Sir: I fully understand that there are many points in my exposition [of the atomic bomb’s role in a war between major powers] that are open to doubt and criticism. You are certainly correct in supposing that certain key target systems such as oil might be a vulnerable point in a country’s defense.
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. Reclining right front seats in autos.
THE heaviest weight in the delicate balance between cold war and warm peace is the lump of plutonium that represents the greatest achievement of Western science and U. S. technology. The atom bomb is a huge and valuable military and political force.
No, it isn’t real. This ferocious-looking insect is a model, 25 times life size, of a female Anopheles quadri-maculatus mosquito—the kind that carries malaria. James E. Trott, artist-preparator in the Department of Zoology at the Chicago Natural History Museum, spent nearly two years making it, frequently working under a microscope with dental drills and other precise tools.
Amusement operators work hard to scare you to death—and just as hard to avoid any real danger.
THE NEW RIDES ARE VARIATIONS OF THESE THREE
MERRY-GO-ROUND IS MOST POPULAR FLAT RIDE
NEW AERIAL RIDES MAKE
YOU FEEL YOU’RE FLYING
Thrill Hills Built of Wood
ROLLER COASTER IS THRILLING TOWED RIDE
Everybody Gains from Safety Gadgets
THIS month and all summer tens of millions of Americans—including, in all probability, you and your family—will ride in weird-looking contrivances at carnivals and amusement parks in the exciting conviction that they are braving death or injury, at the least.
Car Top Inflates. This convertible-car top blows out into place like a paper snake. Let the air out, and long, flat springs running lengthwise along the underside curl up the top and roll it back into a storage compartment. Inventor F. W. Seckel, of New York City, claims that its pressure and elasticity would make it fit tighter than conventional tops.
BILLY the Kid was a crack shot when he knew that his victim was coming out through the swinging doors of the Last Chance saloon. But he might not have done so well if his target had suddenly appeared anywhere along the wide sweep of the horizon or come swooping down from the sky at an unexpected angle.
SOLID mercury metal is one of industry's newest and chilliest materials. Made by cooling quicksilver past its 40-below-zero freezing point, it now replaces wax in precision casting. Applied in the Sperry Gyroscope Co. plant at Great Neck, N. Y., the method yields smoother and more accurate parts of aluminum and stainless steel.
You can cover 180 to 240 miles on the 3 gallons that fill the tank of this tiny Impⓣ car. Its rubber-mounted, 7½-hp. Gladden motor (right) gives it a maximum speed of 35 m.p.h. With automatic transmission and chain drive, the car weighs only 475 lb.
THE Gemprinterⓣ identifies diamonds and other precious stones as permanently as fingerprints do a man. A micrographic camera, it photographs the tiny flaws found in gems. Then if a stone is lost, stolen, or even recut, these flaws will always identify it (PS, Aug. ’47, p. 120).
THERE’S enough nylon lying on this ship’s deck to make 50,000 pairs of ladies’ stockings. But all of it only makes one 1,000-ft.-long, eight-inch hawser, now being tested for towing operations by the Coast Guard. As strong as a 12-inch Manila line, the nylon hawser is lighter, easier to handle, and stores in half the space.
ITS looks haven’t changed much, but this new 3.5-inch “super-bazooka” packs twice the wallop of its 2.36-inch older brother, used in World War II. The result is to give an infantryman the punch of medium artillery in a package he can carry around with him.
GARAGE mechanics can get at tight places on an auto with a new safety ladder, also useful in homes and shops. Its bracing legs, hinged low, slide under a car body, bringing the top step close to the side. This step has a toe board to prevent scuffing the finish, and an adjustable metal tray holds tools.
ALTHOUGH still operating under wraps. the first of the new high-altitude Viking rockets hit a 2,250-m.p.h. clip on its 51½-mile-high initial flight. This firing was intended to test motor and controls—they worked fine, the Navy said—and did not aim at speed or altitude records.
Now starting freight runs, it tests skill of designers in squeezing new power plant into old pattern.
SOME PROBLEMS ALL LOCOMOTIVE DESIGNERS FACE
AND SOME SPECIAL TO THE GAS TURBINE
Gas Turbines Pose Problems
Hartley E. Howe
THIS month a big brute of a locomotive is going to start hauling freight across the hot plains and up steep mountain grades of the Union Pacific. She looks like a Diesel-electric, but she thunders like no Diesel ever built, mixing a steady roar with a high, hoarse whistle.
WHEN the going gets tough in mud, snow, or sand, the oval wheels shown above “walk” right through. Two of the new wheels replace ordinary rear-drive round wheels on each side of the vehicle. They are geared so that one of each set is on end while the other is flat.
