Sir: Your article “How You Are Thrilled . . . but Not Killed” was very interesting, but the statement made on page 87 that the parachute jump at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park is the only one of its kind set me wondering. Living in Chicago, I have gone to Riverview Park and ridden on the parachute jump there.
Simpler controls for direction lights. Instead of the control arm beneath the steering wheel, why not have a button set in the cross arm so it could be reached with a thumb?—Jack Gehring, Watertown, N. Y. Markers in film cartons. An adhesive tab with the type of film and speeds printed on it could be stuck to the camera to remind the photographer what film he was using—E. B. Geisendorff, Jr., San Antonio, Tex.
ALL you need to play a juke box is a nickel. You don’t need to know music. You don’t have to finger an instrument, or write music, or even read it, to listen or dance. And certainly nobody expects you to pass an examination in the complex process between the first clunk and the last note.
This big paving project would make a fine speedway—if it didn’t have a more important job. The giant ditch is the main canal of the Columbia Basin Project, soon to irrigate 1,250,000 acres of potentially fertile desert in Washington State. The life-giving water will be pumped from Lake Roosevelt behind Coulee Dam to a storage reservoir (PS, Aug. ’49, p. 156) and then will flow through this canal to the farm area.
Designers abandon boxy front for sharp streamlining; engineers add tuned springs to smooth rough roads.
Reverses Styling Trend
Aero Noses Waited Two Years
New Cars Smooth at Top Speed
Softening Springs Increases Rate
Transverse Movement Also Limited
WHEN the late war was in its last months, the Studebaker Corp., pioneer automobile builder, called its designers into conference. The company’s top hands wanted a new car that would be radical enough to make the public whistle—and buy. The designers produced it.
Foil-Carrying Balloons Find Bight Spot for TV Antennas
BALLOONS not much bigger than the ones kids play with are now helping television service men find the right place for video antennas. The helium-filled Kytoonsⓣ actually carry a temporary antenna—strips of aluminum foil—up into the air to determine the height at which signals come in strongest.
THIS bazooka fights in the never-ending war against bugs. Although made only of cardboard—an old mailing tube—it shoots down insects almost anywhere out of doors. With one shot, it can spread insecticide through the top of an apple tree or over an area of 1,000 square feet.
Iron Can’t Scorch. You couldn’t scorch your clothing with this iron even if you left it right on the material. High-frequency electrodes under the table top create an electrostatic field between them and the iron. When the cloth is damp, it absorbs energy from the field and becomes hot.
WHEN you get your coffee out of this machine, you’re sure it’s fresh—roasted right before your eyes while you wait. The Infra Roastⓣ holds 150 pounds of green coffee and dispenses it, freshly roasted, at the rate of a pound a minute. The coffee goes first into a cylinder oven (see sketch at right above).
BEYOND 100 yards, you have to listen hard to hear this new 1½-kw. engine-generator above the chirp of a cricket. A labyrinth-like housing with a one-inch lining of Fiberglasⓣ absorbs most of the noise. For front-line military use, the generator was designed by the Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Fort Belvoir, Va.
THIS new RCA Victor projection-type television set features a remote-control box that lets you adjust brightness and contrast without leaving your chair. Usually available in the past only as custom equipment, the unit, with its connecting cord, permits continual adjustment of these controls from up to 25 feet from the set.
SIX of the largest Diesel engines ever built in the Western Hemisphere are now generating electricity for Mexico City. The new Tacubaya plant has a string of Nordberg Diesels each producing 7,350 hp., or 5,150 kilowatts, at Tacubaya’s 7,600-ft. altitude. Each has 12 cylinders of 29-in. bore, with a crankshaft weighing one ton per foot of length.
Vanishing Gas Traced. The fiery cross of gas above may lead to better electronic tubes filled with neon, argon, and helium. Their life is now limited because the gas gradually disappears as it is absorbed and permanently trapped in metal parts.
GLASS is being used in a new kind of wall that is thinner and cheaper, yet offers better protection against weather. The new walls are sandwich panels, made of concrete with a “filling” of foamed-glass bricks. The concrete-glass sandwiches can be made on the job in panels of any practical size.
HOW to measure a jet’s thrust—the equivalent of horsepower in a piston-engined plane—without actually flying the plane has been neatly solved by Grumman engineers. They literally put the plane on the stand—a new device called a thruststand. The plane is towed up a ramp and imprisoned on a movable platform.
Missouri plant turns out 200 to 300 barrels a day by squeezing hydrogen into coal under terrific pressure.
To Try Other Process
AT LONG last the United States has begun tapping its vast coal resources for synthetic gasoline. From 200 to 300 barrels of gasoline are being produced daily at a demonstration plant built and operated by the U. S. Bureau of Mines. It wrings gasoline from coal by an improvement on a German process.
