The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1
Part 13 out of 15
the sealed end, the tube is held steadily so that the flame will
heat one small portion ( B, Fig. 2 ). After this small portion is
heated blow into the tube, not very hard, but just enough to cause
tube to bulge out. Allow to cool. Then reheat the small bulged
portion, blow quite hard, so that the glass will be blown out at
this point, forming a small hole. Now insert about 1/2 in. of
platinum wire and reheat, holding platinum
[Illustration: Making the U-Tube]
wire by means of a small pliers so that it will be partly in the
tube and partly without. The platinum will stick to the glass, and
if glass is sufficiently heated one will be able to pull it, by
means of pliers, from one side of the hole to the other, thus
sealing the wire into the tube. Another wire is sealed in the same
way about 1 in. from the first. Now, to bend the tube, one must
hold it, with both hands, in the flame and turn constantly until
soft. Quickly withdraw from flame and bend, just as you would a
piece of copper wire. Allow to cool slowly.
The several tubes are connected with a short piece of rubber
The total cost of materials for constructing the apparatus
complete will not amount to more than one dollar.
--Contributed by M. G. Kopf, Lewis Institute, Chicago.
** Weatherproofing for Tents 
Dissolve 4 oz. sulphate of zinc in 10 gal. water; add 1/2 lb.
sal-soda; stir well until dissolved, and add 1/2 oz. tartaric
acid. Put the tent cover in this solution and let lie 24 hrs. Take
out (do not wring it) and hang up to dry. Grinnell's Hand Book on
** Sawing Sheet Metal 
Sheet metal placed between two boards in the jaws of a vise and
clamped tightly, can be sawed easily with a hacksaw.
** A Monoplane Weather Vane 
The toy windmill or weather vane shown in the sketch is made to
represent a Bleriot monoplane.
[Illustration: Wire and Sheet-Metal Vane]
The propeller is turned by the wind. The frame is made of heavy
wire and connected with straps of tin. The construction is plainly
shown in the illustration. The windmill vane can be made in any
size to suit the builder.
--Contributed by W. C. Bliss, St. Louis, Missouri.
** How to Make a Minnow Trap 
Glass minnow traps that will give as good service as those
purchased at the tackle store can be made without difficulty. If a
trap should be banged carelessly against the side of the boat or
some other obstruction and smashed, instead of spending several
dollars to replace it, a half hour's time will turn out a new one
just as good, says a correspondent of Outing.
A trap of this kind can be made from an ordinary fruit jar such as
used in putting up preserves, either of one or two-quart capacity.
A one-quart jar gives good results, but if the bait to be caught
is of fairly large size, the two quart size may be used. As the
jars have the same style top they can be used interchangeably with
The mouthpiece is made of a round neck bottle of which the glass
is colorless and rather thin. If the neck of the bottle is cut at
the right point, it makes a glass funnel that will just fit into
the fruit jar. The funnel forms the mouth of the trap. Put the
neck of the bottle into the fruit jar and mark the glass with a
file where the bottle and jar meet. Make as deep a cut as possible
with a file around the bottle on the mark and place two turns of a
yarn string saturated in kerosene around just below the cut when
the bottle is standing in an upright position. Set fire to the
string and turn the bottle from side to side to distribute the
heat evenly, then when the string has burned out, plunge the
bottle in cold water and it will separate on the cut.
Bind some copper wire around the neck of the jar so that three
ends will project 1/2 in. or more. These are bent down over the
funnel when put into the jar, forming clamps to hold it in place.
The copper wire can be bent many times in emptying or baiting the
trap without breaking.
Two copper wire bands are tied tightly around the jar about 3 in.
apart. They should be twisted tight with a pair of pliers and the
ends joined, forming a ring for attaching a cord.
For catching "kellies" or "killies," bait the trap with crushed
clams or salt-water mussels and for fresh water shiners use
mincemeat or bread crumbs and do not spill any bait outside of the
trap. Leave the trap down ten to fifteen minutes and when
resetting it after emptying, put back one or two of the victims,
as the others enter more readily if they see some of their
companions ahead of them.
** A Remedy for Leaking Fountain Pens 
Fountain-pen leaks may often be prevented by unscrewing the joint
and lightly smearing the screw with vaseline. This also makes it
easy to unscrew the joint for filling.
** Kites of Many Kinds and How to Make Them 
One of the prettiest of all is the butterfly kite. To make this
get two thin kite sticks of equal length. Bend each in an are,
tying one end of a strong string to one end of each stick and the
other end of the string to a point about 3 in. from the other end
of the stick. This leaves one end of each stick free, hooking over
the hemisphere described by the thread and the stick. Now tie
another thread to
[Illustration: Boy Kite]
each of these free ends and tie the other end of the thread to a
point near the other end of the stick, corresponding with the
distance from the end at which the first strings were tied on the
opposite side. This done, you should have two arched frames, each
an exact counterpart of the other in size, curvature and weight.
Now fasten the two frames together so that the arcs will overlap
each other as shown in the sketch. Bind the intersecting points
securely with thread. To make the butterfly's head, secure two
heavy broom straws or two short wires, and
[Illustration: Girl Kite]
attach them to the top part of the wing frames near where the
sticks intersect, so that the straws or wires will cross. These
form the antennae, or the "smellers." Then select the color of
paper you want, yellow, brown, blue, white or any other color; lay
it on a flat surface and place the frame on top of it, holding the
frame down securely with a weight. Then with a pair of scissors
cut the paper around the frame, leaving about a 1/2-in. margin for
pasting. Cut slits in the paper about 2 in. apart around the
curves and at all angles to keep the paper from wrinkling when it
is pasted. Distribute the paste with a small brush and make the
overlaps a little more than 1/4 in. wide and press them
[Illustration: Butterfly Kite]
together with a soft cloth. When the kite is dry decorate it with
paint or strips of colored paper in any design you may fancy. The
best effects are produced by pasting pieces of colored paper on
top of the other paper. Black paper decorations show up to fine
advantage when the kite is in flight. Attach the "belly-band" to
[Illustration: Frame for Girl Kite]
curved sticks by punching a hole in the paper in the same manner
as it is attached to the common hexagonal or coffin-shaped kite.
With a tail, your kite is ready to fly. Another interesting design
is the boy kite. With light colored coat and vest and gay striped
trousers, the kite standing high in the air always attracts
attention and affords splendid sport for the American youth in
In making a boy kite it should be remembered that the larger the
boy is the better he will fly. To construct the frame, two
straight sticks, say 3-1/2 ft. long, should serve for the legs and
[Illustration: Frame for Boy Kite]
body; another straight stick forms the spine and should be about 2
ft. 4 in. long. For the arms, get a fourth straight stick about 3
ft. 3 in. long. Make the frame for the head by bending a light
tough stick in a circle about 7 in. in diameter. Bind it tightly
with a strong thread and through its center run the spine. Then
tack on the arm stick 3 in. under the circle so that the spinal
column crosses the arm stick exactly in the center. Wrap tightly
with strong thread and tack on the two sticks that are to serve
for the legs and body. The leg sticks should be fastened to the
arm stick about 6 in. on either side of the spinal column, and
crossed so that the other ends are 3 ft. apart. Tack them and the
arm stick together at the point where they intersect. Small hoops
and cross stick of the same material as the head frame should be
fastened to both extremities of the arm stick and the lower ends
of the leg stick for the hands and feet. See that both hand frames
are exactly alike and exercise equal caution regarding the foot
frames; also see that the arm stick is at exact right angles with
the spine stick and that the kite joints are all firmly tied and
the kite evenly balanced; otherwise it may be lopsided. Fasten on
the strings of the frame, beginning at the neck at equal distances
from the spine, as indicated by the dotted lines in the diagram.
Extend a string slantingly from the arms tick to the head on both
sides of the spinal column, and run all the other strings as shown
in the cut, being careful that both sides of the frame correspond
To cover the kite, select different colors of paper to suit your
taste, and after pasting them together, lay the paper on the floor
and placing the frame on it, cut out the pattern. Leave an edge of
1/2 in. all around and make a slit in this edge every 6 in. and at
each angle; make the slits 2 in. apart around the head. After the
kite is pasted and dry, paint the buttons, hair, eyes, hands,
feet, etc., as you desire. Arrange the "belly band" and tail band
and attach the kite string in the same manner as in the ordinary
The "lady kite" is made on the same principle as the boy kite. The
frame may be made exactly as the boy kite and then "dressed" with
tissue paper to represent a girl, or it may be made on the special
frame, page 81. Remember the dotted lines represent the strings or
thread, and the other lines indicate the kite sticks. Be careful
with your measurements so that each side of the kite corresponds
exactly and is well balanced. Also see that every point where the
sticks intersect is firmly tacked and bound.
To cover the kite, first paste together pieces of tissue paper of
different color to suit your taste. The paste should be made of
flour and water and boiled. Make the seams or overlaps not quite
3/8 in. wide. Lay the paper on the floor, using weights to hold it
down, and place the frame of the kite upon it. Then cut out the
paper around the frame, leaving an edge of 1/2 in. Don't forget to
make a slit in the edge every 6 or 7 in. and at each angle. Around
the head the slits are cut 2 in. apart, as in the case of the boy
kite. After the kite is dry, paint the paper as your fancy
To make the breast band, punch holes through the paper, one upon
each side of the leg sticks, just above the bottom, and one upon
each side of the arm sticks at the shoulder. Run one end of the
string through the hole at the bottom of the left limb and tie it
to the leg stick; tie the other end at the right shoulder. Fasten
one end of another string of the same length at the bottom of the
right leg; pass the string up across the first band and tie the
other end at the left shoulder. Attach the kite string to the
breast band at the point where the two strings intersect. Tie the
knot so that you can slide the kite string up or down until it is
properly adjusted. The tail band is made by tying a string to the
leg sticks at the bottom of the breast band. Let the string hang
slack below the skirt and attach the tail to the center. The same
general rules apply in attaching the string and tail to the boy
You can make the lady look as if dancing and kicking in the clouds
by making the feet of stiff pasteboard and allowing them to hang
loose from the line which forms the bottom of the skirt. The feet
will move and sway with each motion of the kite.
