The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1
Popular Mechanics

Part 7 out of 15

Having a large number of windows to putty each week, I found it
quite a task to prepare the putty. I facilitated the work by using
an ordinary meat cutter or sausage grinder. The grinder will
soften set putty and will quickly prepare cold putty. It will not,
however, grind old putty or make putty from whiting and oil.
--Contributed by H. G. Stevens; Dunham, Que.

** Home-Made Small Churn [192]

Many people living in a small town or in the suburbs of a city own

[Illustration: Making Butter]

cow that supplies the family table with milk and cream. Sometimes
the cream will accumulate, but not in sufficient quantities to be
made into butter in a large churn. A fruit jar usually takes the
place of a churn and the work is exceedingly hard, the jar being
shaken so the cream will beat against the ends in the process of
butter-making. The accompanying sketch shows clearly how one boy
rigged up a device having a driving wheel which is turned with a
crank, and a driven wheel attached to an axle having a crank on
the inner end. This crank is connected to a swinging cradle with a
wire pitman of such a size as to slightly bend or spring at each
end of the stroke. The cradle is made with a cleat fastened to
each end, between which is placed the fruit jar, partially filled
with cream. The jar is wedged in between the cleats and the
churning effected by turning the crank.
--Contributed by Geo. E. Badger, Mayger, Oregon.

** Home-Made Round Swing [192]

Gas pipe and fittings were used wherever possible in the making of
the swing as shown in the photograph. The d i a g ram drawing
shows the construction. A 6-in. square cedar post is set in the
ground about 3 ft., allowing 2 ft. to remain above the ground and
a 7/8-in. piece of shafting is driven into the top part of this
post for an axle. A cast-iron ring, or, better still, a heavy
wheel with four spokes of such a size as to be drilled and tapped
for 1/2-in. pipe is used for the hub, or center on which the frame
swings. If a wheel is selected, the rim must be removed and only
the spokes and hub used. The hole in the hub must be 7/8 in. or
less, so the hub can be fitted to the shafting that is driven in
the post. A large washer is placed on top of the post and the hub
or cast-iron ring set on the washer.

The drilled and tapped holes in the four spokes are each fitted
with a 4-1/2 length of 1/2-in. pipe. These pipes are

[Illustration: The Merry-Go-Round Complete]

each fitted with a tee on the end and into this tee uprights of
1/2-in. pipe in suitable lengths are screwed, and also short
lengths with a tee and axle for the 6-in. wheel are fitted in the
under side of the tee. The uprights at their upper ends are also
fitted with tees and each joined to the center pipe with 1/2-in.
pipe flattened on the inner end and fastened with bolts to a

The bottom part of the cloth covering is held in place by a
1/2-in. pipe, bent to the desired circle. Four braces made from
1/2-in. pipe connect each spoke and seat to the flange on the
center pipe. An extra wheel 18 in. in diameter is fitted in
between two seats and used as the propelling wheel. This wheel has
bicycle cranks and pedals and carries a seat or a hobby horse. The
four seats are fastened to the four pipes with 1/2-in. pipe

[Illustration: Details of the Swing]

Small miniature electric lights are fastened to the overhead
braces and supplied with electric current carried through wires to
the swing by an ingenious device attached to the under side of the
cast-iron ring or hub of the wheel. A ring of fiber on which two
brass rings are attached is fastened to the hub and connections
are made to the two rings through two brushes fastened to the post
with a bracket. The wires run under the surface of the ground
outside and connected to the source of electricity. The wires from
the brass rings run through the center pipe to the top and are
connected to the lamp sockets.

** Old-Time Magic-Part V [193]

** The Disappearing Coin [193]

This is an uncommon trick, entirely home-made and yet the results
are as startling as in many of the professional tricks. A small
baking-powder can is employed to vanish the coin, which should be
marked by one of the audience for identification. Cut a slot in
the bottom on the side of the can, as shown in Fig. 1. This slot
should be just large enough for the coin that is used to pass
through freely, and to have its lower edge on a level with the
bottom of the can.