THE veil of secrecy shrouding one of the hottest U. S. jet engines, the Westinghouse J-34, has been lowered enough to give you this inside peek. The 10-foot-long unit produces more than two and a half pounds of thrust for each of its 1,200 pounds of engine weight—equivalent to 5,000 hp. at high jet speeds.
NAVY scientists won’t miss any of the vitally important data being radioed down from sky-searching rockets. Their latest telemetering system has its receivers set up in a trailer that can be moved wherever reception is best. The trailer (left) contains two complete stations to handle the 60 messages at once sent from the research rockets.
PLASTICS, widely used as electrical insulators, now offer promise of filling new jobs in the electric and electronic fields. A new class of plastic materials under development by Markite Company, New York City, and Naval Ordnance Laboratory, makes it possible to mold plastic forms exhibiting a wide range of conductivities.
CROSLEY’S new, underslung roadster is designed to lead a double life. Strip off the windshield, headlamps, bumpers, top, and spare wheel—and you’ve got a racer. Christened the Hotshotⓣ and priced at less than $1,000, the roadster-racer represents Crosley’s answer to the small sports cars coming from Europe.
You can sun-broil yourself to just the right shade tan with a sun-tan meter developed by Hoyt S. Scott, GE engineer. The model above, for big indoor solaria, projects on a screen the image of a dial (inset) that tells how long you must sunbathe for one “minimum perceptible erythema” — a faint pink sunburn. It uses photocells, like those in photographic exposure meters, plus a complex set of filters and a fluorescent screen to limit measurements to the “colors” causing tanning.
ADHESIVE like that on cellulose tape holds this Acousticonⓣ hearing aid in place. Eliminating the pressure headband formerly used, the new device is less conspicuous and more comfortable to wear. The small button transmits sound by conduction through the skin and bones of the skull.
A PORTABLE elevator raises workmen high enough to clean light fixtures on a 23-foot ceiling, yet telescopes down low enough to pass through a narrow, seven-foot door. The Hydro-Liftⓣ, made by Safway Steel Products, Milwaukee, is raised by a hydraulic pump operated manually from the platform.
You still have to wash your hands yourself, but they may be dried automatically when placed under the Electronic Towelⓣ. A photoelectric cell starts off infrared units to heat the hands, a powerful hot-air blower, an ultraviolet-ray lamp to kill germs— and a counter to record the towel’s use.
WHEN Tony LeVier, Lockheed’s chief test pilot, whipped the XF-90 through its first flight recently, he wasn’t much surprised by its tricks. Six miniature replicas of the Air Force’s new needle-nosed jet had already told him what to expect.
WHIRRING like cicadas on a hot summer’s day, with amplified metallic voices, riveting hammers are assembling more than 13,000 tons of steel for the framework of the United Nations’ 42-story Secretariat Building in New York City. Familiar to steel men but ever new to spectators, the drama of flinging a tower at the sky is caught by the camera of a POPULAR SCIENCE photographer on these pages.
DRIVER’S-SEAT vision for all 43 passengers is the goal of this Scenicruiserⓣ bus now under test by Greyhound. The raised rear compartment is fitted with a curved windshield and safety-glass roof panels, glareproofed for sunny weather. At extreme rear, an eight-seat, semicircular lounge section faces observation windows that curve clear across the bus.
SEVENTY tons of carefully forged and machined steel form the core of a giant magnet (right) that nuclear scientists will use to bend cosmic rays. The magnet is part of a new pressurized cloud chamber being built at Brookhaven National Laboratory to learn more about the mysterious, powerful rays from outer space.
You needn’t dig for items in the back of this new True-Zoneⓣ refrigerator. Instead of a door, it has drawers like a filing cabinet. The flat Formicaⓣ top, 36 in. high, adds kitchen work space. Drawers have rustproof slides and nylon rollers that need no oiling.
WHEN the mercury soared over 90 in his Kansas wheatfield, farmer John Blackwell added a new attachment to his combine—a cooling blower fan. Shown below, it shoots fresh air down through a hole in an improvised roof onto the operator. A belt connected to the combine’s elevator sprocket drives the fan.
Engineers wield man-made thunderbolts in awe-inspiring tests of electric devices.
Alden P. Armagnac
IF LIGHTNING struck within a few feet of you, and you were lucky enough to stay alive, what would it look and sound like? Standing behind protective wire grating in a hangarlike building at Pittsfield, Mass., you can safely learn the answers.
A NEW instrument shows metallurgists how alloys act at the high temperatures in jet and rocket engines. The device is a camera with a built-in electric furnace—shown disassembled above, and in use with an X-ray generator at right. It takes X-ray shadow pictures of the arrangement of atoms in the heated test specimen.
DECONTAMINATION crews in an atomic war might wear glass clothing to shield them against deadly rays. The smock at right above, made of lead-glass fiber, gives better protection than the apron of leadfilled rubber at left—yet weighs only two ounces more.