** How to Make Rubber Stamps 
India rubber, especially prepared for stamp-making, should be
procured from a dealer or manufacturer, if good results are to be
obtained. As an experiment, it is possible for an amateur to
prepare the rubber, but, in such cases, it is always attended with
uncertain results. The mixed uncured rubber comes in white sheets,
strong, firm and about 1/8 in. thick, and for its manipulation a
press is indispensable, but can be home-made.
For the base of the press use a piece of iron, having two holes
drilled in it at the middle of opposite sides, through which pass
bolts, letting the thread ends extend upward and counter-sinking
places for the bolt heads to keep the under side of the base
level. Solder the bolts in place at the base. The upper part of
the press, or the platen, is also of iron, cut so it can be swung
[Illustration: Fish Kettle Vulcanizer]
off the bolts, rather than by removing the nuts and lifting it
off. String a half dozen nuts, larger than those which screw on,
on each bolt, so that when the upper nut on each is screwed to the
extent of the thread the pressure will be communicated through the
nuts wedged in between the platen and the upper nut. The bolt
holes in the platen should be directly over those in the base.
Distance pieces of an exact thickness should be provided for use
on the base; these serve to keep the pressure even.
In preparing the mould, if type is to be copied, use rather large
type with wide spaces and set up with high quads and spaces, or
the type faces may be filled up by rubbing with either wax, or
soap, lightly brushing off any that remains loose. The type so set
should be locked into a frame. This may be made of two pieces of
wood bolted together at both ends, or of printer's furniture.
Place it on a flat surface (marble is good, but any perfectly
smooth surface will do) and place distance pieces 1/8 in. higher
than its upper surface on either side of it. Apply olive oil to
the type faces and wipe off any excess. To form the matrix or
reverse of the model, take a piece of iron larger than the
inscription to be copied, and spread upon it to a depth of 1/4 in,
a putty made by mixing plaster of paris and water to the right
consistency. By means of a table knife spread the plaster smoothly
and then invert the plate upon the model and press down until
[Illustration: Vulcanizing Press for Rubber Stamps]
the distance pieces are struck. Let it set 10 minutes and then
remove. If care has been taken the matrix will be perfect. After
it has thoroughly dried, preferably in an oven, saturate it with
an alcoholic solution of shellac to strengthen it.
Cut a piece of smooth rubber, large enough to cover the matrix,
from the sheet, throw this into a box of talc, or powdered
soapstone, so that it receives a coating on both sides; dust a
little of the powder over the matrix, also. Place the press on a
support over a gas burner; or a kerosene lamp, and apply the heat.
Place the matrix on the base of the press, dust off the piece of
india rubber and place in the press upon the matrix and screw down
the platen. Heat the press to 284 deg. F. and keep screwing down
the platen so that the rubber, now soft and putty-like, is forced
into every recess of the matrix. A thermometer is not necessary;
some rubber always protrudes and the stage of the process can be
told from that. At first it is quite elastic, then as the heat
increases it becomes soft, then the curing begins and it again
becomes elastic, so that, if a point of a knife blade is pressed
against it, it resumes its shape when the point is removed. When
this takes place it is then thoroughly vulcanized and the sheet
can be removed from the matrix. Ten minutes, under favorable
conditions, is sufficient time for moulding the rubber. By means
of common glue, or bicycle tire cement, fasten the rubber stamp to
a wooden handle.
It is possible to dispense with the press in making stamps, where
the work is not done in quantities, and use a hot flat-iron. The
matrix is placed on a stove at low heat, the rubber laid on and
the hot iron applied. But a few moments are required to mould it.
An old letter press if it be inclosed in a tin oven makes a good
press, or all the necessary materials and apparatus can be
purchased from a dealer. Any type such as all printers use will
** To Light a Gaslight Without Matches 
It is probably well known that if you rub your feet briskly over a
carpet on a dry, cold day and then touch any metallic object with
your finger it will emit a small spark. The following amusing
experiment may be done on the same principle:
[Illustration: Lamp Igniter]
Take any small piece of wire about 2 in. long and twist it around
a gas burner as shown at A in the sketch. Have the tip of the
burner about 1/8 in. below the end of the wire. The wire must be
just far enough away from the center of the burner to keep it out
of the flame, or else it will melt.
Now get a friend to turn on the gas when you are ready for it. Go
around the room once or twice rubbing your feet along the carpet.
When you come around to the gaslight touch the point of the wire
and if the gas is turned on, the light will flare right up as if
it had been lit with a match.
This experiment cannot be done on a damp day or without shoes, and
works best in cold weather.
--Contributed by E. H. Klipstein.
** How To Make a Trap For Rabbits, Rats and Mice 
From an old 6-in. pine fence board cut off four pieces 2-1/2 ft.
long and one 6 in. square for the end of the trap and another 4
in. by 8 in. for the door. Use old boards, as new boards scare
Figure 1 shows how the box is made. It should be 4 in. wide and 6
[Illustration: A Good Trap for Small Animals]
on the inside. The top and bottom boards project 1 in. beyond the
side boards at the back and the end board is set in. The top board
should be 2 in. shorter than the sides at the front. Nail a strip
on the top board back of the door and one on the bottom board so
the game cannot push the door open from inside the trap and get
In the middle of the top board bore a hole and put a crotched
stick in for the lever to rest on. Bore another hole in the top of
the door for the lever to pass through. Two inches from the back
of the box bore a hole for the trigger, which should be made out
of heavy wire in the manner shown in Fig. 2. The door of the trap
must work easily and loosely.
** Novel Electric Motor 
The materials necessary to make this motor are an old electric
bell of the "buzzer" type and a cogwheel from an old clock.
Remove the hammer-head and gong from the bell, then bend the end
of the hammer into a loop, as in Fig. 1. Now make a little wire
catch like Fig. 2, and fasten its loop into the loop of the
hammer. Mount the bell on a small board as in Fig. 3 and fasten
the cogwheel almost on a line with it. Now press down the hammer
and place a nail in the position shown in the diagram so that the
catch touches one of the teeth.
Fasten the board in an upright position and attach two dry
batteries to the binding-posts. If properly connected, the
fly-wheel will turn quite rapidly and with amazing force for so
small a machine. The machine, however, has a fixed direction as
shown by the arrow, but the belting can be arranged so as to send
the models in a reversed direction if required. The materials for
the motor should not cost more than
[Illustration: Novel Electric Motor]
25c for the bell and if you have an old bell it will cost next to
--Contributed by Fred C. Curry, Brockville, Ontario.
** How to Print Photographs on Silk 
Silk, satin or any other fine material can be used to make
photographic prints, but the most attractive results for the
amateur are obtained on silk, the best color for this purpose
being either cream or white, says Photography. The chemicals
required are only four in number, and a comparatively small amount
of each will suffice, so that the process can be tried without any
very great outlay.
A dram of dextrine is mixed with 2 oz. of water and allowed to
dissolve. It is then made up to 4 oz. with boiling water, and,
when cold, a solution of 1 dr. of ammonium chloride in 2 oz. of
water is added. As this mixture does not keep well, it should be
used as soon as possible after being made up.
The silk is soaked in the liquid until it is thoroughly saturated,
which should take about four or five minutes, and it is then hung
up to dry, suspending it, tightly stretched, from its two top
corners. The fabric when "salted," as this operation is termed,
will keep indefinitely. All these operations can be done in
The next stage is the application of the sensitizer, for which
purpose the two following solutions must be made up and then
Silver nitrate 120 gr.
Water 1 oz.
Citric acid 50 gr.
The mixture is spread evenly over the silk with a soft
camel's-hair brush. There must be no metal in the mounting of the
brush that is used.
Particular care must be taken to see that no particle of the
surface of the silk is left uncovered. The best way to insure this
is to brush the liquid over the silk, first in one direction and
then crosswise. The process of sensitizing must be done in a weak
artificial light, such as at night by ordinary gas or lamp light,
or in the very feeblest daylight.
The silk is then again fastened up and allowed to dry, but it is
now sensitive to the light and the drying must therefore be done
in the dark. It is ready for printing as soon as it is dry, and as
it does not keep well in the sensitive condition, it should be
used up within a few days at the most.
The printing, which is done in daylight, is carried on in the same
way as for printing-out papers, except that the silk should be
printed a little darker than usual. It will be found convenient to
gum the edges slightly, and then to fix the silk on a stiff piece
of paper before putting it into the printing frame. If this
precaution is not adopted there is a tendency for the silk to slip
or crease when it is being examined. The silk must be handled
carefully while in the printing frame for this reason, but apart
from that, there is no particular difficulty. The paper can be
taken off when the printing is finished.
Prints on silk are toned, fixed and washed in the same way as
ordinary silver prints. The washing should be thorough, and before
the prints are quite dry, they should be ironed to remove all
** Removing Old Paint 
A chair more than a hundred years old came to me by inheritance.
