Sir: I was particularly interested in your story, “Sun Furnace in Your Attic” (PS, March ’49, p. 106), as I was, at one time, part of an expedition that dabbled in experiments with solar heat, back in the middle twenties, about the time the first successful experiments were completed in California.
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. Safety markings on home ironers.
MORE than a million men like you buy this magazine every month. Between three and four million more see it and read it, one way or another. That makes POPULAR SCIENCE probably the most widely read science magazine in the world. But the special emphasis of this magazine on the science of life and the mechanics of living has been such that the editors have refrained from supporting any and all causes.
These sweeping, intertwining ribbons of steel are part of the thousands of miles of pipes that are the “nerves” of a large oil refinery. Just as human nerve fibers transmit sensations of heat, cold, pain, and pressure to the brain, these pipes transmit vital data about the cracking process from the refining plant to the control station.
TODAY'S FAST, HIGH-FLYING BOMBERS ARE HARD TO INTERCEPT
New Fighters Sure to be Bigger
Radio Could Guide Missile
THE whispered words, “Bee Thirty-Six,” will start an argument anywhere in aviation. And there are no neutrals in the war of words that has burst about this most controversial of all airplanes. The Air Force says the B-36 can get out of town, do a job, and get back. The claims that these warplanes can take off from continental U. S., fly through enemy defenses, hit any major industrial area in the world, and come home nonstop, have been made the subject of a Congressional investigation.
SWINGING down like a drawbridge, this new Coast Guard lifeboat launcher (left, above) gets a fully manned boat off the deck and into the water in five seconds— from 25 seconds to two minutes faster than old-type launchers. Designed to speed rescues at sea, it supports the boat in a cradle on two booms that can be lowered by one man. As the boat strikes the water (right), the cradle drops lower to clear it.
IF THIS 4,000-lb. bomb blows up while its booster is being removed, the only casualty will be the Remington Rand Vericonⓣ television camera. It is transmitting the scene to a screen in an explosion-proof barricade a safe distance away, where an Army Ordnance technician operates remote-controlled electric motors that do the job.
YACHTSMEN can visualize a boat-handling problem easily with the aid of this special demonstration board. It is simply a piece of sheet steel on which cutouts representing ships, docks, wind-direction arrows, etc., are held in any desired position by tiny Alnicoⓣ magnets fastened to their undersides.
POWER-CRUISER owners won’t be bothered by engine interference with radio-telephone, radio, and television operation if they use this new spark plug, reports the Electric Auto-Lite Co. It has a built-in, 10,000-ohm, carbon resistor, shown above, that cuts down the high-voltage variations causing the static.
THIS machine, which looks like a penny-in-the-slot scale, checks on the “cleanliness” of atom workers’ hands and feet. The worker merely sets dials, steps on the platform, and sticks his hands in the holes. Geiger counters measure the radioactivity while a pen records the amount.
"Paddle Wheel" Puts OutFires. This novel fire-fighting apparatus is designed to extinguish brush fires by beating them out, as in the old broom method. As the big roller is pushed forward, flexible mats slap the ground one after another, smothering the fire.
A PACKAGED projection unit made by North American Philips Co. is being incorporated in current models by more than a dozen manufacturers of home television receivers. Some of these new models will throw the video picture on a screen outside the unit, just like home movies.
Restyled and re-equipped countless times, Packard’s “dog” car is a changing parade of automotive progress.
PICTURED on this and the following two pages is the most expensive car in the United States. Up to now it has cost around $200,000. The man who drives it is Edward Macauley, chief stylist of the Packard Motor Car Co. He has been offered $50,000 for it.
A SURPLUS aircraft fuel tank mounted on a homemade trailer now provides extra fire protection for the rural areas around Lapeer, Mich. Towed by a light truck, it can fight blazes all alone—it carries 470 gallons of water, a motor-driven pump, hoses, ladders, and other equipment.
THIS new British rotary hoe, which has a four-stroke, single-cylinder motor and self-sharpening blades, can prepare seed beds in a single operation—a day’s hand work in one hour. The blades not only lift, break up, and aerate the soil, but mix it with cover crops, fertilizers, and manures.
THIS device waves a flag at you when the lawn has had enough sprinkling. The flag is held down by a metal probe sticking into the ground. When moisture soaks down to the probe tip, it loosens the soil enough to release the probe, which in turn lets a spring push the flag up.
Television’s baseball team puts your easy chair right up behind home plate for a bird’s-eye close-up of the game.