IT TAKES a noisy room to learn how to make one that’ll be quiet. So Johns-Manville engineers test soundproofing materials in a two-story-high concrete room that creates sustained echoes (started by loudspeaker, top of photo). The reduction in echo time caused by different sound absoi'bers laid in the floor rates each one.
SINCE mathematicians can’t figure out exactly how much weight a spherical shell will support before caving in, British engineers tested out such a structure by simply piling bricks on it. As a result, they claim that a new aluminum roof of this design is as strong as a similar steel one.
BRITAIN’S faith in flying boats and turboprop propulsion is borne out by the huge Saunders-Roe 10-engine Princessⓣ, now nearing completion at Cowes, Isle of Wight. Designed for flights across the Atlantic to South America, the SR/45 will accommodate 85 passengers, plus a crew of 14.
A NEW way to impregnate metals with graphite may prolong the life of your car and other machinery, too. Graphite, the slippery black form of the element carbon, is most commonly seen as the “lead” in lead pencils. It is also an excellent lubricant, widely used on door hinges and the like.
VISITORS to the 1949 Railroad Fair in Chicago can have a heart-to-heart chat with Paul Bunyan, legendary super-lumberjack of the North Woods. A complex array of microphones, sound-recorders, speakers, electric motors, and gears enables the giant figure to talk with passers-by and answer their questions.
Jet Fights at Night. The revamped and elongated nose of this version of the famous Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star is packed with radar, enabling it to fly and fight in pitch darkness and under all weather conditions. Designated the F-94, it is the Connie’s Humps Test Gear.
THE specially built, $4,500 jeep at right is the first of 65 that will tour the world for the U. S. State Department to help spread the “Voice of America.” Power for its movie and radio equipment comes from a 3,000-watt generator. Long cables permit indoor movies to be shown in villages lacking electricity.
THROUGH the television camera pictured here, hundreds of doctors at this year’s American Medical Association convention saw full-color close-ups of surgical operations. The telecast, by wire, requires only two TV men in the operating room—one to handle the camera boom and one at a monitor screen to focus the camera and blend the colors.
THE 12 steel fingers on this small handcar take the place of a dozen workmen in tamping ballast under railroad ties. One man operates the hydraulic tampers while another moves the car from tie to tie with a large handwheel geared to the wheels.
Fastest planes clocked by electronic equipment that can tick off flying time between exactly spaced radio walls.”
STREAKING between two parallel radio beams that flare into space 11 miles apart, Air Force speedsters can now be timed automatically with an accuracy of 1/1,000 of a second. And they can fly as high as 30,000 feet while making their speed runs.
EVER have a hard time making yourself heard through a receptionist’s glass enclosure? Well, you won’t in the POPULAR SCIENCE office. A special frame built into the window (above) lets our receptionist hear a visitor speak in a normal tone, yet prevents drafts and germs from reaching her.
Now they’re checking out cakes in this old Air Force high-altitude chamber. Home economists of Pillsbury Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, used it to test prepared cake mixes. A recipe that produces a perfectly baked cake in sealevel New York may give a leaden “failure” in mile-high Denver, for example, because of the change in atmospheric pressure.
EVEN the accidental spilling of hot salad oil (as below) won’t mar the new, heat-resistant, plastic work surface used by Frigidaire on kitchen cabinets and electric water heaters. Called Vitalastⓣ, the grease- and acid-resistant finish is permanently bonded to steel by a special heat and pressure process to prevent buckling, and molded in one piece to eliminate crevices that catch food particles.
RESEMBLING a powder box, the container below is really a springless mousetrap. To set it, you raise a pin (barely seen at left) and move the rotating partition against a stop. This opens the door (shown partially open) at the side of the trap.
THE gloves a well-dressed worker wears these days are a far cry from those white kids your best girl wore at the Junior Prom. Strictly for protection on the job, work gloves can be pretty unusual looking, as shown in this assortment. Made of leather, nylon, asbestos, and rubber, they run the gamut from a woman’s flimsy nylon glove — used in the stocking industry to prevent the snagging of hosiery — to a strong, saddle-leather hand pad that safeguards handlers of sharp-edged materials and hot objects.
THIS collapsible metal crate, with a combination lock on its door, fills the Army’s prescription for one of its most bothersome peacetime headaches: pilferage of overseas shipments of soldiers’ household goods. Quickly set up from six panels of corrugated aluminum, the new “transporter” measures 8 ft. 6 in. long, 6 ft. 3 in. wide, 6 ft. 10/2 in. high.
SMALL as a nickel, this miniature FlyFoneⓣ radio headset fits snugly into a pilot’s ear and brings signals directly to the eardrum. The maker, Air Market Associates, of Dallas, claims that the new device not only does away with the fatiguing pressure of old-type headsets but is 12 times more sensitive.