The nest or series of boxes in which the coin is afterwards found
should consist of four small sized flat pasteboard boxes square or
rectangular shaped and furnished with hinged covers. The smallest
need be no larger than necessary to hold the coin and each
succeeding box should be just large enough to hold the next
smaller one which in turn contains the others.

A strip of tin about 1 by 1-3/4 in. is bent in the shape as shown
in Fig. 2 to serve as a guide for the coin through the various
boxes. This guide is inserted about 1/8 in. in the smallest box
between the cover and the box and three rubber bands wrapped
around the box as indicated. This box is then enclosed in the next
larger box, the guide being allowed to project between the box and
the cover, and the necessary tension is secured by three rubber
bands around the box as before. In like manner the remaining boxes

[Illustration: Appliances for the Disappearing Coin]

adjusted so that finally the prepared nest of boxes appears as in
Fig. 3.

The coin can easily be passed into the inner box through the tin
guide, then the guide can be withdrawn which permits the
respective boxes to close and the rubber bands hold each one in a
closed position.

The performer comes forward with the tin can in his right hand,
the bottom of the can in his palm with the slot at the right side.
He removes the cover with the left hand and passes his wand around
the inner part of the can which is then turned upside down to
prove that it contains nothing. The marked coin is dropped into
the can by some one in the audience. The cover is replaced and the
can shaken so the coin will rattle within. The shaking of the can
is continued until the coin has slipped through the slot into his
palm. The can is then placed on the table with his left hand. Then
apparently he looks for something to cover the can. This is found
to be a handkerchief which was previously prepared on another
table concealing the nest of boxes. The coin in the right hand is
quickly slipped into the guide of the nest of boxes, which was
placed in an upright position, and the guide withdrawn, and
dropped on the table. The performer, while doing this, is
explaining that he is looking for a suitable cover for the can,
but as he cannot find one he takes the handkerchief instead. The
handkerchief is spread over the can and then he brings the nest of
boxes. He explains how he will transfer the coin and passes his
wand from the can to the boxes. The can is then shown to be empty
and the boxes given to one in the audience to be opened. They will
be greatly surprised to find the marked coin within the innermost

** How to Keep Film Negatives [194]

There are many devices for taking care of film negatives to keep
them from curling and in a place easily accessible. Herewith is
illustrated a method by which anyone can make a place for the
negatives produced by his or her special film camera. The device
is made up similar to a post card album with places cut through
each leaf to admit each corner of the negatives. The leaves are
made from white paper and when the negatives are in place the
pictures made on them can

[Illustration: Negatives on White Paper Background]

easily be seen through to the white paper background. These leaves
can be made up in regular book form, or tied together similar to a
loose-leaf book, thus adding only such pages as the negatives on
hand will require.
--Contributed by H. D. Harkins, St. Louis, Mo.

** Home-Made Match Safe [194]

[Illustration: Details of the Match Safe]

Cut a piece of tin in the shape and with the dimensions shown in
Fig. 1. Bend the saw-toothed edges at right angles to the piece on
the dotted lines. Bend the part that is marked 5-1/2 in. in a half
circle. Make a circle 3-1/2 in. in diameter on another piece of
tin, cut out the circle and cut the disk in two as shown in Fig.
2. These half circle pieces are soldered to the sides of the teeth
of the half circle made in the long piece of tin. Remove one end
from the inside box containing matches and slip the back of the
match safe through between the bottom of the inside box and the
open end box that forms the cover. The matches will fall into the
half circle tray at the lower end of the box which will be kept
full of matches until they are all used from the box.
--Contributed by C. F. White, Denver, Colo.