Sound Is Important, Too
PLAY ball! Johnny Pesky, up for the Boston Red Sox, steps into the batter’s box. Lefty Joe Page, on the mound for the New York Yankees, goes into his windup for the first pitch. Cameraman #2, up in the press box behind home plate for the television “team,” trains his wide-angle lens on the scene below.
You see a rare view of a rare piece of equipment in the photo above. It shows the oil burners and tubes of a boiler that uses mercury—the silvery liquid metal found in good thermometers—instead of water. The mercury is vaporized in the tubes and then turns special turbines.
HOMES around Oklahoma City will soon be lighted by electricity generated by gas turbines—the first such installation in the U. S. The 3,500-kilowatt GE turbine (above), similar to the power plants now used in some experimental locomotives, is to supplement steam generators at a station of the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.
ONE man can now load heavy material into freight cars with a small elevator to do the lifting for him. Able to operate in spaces too cramped for a crane truck, it raises a three-ton load with a one-hp. motor. It has a platform 8 ft. long and 6½ ft. wide.
Splitting milk solids into fat and skim powder permits later recombining with water without harming taste.
Could Save Water Haulage
GIS in the Pacific are now drinking milk from cows that don’t moo—they clank. These new mechanical cows produce pasteurized, homogenized, grade-A milk that only a calf can tell from the original. And a quart costs no more, maybe less, than the ones you buy from the corner grocer.
BRITISHERS have thought up a new gimmick to help them stay cool—a battery-operated fan hardly bigger than a cigarette lighter. It has a tiny permanent-magnet motor inside the hinged cover, and a fan with two blades that fold together when the device is closed.
A PLASTIC coat less than .002 in. thick protects steel tubing against rust better than galvanizing, reports the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., Pittsburgh. Their PermaTubingⓣ withstood more than 2,000 hours of exposure to salt spray, compared to 24 hours for galvanized tubing.
MORE than one kind of hot air comes out of this gadget. A car heater, it also contains a loudspeaker for reproducing the sound from movie film in drive-in theaters. Designed to hang inside car windows, it lets outdoor theaters operate when it’s cool.
PLASTER casts are cut like butter—yet flesh can’t be harmed—by a new kind of electric saw that eliminates the discomfort involved in removing casts with old-fashioned large shears. The blade in the Stryker Cast Cutterⓣ makes short back-and-forth strokes 28,000 times a minute.
THE problem: How to get a 130-ton electric generator from a flatcar on the ground to its foundation atop a 30-foot powerhouse—and do it quickly. The Arkansas Power and Light Co., of Little Rock, solved it with a special two-part hoisting tower.
FARMERS can plow back and forth across their fields with a plow (above) that has two sets of shares and can turn itself over. An ordinary plow with one set of shares can go only one way because the shares turn furrows just one way—say to the right —and would make a ditch or ridge between each strip. With the reversible plow one set of shares turns a furrow to the right, the other to the left.
THE truckman gets a free ride on the new hydraulic lifter shown below. He’s lifted right up with the load so that he can handle the whole job by himself. The HydroLoaderⓣ, made by Stratton Equipment Co., Cleveland, lifts weights as great as 1,500 pounds up to seven feet off the ground.
PUNCHING holes in the ground is the latest method proposed to stop erosion. The Land Saverⓣ below digs “pores”—28,000 per acre —as it is pulled by a tractor. These pores, claims inventor Homer K. Shonts, a Washington State wheat farmer, make rain soak into the ground instead of running into gullies and washing away priceless topsoil.
Shoes don’t fit? This 70-year-old rebuilding process can make them longer or wider, even change style.
BETTER not throw away those tight shoes that pinch your feet every time you wear them. They might be worth fixing. This story tells how one shoe rebuilder solves the tight-shoe problem. Using a 70-year-old method, the B. Nelson Co., of New York, can take a pair of ill-fitting shoes and make them one full size longer or wider than they were originally.
Clocking Meteors. Reclining comfortably in this shelter near Ottawa, Canada, stargazers for the Dominion Observatory time the flight of shooting stars. When one is seen, an observer presses a button that registers the time on photo film.
Air conditioning in reverse creates man-made “rain forest” that outdoes Nature at her hot and humid worst.
NOW the Army Signal Corps can enjoy all the discomforts of a steaming jungle right in northern New Jersey. The tropical chambers at Fort Monmouth provide everything from torrential rains to torrid humidity—and make them even worse than the originals.
REMEMBER that snappy little roadster of a decade ago with its single seat, buggy top, and buttoned curtains? Well, it’s back— in modern style. Roadster is the type designation Dodge gives its new Wayfarerⓣ above. The 58-inch seat carries three persons comfortably.