THE lady under this plastic headpiece is getting a dose of smog, made up of smoke and fog. Photoelectric cells attached to glassless goggles record blinks due to eye irritation. She reads a book to produce uniform reactions. The test is part of a study being made by Stanford Research Institute to find out more about the smog that often blots out Los Angeles’ sunshine.
WHEN sparks fly, a worker wearing this new face shield is fully protected. A hard fiber top guards the forehead, while a non-inflammable, vinyl-plastic visor covers the face and neck. The turn of a knob adjusts the headband to fit any head. Made by the Mine Safety Appliances Co., of Pittsburgh, the helmet also offers protection against flying particles and splashing acids.
THIS mask of cellulose acetate, with optically ground lenses, is science’s latest contribution to football. Intended for players who require glasses, the new mask covers the face from forehead to upper lip. Breather holes prevent fogging.
RADAR, SO long kept under wraps for security reasons, now has gone under cover again. But this time it is “cover” in the literal meaning of the word — shelter to protect expensive and delicate equipment from the destructive elements of nature in extreme climates.
THE city of Santa Monica, Calif., neatly solved the problem of where to store 5,000,000 gallons of drinking water by digging a reservoir under a wide, hilltop street. The pavement was ripped up and a trench 660 ft. long, 29 deep, and 50 wide was dug and lined with two feet of poured concrete.
THIS ax tells almost everything about a tree — besides cutting it. The reverse edge has a circular cutter that brings a neat core out of the trunk for measuring growth rate. One-foot marks on the handle permit quick calculation of tree diameter. When handle, held erect at arm’s length, covers tree, distance from you to tree is same as tree’s height.
CRAYONS that tell how hot a piece of metal is are now available for temperatures from 130° F. to as high as 2,000°. A smear made with a Tempilstikⓣ starts to liquefy only at the temperature marked on the crayon. Used in welding, tempering, forging, and casting, the heat-sensitive crayons — and similar pellets and lacquer — are made by the Tempil Corp., of New York City.
WALTER W. LETTS doesn’t look much like that mythical giant of a lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. Yet he has successfully imitated one of Paul’s tricks—running a sawmill backwards to make good logs out of waste. Letts turns waste sawdust into useful briquettes, finger-sized cylinders that can be burned like charcoal.
THE textbooks say pure water turns to ice at 32°F. But now GE researchers have proved the books are wrong. Absolutely pure water, they found, won’t freeze until you cool it down around 4° below zero! In a series of experiments at the General Electric Research Laboratory, Robert SmithJohannsen carefully cooled drops of water in a special apparatus (shown in drawing and photos at right) while he watched for ice crystals to form in the drops.
WATER is squeezed out of the family wash in almost the same way used by an old-fashioned laundress in the new automatic Bendix washer below. When this agitator type of machine finishes washing and rinsing, a vacuum is created inside the tub. This sucks the flexible plastic lining in, squeezing the wash damp-dry.
FROM the top of a mountain deep in a national forest, a lonely lookout slowly scans the neighboring slopes. Suddenly his eyes focus on a tiny puff of smoke. Within a few minutes a plane loaded with paratroopers heads for the fire. These paratroopers carry no guns.
Out of production for nearly a year, the Special makes a new bid for a share of the auto market, offering increased safety and comfort.
A DOZEN years ago Buick automobiles broke into the country’s best-seller list with a “little” car tailored for the man who wanted something better at an in-between price. It was given the unimaginative name of “Special” and promptly became the bestknown vehicle in the company’s entire line.
THIS British Bentley is deliberately dragging its feet so engineers can test the effects of prolonged acceleration. Since acceleration normally occurs quickly, the only way to get a good long look at what happens is to hold the car back while it tries to go faster. Here’s where the trailer comes in.
“SAFETY-GLASS” lenses that even an air rifle can’t shatter are now available for spectacles. In the demonstration above, a marksman sent a BB shot right through an ordinary lens, but could only crack the safety lens. Intended mainly for wear by children, the new lenses are a glass-plastic sandwich, like auto windows.
SEVEN men demonstrate the strength of this new all-plastic cabinet for a console television set by standing on it. The cabinet is molded in a single, 35-lb. piece by a huge shell-case press originally built for the Russian Government. Molded Products Corp., Chicago, produces it for a new 10-in.-screen Admiral set that retails for about $250.
PLAYING leapfrog and laying portable bridges, new British tanks demonstrated their ability to hurdle ravines and excavated “tank traps” in recent maneuvers. One turret-less type with ramps at each end fits itself into a gap up to 15 feet wide—and assault tanks then rumble to the attack over its back.
Smoky exhausts and expensive repair jobs usually go hand in hand, but the smoker a state cop drags in needs only the quick treatment.
He Didn't Knote It, He Says
Who Murdered Staunton?