** An Electric Post Card Projector [195]

A post card projector is an instrument for projecting on a screen
in a darkened room picture post cards or any other pictures of a
similar size. The lantern differs from the ordinary magic lantern
in two features; first, it requires no expensive condensing lens,
and second, the objects to be projected have no need of being

Two electric globes are made to cast the strongest possible light
on the picture card set between them and in front of which a lens
is placed to project the view on the screen, the whole being
enclosed in a light-tight box. The box can be made of selected oak
or mahogany. The lens to be used as a projector will determine the
size of the box to some extent. The measurements given in these
instructions are for a lens of about 5 in. focal length. The box
should be constructed of well seasoned wood and all joints made
with care so they will be light-tight.

The portion shown carrying the lens in Fig. 1 is made to slide in
the main body of the lantern for focusing. A box should first be
made 5-1/2 in. wide, 5-1/2 in. high and 11 in. long. A hole is cut
in the back of the box 4 by 6 in. represented by the dotted line
in Fig. 2. This will be 3/4 in. from the top and bottom and 2-1/2
in. from each end of the outside of the box. Two strips of wood
1/2 in. wide and 6-1/2 in. long are fastened along the top and
bottom of the back. The door covering this hole in the back, and,
which is also used as a carrier for the post cards, is made from a
board 4-1/2 in. wide and 6-1/2 in. long. The door is hinged to the
lower strip and held in position by a turn button on the upper
strip. The slides for the picture cards are made from strips of
tin bent as shown, and tacked to the inside surface of the door.

The runners to hold the part carrying the lens are two pieces
2-1/4 in. wide by 5 in. long and should be placed

[Illustration: Details of the Post Card Lantern]

vertically, AA, as shown in Fig. 1, 3-1/2 in. from each end. An
open space 4 in. wide and 5 in. high in the center is for the part
carrying the lens to slide for focusing. The part carrying the
lens is a shallow box 4 by 5 in. and 2 in. deep in the center of
which a hole is cut to admit the lens. If a camera lens is used,
the flange should be fastened with screws to the front part of
this shallow box. The sides of this box should be made quite
smooth and a good, but not tight, fit into the runners. Plumbago
can be rubbed on to prevent sticking and to dull any rays of

Two keyless receptacles for electric globes are fastened to the
under side of the top in the position shown and connected with
wires from the outside. Two or three holes about 1 in. in diameter
should be bored in the top between and in a line with the lights.
These will provide ventilation to keep the pictures from being
scorched or becoming buckled from the excessive heat. The holes
must be covered over on the top with a piece of metal or wood to
prevent the light from showing on the ceiling. This piece should
not be more than 1/2 in. high and must

[Illustration: Post Card Lantern Complete]

be colored dead black inside to cause no reflection.

The reflectors are made of sheet tin or nickel-plated metal bent
to a curve as shown, and extending the whole height of the
lantern. The length of these reflectors can be determined by the
angle of the lens when covering the picture. This is clearly shown
by the dotted lines in Fig. 1. The reflectors must not interfere
with the light between the picture and the lens, but they must be
sufficiently large to prevent any direct light reaching the lens
from the lamps. In operation place the post card upside down in
the slides and close the door. Sliding the shallow box carrying
the lens will focus the picture on the screen.

** A Handy Calendar [196]

[Illustration: The Knuckles Designate the 31 Day Months]

"Thirty days hath September, April, June and November," etc., and
many other rhymes and devices are used to aid the memory to decide
how many days are in each month of the year. Herewith is
illustrated a very simple method to determine the number of days
in any month. Place the first finger of your right hand on the
first knuckle of your left hand, calling that knuckle January;
then drop your finger into the depression between the first and
second knuckles, calling this February; then the second knuckle
will be March, and so on, until you reach July on the knuckle of
the little finger, then begin over again with August on the first
knuckle and continue until December is reached. Each month as it
falls upon a knuckle will have 31 days and those down between the
knuckles 30 days with the exception of February which has only 28
--Contributed by Chas. C. Bradley, West Toledo, Ohio.

** The Fuming of Oak [196]

Darkened oak always has a better appearance when fumed with
ammonia. This process is rather a difficult one, as it requires an
airtight case, but the description herewith given may be entered
into with as large a case as the builder cares to construct.