Dirt farmers praise George Woods’ heat treatment of pest-ridden soil in face of experts’ skepticism.
Tedious Development Followed
YOU, the American consumer, are paying millions of dollars a year to support enemies you never see. They are the bugs, the fungi, and the weeds that infest ever-increasing areas of our agricultural lands. What they subtract from crop yields, you pay in higher prices at the store.
GIs won’t recognize a ride in a jeep anymore—most of the bounce is gone. In the latest models, the bone-jarring, old-style seats have been replaced with seats of the station-wagon type (left, above) having newly developed zig-zag springs and thick cushions.
You’ll soon see top television shows on the huge screens of movie theaters —new types of equipment will do it.
REFRACTIVE & REFLECTIVE PROJECTION
George B. Waltz
TELEVISION is coming to your neighborhood theater. Soon, say experts, movie houses will be dishing up special television entertainment instead of second-rate second features. You then will be able to relax in a comfortable seat and enjoy championship boxing bouts, World Series baseball, bowl football games, and important news events as well as if you were right on the spot.
Navy will get experimental model. Delayed neutrons will make it safe and easy to ran.
For the Next 18 Months
Neutrons Depend on Partners
Wobbling Explains Radioactivity
What Will Be Cooking
The Dragon at Los Alamos
The Spoon in the Cup
Why Reactors Are Big
Atomic Submarine First
WESTINGHOUSE engineers are preparing now to assemble the U. S. Navy’s first atomic engine. It will be the first nuclear reactor designed to turn a propeller. This one, its sponsors say, will never go to sea or take an airplane off a runway.
As PREDICTED but not previously confirmed, the rare metal rhenium has been found to be naturally radioactive, Prof. W. F. Libby, of the University of Chicago, reports. Belonging to the manganese family, this heavy, silvery metal has been used in special lamp filaments and as a chemical catalyst.
Going Up in a Bubble. Three passengers fit comfortably in the wide seat of the latest Bell-47D1 helicopter shown above. A 40-percent increase in payload to 500 lb. was achieved by reducing the rotary-wing craft’s empty weight by 150 lb. This decreased weight also permits the new model, say the designers, to hover motionless at 10,000 feet—double the previous altitude—for mapping and other surveys.
TELEVISION cameras came in a winner recently in trials for a new job at New York City’s Jamaica Race Track. In a test run, a battery of television cameras supplied track stewards with a close-up view of the horses from starting gate to finish line.
TAKING the deck guns off submarines (PS, June ’49, p. 98) has made the gas-bag Navy a less vulnerable, more valuable sub chaser. A blimp can laze along just over the sea to give suspected water a good going over. Or it can speed up to 75 m.p.h.—far faster than any ship on or under the surface.
Giant's "Hat" Measures Light. When this mammoth “derby” swings down it forms a large spherical chamber with the inverted one below it. Called a photometer, the chamber is used to measure how much light is emitted by a lamp bulb placed inside. Here a Westinghouse engineer inserts a tiny radio-dial bulb for test.
“LOG” cabins for the dudes at one California ranch have walls that aren’t wood at all. The “logs” are hollow concrete pipe, stacked on alternate layers of small, pre-cast saddle blocks. Concrete lids plug the pipe ends, as shown above at right.
A NEW kind of elevator that rides outside a building permits heavy, bulky merchandise to be brought inside even when there are no ordinary freight-handling facilities. The Wall Climber Hoistⓣ has a braced platform that rides up two rails set against the building wall.
Now bees have electric “blankets” to keep them warm during cold northern winters. The “blankets” are aluminum trays, containing Nichromeⓣ resistance wires, that fit inside the hives. The bees cluster over the units, keeping warm during cold weather when many bees normally die.
THIS artist's conception shows a 2,000-ton, 450-ft. "weatherdrome" that the Coast Guard plans as replacement for its ocean-going weather ships. Anchored at sea, the ’drome would rest on five support pylons 175 ft. deep. Buoyancy tanks at the waterline and ballast tanks farther down the pylons would keep the platform on an even keel.
GETTING a baby carriage up and down stairs is easy with this one. It just comes apart, the upper part lifting off a foldable chassis (right above). The buggy’s body, made of wood fibers bonded with Vinyliteⓣ resins, is said to be as strong as plywood.
THIS 8½-lb., portable playpen, built of aluminum tubing and fish net, can be used as a pool. A damp-proof plastic bottom turns up at the edges to hold water. When the playpen is collapsed for carrying, its parts are rolled together and held by a strap, as shown at right above.
JUNIOR’S highchair, below, collapses so you can take it on vacation. Made of aluminum tubing and washable plastic, the chair weighs only 10 pounds and is designed not to tip. When it is taken apart for traveling, everything but the tubing fits into a small suitcase, as shown at right below.