It was originally painted green and had been given two coats of
dark paint or varnish within the last 30 years. Desiring to
improve the appearance of the relic, I decided to remove the paint
and give it a mahogany stain. The usual paint removers would
readily take off the two latter coats but had no effect upon the
first. I tried to remove the troublesome green in various ways,
but with little success until I applied a hot, saturated solution
of concentrated lye. By coating the paint with this repeatedly,
applying one coat upon another for two days, and then using a
stiff brush, the layer was easily and completely removed.
--Contributed by Thos. R. Baker, Chicago, Ill.
** A Window Lock 
Bore a hole through the sash of the lower window and halfway
through the sash of the upper window, where they meet in the
center, and insert a heavy nail or spike. This will fasten the
sash together so well that nothing short of a crowbar can pry them
apart. The nail can be easily removed when the windows are to be
** Homemade Magnifying Glass 
A very good magnifying glass can be made from an ordinary
incandescent lamp of about 16-cp. size which has been rendered
useless by being burned out or having the filament broken. Grind
or break off the tip end of the globe and fill with water. Put in
clear water and plug or cork up the hole.
** Trailer for a Bicycle 
[Illustration: Fig. 1; Trailer Attached to a Bicycle]
Instead of using a seat on the handlebars or frame of a bicycle
for my little girl, I made a trailer, as shown in Fig. 1, to
attach to the rear axle. I made it from old bicycle parts. The
handlebars, which form the back of the seat, fasten into the seat
post of an old bicycle attached to the trailer axle. The trailer
is attached to the rear axle of the bicycle with two arms or
forks, on the ends of which are two forgings, formerly used on the
rear ends of a bicycle frame, brazed in, and one of the tube
projections cut off from each to make a hook, as shown in Fig. 2.
The piece marked E shows one of these forgings or hooks in
section. The original axle of the bicycle was removed and one
1-5/16 in. longer supplied, which was turned below the threads for
clearance, as shown at A. A washer, D, with a hexagon hole was
fitted over the regular nut C, on the axle, and filed tapering so
the forging or hook E, on the trailer attachment, could be kept in
position. The washer F is held tightly against the hook by
pressure from a spring, G. The spring is held in place by a small
nut, H, and cotter pin, 1. This attachment makes a flexible joint
for turning corners. When turning from right to left the left hook
on the trailer fork stays in
[Illustration: Fig. 2-The Hook in Position]
position, while the right hook pushes the washer F outward and
relieves the strain on the fork. This attachment also makes it
easy to remove the trailer from the bicycle. The washers F are
pushed outward and the hook raised off the axle.
--Contributed by John F. Grieves, Providence, R. I.
** Home-Made Telephone Transmitter 
The parts for transmitting the sound are encased in a covering, H,
made from the gong of an old electric bell. A round button, D, is
turned or filed from the carbon electrode of an old
[Illustration: Telephone Transmitter]
dry cell and a hole drilled through the center to fit in a
binding-post taken from the same battery cell. This button must be
carefully insulated from the shell, H, by running the binding-post
through a piece of small rubber tube where it passes through the
hole and placing a rubber or paper washer, F, under the carbon
button, and an insulating washer under the nut on the outside.
This will provide one of the terminals of the instrument.
Construct a paper tube having the same diameter as the button and
with a length equal to the depth of the bell case, less 1/8 in.
Glue or paste this tube to the button so it will form a paper cup
with a carbon bottom.
The diaphragm, B, which is the essential part of the instrument,
should be made as carefully as possible from ferrotype tin,
commonly called tintype tin. Cut a circular piece from this metal
the exact size of the outside of the shell. A hole is made in the
center of the disk a little larger than a binding-post that is
taken from another old battery cell. When making the hole in the
disk be careful not to bend or crease the tin. Scrape the black
coating from the tin around the outside about 1/4 in. wide and a
place about 1 in. in diameter at the center.
The second electrode, C, is made the same as D, and fastened to
the tin diaphragm with the binding post without using any
insulation. A third binding post, G, is fastened to the shell
through a drilled hole to make the other terminal. The mouthpiece,
A, may be turned from wood in any shape desired, but have a flange
on the back side that will make a tight fit with the outside of
Fill the paper tube with powdered carbon, E, which can be made by
pounding and breaking up pieces of carbon to about the size of pin
heads. Powdered carbon can be purchased, but if you make it be
sure to sift out all the very fine particles. Assemble the parts
as shown and the transmitter is ready for use. If speech is not
heard distinctly, put in a little more, or remove some of the
carbon and try it out until you get the instrument working nicely.
--Contributed by Harold H. Cutter, Springfield, Mass.
** Quickly Made Lawn Tent 
A very simple way of erecting a lawn tent for the children is to
take a large umbrella such as used on delivery wagons and drive
the handle into the ground deep enough to hold it solid. Fasten
canvas or cotton cloth to the ends of the ribs and let it hang so
that the bottom edge will touch the ground. Light ropes can be
tied to the ends of the ribs and fastened to stakes driven in the
ground in a tent-like manner to make the whole more substantial
and to stand against a heavy wind. This makes an exceptionally
fine tent, as the umbrella
[Illustration: Lawn Tent Complete]
is waterproof; also, there is more room to stand up in than in a
tent that is in the shape of a wigwam.
--Contributed by J.A. Whamer, Schenectady, N. Y.
** How to Make a Windmill of One or Two Horsepower for Practical
A windmill for developing from 1/2 to 2 hp. may be constructed at
home, the expense being very small and the results highly
The hub for the revolving fan wheel is first constructed. One good
way to get both the hub, lining, shaft and spokes for the blades,
is to go to a wheelwright's and purchase the wheel and axle of
some old rig. There are always a number of discarded carriages,
wagons or parts thereof in the rear of the average blacksmith's
shop. Sometimes for half a dollar, and often for nothing, you can
get a wheel, an axle, and connected parts. Remove from the wheel,
all but the four spokes needed for the fans as in Fig. 1. The same
hub, axle and bearings will do. In case you cannot secure a wheel
and shaft, the hub may be made from a piece of hardwood, about 4
in. in diameter and 6 in. long. A 2-in. hole should be bored
through for a wooden shaft, or a 1-1/2-in. hole for a metal shaft.
The hub may be secured by putting two or three metal pins through
hub and shaft. Adjust the spokes by boring holes for them and
arrange them so that they extend from the center A, like B. The
wheel is then ready for the blades. These
[Illustration: Fig.1; Windmill]
blades should be of sheet metal or thin hardwood. The sizes may
vary according to the capacity of the wheel and amount of room for
the blades on the spokes. Each one is tilted so as to receive the
force of the wind at an angle, which adjustment causes the wheel
to revolve when the wind pressure is
[Illustration: Fig. 2, Fig. 3]
strong enough. Secure the blades to the spokes by using little
metal cleats, C and D. Bend these metal strips to suit the form of
the spokes and flatten against the blades and then insert the
screws to fasten the cleats to the wood. If sheet metal blades are
used, rivets should be used for fastening them.
The stand for the wheel shaft is shown in Fig. 2. Arrange the base
piece in platform order, (J). This is more fully shown in Fig. 5.
On top of this base piece, which is about 36 in. long, place the
seat or ring for the revolving table. The circular seat is
indicated at I, Fig. 1. This ring is like an inverted cheese box
cover with the center cut out. It can be made by a tinner. Size of
ring outside, 35 in. The shoulders are 4 in. high and made of tin
also. Form the shoulder by soldering the piece on. Thus we get a
smooth surface with sides for the mill base to turn in so as to
receive the wind at each point to advantage. The X-shaped piece H
rests in the tin rim. The X-form, however, does not show in this
sketch, but in Fig. 5, where it is marked S. This part is made of
two pieces of
[Illustration: Fig. 4]
2-in. plank, about 3 in. wide, arranged so that the two pieces
cross to make a letter X. When the pieces join, mortise them one
into the other so as to secure a good joint. Adjust the uprights
for sustaining the wheel shaft to the X-pieces as shown at E, E,
Fig. 2. These are 4 by 4 in. pieces of wood, hard pine preferred,
planed and securely set up in the X-pieces by mortising into the
same. Make the bearings for the
[Illustration: Fig. 5]
wheel shaft in the uprights and insert the shaft.
The gearing for the transmission of the power from the wheel shaft
to the shaft calculated for the delivery of the power at an
accessible point below must next be adjusted. The windmill is
intended for installation on top of a building, and the power may
be transmitted below, or to the top of a stand specially erected
for the purpose. It is a good plan to visit some of the
second-hand machinery dealers and get four gears, a pulley and a
shaft. Gears about 5 in. in diameter and beveled will be required.