PLYMOUTH’S new all-metal Suburbanⓣ combines comfortable passenger accommodation and the cargo capacity of a small truck in one smart vehicle. Its two seats take five persons. With both seats in use, an enclosed cargo space measuring 3½ feet long and a little over 4½ feet wide remains at the rear.
A CANCER patient may someday be treated with a glass of water. This water will contain no more iodine than is in ordinary tap water. But this iodine, when it proceeds to his thyroid gland, may emit radiation that will attack cancerous tissue. The patient will be the beneficiary of a new kind of workshop—one in which radioactive materials and instruments needed to use them are prepared for the doctors.
FIRST state in the country to have a rubber road, Virginia has laid a 1,000-foot test strip on Route 250 outside Richmond. A small amount of powdered rubber, right, mixed with asphalt forms the resilient, long-wearing surface being applied above.
PLACED in a chamber of the hand-drawn British fumigator above, a nicotine smoke cartridge is ignited and vaporized to destroy insects attacking crops. A bellows geared to the axle varies the amount of generated smoke to suit the operator’s pace, and a trailing canvas cover helps to hold the fumes in contact with the plants.
STEEL men who once worked in the open are now protected against heat, noise, and flying metal inside this modern steel-mill “pulpit” where operators control the rolling of red-hot billets. Designed by the Lee Wilson Construction Co., of Cleveland, it has air conditioning, an acoustical ceiling, and a heavy, shock-resistant glass shield.
ELEKTRO may be dumb by human standards—but among mechanical men, he’s a mental giant. He walks, smokes, counts to 10 on his fingers, speaks 77 words, and even distinguishes colors. A star performer at the New York World’s Fair 10 years ago, the seven-foot-tall, 260-pound aluminum robot has come back to the stage.
British Unveil Jet Bomber. Very secretive about their first jet bomber to fly, shown at right, the British say only that the plane was built by the English Electric Co., and that it is powered by two Rolls-Royce Avonⓣ jet engines. It is of conventional design, with a straight wing.
THE steam that warms buildings in the wintertime can now be used to cool them in the summer. In a new kind of air-conditioning plant, steam, instead of electricity, does most of the work. The steam may come from the building’s heating plant, from a city central-steam system, or may even be waste steam from industrial processes.
WHEN Washington State’s giant Grand Coulee Dam was being built across the path of the Columbia river, powerful currents tossed boulders and gravel into the curved toe or “bucket” at the bottom of the spillway. They wore away the massive underwater masonry just as a grinding wheel wears away metal.
THERE are more crunchy pretzels to munch when you sip long, cold drinks this summer, thanks to a new automatic pretzel-twisting machine that rolls and ties them at the rate of 50 a minute—more than twice as fast as skilled hand twisters can make them.
IT’S mighty hard to unroll a big bolt of cloth by hand. But this large machine does it at the touch of a finger. Gliding along an 84-foot-long pattern-cutting table, it spreads a heavy, 60-inch-wide roll of fabric in even layers. The bolt is threaded through rollers and aligned by guide bearings that roll against the table edge. The spreader was developed by United Air Lines’ employees at the maintenance base in San Francisco.
THE merest motion of the wearer’s wrist keeps a new, lady’s wrist watch fully wound —thanks to the unique mechanism at the right. It is difficult to design a woman’s self-winding watch, both because of its small size and because most women carry their handbags on the left—wrist-watch—arm, reducing the motion that keeps the mechanism going.
THIS British self-righting life jacket keeps you afloat face upward even if you’re unconscious, lessening risk of drowning. You slip the collar over your head after strapping on the jacket. The hose seen at left on the jacket lets it be blown up by mouth should the inflating device—a small, gas-filled cylinder— fail to operate properly.
HERE’S one way to get that mirror look off the seat of your blue-serge pants. Killshineⓣ is said to soften the fibers temporarily so that they can be brushed back to their original unflattened shape. This restores the nap and dulls the shine.
Sound waves bouncing in water tank give blind-bomber trainees realistic scope pictures from plastic maps.
Tempest in Teapot
Andrew R. Boone
BY bouncing “silent” sound waves off a plastic map at the bottom of a small tank of water, U. S. bomber crews can spot on their radar scopes a target halfway around the world—without leaving their classroom. What happens is this: The sound waves in water act much like real radar pulses, except that they travel only 1/200,000 as fast.