HIDDEN among the Maryland farms about 20 miles north of Washington, D. C., is a radio station that is on the air 24 hours a day—with some of the world’s dullest-sounding programs. Listeners-in hear only whistles, clicks, and a few staccato Morse-code signals, interrupted periodically by a deep voice saying: “This is WWV, radio station of the National Bureau of Standards.”
THE Navy’s doctors know now what happens to a man when he bails out of an airplane going almost 460 m.p.h. And contrary to some German reports, based on wartime research, they find that while he can take it, it sure pushes him out of shape. Two enlisted men volunteered for tests in an eight-foot wind tunnel at the Naval Medical Research Center, Langley Field, Va.
QUICK change-over from windrow to row-crop working is easy on this new automatic field harvester. An attachment for either operation can be teamed up with the basic unit in about 15 minutes. If necessary, they can be swapped right in the field in a half-hour.
A CHILD can lift full milk cans into or out of a 2½-ft.-high electric cooler with this new hoist. Farmers, who lift more than a ton a day if their production reaches 10 cans of milk, now need only fasten a clamp around the neck of the can and turn a self-locking crank.
THIS tractor-trailer packs a whole house. Its 80 compartments are loaded at the end of the factory assembly line with 3,300 parts and 4,000 nuts and bolts—including all plumbing and fixtures—needed to erect a porcelain-enameled Lustron Homeⓣ.
GRAVITY does all the work in this double-deck water filter. So simple and easy to carry that it can be set up anywhere, it lets water drip from the top container to the lower one. All sediment, off-color chlorine taste, and other impurities are taken up by two stainless-steel screens and a carbon pad, which contains an element eliminating bacteria in the pad itself.
BIG ships may someday be carried bodily across the mountains of Mexico. This ambitious plan is being urged as the best way to end Panama Canal traffic jams. The ships would be hauled across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, route of the ’49ers, floating in water-filled cradles like huge toys in bathtubs.
THIS new French truck could almost carry in its cab the Renault shown alongside. One of the world’s largest tractor-trailers, it weighs 75 tons and can carry a 130-ton load at about 9 m.p.h. It is 86½ ft. long, 13 ft. high, and 15 ft. wide. The eight-cylinder, 220-hp. engine has 12 speeds forward and four in reverse.
NEWEST addition to the Government’s fleet of rolling post offices is this SuperTwinⓣ that carries 30 percent more mail than a railway post office. It is 45 ft. long, but has a turning radius of only 35 ft., thanks to its articulated design and interconnected front- and rear-wheel steering.
THIS huge wastebasket on wheels (left) now trundles scrap in industrial plants. The three-ton body is hinged so that it can be tilted away from the chassis. Then the whole side drops like a gate to dump the trash easily. Called the Trash-Trukⓣ, it is made by Service Caster & Truck Corp., of Albion, Mich.
A WOODEN man is helping Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists to study the medical usefulness of multimillion-volt X rays from powerful new machines. Mr. Cruikshank, as they have nicknamed their lifelike dummy, has more than an external resemblance to a human being.
WHEN the League of Maryland Sportsmen decided to add aquatic events to their annual show in one of Baltimore’s strictly landlubber armories, Glenn L. Martin engineers and chemists came to the rescue with a tailor-made, come-apart swimming pool.
AUTOMATIC air navigation devices of tomorrow are going through their growing pains in a converted bread truck. “Flying blind,” it has worn out more than one set of tires up and down the runways and taxi strips of MacArthur Field, the Sperry Gyroscope Co. research center on Long Island, N. Y.
THERE is no danger of a second growth when trees, up to nine inches in diameter, are pulled up by this one-man machine developed by San Antonio’s Institute of Inventive Research. It is hydraulically operated by power taken from any tractor developing 26 hp. at the belt.
CRADLING a pair of torpedoes at its sides, this little car resembles some futuristic rocket vehicle. The “torpedo jeep” serves to trundle the missiles between the torpedo repair shop of the Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn., and submarines moored at the dock.
It takes years to train a high-tension man to work with death only an elbow away—and keep it there.
Lineman Stakes Life on “Gaffs”
John Learns on a “Stub" Pole
Even “Dead” Wires Can Kill
George H. Waltz
THE summer's first big electrical storm had hit. Lightning, wind, and falling trees knocked out a power line. A third of the town was plunged into darkness—including the hospital. When its superintendent frantically called the power company, he was told: “You’ll have electricity within half an hour.”
Milk can easily be contaminated at the source. This new machine guarantees a pure flow from the cow to the pail.