Adjust the first pair of the beveled gears as at F and G. If the
wheel shaft is metal, the gear may be set-screwed to the shaft, or
keyed to it. If the shaft is hardwood, it will be necessary to
arrange for a special connection. The shaft may be wrapped with
sheet metal and this metal fastened on with screws. Then the gear
may be attached by passing a pin through the set-screw hole and
through the shaft. The upright shaft like the wheel shaft is best
when of metal. This shaft is shown extending from the gear, G, to
a point below. The object is to have the shaft reach to the point
where the power is received for the service below. The shaft is
shown cut off at K. Passing to Fig. 3 the shaft is again taken up
at L. It now passes through the arrangement shown, which device is
rigged up to hold the shaft and delivery wheel P in place. This
shaft should also be metal. Secure the beveled gears M and N as
shown. These transmit the power from the upright shaft to the
lower horizontal shaft. Provide the wheel or pulley, P, with the
necessary belt to carry the power from this shaft to the point of
The tail board of the windmill is illustrated in Fig. 4. A good
way to make this board is to use a section of thin lumber and
attach it to the rear upright, E of Fig. 2. This may be done by
boring a hole in the upright and inserting the shaft of the
tail-piece. In Fig. 4 is also shown the process of fastening a
gear, R, to the shaft. The set screws enter the hub from the two
sides and the points are pressed upon
[Illustration: Fig. 6]
the shaft, thus holding the gear firmly in place. The platform for
the entire wheel device is shown in Fig. 5. The X-piece S is bored
through in the middle and the upright shaft passes through. The
tin run-way or ring is marked T, and the X-piece very readily
revolves in this ring, whenever the wind alters and causes the
wheel's position to change. The ring and ring base are secured to
the platform, U. The latter is made of boards nailed to the
timbers of the staging for supporting the mill. This staging is
shown in Fig. 6, in a sectional view. The ring with its X-piece is
marked V, the X-piece is marked W, and the base for the part, and
the top of the stage is marked X. The stage is made of 2 by 4-in.
stock. The height may vary, according to the requirements. If the
affair is set up on a barn or shed, the staging will be sufficient
to support the device. But if the stage is constructed direct from
the ground, it will be necessary to use some long timbers to get
the wheel up high enough to receive the benefit of the force of
the wind. Proceeding on the plan of the derrick stand, as shown in
Fig. 6, a stage of considerable height can be obtained.
** To Renew Old Dry Batteries 
Remove the paper that covers the cell and knock several good-sized
holes in the zinc shell. Place the battery in a glass jar, fill it
two-thirds full of strong sal ammoniac (or salt) solution and
connect the terminals to whatever apparatus the current is to be
used for. A few drops of sulphuric acid quickens and improves the
action. The output of the cell will be nearly as great as when the
battery was first bought.
--Contributed by C. W. Arbitt, Austin, Texas.
** Blue Dye
Prussian blue and Chinese blue are both the same chemically but
they do not cut or look the same.
** Acetylene lamp 
When an acetylene lamp is in good order it will light up slowly
with a hissing noise followed by a pure white flame. Should the
lamp light up quickly with a yellowish flame, it is a sign of a
** Another Electric Motor 
This form of electric motor is used largely in England in the form
of an indicator. It is very easily made and
[Illustration: Electric Motor]
if you have an old electro-magnet will cost practically nothing.
A large soft-iron wheel is mounted on an axle with a pulley-wheel
on one end and a circuit breaker on the other end. The teeth on
the circuit-breaker must be the same number as on the soft-iron
The electro-magnet is mounted so that its core is level with the
axle and in a line with the wheel. One wire from it is attached to
one binding screw and the other end is grounded to the iron frame
that supports it. This frame is connected to the frame supporting
the wheel. A small brush presses on the circuit-breaker and is
connected to the other binding screw.
In the diagram A represents the iron wheel; B, the brush; C, the
circuit breaker; D, the magnet. The wire connecting the two frames
is shown by a dotted line.
To start the motor, attach your battery to the screws and turn the
wheel a little. The magnet attracts one of' the teeth on the
wheel, but as soon as it is parallel with the core of the magnet
the circuit is broken and the momentum of the wheel brings another
tooth to be attracted.
To reverse the motor reverse the connections and start the wheel
the other way. Be sure that the frames are screwed down well or
the motor will run jerkily and destroy the connections.
--Contributed by F. Crawford Curry, Brockville, Ontario.
** How to Make a Propelling Vehicle 
[Illustration: Fig. 1]
Any boy, with a little knack and a few odd tools, can rig up
various contrivances which will be a source of pleasure to himself
and oftentimes can be sold, to less ingenious boys, for a snug
little sum. Any tool a boy can obtain is apt to be of use to him,
chisel, bit, jack-knife or hammer.
Figure 1 shows what two boys did with old cycle wheels. They went
to some junk shops where the concerns had purchased cast-away
bicycles and noticed that there were numerous wheels in very good
order that could be selected from among the sets of wheels with
broken or bent rims, spokes, burst tires, etc. In fact, the lads
had no trouble in getting several sets of bicycle wheels in good
condition for very little money. These wheels were taken to the
back-yard shop of the boys where the young fellows had rigged up a
shed-like affair and put in a bench. The previous Christmas one of
the boys received a box of tools as a gift, in which was included
a little hand vise and the required tools for general boy's
Four of the cycle wheels they used in making the hand-propelled
vehicle shown at Fig. 1.
[Illustration: Fig. 2]
A wooden body, A, made of smooth boards rests upon shafts. Fixed
on this body is an upright carrying the sprocket B. The upright is
a piece of wood about 10 in. high and 4 in. wide, fitted with one
of the bearings from the cycle. The regular cycle chain sprocket
is used at B as well as upon the shaft. The regular chain of the
cycle is likewise employed, so, when buying the wheels, it is well
to select one or more chains with corresponding sprockets from the
junk heap. The detail of the adjustment of the parts is shown in
next views. The letter D signifies the seat which is a box. The
steering gear is a bent iron rod, also found in the waste pile of
the junk shop, and is bent to right form by heating and bending
over on a rock or any solid matter. The steering rod is marked E.
It fits into a socket in the shaft of the forward wheels.
Figure 2 shows the construction of the cart below. The cog is
keyed or set-screwed to the driving shaft of the wheels with
either key or set-screw used in original fastening, as the case
[Illustration: Fig. 3, 4 Driving Shaft and Disk for Steering Gear]
may be. The chain is marked F, and there is a slot cut in the
floor of the cart to let the chain pass up and through to the cog
on the propelling shaft crank. The disk which receives the
steering rod is at G. The forward shaft bears only at the center
upon a disk of metal, consisting of any circular piece found among
the pieces of iron or brass at the junk store. One can get nearly
all the mechanical parts in junk establishments that purchase
parts of out-of-date or cast-away bicycles. The detail of the
driving shaft is shown at Fig. 3. The sprocket wheel is at H and
this is just as it is taken from the original bicycle shaft. The
bearings consist of wires looped around the shaft and inserted
into holes bored in metal plates as shown. These plates are
screwed to the bottom of the cart. The shaft itself is found in
rods or even cast-away metal axles which are commonly found in
most any carriage works, cycle shops or junk dealer's. Figure 4
shows the disk that receives the steering gear. The disk is bored
around edges for the securing screws, while the center is open for
the steering rod. When put together, three boys usually ride. One
steers and the other two turn the crank. Freight can be carried
and some boys do quite an express business in their town with one
of the carts like this that they made.
** Ringing a Bell by Touching a Gas Jet 
The experiment of scuffling the feet over a carpet and then
producing a spark which will light the gas by touching the
chandelier is described on another page. One of our correspondents
says that if a wire is connected to the chandelier and led to one
terminal of the coherer of a wireless telegraph outfit the bell
will ring every time the
[Illustration: Touch the Gas Jet and Ring the Bell]
spark is produced by touching the chandelier, and that, as the
chandeliers are all connected by the gas-pipe, the bell will ring,
no matter in which room the spark is produced.
** Lead Kills Knots 
The covering quality will be greatly improved if some dry red lead
is added to the shellac varnish used for killing knots.
** How to Make a Wood Turning Lathe Out of an Old Sewing Machine
With a hack-saw, cut off the arm containing the needle on line AB,
Fig. 1, leaving the shaft only. On the end of the shaft will be
found a round plate,
[Illustration: Fig. 1]
in which drill four 3/16-in. holes. Now secure, or have turned, a
piece of iron or steel 1-1/2 in. in diameter, Fig. 2. Drill and
countersink four 3/16-in. holes in it to fit the holes on the
shaft plate. File a spur center 5/16 in. long, and two side points
3/16 in. long. Bolt this plate to the shaft plate with four
flat-headed stove bolts, 3/16 in. in diameter by 5/8 or 3/4 in.
long, Fig. 3.
For the bed, use a board 32 in., long and as wide as the base of
the machine arm. This gives a limit of 2 ft. between spur and dead
centers. Let this board be made level with the rest of machine
table by making a pair of legs if needed. Next make a T-rail, Fig.
4, of two boards, one 5 by 3/4 by 32 in., the other 3-1/2 by 3/4
by 32 in. Threequarter inch of the wider board projects over each
of the smaller boards. Nail firmly and clinch nails, or screw
together. Screw this rail on the machine board so that its center
coincides exactly with the machine centers. Bore a number of
3/8-in. holes with centers 2-3/4 in. apart along the center line
of this rail, beginning 6 in. from the end nearest the machine.
Make another T-rail for slide tool rest, of two pieces 32 by 3 by
3/4 in., and 32 by 1-1/2 by 3/4 in. Fasten this in front of the
larger T-rail and parallel to it, the center lines being 6-1/2 in.
To make the tail-piece, that is, the part to hold wood to be
turned, get a board 6-1/2 by 7 by 3/4 in., and on the edges, Fig.