HUGE power shovels now have “dipper sticks”—the long arms—made of pipe instead of the usual braced girders. The cylindrical sticks are just as strong and much lighter. The stick for this giant shovel, made of several cylinders welded together, was rolled by National Annealing Box Co. on a machine developed by Baldwin Locomotive Co.
THIS machine twists heavy steel girders the way you wring out a wet bathing suit. The world’s largest torsion tester, it is now being used at Lehigh University to learn more about the torsional, or twisting, strength of structural units. This is important in railway bridges, for example.
A 60-TON self-propelled dynamometer— biggest in the world—tells Army Ordnance engineers how powerful their trucks and tanks are. It exerts a 60,000-lb. pull at speeds up to 45 m.p.h. Test vehicles pull against the dynamometer, whose 19 electric generators create accurate resistances.
CEMENT blocks have been crossed with pouring forms to produce a new building material. Called Klee-blocksⓣ, the units consist of two 8by 16-inch pieces of concrete held rigidly apart by steel connecting rods (right, above). The rods are adjustable so that the thickness can be varied.
SHOPPERS will walk across extra-clean sidewalks to enter the snooty shops on New York’s upper Fifth Avenue. The walks are to be scrubbed by an adaptation of the standard street-cleaning machine. It sprays chemicals and water on the walk, then two brushes scour the pavement.
TRAVELERS between Washington and Chicago will be able to keep tab on the engineer if they ride the Baltimore & Ohio’s New Columbian trains. The Strata-Domeⓣ car, which gives passengers a bird’s-eye view of the scenery, also has an instrument panel with a speedometer.
A NEW ice-making machine freezes ice so fast you can see it grow. Invented by Prof. John R. Watt, of the University of Texas, it can squirt out a ton of ice a day—like toothpaste from a tube— 50 percent cheaper than standard equipment makes ice.
THIS automatic pipette transfers exactly one dram of perfume—to the drop— from a large bottle to a small one. Designed for use at a sales counter, its ingenious principle might also be used in laboratory measuring devices. Squeeze and release its bulb, while holding a finger over a discharge pipe, and its chamber fills with liquid from a bulk container.
ONE of the simplest forms of plant life, made radioactive, will give scientists a new tool for probing the secrets of life processes. Algae are being “tagged,” then fed to research animals. It is hoped that they will reveal details of animal metabolism.
TRACK-MEET events are guaranteed a fair start by the photoelectric-cell device shown below. It not only automatically fires the starting pistol, but blows a foul horn on any contestant who tries to beat the gun. The photo-eye light barrier is beamed along the starting line in front of the runners to a reflector placed on the opposite side of the track.
FUTURE billion-volt X-ray machines may be foreshadowed by a new type of General Electric synchrotron of 300,000,000 electron volts. Called a “nonferromagnetic synchrotron,” it dispenses with the usual massive electromagnet of many tons’ weight.
THESE firemen go to a fire on a railroad train—one that’s painted bright red, naturally. They are part of the fire-fighting force of the British Railways, which includes 7,700 men in one region alone. Recently re-equipped with the latest types of fire-fighting apparatus, the red trains can be on their way at a 60-m.p.h. clip within five minutes after an alarm.
THE next time you go to a movie, begin watching the upper right-hand corner of the screen about 19 minutes after the feature goes on. If your eye is sharp, you will presently see a dot — white if the background is dark, or black if the background is light.
SMASHING old bottles can be a bigger job than you’d think. Breaking and washing half a million every day requires a $250,000 plant especially designed for this important industrial process. A South Gate, Calif., scrap-glass dealer, M. I. Sessler, has built a new, almost completely automatic plant that does just that.
THE biggest pumps in the world will soon be turning the clock back to the ice ages, making water from the Columbia River flow in a channel unused for at least 300,000 years. They will lift water from Lake Roosevelt—formed by Grand Coulee Dam (PS, Feb. ’36, p. 11)—about 270 feet over a hill to an irrigation reservoir.
ROLLING on pneumatic tires, a French six-coach train of new design makes high-speed travel luxuriously joltless and quiet. Cars have 20 wheels apiece, each with a tire riding on top of the rail with an inner metal flange to guide it. Tires have tubes and are rim mounted.
Even as you and I, a G-man can run into a snag. But a fast bit of headwork by Gus gets this agent off the hook.
The Wrong Cottage
Where’s the Spring?
Found : One Broken Spring
GUS WILSON slipped the socket wrench into a pocket of his coveralls, wiped his hands on a wad of waste, and took the identification card the young man offered him. “F.B.I.,” Gus said. “That’s right,” the man answered, pocketing the card. “Okay, Mr. Harcourt,” Gus said. “What can I do for you?”