MODEL BARN INSTALLATION
THREE WAYS IN WHICH
WHAT GOES ON INSIDE A MACHINE DURING MILKING
THE NEW MACHINE PREVENTS CONTAMINATION
THE cleanest cow is no guarantee of pure milk. Mechanical milkers, machines through which hundreds of millions of gallons of milk pass yearly, can be a source of serious contamination. This is often caught by inspection, but the farmer takes a loss.
Two-Faced, $30,000 Watch Most Complicated in World
THE world’s most complicated watch now rests in the pocket of some rich American — identity a secret. For his $30,000 he has a watch that tells almost everything about stars, seasons, dates, and time. This expensive gadget has two faces. One face (above, right) tells sidereal time (astronomer’s star time, about four minutes faster than ordinary sun time), and gives the equation linking real time (which varies) to average time.
HERE’S an idea to ease the burden of those hunters expert and lucky enough to have anything to take back to the car at the end of a day’s expedition. The simple carrier below rides over rough country on one pneumatic-tired wheel. It has a bed, 14 in. by 72 in., on a frame made from four plow handles.
FIRE engines and ambulances can get a clear path through traffic, thanks to a new device that turns stop lights red for other vehicles. It is an “ear” that listens for sirens. When its microphone picks up a high-pitched wail, relays turn traffic lights red — and they stay red until the siren has gone by.
DESIGNED to safeguard children in a moving car, this lock holds the doors shut as soon as you turn on the ignition. A special switch lets a door be opened with the motor on. A striker plate on the door is offset in relation to the electromagnetic latch unit, located in the door posts.
ON THE road, this trailer looks like a low, streamlined sportsman’s model, but when it’s parked it can be opened into the house-type unit above. Hinging half the roof allows it to be lifted into the position shown. As the roof is lifted, part of the floor drops down to provide up to 6' 3" headroom over part of the floor area.
CHILDREN up to six years old have a comfortable place to sleep and play if you install a Kiddie-Bunkⓣ in the back of your car. Made of heavy duck on a hardwood frame, it sets up like a card table, covering the rear seat and reaching to the back of the front one.
MOUNTED on the engine side of the firewall, the black, metal-cased extinguisher shown above automatically releases a fire-smothering gas when under-the-hood temperature goes over 255°. A glass grenade containing the fire-fighting fluid is automatically shattered when the trigger temerature is reached.
GUS WILSON guided his car along the bumpy dirt road. Beside him dozed Ez Zacharias. It was nearly midnight. They had seen a boxing card in the city, and Gus was driving Ez home. He lives just outside of town, and the side road was a short cut. High in the summer sky, a big moon coasted along, overtaking a stray wisp of cloud from time to time.
Car scars that can't be fixed with a hammer will vanish under solder. Here's how to do it yourself.
Keep Heat on the Work Area
Rock the File to Prevent Flat Spots
E. F. Lindsley
BUMPING out and refinishing will take care of many simple dents and nicks in the body and fenders of an automobile. But often you will encounter damage that demands filling and shaping with solder, perhaps in addition to straightening. Unless the damage is extensive, both kinds of repairs can easily be handled by a careful amateur.
NEW powdered-aluminum products with a doughlike consistency are now being marketed as a substitute for solder in repairing damaged auto bodies and fenders. These are applied cold with a spatula or similar tool, as seen at left. As the solvent evaporates, the metal hardens and can be filed or sanded smooth.
WEIGHING just short of 200 lb., this little motorcycle introduces several novel features. Foremost is the husky main frame. Made of 2" steel tubing, it doubles as an oil tank of 6-pint capacity. This helps cool the oil and gives the machine a sturdy, clean appearance.
IF YOU think a truck always carries its burden on its back, take a look at these vehicles. This kind, generally called a straddle truck, tucks the load under its belly and rolls away, either forward or backward, at speeds up to 55 m.p.h. Materials handling around mills, docks, warehouses, and industrial plants is the biggest job done by straddle trucks.
TINY steel balls are now being used to reduce friction between the leaves of the transverse front springs on the Studebaker. Averaging about .026" in diameter, they are actually hardened peening shot. Placed only near the tips of the major leaves, the little balls roll a short distance when the springs flex.
SURPLUS milk may soon help keep your automobile engine clean. A carburetor air cleaner announced by the Fram Corporation, Providence, R. I., uses a “curled casein filament.” This is a fiber spun from casein, a milk protein, under a new process developed by the Department of Agriculture.
SEVERAL makes of new cars are coming through with an unusual kind of cooling-system thermostat. Its temperature-sensitive element is a powder-filled capsule instead of the usual bellows or bi-metallic coil. Developed by the Dole Valve Company, of Chicago, the new thermostat has a quick, positive action.