Oak articles can be treated in a case made from a tin biscuit box,
or any other metal receptacle of good proportions, provided it is
airtight. The oak to be fumed is arranged in the box so the fumes
will entirely surround the piece; the article may be propped up
with small sticks, or suspended by a string. The chief point is to
see that no part of the wood is covered up and that all surfaces
are exposed to the fumes. A saucer of ammonia is placed in the
bottom of the box, the lid or cover closed, and all joints sealed
up by pasting heavy brown paper over them. Any leakage will be
detected if the nose is placed near the tin and farther
application of the paper will stop the holes. A hole may be cut in
the cover and a piece of glass fitted in, taking care to have all
the edges closed. The process may be watched through the glass and
the article removed when the oak is fumed to the desired shade.
Wood stained in this manner should not be French polished or
varnished, but waxed.

The process of waxing is simple: Cut some beeswax into fine shreds
and place them in a small pot or jar. Pour in a little turpentine,
and set aside for half a day, giving it an occasional stir. The
wax must be thoroughly dissolved and then more turpentine added
until the preparation has the consistency of a thick cream. This
can be applied to the wood with a rag and afterward brushed up
with a stiff brush.

** How to Make an Electrolytic Rectifier [197]

[Illustration: Electrolytic Rectifier and Connections]

Many devices which will change alternating current to a direct
current have been put on the market, but probably there is not one
of them which suits the amateur's needs and pocketbook better than
the electrolytic rectifier.

For the construction of such a rectifier four 2-qt. fruit jars are
required. In each place two electrodes, one of lead and one of
aluminum. The immersed surface of the aluminum should be about 15
sq. in. and the lead 24 sq. in. The immersed surface of the lead
being greater than that of the aluminum, the lead will have to be
crimped as shown in Fig, 1. In both Fig. 1 and 2, the lead is
indicated by L and the aluminum by A.

The solution with which each jar is to be filled consists of the

Water 2 qt.
Sodium Carbonate 2 tablespoonfuls
Alum 3 tablespoonfuls

Care should be taken to leave the connections made as shown in
Fig. 2. The alternating current comes in on the wires as shown,
and the direct current is taken from the point indicated.

The capacity of this rectifier is from 3 to 5 amperes, which is
sufficient for charging small storage batteries, running small
motors and lighting small lamps.
--Contributed by J. H. Crawford, Schenectady, N. Y.

** The Rolling Marble [197]

Take a marble and place it on a smooth surface, The top of a table
will do. Ask someone to cross their first and second fingers and
place them on the marble as shown in the illustration. Then have
the person roll the marble about and at the same time close the
eyes or look in another direction. The person will imagine that
there are two marbles instead of one.

[Illustration: Rooling Marble]

** A Gas Cannon [197]

If you have a small cannon with a bore of 1 or 1-1/2 in., bore out
the fuse hole large enough to tap and fit in a small sized spark
plug such as used on a gasoline engine. Fill the cannon with gas
from a gas jet and then push a

[Illustration: Gas Cannon Loaded]

cork in the bore close up to the spark plug. Connect one of the
wires from a battery to a spark coil and then to the spark plug.
Attach the other wire to the cannon near the spark plug. Turn the
switch to make a spark and a loud report will follow.
--Contributed by Cyril Tegner, Cleveland, O.

** Old-Time Magic-Part VI [198]

** A Handkerchief Mended after Being Cut and Torn

Two persons are requested to come forward from the audience to
hold the four corners of a handkerchief. Then beg several other
handkerchiefs from the audience and place them on the one held by
the two persons. When several handkerchiefs have been accumulated,
have some one person draw out one from the bunch and examine for
any marks that will determine that this handkerchief is the one to
be mended after being mutilated. He, as well as others, are to cut
off pieces from this handkerchief and to finally tear it to

The pieces are then all collected and some magic spirits thrown
over the torn and cut parts; tie them in a small package with a
ribbon and put them under a glass, which you warm with your hands.
After a few seconds' time, you remove the glass, as you have held
it all the time, and take the handkerchief and unfold it; everyone
will recognize the mark and be amazed not to find a cut or tear in
the texture.