TROOPER Jerry Corcoran likes action. And that was exactly what he hadn’t been getting for the past few weeks. All the action he’d seen recently was his regular patrol. Corcoran was bored. In fact, he was more than bored. He was irritated. He sat his parked motorcycle just off the highway at an intersection, watching the late afternoon traffic outbound from the city.
Solvent Stays Clean. Harry Morse, of Oakland, Calif., suggests putting a screen in your parts-cleaning bucket when you’re taking down a unit. It lets dirt settle to the bottom and keeps it from being stirred up while you’re brushing parts.
IF THE water-circulating holes in an aluminum cylinder head have eroded away, lead-jacketed anchors used to set bolts in masonry (see upper right) will make a repair. Directly above, at the top, is an eroded head and below it one fixed in this manner.
MANY garages are so placed that you must tum a sharp curve while entering or leaving. W. E. Nichols, of Santa Monica, Calif., solved the problem as above. When the bumper strikes a spring-loaded cable stretched parallel to one side of the doorway, a pivoted lever attached to the cable turns on a snap switch, ringing a doorbell mounted in the garage.
NORMAN E. TIMBS, auto designer of Van Nuys, Calif., stands at the rear of his $10,000 ultra-streamlined car. The chassis is of tubular construction with independent rear suspension by means of a swing axle. Although the wheelbase is 117", the 2,300-lb. car is 210" long. A late-model Buick engine behind the driver’s seat powers the streamliner, The hydraulically lifted rear deck covers engine, gas tank, and spare wheel.
DESIGNED for highway travel as well as work in rugged country, this vehicle built by the Rover Co., Ltd., a British concern, is powered by a 4-cylinder, 97.29 cu. in. engine of 50 hp. The transmission includes a transfer assembly that gives both twoor four-wheel drives and eight forward speeds.
A traffic-warning signal and work light are combined in this repair lamp, made by Alden Products Co., Brockton, Mass. A blinking red signal faces traffic, a continuous white light illuminates the work area. For use, it’s opened as above and a 17' cord plugged into the cigar-lighter socket.
FABRIC woven of Fiberglasⓣ yarns coated with Vinyliteⓣ resins is now being marketed as a material for covering convertible tops. Developed by Cordo Chemical Corp., Norwalk, Conn., the fabric doesn’t stretch or shrink and can be cleaned with soap and a damp cloth.
BLUE-TINTED glass on this new automobile visor is said to offer glare protection from both sunlight and headlights. In addition, the transparent area allows you to see overhead traffic signals without neck-craning or crouching. Made by Knowles-Fisher Corp., Gowanda, N. Y., to fit most makes of cars, the visor is attached to the rain gutter with inconspicuous clamps.
MADE of two telescoping steel tubes, this clothes tree is kept in position by pressure against the roof and floor. Williams Mfg. Co., Anaheim, Calif., prices it at about $4 in black finish, $7.50 in chrome. The notched arm holds 20 hangers.
PRESSING a small button allows this steering-wheel spinner to be flipped down if you don’t want to use it. It clicks up again just as easily. In either position, the knob clears the horn ring. The spinner is made by the Santay Corporation, of Chicago.
By following this simple method, you ca create a map of your land that will help you make the most of its features.
Compass Keeps Map on Beam
Sheldon M. Gallayer
FITTING a house, or any other man-made feature, to a piece of land is like buying a suit of clothes—the tailor must know your special dimensions and contours before he can make it fit right. Only there’s no trying a house on for size, no taking it back for a second fitting.
YOU never have to feed the fish in this aquarium or worry about the cat snatching them for a quick snack. The aquarium lamp also serves a double purpose—a reading lamp and a night light. The fish, internally carved in plastic, are edge-lighted by a 7watt bulb in the base that throws a soft glow throughout the room.
INDOORS or out, you’ll find this rolling utility table an all-round work horse. During the winter, you can use it as a workshop table, kitchen table, or snack server. In warm months, it can be trundled outdoors. Its electrical connection may be used either to prepare meals or power a hand grinder, drill, or soldering iron.
PARTS of an old orange crate provided all the stock needed to build this copy of an Early American salt box. Outside the kitchen, it’ll hold gloves, keys, or cigarettes. You can build it with hand tools by altering the design to a straight front and a butt joint at the bottom instead of the rabbet.
ONE of the largest of the dinosaurs, the brontosaurus, is carved in miniature to decorate this utility desk box. The recessed base holds cellulose tape and thumbtacks. I used 2" redwood with the grain running the length of the figure. This wood carves easily and needs only a coat of shellac to finish it.
THE myriad bits and pieces of a youngster’s construction set won’t get scattered and lost so easily if you build him this playroom toy chest. Instead of drawers, it has six removable trays that may be slipped from the rack and carried to any part of the house.