5, A, screw two pieces 7 by 3/4 by 1-1/2 in. so that the cap thus
made will fit snugly over the large T-rail. Fasten to these last
[Illustration: Fig. 4]
with screws, two more pieces 7 by 3/4 by 3/4 in., Fig. 5, B. This
tail-piece should move smoothly back and forth with no side
motion. Now get a block of hardwood 4 by 2-1/4 in., and 1-3/4 in.
higher than the spur center when mounted on the middle of the
tailpiece just described. At exactly the height of the spur center
bore through this block a 3/4-in. hole, Fig. 5. Have
[Illustration: Fig. 2]
a blacksmith make a crank 8 in. long, threaded for 5 in. as shown.
At the dead center end taper the crank and make a cup center, out
of which allow a 3/16-in. point to project. The cup prevents the
point from boring into
[Illustration: Fig. 3]
wood too rapidly. One inch from the outer end of the crank block,
Fig. 5, bore a 3/16-in. hole, and force a 1/4-in. bolt to cut its
thread in the wood. This is a set screw to hold the crank in any
position desired. Place a strap nut, threaded to fit the crank, on
the head-end of the crank block, and a plain nut to act as a
bearing, on the crank end. One and one-half inches from the back
of the tail-piece bore a 3/8-in. hole. Make a peg 3/8 by 2 in. To
put in a piece of wood to turn, move the tail-piece back until the
head end is over the center of the hole nearest the end of the
block, then the peg will slip into second hole from the head end
of the tail-piece, and into a corresponding T-rail hole, pinning
the two together. Insert wood and screw up dead center to hold it.
For a tool rest make a second piece like the base of the
tail-piece, 11 in. long and fitting the small T-rail. Cut out two
blocks 1-1/2 by 2-1/4 by 3/4 in. and screw them, one on each end
of the base of the tool rest, covering the half farthest from the
centers, and having an 8-in. space between blocks. On the tops of
these blocks screw a strip 11 by 2-1/4 by 3/4 in. Now for the rest
proper, cut out a board 8 by 11/16 by 9 in. to slide in the slot
of the rest. Take a piece of oak 11 by 2 in., and high enough so
that the top will be level with the centers of the lathe, and
bevel as shown in Fig. 6. Screw on one end of the 8 by 9-in. piece
exactly in the middle. This piece will slide in and out, closer or
farther from the centers as desired, and also along the T-rail.
A center for turning rosettes, saucers, etc., may be made as
follows: Remove the spur center and bolt in its place a 1-in.
circular board of the same
[Illustration: Fig. 5]
diameter, using longer 3/16-in. stove bolts with heads
countersunk. Rotate the lathe, and with a gimlet bore a hole at
the exact center and through the board. Now take off the board and
countersink on the back a place for the head of a coarse threaded
screw. Turn in a 1-3/4 -in. screw, replace the board and any block
held on the end of the rotating screw will turn on and be held
while being turned.
--Contributed by L. L. Winans, Mexico, Mo.
** Reversing Small Battery Motor 
Make the switch out of a piece of slate (for the base) two strips
of brass, a rubber strip and handle and some binding-posts from
old dry batteries. Fasten the brass strips at 5 and 6, Fig. 1, so
they can swing from 1 and 3 to 2
and 4. Hold the brass strips apart by means of the hard rubber
strip and screws. Do not let the screws come all the way through
the rubber strip or you are liable to get a shock in case you
should touch both screws simultaneously. Screw a rubber handle
onto the rubber strip to move the lever back and forth with. Fig.
2 shows the arrangement of strips, handle, screws, etc., in
detail. Fig. 3 is an end view of the same.
--Contributed by Eugene F. Tuttle, Jr., Newark, Ohio.
** Cleaning Bronze Bearings 
Bronze bearings may be cleaned with a solution of washing powder
and water run through the oil cups while the machine is running
without any load. The solution, cutting out the dirt and grime,
will come from the bearing very black. About 1 pt. of this mixture
should be run through each bearing, then clean thoroughly with
** A Water Candlestick 
A glass of water makes a fine emergency candlestick. Weight one
end of the candle with a nail just large enough to hold the candle
in the water so that the water comes near its top edge, but does
not touch the wick, and then light the candle.
It will burn until the last vestige of wick is gone and the flame
will not flicker. The melted tallow that runs down but serves to
hold the candle more stationary.
** How to File Soft Metals 
When filing soft metals, such as solder or babbitt metal, the
file, after a few strokes, will become filled with metal, causing
scratches on the surface being filed. The surface may be filed
smooth, provided the file has been well oiled. The oil prevents
the cutters from clogging and also allows the metal to yield
easily. Oil the file every few minutes and use a card frequently
in cleaning and the work will be smooth.
--Contributed by Jno. E. Ganaway, Paducah. Ky.
** To Make a Magazine Binder 
Get 1/2 yd. of cloth, one shoestring, a pasteboard box for covers,
and some heavy paper. Cut the pasteboard into two covers, 1/4 in.
larger all around than the magazine, except at the back with which
they should be even. Next cut a strip 1 in. wide off the back of
each cover. Place the covers on the cloth, Fig. 1, with the back
edges 1/4 in. farther apart than the thickness of the volume to be
bound. Cut the cloth around the covers, leaving 1-1/2 in. margin.
Paste the cloth on the covers as they lay, and turn over the 1-1/2
in. margin, pasting down smoothly. Cut a piece of stiff paper to
fit and paste on the back. Take a piece of cloth as wide as the
cover, and long enough to extend over the back and 1-1/2 in.
[Illustration: Plan of Magazine Binder]
Beyond each "strip." Paste on to hold all together. Two pieces of
paper the exact size of the magazine, pasted on the inside of each
cover protects the edges of the cloth, and adds to the appearance.
Let dry slowly.
[Illustration: Magazine Binder Complete]
With backs and edges of magazines even, place in a vise and set up
tight allowing 3/4 in. from back to show above the vise. Bore
three 3/16-in. holes 1/2 in. from the back, one in the middle, the
other two 1-1/2 in. from each end. Make corresponding holes in the
strips of the binder and use the shoestring to complete as in Fig.
** Temporary Spline 
A piece of wire solder makes a good temporary spline for the
** A Library Set in Pyro-Carving 
By HELEN WESTINGHOUSE
The multitude of indifferently executed small articles which
followed the introduction of pyrography is beginning to disappear.
People are considering the art more seriously and
[Illustration: Table and Seat Decorated in Pyro-Carving]
applying it to more dignified uses. Pyro-carving is one of the new
methods of decorating furniture which is both beautiful and
practical, two qualities which do not always go together.
The library set illustrated consists of a table, 30 to 50 in.,
with two benches, 14 in. wide, of the same length. The supports
are made of selected white pine, which must be absolutely free
from pitch. The pine is soft enough to work easily with the point
and stands wear much better than basswood. The tops and braces are
made of curly fir. All of the material must be 2-in. lumber, which
dresses to about 1-1/2 in. All surfaces, except the faces of the
supports, are given a well rubbed coat of oil with a little burnt
umber, the stain to be applied directly to the wood without a
On the outside of the supports the design is drawn in with pencil,
the background is then cut out smoothly with a chisel to the depth
of an eighth of an inch, leaving the decoration in relief. It is
then burned deeply, the background in straight flat strokes, the
outlines having the effect of a sloping, dark edge. The shadows
are burned in as deeply as possible and the shading is put in with
the flat of the point.
A wax or eggshell oil-varnish finish is most suitable for this
set, but any other finish may be applied, as the builder may
desire, to make it harmonize with other furnishings.
** Cleaning Brass 
Small brass castings can be cleaned by heating them slightly and
then dipping them in a solution of sal ammoniac. The pieces will
come out as bright and clean as if new. This cleaning process is
the same as that used in cleaning a soldering iron.
** A Phoneidoscope 
The phoneidoscope has many and varied forms, but the simplest can
be made by bending the forefinger and thumb so as to form a circle
and then drawing a soap film across the opening. This is done in a
manner similar to the blowing of soap bubbles. The angle with the
direction of the light may be readily adjusted by turning the
wrist, a motion of the elbow alters the distance from the mouth
and the tension of the film can be regulated by moving the thumb
and forefinger. Singing or speaking at the film when under proper
tension will cause beautiful figures to appear, which may be
reflected from the film directly on the screen.
--Contributed by Robt. E. Bradley, Winchester, Mass.
** A Home-Made Yankee Bobsled 
A good coasting sled, which I call a Yankee bob, can be made from
two hardwood barrel staves, two pieces of
[Illustration: Runners Made of Barrel Staves]
2 by 6-in. pine, a piece of hardwood for the rudder and a few
pieces of boards. The 2 by 6-in. pieces should be a little longer
than one-third the length of the staves, and each piece cut
tapering from the widest part, 6 in., down to 2 in., and then
fastened to the staves with large wood screws as shown in Fig. 1.
Boards 1 in. thick are nailed on top of the pieces for a seat and
to hold the runners together. The boards should be of such a
length as to make the runners about 18 in. apart.
A 2-in. shaft of wood, Fig. 2, is turned down to 1 in. on the ends
and put through holes that must be bored in the front ends of the
2 by 6-in. pieces. A small pin is put through each end of the
shaft to keep it in place. The rudder is a 1-1/2-in. hardwood
piece which should be tapered to 1/2 in. at the bottom and shod
with a thin piece of iron. A 1/2-in. hole is bored through the
center of the shaft and a lag screw put through and turned in the
rudder piece, making it so the rudder will turn right and left
and, also, up and down. Two cleats are nailed to the upper sides
of the runners and in the middle lengthways for the person's heels
to rest against.
Any child can guide this bob, as all he has to do is to guide the
rudder right and left to go in the direction named. If he wants to
stop, he pulls up on the handle and the heel of the rudder will
dig into the snow, causing too much friction for the sled to go
--Contributed by Wm. Algie, Jr., Little Falls, N. Y.