This trick is very simple. You have an understanding with some one
in the company, who has two handkerchiefs exactly alike and has
given one of them to a person behind the curtain; he throws the
other, at the time of request for handkerchiefs, on the
handkerchiefs held for use in the performance of the trick. You
manage to keep this handkerchief where it will be picked out in
preference to the others, although pretending to thoroughly mix
them up. The person selected to pick out a handkerchief naturally
will take the handiest one. Be sure that this is the right one.

When the handkerchief has been torn and folded, put it under the
glass, on a table, near a partition or curtain. The table should
be made with a hole cut through the top and a small trap door
fitted snugly in the hole, so it will appear to be a part of the
table top. This trap door is hinged on the under side and opens
into the drawer of the table and can be operated by the person
behind the curtain who will remove the torn handkerchief and
replace it with the good one and then close the trap door by
reaching through the drawer of the table.

** The Magic Knot [198]

This is a very amusing trick which consists of tying one knot with
two ends of a handkerchief, and pulling the

[Illustration: Tying and Untying a Knot]

ends only to untie them again. Take the two diagonal corners of a
handkerchief, one in each hand and throw the main part of the
handkerchief over the wrist of the left hand and tie the knot as
shown in the illustration. Pull the ends quickly, allowing the
loop over the left hand to slip freely, and you will have the
handkerchief without any knot.

** A Good Mouse Trap [198]

When opening a tomato or other small can, cut the cover crossways
from side to side making four triangular pieces in the top. Bend
the four ends outward and remove the contents, wash clean and dry
and then bend the four ends inward, leaving a hole about 3/4 in.
in diameter in the center. Drop in a piece of bread and lay the
can down upon its side and the trap is ready for use. The mouse
can get in but he cannot get out.
--Contributed by E. J. Crocker, Victor, Colo.

** Finishing Aluminum [198]

Rubbing the surface of an aluminum plate with a steel brush will
produce a satin finish.

** How to Make a Sailing Canoe [199]

A canvas canoe is easily made and light to handle, but in making
one, it must be remembered that the cloth will tear, if any snags
are encountered. Therefore such a craft cannot be used in all
waters, but by being careful at shores, it can be used as safely
as an ordinary sailing canoe. Be sure to select the best materials
and when complete cover the seams well with paint.

[Illustration: Completed Sailing Canoe]

The materials necessary for the construction of a sailing canoe,
as illustrated in the engraving, are as follows:

1 keelson, 1 in. by 8 in. by 15 ft., selected pine.
14 rib bands, 1 in. square by 16 ft., clear pine.
2 gunwales, 1 in. by 2 in. by 16 ft.
1 piece for forms and bow pieces, 1 in. by 12 in. by 10 ft.
4 outwales, 1/4 in. by 2 in. by 16 ft.
1 piece, 3 in. wide and 12 ft. long, for cockpit frame.
1 piece, 2 in. wide and 12 ft. long, for center deck braces.
11 yd. of 1-1/2-yd. wide 12-oz. ducking.
8 yd. of 1-yd. wide unbleached muslin.
50 ft. of rope.
1 mast, 9 ft. long.
Paint, screws and cleats.

The keelson, Fig. 1, is 14 ft. long, 8 in. wide in the center and
tapered down from a point 4 ft. from each end to 1 in. at the
ends. Both ends are mortised, one 6 in. for the stern piece, and
the other 12 in. for the bow. Be sure to get the bow and stern
pieces directly in the middle of the keelson and at right angles
with the top edge. The stern and bow pieces are cut as shown in
Fig. 2 and braced with an iron band, 1/8 in. thick and 3/4 in.
wide, drilled and fastened with screws.