HERE’S a project that can be either a comparatively simple job or a test of your whittling skill. It all depends on whether you employ a screw-cutting lathe or die to form threads on the nut-cracking screw— or carve them carefully by hand. In any case, of course, you’ll need a tap for the internal threads.
Simple conversion of surplus Navy gas mask makes possible. underwater jaunts to a depth of 30 feet.
FROM TOPSIDE TO DIVER
FROM DIVER TO TOPSIDE
E. R. Cross
THIS homemade diving outfit, built around a surplus Navy gas mask, has been used for spear fishing, exploring the bottom, and making submarine photos. Boatmen have used it to inspect and clear fouled propellers and free clogged intakes. The same mask can be used two ways.
CUT in pairs from colored plastic, these musical-note knickknack shelves are an easy project for a single evening. Choose plastic to suit the color scheme of the room in which the shelves will hang. The shelves shown below were made from sheet plastic.
FOR lots of handyman repairs, sheet metal will do a better job than any other material. Perhaps the best all-around repair metal is sheet copper. It’s easily worked because of its softness, and it’ll never rust. Suitable sheet copper can be bought from roofing supply dealers and many hardware stores.
THE humble corrugated carton that you can pick up at the corner grocery has the makings of a surprisingly sturdy utility cabinet. Especially handy in crowded or temporary quarters—you can throw it away without compunction when you move—it will also serve in the kitchen, porch, basement, garage, or summer cabin.
MODERNIZING old table tops is a snap with thin sheet plastic and either metal or plastic molding. Besides the covering material and edging, you need only a couple of simple tools to trim the plastic to size. Use a hard-pressed, laminated sheet plastic—such as Micartaⓣ, Formicaⓣ or Polatexⓣ.
TRANSLUCENT plastic reflectors, intended for use in indirect-lighting lamps, can be made into attractive lamps themselves. Purchase the reflector together with a socket, cord, plug, and either a gooseneck and base or a spring clamp. You’ll find that assembly consists mostly of wiring, since the reflector is already threaded for the socket.
YOU can save yourself the expense of brackets for heavy shelves in the shop, garage, or attic by substituting pieces of old ¼" pipe. Cut the pipe to length and bore holes in the studding to take ends of the pipe sections. The shelf may be fastened to the pipe with metal straps, as shown in the drawing.
THE unusually deep throat—18¼" from blade to frame—is a feature of this bandsaw manufactured by the Owen Pattern & Foundry Co., Norfolk, Va. It’s made possible by a third wheel and a triangular blade span. To permit unusually acute angle cutting without reversing the layout, the table may be tilted 30° inward and 45° outward.
Those two skeletons you see doing a snappy tap routine on my television screen aren’t really there. What happened was that our television set had so much glare that even free-loading guests were demanding sunglasses. Since the set already had set me back a nice piece of change, I didn’t feel like laying out more dough for a filter.
For intricate cutouts the jigsaw in a class by itself. Anti it’s versatile enough to handle many other jobs.
Edwin M. Love
GENERATIONS of craftsmen have entertained themselves with sawing lace-work projects from thin wood, using hand-powered saws. Though ornate work seems to have gone out of fashion, the modern equivalent of the old bracket saw is gaining popularity in the home workshop.
Simple helps give better light and control and keep accessories handy.
A GOOD part of the work done on a jigsaw is of the intricate, painstaking kind that calls for steady concentration. To make my work easier and more pleasant, I added the accessories shown here. No more shadows on the cutting line; no more groping for a switch or playing hide-and-seek with extra blades.
IF YOU’RE really cramped for flying space, Perky’s the model for you. Ideal for tether flying indoors, it has a wing span of only 16". Ready to take to the air, it weighs just a trifle over 2 oz. This lightness greatly reduces the hazards of close-quarters flying, and means that a sturdy No. 40 thread can be used in place of a steel tether.
THE more you use this heating unit, the more uses it suggests for itself. The two 250-watt infrared bulbs will dry model-air-plane dope, for instance, in 30 seconds and soften a piece of ¼" plastic for bending in two minutes. Here are some other uses I’ve found for the unit: heating or evaporating liquids, drying bake-on enamel, driving moisture from surfaces to be painted, drying wet wood to raise the grain, drying photo prints, removing moisture from dehydrating agents, curing vulcanizing-type rubber cement, drying other adhesives, and speeding up big soldering jobs by preheating.
MODELMAKERS, machinists, and others working with small parts will find these hand vises more useful than ordinary pin vises, thanks to their much greater capacity and holding power. The one using a ⅛" or ¼" chuck will replace several pin vises.