** How to Make a Small Microscope 
Theoretically a simple microscope can be made as powerful as a
compound microscope, but in practice the minute size required by
the simple lens to give the highest power makes it almost
impossible to be used. However, a lens having a reasonable
magnifying power can be made in a few minutes for almost nothing.
Take a piece of glass tubing, heat one place in a hot flame, hold
one end and pull on the other and draw the heated place down to a
fine string as shown in Fig. 1. Take about 3 in. of this fine tube
and heat one end which will form a glass bead as shown in Fig. 2.
This bead is the lens. When in this form it can be used only in an
artificial light coming from one direction, but if you take a
[Illustration: Lens Formed by Heat]
cardboard and bore a hole in it a little smaller than the bead on
the glass tube which is forced into the hole, Fig 3, you can use
this mounted lens in ordinary daylight. In this case a mirror must
be used to reflect the light up through the lens. It is difficult
to see anything at first, as the lens must be held very close to
the eye, but in practice you will soon learn to see the object as
it appears enlarged.
If you soak a little dried grass or hay in water for a few days
and look at a drop of this water, germs in various life forms can
be seen. The water must be put on the lens. One thing to remember
is that the smaller the lens, the greater the magnifying power.
--Contributed by Daniel Gray, Decatur, Illinois.
** Freezing Pipes 
The water in hot water supply pipes will freeze quicker than water
that has not been heated. This is because the air, which is a poor
conductor of heat, has been driven out by the heat.
** How to Carry Books 
Almost all school children carry their books with a strap put
around and b u c k led very tight. This will make dents in the
cover where the board overlaps the body of the book. If the strap
is left loose, the books are liable to slip out. Place the cover
of one book between the cover and fly leaf of its neighbor and the
difficulty will be remedied. This will place the books in
alternate directions. Books stacked in this manner do not require
the strap buckled tight, or, they can be carried without any strap
just as well.
--Contributed by Thos. De Loaf, Grand Rapids, Mich.
[Illustration: Stacking Books]
** Bottle Pushers 
[Illustration: BOTTLE PUSHERS. --This is a game in which the
competitors push bottles on the ice with hockey sticks. All the
bottles must be the same size and make. The persons participating
must keep their bottles upright at all times. The bottles are
lined up for the start and at the word "go," each person pushes a
bottle across the field for a distance that is agreed upon.]
** How to Make a Hammock 
Anyone can make a hammock as good as can be bought and that at a
cost so small that every member of the family can possess one
providing there are places enough for hanging them.
The materials required are a needle about 7 in. long, and with a
big eye, an iron ring for each end of the hammock, two long smooth
sticks on which to knit the hammock and two pounds of strong hemp
cord or twine. The twine may be colored in any color or
combination of colors desired. A Roman stripe at each end of the
hammock makes a pretty effect.
A hammock 45 in. wide will not be too large for solid comfort. To
knit it first thread the big needle and holding it in the left
hand, hold the cord in place with the thumb until you have looped
the cord over the tongue, then pass the cord under the needle to
the opposite side and catch it over the tongue. Repeat this
operation until the needle is full. Cut a 2-yd. length of cord and
make a loop and fasten to the door knob or to some other
convenient place. Tie the cord on the needle to this loop 3 in.
from the end of the loop. Place the small mesh stick under the
cord with the beveled edge close to the loop, and, with a thumb on
the cord to hold it in place, pass the needle around the stick and
then, point downward, pass it through the loop from the top, and
then bring it over the stick so forming the first half of the
Pull this tight and hold in place with a thumb while throwing the
cord over your hand, which forms the loop. Pass the needle from
under through the loops and draw fast to fasten the knot. Hold
this in place and repeat the operation.
Make 30 of these knots and then push them off the stick and
proceed in the same way with the next row, passing the needle
first through each of the 30 knots made for the first row. Make 30
rows and then tie the last loops to the other iron ring.
Stretchers may be made and put in place and the hammock, strong
and durable, is finished. The work must be carefully and evenly
done. One is apt to have a little trouble getting the first row
right, but after that the work proceeds quite rapidly.
How to Obtain Cheap Dry Batteries 
Not very many people realize that good, serviceable dry cells can
be obtained from an automobile garage very cheap. These cells
having been "run out" beyond the required number of amperes for
automobile use, will give excellent service, considering their
cost. Many of them will give two-thirds of their original
amperage. Six of such cells have been in use on my door-bell
circuit for nearly a year. They can be used for other purposes
just as well.
--Contributed by H. H. Cutter.
** How to Make a Water Telescope 
[Illustration: The Water Telescope]
Before you decide on a place to cast your hook it is best to look
into the water to see whether any fish are there. Yes, certainly,
you can look into the water and see the fish that are there
swimming about, if you have the proper equipment. What you need is
a water telescope. This is a device made of wood or metal with one
end of glass. When the glass end is submerged, by looking in at
the open end, objects in the water are made plainly visible to a
considerable depth. In Norway, the fishermen use the water
telescope regularly in searching for herring shoals or cod.
All that is necessary to make a wooden water telescope is a long
wooden box, a piece of glass for one
[Illustration: Wooden Water Telescope]
end and some paint and putty for making the seams watertight. Fix
the glass in one end of the box, and leave the other open to look
A tin water telescope is more convenient than the wooden one, but
more difficult to make, The principal essential for this is a
circular piece of glass for the large end. A funnel shaped tin
horn will do for the rest. Solder in the glass at the large end
and the telescope is made. Sinkers consisting of strips of lead
should be soldered on near the bottom to counteract the buoyancy
of the air contained in the watertight funnel and also helps to
submerge the big end. The inside of the funnel should be painted
black to prevent the light from being reflected on the bright
surface of the tin. If difficulty is found in obtaining a circular
piece of glass, the bottom may be made square and square glass
used. Use plain, clear glass; not magnifying glass. To picnic
parties the water telescope is of great amusement, revealing
numerous odd sights in the water which many have never seen
** How to Rid Your Yard of Cats 
The following is a description of a device I built at my home in
Brooklyn, which not only gave us relief from the
[Illustration: Electric Apparatus for Driving Away Cats]
nightly feline concerts, but also furnished much amusement to my
I first ran two bare copper wires along the top of the fence about
1 in. apart, fastening them down with small staples, care being
taken that they did not touch. To the ends of these wires I
fastened ordinary insulated bell wire, running them to the house
and connecting them to the upper binding-posts of an induction
coil; I then ran a wire from the lower binding-post of my coil
through the batteries back to the other lower binding-post of
coil, breaking the circuit by putting in an ordinary switch. The
more batteries used, the stronger the current. The switch should
always be left open, as it uses up the current very rapidly.
When "tabby" is well on the wires I close the switch and she goes
the length of the fence in bounds, often coming back to see what
the trouble is, thus receiving another shock.
--Contributed by Charles L. Pultz.
** Substitute for a Drill Bit 
A gouge may be used as a substitute bit if a proper sized bit is
not at hand. The gouge can be placed in the brace the same as a
** Drying Films 
The drying of photographic film in full lengths without scratching
or curling is quite difficult. Various devices are used to keep
the film straight, and
[Illustration: Pins Keep the Film Straight]
push pins or thumb tacks are supplied with almost all of them. The
illustration shows a simple and inexpensive device constructed of
common wood clothespins without any metal pins to come in contact
with the film and cause rust streaks. A pair of pins are fastened
at each end of the film by pushing one pin over the other which in
turn is clamped on the film. A string tied to the heads of one
pair of pins provides a way to hang the whole on a nail. The lower
pair of pins makes a weight to keep the film straight.
--Contributed by J. Mac Gregor, Montreal, Canada.
** Grooved Pulley Made from Sheet Tin 
A grooved pulley which will run true and carry a round belt may be
made without the use of other tools than a compass and pair of
shears, with a drill or punch for making two rivet holes.
Layoff a circle on the tin, of the diameter desired for the bottom
of the groove. Then layoff a concentric circle of 1/4 in. greater
radius. Cut out along the lines of the large circle. On the line
of the small circle mark with a prick punch or nail a series of
slight dents, about 1/4 in. apart, all the way around. Now make
cuts from the line of the large circle to these dents, stopping
when the shears give the little "click" on entering the dent. Bend
the little tongues thus formed alternately to the right and left,
then by shaping them with some care you will have a good running
surface for the belt. It will not make any difference if there are
more tongues on one side than the other, or if they are not
equally spaced, within reason.
For the hub, solder or rivet a "handle" across the center hole and
drill a hole through it of the same size as the center hole. With
the help of solder a grooved pulley which will answer almost every
experimental purpose may be made, and it is remarkable with how
slight care a perfectly true wheel may be made in this manner.
The same principle might in some way be applied to gear-wheels,
for light and temporary use.
--Contributed by C. W. Nieman, New York City.
** An Emergency Glass Funnel 
[Illustration: Cutting a Funnel]
Secure a glass bottle having a small neck and tie a string
saturated in kerosene around the outside at A and B as shown in
the sketch. Light the string and allow it to burn until the glass
is heated, then plunge the bottle quickly into water. The top or
neck will then come off easily. The sharp edges are ground or
filed off smooth. This will make a good emergency funnel which
serves the purpose well for filling wide necked bottles.
--Contributed by Jos. W. Sorenson, Everett, Wash.