Sound deadening and rust prevention are its major advantages. Here are points to look for if you are planning to have the job done.
R. P. Stevenson
WHAT can you expect from undercoating? Does the job pay on an older car? How can you tell whether the material has been properly applied? Sooner or later, you’ll probably wonder about such points. Undercoating, the practice of spraying the belly of a car with an asphalt material, popped up just before the war.
THIS all-metal convertible, built in England by Col. John Dolphin, can be converted from a smart open tourer to a completely enclosed sedan in exactly 60 seconds. As a convertible, the roof lies snugly out of sight in the hinged boot. You don’t have to be a professional strong man, either, to lift the steel roof into position.
Two entries in England’s 13th annual race of historic motorcycles are shown here. Only machines built before 1915 were eligible. At left is a Beeston Tricycle that was built in 1899, one of the oldest entries. Its engine has a displacement of 10.675 cu. in. Below, an early American-built motorcycle — a 1911 Pierce Arrow — gets away to a flying start with the aid of a couple of willing helpers.
CROSLEY has pulled something new out of the air—a type of brake previously used only on planes. Actuated hydraulically, the brakes consist of small pads of a hard braking material that pinch together on a revolving cast-iron disk when you step on the pedal.
EVENTUALLY, it had to come—a trailer a man handy with hammer, wrench, and screwdriver could assemble in the back yard. Now, Prefab, Inc., of Los Angeles, offers you a choice of two—the Cub Seniorⓣ and the Cub Sportsmanⓣ. All you must do is unwire the crate and follow detailed instructions.
EXPECTED to sell for about $1,170 at the factory, this little car is now being tooled up for production in a wartime aircraft plant at San Diego, Calif. The maker is Del Mar Motors, Inc. Powered by a 4-cyl., 63-hp. Continental engine, the pilot model is said to give around 30 miles per gal.
A NEW motorcycle oil filter announced by the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Milwaukee, Wis., forces the lubricant to pass through a ½" cylindrical felt filter element. The unit has a ball check valve to by-pass the oil if the element becomes clogged.
WHILE you are driving behind a truck or other large vehicle, this device is said to give you a view of the oncoming traffic. Made by Passing Eye, Inc., Kenosha, Wis., it consists of two mirrors on a chrome-plated double arm that clamps to the door.
NIGHT repairs along the highway can be made in greater safety if you use this new reflecting danger signal. Made of steel, it folds for storage in the luggage compartment. It’s painted red, and glass reflecting beads form the lettering. The Veecliff Corp., New York, makes it.
Motor and spindle arbor are heart of five power tools in a trunk that make real work real fun.
"COULDN’T a practical set of power tools be built around a motor and a polishing head?" asked our Editor. “Something a fellow living in an apartment, or even a furnished room, could put to use?” The only answer to that was to try. The result is an eye opener.
DURING a party, you could empty the over-flowing ash trays into a bucket, but a silent butler makes a better impression. This one presents a handsome appearance but isn’t very difficult to make. Four brass petals and a center brass ring on the cover stand out against peened and burnished copper.
My personal snorkel, the hose and extension on a tank-type vacuum cleaner, is wonderful for retrieving small objects dropped into inaccessible places. Tie a piece of gauze over the nozzle to keep the article from going into the tank when the suction picks it up.
A LIGHTWEIGHT bicycle motor that will run on almost any fuel from heavy bunker oil to kerosene is being manufactured by the Lohmann Company, Bielefeld, Germany. Main feature of the 11-lb., two-cycle engine is its economy of operation; fuel-tank capacity is ¼ gal., said to be good for 100 miles.
DON’T take chances with weak or springy scaffolds. One carpenter makes his hanging platforms safer by the method shown above. For a single-plank scaffold he nails a two-by-four cleat across the center of the plank. A long board is bent over the cleat and nailed at both ends. Two-plank scaffolds require only two cleats across the double width.—Victor H. Lamoy, Upper Jay,.N.Y.
Rack Keeps Pens and Pencils from Rolling off Table
YOUR drawing table won’t be as cluttered if you keep pencils and other drafting tools arranged in this wooden rack. The board is 7½" by 7½" with ¼" grooves routed as shown. A ⅛" by ¾" strip in front acts as a stop, and the slant is provided by two ¼" by 2¾" dowels in back.
HERE’S a fast little boat you can stick together in a couple of days. The secret of the speedy job is a synthetic-resin adhesive. This provides a bond stronger than the wood itself and so waterproof that you could boil the joints all day without causing them to weaken.