I LIKE my portable radios small. It makes sense to me to have a little set that I can lug around without effort, rather than one that threatens to pull my arm off at the shoulder. At the same time I know my compact portable doesn’t have as much pick-up power built into it as one of the larger, more expensive sets.
HAVING discovered how easy it is to make my small portable behave like a bigger set, I decided to get rid of another sore spot in its operation—the high cost of B batteries. It’s no fun to shell out a couple of bucks every few weeks to replace the weakened battery.
Adaptor Plays 7" Disks. A turn-table and pickup announced by Zenith adapts their Cobraⓣ record changers for use as manually operated players with 33⅓ or 45 r.p.m. 7" disks. The adapter fits over the record spindle of the 78-r.p.m. changer and takes its power from it.
ROLL out the barrel, but save the spigot. It forms the standard of this novel lamp, and the tap is hooked up to pull the socket chain. The base is a wooden salad bowl from a dime store. Spigots of this kind can be bought from mail-order houses, at many country stores, or just liberated from a barrel.
WHEEL slippage during heavy cuts or on wet grass was reduced after I wrapped the wheels of my lawn mower with rubber-covered electrical cable. Plastic clothes-line also works very nicely, or even ordinary cotton sash cord. These, however, have a shorter life than the cable.
Saw Cuts Own Starting Hole. Fitted with a 1/10-hp. motor, this hand-guided power saw cuts wood, plastic, hard rubber, asbestos board, and similar materials up to 1" thick. The motor delivers 3,250 cutting strokes a minute. A patented blade permits cutting directly through material without drilling a starting hole or sawing in from an edge. It rips, crosscuts, and handles curves down to ¼" radius. Made by Forsberg Mfg. Co., Bridgeport, Conn., the saw sells for about $50.
Forsberg Mfg. Co.
Wrench Fits on Finger. The finger wrench above puts your sense of touch to work in tight spots or out-of-sight areas. F. E. Redfield, Dumont, N. J., makes them to fit hex nuts of four sizes—/4", 5/16", 11/32", and ⅜". A set of four wrenches costs about 50 cents. The wrenches are easily bent to fit any finger size.
Forsberg Mfg. Co.
Torch Burns Petroleum Gas. A self-contained hand torch announced by Industrial Engineered Products Co., Los Angeles, is designed for light brazing, soldering, and other heating jobs. A valve varies the flame instantly from an intense blue pencil point to a roaring blowtorch flame. Retailing for about $20, the torch can be filled from any standard butane or propane container for a few cents.
Forsberg Mfg. Co.
Saves Knuckles. Attached to a hacksaw, this aluminum button gives you a better front-hand grip. Because it requires you to keep your hand out of the way, the maker calls it a Knuckle Saver ⓣ. Future Products, Portland, Ore., makes it.
Forsberg Mfg. Co.
Carbide Drill Cuts Rock. Drilling through a rock embedded in concrete is said to be a cinch for the RCD Bitⓣ, a product of the Rotary Concrete Drill Co., Pasadena, Calif. As seen in the upper photo, carbide cutters are brazed into the blunt end of the cutter shaft. The cutters range in diameter from ¼" to 2".
This safelight bracket was designed to make it easier to set up and take down photo equipment in a kitchen darkroom. As seen above, the bracket folds for more compact storage. A toggle switch on one side of the vertical arm controls the screw-in kind of safelight.
By removing part of the emulsion from a glossy print, you can type a title or caption directly on the face of the picture. A solution made by diluting ordinary household bleach with water will take off the emulsion. Mask off the area to be treated, dip cotton in the solution, and wipe lightly over the area.
Applied as a liquid, a product marketed by Andrew Jeri Co., Inc., New York, forms a peelable mask for local toning, reducing, intensifying, or retouching. Put on with brush or pen, it dries in five minutes on either prints or negatives. Red in color, the product also will serve for opaquing negatives.
An extension cord ending in a switch lets you stand away from the camera to operate a solenoid-actuated flash synchronizer. You can make up the outfit from a plug, about 10' of wire, and a switch. Instead of the switch shown, however, it’s better to use a momentary-contact type so that the current can’t be left on in the solenoid.
When projected on a screen or viewed in a twin-lens viewer, new 2" by 2" photographic slides now on the market are said to give a sense of having a third dimension—if you look through a pair of Bi-Color-Scopesⓣ, shown in the model’s right hand above.
With a box camera, as with more elaborate ones, a filter will add clouds to your negatives. If you have access to a lathe, you can make a filter adapter like the one shown. This was turned from aluminum bar stock to take Series VI Wrattenⓣ filters in a light press fit.
WHEN you use this contact printer, there's no need to count "1,000-and-1" over and over to time your exposures in seconds. You simply count the flashes of a blinking glass jewel atop the printing box. Six 7½-watt bulbs, wired in parallel, do the printing.