** An Electrical Walking Stick 
A cane that will produce an electric shock when shaking hands is
one supplied with the electrical apparatus shown in the sketch. An
ordinary cane, 1 in. in diameter at the top and having a metal
band A, is bored about 8 in. deep, to receive the battery B and
induction coil C. One of the electrical connections is through the
metal tip D to the earth, the other is through the
[Illustration: Battery and Coil In Cane]
metal band A when the push button E is pressed.
The one using the cane merely holds the metal end D in contact
with the earth and while shaking hands with a friend he pushes the
button and starts the coil in operation.
--Contributed by Stanley Radcliffe, Laurel, Md.
** Convenient Shelf Arrangement 
A convenient device for crowded shelves and cupboards is shown in
the accompanying sketch. Halfway between shelves A and B is
installed a second shelf C which is only half as wide as the other
provides a convenient place for small articles and utensils, while
in a china closet it furnishes a splendid space for cups, sauce
dishes or other small pieces. It also adds a neat and pleasing
--Contributed by E. M. Williams, Oberlin, Ohio.
** A Shoe Scraper 
On steps of public buildings, shops and dwellings is usually found
some sort of a mud scraper for the shoes. These remove the mud
from the sole of the shoe and leave it on the edge and sides. The
scraper shown in the sketch is of simple construction, and removes
the mud from the soles and
[Illustration: Scraper of Thin Steel]
sides of any size shoe in one operation. The scrapers spread and
bring pressure to bear on all sizes. The side scrapers must be
made of metal that will spring. The standard is of heavy sheet
metal with the thinner strips riveted to the projecting uprights
at the ends.
** Fastening a Shade to a Roller 
Tack the shade A in the usual manner and roll it as far back as
[Illustration: Fastening a Shade]
and while in this position apply an ample quantity of glue near
the tacks, as shown at B. A shade attached in this manner will not
come loose from the roller.
** Vegetable Slicer 
The slicer is made of a knife blade, screw and pin handle. The
screw is soldered into the end of the knife blade. As the screw
feeds into the vegetable
[Illustration: Slicer In Vegetable]
or fruit, the blade will slice it in a curl of even thickness.
--Contributed by H. C. Roufeldt, Toledo, O.
** How to Make an Etched Copper Picture Frame 
Secure a heavy piece of copper about 8 or 10 gauge, cut to 7 by
7-3/4 in. Make a design on a piece of paper. The accompanying
sketch offers a suggestion.
[Illustration: Etched Copper Picture Frame]
If the design is to be symmetrical, draw a line down the middle of
the paper, make one-half the fold and trace the remaining half by
placing a piece of double-surfaced carbon paper between the
halves. Fasten this design with a little paste on the copper at
two of its corners and trace it on the copper by means of the
Remove the paper, and, with a small brush and black varnish or
asphaltum paint, cover the part not to be eaten by the acid of the
bath into which the metal is to be immersed. Two or three coats
will be necessary to withstand the acid. The conventional trees,
the border as shown in the illustration, and the back are covered
with the varnish or asphaltum.
The etching solution should be put in a stone vessel of some kind
and care should be taken not to allow it to get on the hands or
clothes. A stick should be used to handle the metal while it is in
the solution. This solution is made by putting in the stone jar
the following: Water a little more than one-half, nitric acid a
little less than one-half. DO NOT ADD THE WATER TO THE ACID. Leave
the metal in this solution three or four hours. The time will
depend upon the strength of the acid and the depth to which you
wish the etching to be done. An occasional examination of the
object will show when to take it out.
When the etching has been carried as far as desirable, take the
copper from the bath and remove the asphaltum by scraping it as
clean as possible, using an old case knife. After doing this, put
some of the solution, or pickle as it is called, in an old pan and
warm it over a flame. Put the metal in this hot liquid and swab it
with batting or cloth fastened to the end of a stick. Rinse in
clear water to stop the action of the acid. When clean, cut the
metal out from the center where the picture is to be placed, using
a metal saw.
Solder on the back several small clips with which to hold the
picture in place. There must also be a support soldered in place
to keep the frame upright. To further clean the metal before
soldering, use a solution in the proportion of one-half cup of lye
to 3 gal. water. Heat either the solution or the metal just before
When soldering, care must be taken to have the parts to be
soldered thoroughly clean. Any grease or foreign matter will
prevent the solder from running properly. On a piece of slate
slab, heavy glass or other hard, nonabsorbent substance that is
clean, put a little water and grind a lump of borax around until
the resultant is like thin cream. Thoroughly clean the parts that
are to be soldered by scraping with a knife, and do not touch with
the fingers afterward. Place a piece of thin silver solder between
the parts after having coated them and the solder with the borax.
Use a pair of tweezers to pick up the solder. Hold the parts
firmly together and apply heat--slowly at first until all moisture
has been expelled and the borax crystallized, after which the
flame may be applied more directly and the parts brought to a
soldering heat. An alcohol flame will do. Heat applied too quickly
will throw off the solder and spoil the attempt.
There are various ways of finishing the metal. It may be polished
by means of powdered pumice, chalk or charcoal, and then treated
with a coat of French varnish diluted ten times its volume in
alcohol. Another popular way is to give the background a
bluish-green effect by brushing it over a great many times, after
it has been cleaned, with a solution composed of muriate of
ammonia, 1 part; carbonate of ammonia, 3 parts; water, 24 parts.
The whole may then be treated with French varnish to preserve the
** How to Make an Easel 
A strong and substantial easel may be made at home with very
little expense and no great difficulty.
Smooth down with a plane, four pieces of pine, 1 in. thick, 4 in.
wide and 4 ft. long, until suitable for legs. Make three
cross-pieces, Fig. 1, and join the legs with them as shown in Fig.
2. With an auger bore a hole in each leg about 3 in. from the
bottom, and fit into each a little peg, Fig. 2, for the picture to
rest on. The peg should be of hardwood so it will not break.
Cut the handle from an old broom, measure off the right length,
and put a hinge on one end. Fasten this leg on the second
cross-piece, thus forming a support for the two front legs, Fig.
3. The easel may be finished according to the individual taste. It
may be sandpapered and stained and varnished, or painted in some
pretty tint, or, if preferred, may be enameled.
--Contributed by G. J. Tress.
[Illustration: Details of Easel Construction]
** How to Make a Wind Propeller 
A wind propeller may be constructed with four old bicycle wheels
arranged with shafts pretty much like the shafts of a
hand-propelled cart. The platform is flatter, however, and the
body one tier so that it is lower. A framework of wood is built at
M and this is a support
[Illustration: Wind Propeller]
for several purposes. The sail is secured to the mast which is
fixed into the body of the cart as shown. The sail is linen
fabric. There are two crosspieces to aid in keeping the sail
properly opened. The steering arrangement is through the rear
shaft. The shaft is pivoted as in a hand-propelled cart, and the
rod I extends from the middle connection of the shaft up to a
point where the person seated on the wooden frame can handle it.
There is a brake arranged by making a looped piece J and hinging
it as shown. This piece is metal, fitted with a leather face. The
cord K is pulled to press the brake. I marks the support for the
mast underneath the body of the cart. In a steady breeze this cart
spins nicely along the roads.
** Replacing Ball Bearings 
Never change a single ball in a bearing. Renew them all.
** How to Construct an Annunciator 
Oftentimes a single electric bell may be connected in a circuit so
that it can be operated from more than one push button. These push
buttons are usually located in entirely different parts of the
building and it is necessary to have some means of determining the
particular push button that was pressed and caused the bell to
operate. The electric annunciator is a device that will indicate
or record the various calls or signals that may be sent over the
circuits to which the annunciator is connected. A very simple and
inexpensive annunciator may be made in the following way:
Before taking up the construction of the annunciator it would be
best to make a diagrammatic drawing of the circuit in which the
annunciator is to operate. The simplest circuit that will require
an annunciator is one where the bell may be operated from either
of two push buttons. In this case the annunciator must be
constructed to give only two indications. Fig. 1 shows how the
various' elements of such a circuit may be connected. B is an
ordinary vibrating electric bell, M1 and M2 are the two
electromagnets of the annunciator, A is a battery of several dry
cells, and P1 and P2 are the push buttons from either of which the
bell may be operated.
When the push button P1 is pressed the circuit is completed
through the winding of the magnet M1 and its core becomes
magnetized. In a similar manner the core of the magnet M2 becomes
magnetized when the push button P2 is pressed and the circuit
completed through the winding of the magnet M2.
If an iron armature, that is supported by a shaft through its
center and properly balanced, be placed near the ends of the cores
of M1 and M2, as shown in Fig. 2, it may assume the position
indicated by either the full or dotted lines, depending upon which
of the magnets, M1 or M2, was last magnetized. The position of
this armature will serve to indicate the push button from which
the bell was operated. The magnets should be placed inside a case
and the indication may be made by a pointer attached to the shaft,
supporting the armature.
If you are able to secure the electromagnets from a discarded
electric bell they will work fine for the magnets M1 and M2. They
should be disconnected from their iron support and mounted upon
some non-magnetic material, such as brass or copper, making the
distance between their centers as small as possible. The piece of
metal upon which the magnets are mounted should now be fastened,
by means of two wood screws, to the back of the board, shown in
Fig. 6, that is to form the face of the annunciator. It should be
about 1/8 in. thick, 1/2 in. wide and long enough to extend a
short distance beyond the cores of the magnets M1 and M2. Drill a
1/16-in. hole through its center, as shown in Fig. 2. Drive a
piece of steel rod into this hole, making sure the rod will not
turn easily in the opening, and allow about 1/2 in. of the rod to
project on one side, and 1-1/2 in. on the other side.