Study the sketches showing the details well before starting to cut
out the pieces. Then there will be no trouble experienced later in
putting the parts together. See that all the pieces fit their
places as the work proceeds and apply the canvas with care.

Two forms are made as shown in Figs. 3 and 4; the smaller is
placed 3 ft. from the bow and the large one, 7 ft. 3 in. from the
stern. The larger mould is used temporarily while making the boat,
and is removed after the ribs are in place. The gunwales are now
placed over the forms and in the notches shown, and fastened with
screws, and, after cutting the ends to fit the bow and stern
pieces, they are fastened with bolts put through the three pieces.
The sharp edges on one side of each rib-band are removed and seven
of them fastened with screws to each side of the moulds, spacing
them on the large mould 4 in. apart. The ribs are made of 28 good
barrel hoops

[Illustration: Details of a Home-Made Sailing Canoe]

which should be well soaked in water for several hours before
bending them in shape. These are put in 6 in. apart and are
fastened to the rib-bands with 7/8-in. wood screws. The ribs
should be put in straight and true to keep them from pulling the
rib-bands out of shape. After the ribs are in place and fastened
to the rib-bands, gunwales and keelson, put on the outwale strips
and fasten them to the gunwales between every rib with 1-1/2-in.

Before making the deck, a block for the mast to rest in must be
made and fastened to the keelson. This block, Fig. 5, is a cube
having sides 6 in. square and is kept from splitting by an iron
band tightly fitted around the outside. The block is fastened to
the keelson, 3-1/2 ft. from the bow, with bolts through
countersunk holes from the under side.

There are three deck braces made as shown in Figs. 6, 7 and 8.
Braces, Figs. 6 and 7, form the ends of the cockpit which is 20
in. wide. A 6-in. board is fitted into the mortises shown in these
pieces; a center piece is fitted in the other mortises. The other
deck braces slope down from the center piece and are placed 6 in.
apart. They are 1 in. square and are mortised into the center
piece and fastened to the gunwales with screws. The main deck
braces are fastened to the gunwales with 4-in. corner braces and
to the center piece with 2-in. corner braces. The mast hole on the
deck is made as follows: Secure a piece of pine 1 in. thick, 6 in.
wide and 3 ft. long. Cut this in halves and mortise for the center
piece in the two halves and fasten to the gunwales. A block of
pine, 4 in. thick and 12 in. long, is cut to fit under the top
boards, Fig. 9, and fastened to them with bolts. With an expansive
bit bore a hole 3 in. in diameter through the block. Be sure to
get the block and hole directly over the block that is fastened to
the keelson. Put on a coat of boiled linseed oil all over the
frame before proceeding farther.

Putting on the canvas may be a difficult piece of work to do, yet
if the following simple directions are followed out no trouble
will be encountered. The 11-yd. length of canvas is cut in the
center, doubled, and a seam made joining the two pieces together.
Fill the seam with thick paint and tack it down with copper tacks
along the center of the keelson. When this is well tacked commence
stretching and pulling the canvas in the middle of the gunwales so
as to make it as even and tight as possible and work toward each
end, tacking the canvas as it is stretched to the outside of the
gunwale. Seam the canvas along the stern and bow pieces as was
done on the keelson. The deck is not so hard to do, but be careful
to get the canvas tight and even. A seam should be made along the
center piece. The trimming is wood, 1/4 in. thick and 1/2 in.
wide. A strip of this is nailed along the center piece over the
canvas. The outwales are nailed on over the canvas. A piece of
oak, 1 in. thick 1-1/2 in. wide and 14 in. long, is fastened with
screws over the canvas on the stern piece; also, a piece 1/4 in.
thick, 1 in. wide and 24 in. long is well soaked in water, bent to
the right shape and fastened over the canvas on the bow.