WHILE these cabinets take up wall space, they don’t obstruct traffic through the room. Deep enough to hold big books and even 10" record albums, they still hug the wall. Both have the same basic design, open shelves in one occupying a center section.
PADDED seat backs not only dress up a room but add comfort. You can fit them in any built-in seat—in a den, playroom, break-fast nook, or aboard a boat. Ends, too, may be padded. In laying these out, allow for any slant that you may want to give the back.
AFTER the food tray is removed from this case, five wooden legs lock into position to convert it into a 26" by 26" table about 1' high. When closed, the case measures 6" by 13" by 26". It is constructed of ¼" plywood with all outside edges bound with metal rails.
TOM SAWYER and Huckleberry Finn had a lot of fun cruising down a river on a raft. It’s still a fine way to spend a comfortable, take-it-easy vacation, especially if you’re not in a hurry to get anywhere. We rafted 600 miles, from Shreveport, La., to New Orleans, drifting down the Red, Atchafalaya, and Mississippi Rivers.
KIDS get a lot of pleasure playing house, and for about $25 you can buy all the materials to build this one. Hand tools will do the job. Get shipping boxes for baby-grand pianos, not boxes for uprights. You’ll find that these crates are 2' by 6' by 6'.
THIS carrier balances a small boat so that one man can lift it on or off a car top. Here’s how it works: set bar A parallel to the side of the car, and lean boat against it, bow in air (top photo, above). Lock the gunwales in clamps B (lower photo, above).
A NEW outboard accessory offered by Martin Motors, Eau Claire, Wis., is the Guard Lockⓣ. It fits over the clamp knobs of the motor and securely locks the motor to the transom. The lock also may be used when the motor is on a rack in a boathouse.
FOULED or bent propellers and sheared pins are guarded against by this stainless-steel cage that can be attached to any outboard motor. The maker, Luxurguard Manufacturing Co., Lockport, N. Y., says the cage protects propellers from submerged logs, rocks, shallow water, and underwater growths.
A SHEET of the synthetic material shoe-makers use for some half soles makes an excellent shock absorber and scuff pad for an outboard-powered boat. Shape it to match the motor bracket and 1" larger all around. Cut a V where the bend will come to fit it over the top of the transom.
GETTING outboard boats into and out of the water is a lot easier when detachable wheels are fitted at each side of the stern. For firm surfaces, a pair of single wheels will do. For sand and soft dirt, duals are better. Once the boat is afloat, the wheels can be taken in easily over the transom.
DESIGNED for boatmen, this sport jacket has an inflatable Vinyliteⓣ life preserver built into it. Uninflated, the garment appears to be a conventional sport jacket. In an emergency, the hidden preserver is inflated by mouth. When it has been blown up, the air is retained by twisting the valve cap.
Oil Drained into Flat Can. Some new cars are so low that it’s awkward to drain the crankcase without a lift. The job calls for a shallow but capacious pan. Victor H. Lamoy, of Upper Jay, N. Y., reports that an empty 2-gal. oil can with a large opening cut in one side gets under easily.
Collar Made from Con Rod. The collar found on some drill-press columns is a handy accessory. If there’s none on your press, the crankshaft end of a connecting rod makes an excellent substitute. Con rods are available in many sizes. If necessary, the babbitt can be removed to give a larger inner diameter.
WHEN its whistle toots, you needn’t jump too quickly to get out of the way of this little steam car. Its top speed, on the level, is just a shade over 8 m.p.h. J. E. Mitchener, of Los Angeles, built it strictly as an experiment, putting to use some of the notions stored up during his experience as an auto and railway mechanic.
IF YOU fly, sail, or just like to know what the weather is doing, you may want to take a cue from Keith Rumsey, of Friendship, N. Y. Parlaying an old speedometer, skate wheels, pipe, and other odd parts into a wind-speed indicator, he won a prize in a PS contest for ingenious uses of old auto instruments.
INFLATING a rubber boat with a small hand pump gets to be a tedious job, especially if it’s one of the larger boats. I counted 750 strokes to pump up a five-man boat. However, by substituting a bike-tire replacement valve for the special one provided, I now pump up my boat at the nearest filling station and save my energy for fishing and rowing.
MOUNTED on a platform, a wagon tank serves as a central water depot for hogs and turkeys on the A. C. Gingerich farm near Wellman, Iowa. A force pump fills the tank. Then a tank truck backs up and is quickly filled from the large-diameter outlet of the tank.