A SMALL steel clip, fitted over a lineman’s climbing belt, will help prevent injury if his spikes slip. Should he start sliding, the points of the clip—mounted on the inner side of the belt—hold the belt to the pole and stop the fall. All parts of the assembly except the spring are 16-gauge stainless steel.
WHEN a tumbler is placed on this bracket, both your toothbrushes and their holder are protected from dust. Cut the parts from hardwood and stain or wax them before assembly. The part that supports the dowel is attached by two countersunk wood screws through the back.
WATER depths to 100' can quickly be measured with the Depthometerⓣ. When the brake screw is released, a weight takes the line to the bottom and the depth is read on the line. Then the water-resistant line, marked at 1' intervals, is reeled in and the brake reset.
EXPERIMENTAL planes usually take shape first as scale models, possibly in several forms. Though ornamental, their purposes are entirely practical. By examining them, engineers can clear up many design points long before the real plane hits the air.
TURNING out unusual miniatures—from guns to grandfather clocks—is the hobby of Dr. Elmer McKeen, a Huntington Park, Calif., dentist. Among the models that have come from his workship to date are a scale replica of Big Bertha, Germany’s World War I monster railroad cannon, tiny pianos, the boiler and engine of a tugboat, and naval guns.
Flue Heat Prevents Flu. After insulating the heater pipes in my basement, I found I had done too good a job. The basement remained downright cold, threatening me with pneumonia. But lots of heat was still going out the smoke pipe. To save some of this, I wired a fan in parallel with the oilburner motor and set it up facing the pipe.
How fast can you drill eight holes in a board and set in short dowels? That’s just about how long it will take you to make this fruit bowl. Virtually the only work done on the plastic is finishing the edges; you can do the shaping in half a minute. A sheet of embossed ⅛" Plexiglasⓣ 12" by 12" was used for the dish shown.
It takes some figuring to set table, gauge, or jig, but machines then make taper cutting rapid and uniform.
Edwin M. Love
IF YOU consider tapering as a single operation, it’s easy to see how machines take the labor out of slanting the edge of a board. Set the table, fence, or gauge, and the machine does the rest. But the real advantage of power tools lies in the fact that you hardly ever want a single' taper, for one-legged tables and chairs are almost as rare as onesided boxes.
Mortise Cut with Drill. Here is an adapter that brings your mortising chisel and electric drill together to form a mortising tool that’s portable. Adapter and chisel can be fitted to a drill of any size in a matSaw Frame Resists Twist. The frame back of this hacksaw consists of a single piece of steel tubing.
IF YOU operate small workshop machines, you must have seen how accidents begin. Maybe a drill jams, a clamp works loose, or a holder was improperly tightened. You see the accident begin, and you see it happen, but you can’t prevent it. With both hands busy, you can’t reach the motor switch.
Speedily set up, the rest is still capable of highly accurate shaping. The chucked work is locked stationary when a flat is being filed.
New Compound-Action Pliers Lock onto Work
Gauge Sets Mortising Chisel to 1/16" Clearance
Roller Backs Up Jigsaw Blade
Table Has Built-in Fan
HERE’S an unusual but extremely useful lathe accessory. Set up in the compound rest in a matter of seconds, it helps you file accurate flats, squares, hexes, and other polygons on chucked work. During filing the work is locked by the indexing pin or the back gears.
Drill-Press Chains. In our school shop we’ve found good use at the drill press for three lengths of light chain. One keeps the chuck key from straying, and another does the same for the cutting-oil can. The third, protected with a spring (arrow), stops the table if the clamp is carelessly loosened.
Enlarger Reduces. One-to-one, or smaller, prints may be made with an Omega D-IIⓣ enlarger by increasing the distance from film to lens as shown in the above photo. In the top of a cardboard box, cut a hole large enough to accommodate the negative. Place the negative carrier on the box top and slip box and carrier under the condensers.
Ever wonder how news photographers make prints so quickly? You can do the same—for fun or profit.
Kenneth M. Swezey
IN PHOTOGRAPHY, speed is spelled with a dollar sign. A photo developed and printed in a matter of minutes is often worth money. If you work fast, a shot with top news value will find a welcome from your newspaper.
KITS of prefabricated boat parts—for craft ranging from an 8' dinghy to a 23' cabin cruiser—are offered by U-Mak-It Products, Marine Division, of New York City. Each package includes necessary screws, bolts, glue, seam compound, and basic fittings, but no ornamental hardware.
Take your pick of a minimum tubeless circuit, an instant-heating battery job, or a heavy-duty AC-DC unit.
IF YOU live or work in more than a couple of rooms, the question you may well ask yourself is not whether you need an intercom but what kind of intercom you need. These tireless servants run your errands faithfully to save you countless steps. At home they make it unnecessary to shout from cellar to attic; at work they lighten the load on telephone extensions and get your message through fast.