IF SPAGHETTI is a specialty in your home, you’ll want this attractive grater for the dry Italian cheese that tops it off. The grater does a fine job, too, on bread crumbs and other dry foodstuffs. The gratings fall into a drawer, ready for use.
NOTHING you can do with a hammer and saw will add more to a plain arch or entrance than latticework. Most of designs shown here can be straight hand-tool jobs. Even the filigreed trellis shown on this page was cut out by hand. If you have a power jigsaw but find that the panel is too long to be handled conveniently with your equipment, you can cut it out in sections.
UNIFORM slices of bread drop out a slot into a basket or pan when the end of this cutter is allowed to overhang the work surface. A sawing action with the knife cuts the slices evenly as fast as you can feed the loaf into the box. The slicer was made from ½" plywood.
WITH these C clamps, you don’t have to waste time making adjustments. To suit the clamp to the work, you slide the pressure rod in or out. A clockwise twist of the handle then locks the rod to the threaded member, a roller jamming in an internal cam when the rod is turned in one direction.
RUBBER cement provides an easy mounting method when you want to turn a plastic disk. Attach a piece of wood to the lathe faceplate or mount the wood on a screw center. Apply cement to the wood and to the masking paper on the plastic, let it dry, and then press the plastic and wood firmly together.
Though they look like straight-cut tapers, hopper joints can be tricky because compound angles deceive the eye.
Edwin M. Love
TAPERED boards are those that are cut on a slant. In most cases that’s all they are—which is fortunate for the amateur workshopper. Calculating angles and cutting them accurately with hand tools can sometimes be a tough job. But when you are tapering table legs the exact angle makes precious little difference.
New Precision Bench Shaper. A 7" bench shaper is now being manufactured by the South Bend Lathe Works, South Bend, Ind. Table slides and the 18" ram are milled and hand-scraped for precision fit. Cutting speed is variable from 3' to 118' per minute.
Milling Capacity Increased. The short transverse travel of small milling machines limits their usefulness. An adapter plate overcomes this difficulty by allowing the vise or work to be mounted at a greater distance from the spindle. This permits the use of boring heads and standard-length drills and reamers.
EXTREME accuracy, the principal merit of draw-in lathe collets, is sometimes lacking in ordinary collet sets that use a fairly thin sleeve for the spindle-nose chuck. This one is big enough to give great rigidity and strength, and is capable of high precision.
IF YOUR drill chuck won’t close down on a very fine drill, cut a short length of rosin-core solder, roll it on a flat surface until it’s straight, and force it on the drill shank. If necessary, ream the solder core out with the drill itself. The chuck jaws will form the ridges shown at left.
AMONG the advantages of this motor mount are easy adjustment of belt tension, easy speed changes by means of step pulleys, and easy transferal of the motor to operate separate power tools. Make as many of the lower bases as there are locations where you’ll want to use the motor, and leave each such base permanently there.
PROVIDED with a 12-to-l reduction gear and a pulley, this British electric motor is designed for use in models and small control devices. The Mighty Midgetⓣ operates on a single flashlight cell, and its armature turns up to 10,000 r.p.m. on two cells.
SO HUSKY it will handle the toughest boring jobs your lathe is capable of, this boring-bar mount merits a permanent place on your tool shelf. With the addition of simple split sleeves or bushings, it will hold bars of various sizes. For the body, use a block of cold-rolled steel approximately the size shown in the drawings, which will fit a 9" or 10" lathe.
AN OLD phonograph cabinet forms the principal part of this kitchen combination. The built-on top serves as a snack bar while the drawers and cabinet provide storage space. First, remove the cabinet trim and cut down the legs. (Save the lid; it can be used as a shadow-box picture frame.)
FOR retrieving fouled fishing plugs, I've found this rig to be the answer. On the end of a length of trotline, I fastened a large treble hook. An inch up from the hook, a metal snap ring—the kind used in notebooks—was knotted in the trotline. About 3' up a second ring was tied on.
APPLIED like paint, Neolubeⓣ dries quickly, leaving a corrosion-resisting coating of graphite. The maker, Huron Industries, Port Huron, Mich., says that, unlike oil, this compound will lubricate at both high and low temperatures and is electrically conductive.
IF YOU’VE ever filled an outboard’s tank in a choppy sea, you’ll appreciate this pressurized can. Without stopping the motor or lifting the can, you can refuel. Working a hand pump builds up a small air pressure that forces fuel from the auxiliary tank through a Neopreneⓣ hose to the motor.