BURYING bulbs 6" to 10" deep is nearly impossible with a shovel unless you dig a hole big enough for a kettle. The answer is a 1' section of brass tubing 2½" in diameter. Across the end of the tube, hacksaw a slot 3" deep. Then saw away two opposite quarters of the tube as shown in the drawing.
A BANDSAW light that focuses on the work can easily be made of an aluminum cup from a vacuum bottle, a key-switch socket, and a length of strap iron. Cut a hole in the closed end of the cup to fit on the socket threads. Bend and drill the strap iron so that one end can be bolted to the saw.
WHEN a long train starts, you can see the first tug travel back from the engine through car after car. Compression waves carry sound much the same way. All sounding bodies are in a state of vibration. Because of elasticity of the air or other carrying medium, the vibrating action causes alternate compression and expansion outward from the source.
DESIGNED for either short runs or quantity production, Plast-O-Pressⓣ turns out 75 injection moldings an hour. The machine, manufactured by Plastics Development Corp., New York City, retails for about $40. Experimental dies cost from $2 to $3.50.
OF ALL the solutions to the problem of storing shoes in the home, the simplest is probably the method used by shoe stores. Put the shoes back in their original boxes and stack them on shelves. The shelves shown in the photo at left were put up without nails.
FOLLOWING suggestions in PS’ “I’d Like to See Them Make” department, two companies report that the products requested are now on the market. The top photo at right shows a soap and washcloth holder that sticks to a smooth vertical surface with suction cups.
A SECTION of angle iron, cut from the side-piece of an old bed, makes an excellent shoe scraper. Hacksaw the section to the length you want and then drill a hole near each end. Paint it carefully and fasten to the edge of a porch or on a step with wood screws.
MANUALLY operated valves that must be set exactly are often troublesome if you make the fine adjustment freehand. I solved the problem with the setup shown in the sketch. The handwheel was removed and a short strap substituted. A bracket was attached to the pipe a short distance from the valve and a turnbuckle rigged between.
LARGE rubber-tired casters added to an old kitchen table converted it to an all-round utility table. Since it stands up high on the casters, it’s handy beside a stove or ironing board when extra table space is needed. It also acts as a hand truck for hauling large grocery orders from the back door to the cupboard.
ORIGINALLY designed for aircraft, a jet engine was converted to an orchard heater by Edward West, Jr., of Los Angeles. At high velocity, hot air is blasted out of the jet pipe, which is slanted toward the ground when in use. The air is deflected under the trees for two or three rows on each side of the heater.
HERE’S what many owners of power lawn mowers dream about —a trailer with a seat. The mower tows you around the yard as it cuts the grass, if the motor has enough beef. This trailer has a welded frame slung between a pair of scrap Model-A Ford wheels.
MANUFACTURED by the Melnor Metal Products Co., New York City, the Square Squirtⓣ is designed for use on rectangular lawns. According to the company, it throws water into corners that the conventional sprayer can’t reach without waste. It is made of brass with a standard hose fitting, has no moving parts, and is priced at about $2.
You can lift the chrome-plated handle of this Harley-Davidson Servi-Carⓣ with one hand—leaving the other free for loading bundles. The cover of the car’s package compartment is reinforced by X-shaped metal strips, made of cold-rolled sheet steel.
THIS new 15by 17-inch grill, for cooking on either indoor or outdoor fireplaces, is supported by a U-shaped frame with notches that let you adjust the grill to six, eight, or 10 inches above the fire. It can be disassembled easily and stored in a small place.
IN THE past two years our Air Force has bombed more than 11,000 important industrial and strategic targets. There have been no casualties, either among the attacking planes or in the bombed cities. The reason: the targets were real U. S. cities—but the bombs were imaginary.
PILOTS can read their altitude faster, easier, and with less chance of error with the new altimeter at left above. Called the Kollsman 160ⓣ, it has a two-digit counter that shows altitude directly in thousands of feet, while a single sweep hand marks off additional altitude in 50-foot graduations.
THE tin cans above don’t hold food, but they’re the same kind that do. They contain tiny dynamotors, used to operate electrical equipment in airplanes. The dynamotors are hermetically sealed in the cans at sea-level pressure to keep them operating efficiently at high altitudes where reduced pressures would tend to throw them off.
Plastic Flower-Pot Container. Water is poured into this decorative Vinyliteⓣ flower-pot holder rather than into the pot itself. The plant receives moisture by absorption. It’s sold by Mary Donlan Ver Mett, Fenton, Mich., for 35 cents.
RED-FACED and hearty, Ladd Haystead pushed his chair back and roared. The idea was preposterous. He should know. Fumigate the soil? Been tried thousands of times. It never worked. Terrific story, of course, if true, but it can’t be true. Sure, he would look in on it, because he was going to that part of California anyway.