Unit Modernizes Old TV Sets. If you have an early TV receiver that tunes to only 3 or 5 channels, this remote control unit will help bring it up to date. Designed for use with any type of receiver, the unit provides tuning on all channels. It turns the set on and off, tunes in stations, and controls contrast and brightness from positions up to 50' away.
A HANDSOME mantel clock deserves a handsome mantel. If you have the clock and not the mantel, this brass-railed shelf offers a happy substitute. Select stock to harmonize with the clock case—mahogany, black walnut, or other cabinet wood. Black walnut was the choice for the shelf shown.
A BUTTON-SHAPED flexible insert, pressed permanently into a light socket, prevents shocks to probing fingers. The brass center ring makes contact only when a bulb is screwed in but breaks the circuit when the bulb is removed. Shock Stopperⓣ is manufactured by Container Specialty Co., Cleveland, and is priced at three for 25 cents.
FOR engraving tumblers with a hand grinder, you’ll find a wide variety of designs in a wallpaper sample book. Cut out the pattern, leaving enough margin to encircle the inside of the glass and to rest on the bottom. Stuff cloth inside to hold the design in place while engraving.
INSERTED instead of the needle, this knife-edged attachment rips seams just about as fast as they were sewn in by the machine. The ripper penetrates material by spreading the weave without cutting the cloth. Machine-sewn seams, more taut than the material, resist the ripper’s pressure and are cut.
THIS simple hat cord, secured to the sweatband by two metal clips, keeps your hat in place in wind or weather. It can be transferred from one hat to another, since the clips are slipped over the band and held by pressure when the hat is worn. Bend up the clips from tin-can stock and use plastic cord.
FLASHLIGHT sockets for models can be made from ordinary slip-on pencil erasers. Cut off enough of the rubber so only the metal part of the bulb is covered. Punch a hole in the side and another in the end. Push contact wires through the side and end, looping them as shown in the drawing above.
SKIDDING a rowboat ashore to tip, drain, ind clean it can be quite a chore, especially if one man has to do the job. A simple rig that will do everything but clean the boat for you can be built of scrap lumber and a couple of saplings. The one pictured in use at a fishing camp near Remer, Minn., is being handled by two men.
No HOLES need be drilled nor any other changes made in a canoe to mount this motor bracket. It’s sturdy enough to handle a 1½-hp. motor easily, and it can quickly be attached or removed without tools. Two wing nuts and a C clamp hold it securely.
FLUORESCENT-TUBE starters that have glass-enclosed heat-sensitive switches may be converted to small but reliable thermostats. One excellent application for them is in a homemade fire-alarm system that will protect your home, shop, or garage.
IN A pinch you can rig up your drill press to handle small jigsawing jobs. The stunt is made possible with a coarse spiral blade held tight as it spins. Though designed for reciprocating motion, these blades will actually spin through wood as thick as ⅞.
You can convert your kitchen mixer to a wider range of jobs around the house with the Toolzonⓣ, a simple adapter that fits most mixers. Attachments include a drill chuck, buffer, and a flexible-backed sanding disk coated with aluminum oxide. The bonnet of the buffer is ¾" wool pile.
EDGES of blueprints, maps, sheet music, and other frequently handled papers can be kept from fraying by binding with tape. A tape dispenser produced by Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., St. Paul, Minn., is designed especially for this job. It can also be used to reinforce the fold in sheet music and other papers.
ANY plastic that softens when heated can be decorated by embossing with countersinks, end mills, and other common workshop tools. Above, a ½" end mill is being used to emboss a piece of ¼" Plexiglasⓣ. This became the drawer pull shown below. For such work, chuck the tool in a drill press, heat the plastic until soft, rest it on a piece of glass or polished metal on the drill press table, and bring the tool down against the plastic by operating the spindle feed.
ROUGH paving often causes a bicycle bell to jingle. Here’s a muffler that will stop this. It consists of rubber tubing fitted on an aluminum extension bolted to the regular operating lever. The extension is shaped so the rubber rests against the bell while the latter is not in use.
WHY will a pair of polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from glare at the beach? What happens when you use a polarizing filter on a camera? How does a polarized visor improve your driving vision? All these useful devices rely on polarized light.
ADDING a two-speed model of the Britishmade Albion transmission to a standard Whizzer bike motor increased the top speed and added power on the getaway, according to Bob Pfetzing, of Moline, Ill., who built the hybrid machine. Clutch and throttle controls are hand operated, as on a standard Whizzer.
SMALL collets that’ll equip a hand grinder to hold drills from Nos. 60 to 80 may be made from paper clips and cellulose tape. From small clips, cut ¾" lengths. Point the ends on a grinding wheel to deburr them. Lay the pointed wires on a magnet, as shown in the sketch, and press a strip of tape over them.
THIS 14" by 18" magnetic bulletin board for the home comes with six small magnets that anchor memos and shopping lists to the board. A magnetic pencil holder also is included. Magnetic Merchandising, Inc., New York City, prices the board at about $2.