AVAILABLE as a kitchen food wrapping and dish liner, aluminum foil simplifies outdoor cooking. With a roll of the foil in your pack, you can leave at home many of the usual camp utensils. Just wrap the food securely in the foil and place the package in a bed of medium hot coals until cooked.
THE unusual wastebasket pictured above is an old butter churn that I picked up in a secondhand store for 50 cents. I replaced the cracked lid and mended a split foot. Then the churn was sanded and given a coat of flat white followed by pale cream paint.
A VERSATILE extension cord can be made from the cord used with some tank-type vacuum cleaners. Simply splice in a cube tap or socket by the end. The cord still can be used on the cleaner.—Henry E. Van Apeldoorn, Rochester, N. Y.
TURNING the knob raises the loaf to bring to the top a slice at a time. When not in use, the lid is kept closed. The maker, Ward Philips Co., of Chicago, says the Bread Butlerⓣ keeps bread fresh for at least two weeks. It’s priced at about $3.
TURNING a hobby into a career, nice work if you can do it, put one PS reader right into business. It started when Karl J. Burg, of Clinton, Iowa, reached for some plastic scraps after reading an article on internal carving (PS, August, ’47, p. 160).
IF YOU’VE ever tried servicing a radio, you don’t have to be told that a voltmeter is like an extra right arm. It’s the tool that often tells you what the trouble is, and when it can’t do that, tells you where to look for it. Voltmeters can be roughly divided into three classes.
California amateur sends voice and picture over transmitter made from $500 worth of war-surplus parts.
Andrew R. Boone
PULSING through the California skies from a weather-beaten back-yard shack, the image of a beautiful brunette flows into television receivers around San Francisco Bay. The boys who have seen her call the vision Gwendolyn. Reproduced by a collection of second-hand tubes and war-surplus video equipment, Gwendolyn represents the first standard TV image broadcast successfully and repeatedly by an amateur.
MAKING something new out of something old often gives as much pleasure as starting from scratch. This hanging novelty shelf was an example. The front legs of a side chair were cut off just below the apron. A section including the rung also was cut from each front leg.
IF YOU want to build cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, or shop, these steel fronts introduced by Western Metalcraft, Inc., Olympia, Wash., may make your job easier. They consist of a metal frame and door or drawers—depending on the type of cabinet desired.
A SLIDING glass panel that partitions off the nursery in a local church had no handle. It could be opened or closed only by pressing a palm firmly against the glass. As a result, the glass always showed fingermarks. The problem was solved by attaching a couple of suction cups to a plastic drawer handle, wetting the cups, and sticking them to the glass. The screws in the suction cups were the same size as those for which the handle was threaded, making it a simple matter to install the cups.
Steering Knob Kept Rigid. A spinner knob that twists in or out on the steering wheel can be cured by putting a few punch dots in the clamp. To avoid the possibility of cracking a plastic wheel, it’s best to remove the spinner and clamp it on a broom handle or similar object.
A home-installed mechanical cooling system keeps passengers in this 1948 Oldsmobile comfortably cool, even in the hottest midsummer weather.
Walter B. Moses
PITY the poor motorist who must drive on a heat-soaked highway under a broiling sun, cooped up in an upholstered steel box, and propelled by a gasoline-fired heat engine. It’s about time we did something to cool him as well as his engine. Of course you can buy an evaporative-type window cooler, good on long, fast trips in dry country, but it won’t help much where heat is accompanied by high humidity— which it is in most of the country.
YOU can squeeze a gas into smaller space, but liquids can hardly be compressed at all. The water experiments on this page demonstrate that natural law. For the two stunts above, boil the water first to drive out dissolved air. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
LUGGING the makings of an outdoor meal from house to fireplace is quite a chore if you have to make several trips. An old baby carriage, retrieved from the attic, was converted to carry dishes, food, linen, and silver in one haul. The frame is a natural for two drawers and a general utility box on top. Drawers and box are made of redwood. Clear varnish covers the outside and white enamel the inside. The framework is painted jade green and the wheels a bright red.
To PREVENT children from removing— and probably losing—the handle-bar grips of their bikes, use this improvised lock. Drill the end of the grip ¼". Wrap a strip of rubber cut from an old inner tube around an expansion plug and insert it in the handle bar.
MEASURING 6' in diameter, this inflatable plastic pool holds up to 170 gal. of water and is deep enough for youngsters to float in as well as wade. It’s made of marine blue Vinyliteⓣ by the Bilnor Corporation, of New York City, and is priced at $25.