Drill a hole in the board upon which the magnets are mounted so
that when the long end of the rod carrying the armature is passed
through the hole, the armature will be a little more than 1/16 in.
from each magnet core. The short end of the rod should be
supported by means of a piece of strip brass bent into the form
shown in Fig. 3.
Drill a hole in the center of this piece, so the rod will pass
through it. When the armature has been put in its proper place,
fasten this strip to the board with two small wood screws. You may
experience some difficulty in locating the hole in the board for
the rod, and it no doubt would be best to drill this hole first
and fasten the magnets in place afterwards.
Two small collars should be fastened to the rod to prevent its
moving endwise. Fit the collars tightly on the rod to hold them in
Cut the long end of the rod off so it projects through the face of
the annunciator about 5/8 in. Take some very thin sheet brass and
cut out a needle or indicator as shown in Fig. 4. In a small piece
of brass drill a hole so it will fit tight on the other end of the
rod. Solder the indicator to this piece and force it in place on
the end of the rod.
When the armature is the same
[Illustration: Details of the Annunciator]
distance from each core, the indicator should be parallel to the
long dimension of the face of the case. The case of the instrument
may be made in the following way:
Secure a piece of 3/8-in. oak, or other hard wood, 3 in. wide and
2 ft. long. Then cut from this board the following pieces: two
whose dimensions correspond to those of Fig. 5 and are to form the
sides of the case; two whose dimensions correspond to those of
Fig. 6 and are to form the back and the face of the case; three
whose dimensions correspond to those of Figs. 7, 8, and 9 and are
to form the lower and upper end of the case and the finish for the
Secure a piece of window glass, 4-1/2 in. by 3-1/8 in. that is to
be used as the front. Before assembling the case cut on the inner
surface of the pieces forming the sides and the lower end, a
groove just wide enough to take the glass and 1/16 in. in depth.
The outer edge of this groove should be 3/8 in. from the outer
edge of the frame. After the case is fastened together there
should be a slot between the piece forming the upper end and the
piece that serves as a finish at the top, that will allow the
glass to be slipped into place. A small strip of wood should be
tacked over this slot, after the glass is put in place, to prevent
the dust and dirt from falling down inside of the case.
The piece upon which the works are to be mounted may be fastened
in place by means of four round-headed brass screws that pass
through the sides of the case. It should be fastened about 1/2 in.
back of the glass front. The back may be fastened inside of the
case in a similar manner.
Cut two pieces, from some sheet brass, whose dimensions correspond
to those of Fig. 10. These pieces are to be used in supporting the
case by means of some small screws. Fasten three binding-posts,
that are to form the terminals of the annunciator, on the top of
the upper end of the case. Mark one of these binding-posts C and
the other two Ll and L2. Connect one terminal of each of the
magnet windings to the post marked C and the other terminal to the
posts Ll and L2. You can finish the case in any style you may
desire. Often times it is desirable to have it correspond to the
finish of the woodwork of the room in which it is to be placed.
The distance the point of the indicator will move through depends
upon the distance between the cores of the magnets and the
distance of the armature from these cores. These distances are
often times such that the indications of the cell are not very
definite. If the armature is moved too far from the cores there is
not sufficient pull exerted by them when magnetized, to cause the
position of the armature' to change.
Mount on the shaft carrying the armature a small gear wheel.
Arrange another smaller gear to engage this on and fasten the
indicator to the shaft of the smaller gear. Any movement now of
the armature shaft will result in a relative large movement of the
indicator shaft. Figure 11 shows the arrangement of the gears just
** How to Make a Steam Calliope 
Secure ten gas jet valves, the part of the gas fixture shown in
Fig. 1, and prepare to place them in a piece of 1-in. pipe, 12 in.
long. This is done by drilling and tapping 10 holes, each
[Illustration: Details of the Calliope]
1 in. apart, in a straight line along the pipe. The valves screwed
into these holes appear as shown in Fig. 2. The whistles are made
from pipe of a diameter that will fit the valves. No dimensions
can be given for the exact lengths of these pipes as they must be
tried out to get the tone. Cut ten pieces of this pipe, each one
of a different length, similar to the pipes on a pipe organ. Cut a
thread on both ends, put a cap on the end intended for the top,
and fit a plug in the other end. The plug must have a small
portion of its side filed out, and a notch cut in the side of the
pipe with its horizontal edge level with the top of the plug. This
part of each whistle is made similar to making a bark whistle on a
green stick of willow. The pipes are then screwed into the valves.
The whistles may be toned by trying out and cutting off pieces of
the pipe, or by filling the top end with a little melted lead. The
1-in. pipe must have a cap screwed on one end and the other
attached to a steam pipe. The steam may be supplied by using an
old range boiler, placed horizontally in a fireplace made of brick
or sheet iron. If such a boiler is used, a small safety valve
should be attached. The keys and valve operation are shown in Fig.
3. This is so plainly illustrated that it needs no explanation.
--Contributed by Herbert Hahn, Chicago.
** Sharpening Scissors 
When sharpening scissors on a grindstone it is very difficult to
procure a straight edge. For those not having the facilities of a
grinding arrangement a very handy device that will produce a
straight and sharp edge can be easily constructed as follows:
Procure a block of wood, 1-1/2 in. long, 1 in. wide and 1/2 in.
thick, add saw a kerf square with the face of the block, as shown
at A. Attach a piece
[Illustration: A Block of Wood Fitted with a Piece of Emery Cloth
for Sharpening Scissors Correctly]
of fine emery cloth in the kerf, at B, with glue, taking care to
have it flat on the sloping surface only and allowing no part of
the cloth to turn the sharp corner and lie on the back side. Apply
the block to the scissor blade as shown and draw it back and forth
from one end to the other, being careful to keep the back side of
the blade flat against the block. Without being familiar with
scissors grinding, anyone can sharpen them correctly with this
--Contributed by Harriet Kerbaugh, Allentown, Pa.
** Counter Brush for a Shop 
A very serviceable brush for use around a shop can be made from a
discarded or worn-out push broom as shown at A. Pull out the
bristles from one-half of the brush and shape the wood of that end
with a knife or
[Illustration: A Discarded Push Broom Shaped to Form a Brush for
the Bench or Counter]
spokes have to the form of a handle, and the brush will be formed
as shown at B.
--Contributed by James T. Gaffney, Chicago.
** A Curtain Roller 
Procure a window-shade roller, an umbrella rib and two strips of
oilcloth, each 1 in. wide and 4 in. long. Cut the
[Illustration: The Curtain is Easily Attached to and Detached from
the Roller for Cleaning]
roller off so that it will be 6 in. longer than the distance
across the window, then cut a groove in it to insert the rib. Sew
the pieces of oilcloth so that they will just fit over the ends of
the roller. When this is done lay the curtain across the groove,
then press the rib and curtain into the groove and push the
oilcloth bands over the ends of the rib to keep it in place.
--Contributed by E. L. McFarlane, Nashwaakees, N. B.
** Shade-Holder Bracket for a Gas Jet 
An old umbrella rib makes a very effective shade-holder bracket
for a gas jet. The ends of the rib are bent to fit around the
pendant upright and the support end is shaped into a hook. It can
be quickly applied or removed. The outer end is bent into a hook
[Illustration: The Bracket for Holding the Shade is Made from an
Old Umbrella Rib]
hold the shade. The rib can be cut to fit a pendant arm of any
--Contributed by Edward Keegstra, Paterson, N. J.
** To Longer Preserve Cut Flowers 
A good way to keep cut flowers fresh is to place a small amount of
pure salt of sodium in the water. It is best to procure this salt
at a drug store because commercial salt will cause the flowers to
wither, due to the impurities in the soda. Call for pure sodium
** Glass Blowing and Forming 
Fortunate indeed is the boy who receives a stock of glass tubing,
a Bunsen burner, a blowpipe, and some charcoal for a gift, for he
has a great deal of fun in store for himself. Glass blowing is a
useful art to understand, if the study of either chemistry or
physics is to be taken up, because much apparatus can be made at
home. And for itself alone, the forming of glass into various
shapes has not only a good deal of pleasure in it, but it trains
the hands and the eye.
Glass, ordinarily brittle and hard, becomes soft and pliable under
heat. When subjected to the action of a flame until dull red, it
bends as if made of putty; heated to a bright yellow, it is so
soft that it may be blown, pulled, pushed or worked into any shape
desired. Hence the necessity for a Bunsen burner, a device
preferred to all others for this work, because it gives the
hottest flame without soot or dirt. The Bunsen burner, as shown in
Fig. 1, is attached to any gas bracket with a rubber tube, but the
flame is blue, instead of yellow, as the burner introduces air at
its base, which mixes with the gas and so produces an almost
perfect combustion, instead of the partial combustion which
results in the ordinary yellow flame. All gas stoves have Bunsen
burners, and many oil stoves.
If gas is not available, an alcohol lamp with a large wick will do
almost as well. The blowpipe, shown in Fig. 2, is merely a tube of
brass with the smaller end at right angles to the pipe, and a fine
tip to reduce the size of the blast, which is used to direct a
small flame. Besides these tools, the glass worker will need some
round sticks of charcoal, sharpened like a pencil, as shown in
Fig. 3, a file, and several lengths of German glass tubing.
To bend a length of the tubing, let it be assumed for the purpose
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