightly rolling country.
TINNERS need not interrupt their work to refill this new gasoline-burning Turner fire pot—it will burn for nine hours on one filling of its gallon tank. A special "carburetor" control permits regulation of the fuel supply for the best combustion at different heat requirements.
DRIFTWOOD and underwater obstructions, the bugaboo of boat propellers, are no problem for this Goodyear rubber outboard propeller. Made around a metal core, it is stiff enough to drive a boat yet so resilient it bounces harmlessly off objects that would damage an ordinary metal propeller or shear the drive-shaft pin.
WANT to know the thickness of a piece of paper, sheet of metal, pane of glass? This watch-size gauge will tell you at a glance. Made by the B. C. Ames Co., it will measure any material up to 5/16 of an inch thick. The material is inserted between the two contact points at left, and the large hand indicates the thickness in .0005-inch graduations.
Cups Clipped in Rack. Each of these plastic racks holds four cups and can be installed at any angle under a shelf, on a cupboard door, wall, or in a drawer. To insert cups, roll them over and around the circle until the base of the cup clips into place. The maker, Leipzig and Lippe, Inc., New York City, prices the racks at $1.
Leipzig and Lippe, Inc.
Nutcracker Is Pistol Shaped. While this cracker handles all kinds of nuts, it is mainly designed for pecans, permitting the meat to be extracted whole. Pulling the trigger moves the front cracking cup forward. The nut is inserted and the handles squeezed to crack it. The device is made of aluminum die castings by the John W. Clark Industries, of San Marcos, Tex. It retails for about $4.
Leipzig and Lippe, Inc.
Baby Carriage Climbs Stairs. Almost every mother knows the difficulty of getting a baby carriage up and down stairs and curbs. This carriage, a new British product, licks the problem with the six small wheels—three on each side—at the rear. Each of the small wheels revolves on its own axle and each set turns on a common axle.
Leipzig and Lippe, Inc.
Infrared Rays Cook Food. Another push-button kitchen aid is this cooker that fries, broils, or bakes with heat from two infrared lamps. Two lamps, one above and the other below, are focused on a transparent food tray. In photo, piece of meat wrapped in plastic is being placed on the tray. Steaks can be prepared in from one and a half to six minutes. The Dorby Co., Chicago, prices it about $42.
Leipzig and Lippe, Inc.
Sports Cap Has Zipper Pocket. A zipper pocket and loops on the visor for golf tees or fishing flies are features of this sports cap made by Westbrook Hats, Inc., New York City. The Vinylite visor is forest green and is also available without the loops. On the beach, the cap pocket can be used to carry a watch, cash, a few cigarettes and matches, or a bath-locker key. Price is about $2.50.
Leipzig and Lippe, Inc.
Windowed Canisters. A glance at these canisters tells a housewife how much sugar, rice, flour, or dried food she has on hand. The all-plastic containers are made by Canistor, Inc., of Racine, Wis.
PS EDITORS disregard many predictions —often they cannot be proved true or false for a long time—but pass on to you those that seem most plausible and interesting. In February, 1947, we reported Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin’s prophecy that television might change one’s whole concept of educational techniques, especially in medicine.