PIN a strip of sheepskin clipped from an old jacket lining to a hatband and you have a ready-made carrier for fishing flies. The flies hook into the wool more easily than into the hatband and they can quickly be removed.—R. A. Jenkins, St. Louis, Mo.
WITH either of these homemade printers, you can put your name and address on photos during the normal developing process. Both work on the same principle. You make a negative of the desired wording on contrast film and mount this permanently over a slit in the printing box.
Mailer Protects Photos. Here’s a packaging method that helps mailed prints reach their destination in good condition. Select two corrugated cardboards an inch or more larger all around than the prints. On one, center and glue an envelope that just fits the prints.
SOME photographers operate 35-mm. cameras chiefly for color, only occasionally exposing a roll of black-and-white film. In such cases, they can make fairly satisfactory enlargements from their negatives by using a slide projector as an enlarger.
UNIFORM agitation of one or two film tanks is possible with this device. Snap two 8" hacksaw blades at the center to provide the four parts of the linkage nearest the tanks. Anneal the metal by holding the ends in a flame and drill for ⅛" bolts.
THESE folding pipe racks will increase the capacity of a truck or pickup. Built by Roy Kayler, superintendent of the University of Idaho maintenance shop, each carrier is held in position by a single ¼" iron bolt. A short piece of chain, welded to the bolt head and to the rack, keeps the bolt from being lost.
HALF a dozen apple crates, stacked as seen in the inset photo, form the basis of this dining-room cabinet. The cabinet was built by Mrs. O. B. Woods, of Bigfork, Mont., to house her dishes, glassware, silver, and the like. Besides the boxes, you need about one full 4' by 8' panel of ¼" plywood to duplicate the cabinet.
TIRED of constantly refilling my garden duster, I cut an opening in it and soldered on a standard metal jar lid through which I had cut a hole. This fitting accepts a standard fruit jar, increasing the capacity of the gun several times. The cloth seen in the photos keeps dust from backfiring.
HITCHED alongside a truck or wagon, a new bale loader takes the back-breaking labor out of a familiar farm job. Guides 3' long direct the bale into the elevator as the loader moves across the field picking up hay deposited by the baler. Made by the International Harvester Company, Chicago, the loader is driven by a chain connected to a sprocket on the axle of two wheels, which are fitted with 6.00 by 16 tires.
AN AMMONIA refrigeration plant cools the Little Rock, Ark., home of Don Leveck. The used ammonia compressor and auxiliary equipment cost $500. Energy for the pumps is furnished by a gasoline engine, which is run on natural gas. Mr. Leveck’s forced-air heating plant and back-yard swimming pool are used in the cooling system.
COMMUNITY laying nests for poultry made by the Russel Manufacturing Co., Caro, Mich., are said to do away with the necessity of washing and buffing the eggs. The nest floor is a sloping wire screen. When laid, the eggs roll down the screen into a collecting compartment outside the nest itself.
ACTUATED by a single flashlight cell, a vibrating planter made by the Park Products Co., Lombard, I11., is said to ease the job of row-planting small flower and other seeds. When held as above, the vibrator goes into action. Placed in the trowel-shaped hopper, hard-to-handle seeds will drop into the furrow one by one.
HERE’S a two-cycle gas engine that’s designed as a jack-of-all-jobs. Made by the Gresengine Corp., Antioch, I11., it is intended for various light-duty applications about the farm and elsewhere. One feature is that the base is separate from the engine proper.
A LIGHTWEIGHT electric sealer for closing plastic bags prior to home freezing of foods is now offered by Sears, Roebuck and Co. Plugged into a 115-volt outlet, it seals a bag in two to five sec. When you release the normally separated handles, a spring clamps heated jaws on the mouth of the bag.
WE USE an old sled as the base for the farm buzz saw. Mounted on the sled, the saw can be easily skidded to a new location when the need arises. While the saw is in use, the sled is staked to give a firm base.— Leonard O. Timm, Bennington, Neb.
Rolling Pinker. Although the handles of this sewing tool resemble those of the conventional pinking shears, that’s as far as the similarity goes. The lower handle remains stationary. Moved with a pumping motion, the upper handle operates the pinking wheel through gears.
FOR more than 20 years, Dr. Donald H. Menzel, professor of astrophysics at Harvard, has been a friend and occasional contributor to POPULAR SCIENCE. One of his articles, which PS published under the title “Celestial Yardstick” in January 1943, told how the distance from the earth to the sun was measured.