A FEW pine boards and hand tools transformed an inexpensive iron cot into the day bed pictured above—a welcome addition to a playroom, porch, or summer cottage. The boards make a framework that fits over and conceals the cot. The first step is to cut down the cot, if it needs it.
WORKING on the percolator principle, the Percomatic Basterⓣ intermittently squirts fluid from the bottom of a roaster over meat being cooked. The four-piece unit, made by the Paul V. Shell Co., Kansas City, is placed on the bottom of the pan with the foot strap under the roast or fowl.
SHELVES built between the ceiling joists in my basement workshop provide additional storage space for small items. I use cheese boxes to hold the articles. The boxes are numbered and indexed, making it easy to find the desired object. This method of storage in otherwise wasted space provides a drier place than nearer the basement floor, and also keeps the articles from children.
FOR easy handling of the bow of my runabout, I made a small bale hook that fits in the towing eye on the stem. It’s a short length of 5/16" brass rod, bent as shown, and threaded on the straight end. A nut holds the rod to the handle. Such a hook is especially useful when the boat is fitted with detachable launching wheels (PS, July ’49, p. 211)
PUSHING a shovel into the earth can become tiresome because of the sharpness of the edge on which your foot presses. A comfortable foothold may be made by riveting to the shovel edge a strip of T- or L- shaped metal as shown in the photo. I cut a piece from an old sled runner and bent it to match the contour of the shovel.
WAR-SURPLUS radar equipment is playing a big part in the mechanization of farms in the El Paso, Illinois, area. Installed as part of an experiment in inducing rain artificially, the radar scope has shown that the course and speed of approach of rain clouds can be plotted very accurately.
SITTING on top of the ground on crosspiece feet, these fence posts can quickly be set up or moved to a new location. Wire can be attached or removed without tools. The post is placed so that the slot in the insulator parallels the wire. Then the post is turned 90°, locking the wire in the plastic insulator.
ON THIS Iowa farm, a belt conveyor—ordinarily used to move grain—is also put to work transferring bales of hay from truck to barn. The bales are merely turned at an angle and dropped on the moving belt.
PULLING a wire at the top of this rake’s handle scrapes leaves and trash off the teeth. To make it, notch one edge of a sheet of aluminum to suit your rake. Mount it as shown, using a piece of spring steel and a butt hinge. The wire is attached to an angle iron riveted to the aluminum.
A METAL disk about 1' in diameter—a heavy aluminum pie pan will do— and a iron rod at least 2' long made this tray. Drill a hole in the center of the disk. Thread one end of the rod and sharpen the other for sticking in the ground. Washers and nuts threaded on the rod hold the tray.
BESIDES improving the appearance of a farm, a barnyard gate of this type is “stock tight.” The closely spaced pickets keep in pigs or chickens should they escape from their pens.—A. M. Wettach, Mt. Pleasant, la.
THERE’D be fewer arguments over rifle scores with this Eze-Scorerⓣ, a simulated bullet in a plastic magnifier. Inserted in a bullet hole, it enlarges your view of target area so that the close scores become more readable. It comes in .22, .38, and .45 calibers.
You can improve your golf swing without teeing up or chasing balls with this practice device. Made by Taylor Products, of Detroit, it consists of a ball on the end of a springsteel arm that spins around on a ball-bearing spindle when the ball is hit.
THIS new fishing-pole holder keeps the pole within quick reach of the fisherman as he rows the boat. Unlike most holders, which clamp on the stern, this fits under the seat, holding the upper part of the pole’s handle in a rubber ring while the lower part clamps into a spring clip.
FISHERMEN, long faced with the problem of keeping minnows alive for bait, can keep them happy and healthy for weeks in this new Ful-O-Lifeⓣ refrigerated minnow box. One side is a tank for the minnows, while the other holds a cake of ice. The ice keeps the water cooled to a point where it retains the oxygen required by the minnows to live.
FILLED with only two ounces of LobLure®, a new artificial lobster bait, this small, 6-inch-long basket is all that’s needed to replace the five pounds of dead and decaying fish normally required to lure a lobster. Under water, the bait, which comes in putty form, slowly dissolves, attracting the lobster to the trap.
No Soggy Soap. One of life’s petty annoyances, that jelly-like mush on the bottom of a bar of soap, is eliminated by this holder. Made of Bakeliteⓣ to fit all soap dishes, the holder raises the bar of soap, permitting the water to flow away. The maker, H. P. Matson Co., of Akron, O., prices it at 10 cents.
CHEAP CAR rumors are rife again, but don’t take them seriously.No big company plans even a stripped-down model, because:(l)glamour jobs sell better,(2)production has to be hitched to sales,(3)prices can be cut only peanuts-worth of raw steel,glass,rubber costs.