The rudder is made as shown in Fig. 10 with a movable handle. A
strip 1 in. thick by 2 in. wide, is bolted to the keelson over the
canvas for the outer keel. The keel, Fig. 11, is 6 in. wide at one
end and 12 in. at the other, which is fastened to the outer keel
with bolts having thumb nuts. The mast can be made of a young
spruce tree having a diameter of 3 in. at the base with sufficient
height to make it 9 ft. long. The canoe is driven by a lanteen
sail and two curtain poles, each 1 in. in diameter and 10 ft.
long, are used for the boom and gaff, which are held together with
two pieces of iron bent as shown in Fig. 12. The sail is a
triangle, 9-3/4 by 9-3/4 by 8-1/2 ft. which is held to the boom
and gaff by cord lacings run through eyelets inserted in the
muslin. The eyelets are of brass placed 4 in. apart in the muslin.
The mast has two side and one front stay, each fitted with a
turnbuckle for tightening. A pulley is placed at the top and
bottom of the mast for the lift rope. The sail is held to the mast
by an iron ring and the lift rope at the top of the mast. The boom
rope is held in the hand and several cleats should be placed in
the cockpit for convenience. A chock is placed at the bow for
tying up to piers. Several coats of good paint complete the boat.
--Contributed by O. E. Tronnes, Wilmette, Ill.

** A Home-Made Hand Vise [201]

A very useful little hand vise can easily be made from a hinge and
a bolt carrying a wing nut. Get a fast

[Illustration: Hand Vise Made from a Hinge]

joint hinge about 2 in. or more long and a bolt about 1/2 in. long
that will fit the holes in the hinge. Put the bolt through the
middle hole of the hinge and replace the nut as shown in the
drawing. With this device any small object may be firmly held by
simply placing it between the sides of the hinge and tightening
the nut.

** Proper Design for a Bird House [201]

This bird house was designed and built to make a home for the
American martin. The house will accommodate 20 families. All the
holes are arranged so they will not be open to the cold winds from
the north which often kill the birds which come in the early
spring. Around each opening is an extra ring of wood to make a
longer passage which assists the martin inside in fighting off the

[Illustration: Bird House]

sparrow who tries to drive him out. The holes are made oval to
allow all the little ones to get their heads out for fresh air.
The long overhanging eaves protect the little birds from the hot
summer sun. The rooms are made up with partitions on the inside so
each opening will have a room. The inside of the rooms should be
stained black.

** Boomerangs and How to Make Them [202]

A boomerang is a weapon invented and used by the native
Australians, who seemed to have the least intelligence of any race
of mankind. The

[Illustration: Details of Three Boomerangs]

boomerang is a curved stick of hardwood, Fig. 1, about 5/16 in.
thick, 2-1/2 in. wide and 2 ft. long, flat on one side, with the
ends and the other side rounding. One end of the stick is grasped
in one hand with the convex edge forward and the flat side up and
thrown upward. After going some distance and ascending slowly to a
great height in the air with a quick rotary motion, it suddenly
returns in an elliptical orbit to a spot near the starting point.
If thrown down on the ground the boomerang rebounds in a straight
line, pursuing a ricochet motion until the object is struck at
which it was thrown.

Two other types of boomerangs are illustrated herewith and they
can be made as described. The materials necessary for the T-shaped
boomerang are: One piece of hard maple 5/16 in. thick, 2-1/2 in.
wide, and 3 ft. long; five 1/2-in. flat-headed screws. Cut the
piece of hard maple into two pieces, one 11-1/2 in. and the other
18 in. long. The corners are cut from these pieces as shown in
Fig. 2, taking care to cut exactly the same amount from each
corner. Bevel both sides of the pieces, making the edges very thin
so they will cut the air better. Find the exact center of the long
piece and make a line 1-1/4 in. on each side of the center and
fasten the short length between the lines with the screws as shown
in Fig. 3. The short piece should be fastened perfectly square and
at right angles to the long one.

The materials necessary for the cross-shaped boomerang are one
piece hard maple 5/16 in. thick, 2 in. wide and 30 in. long and
five 1/2-in. flat headed screws. Cut the maple- into two 14-in.
pieces and plane the edges of these pieces so the ends will be
1-1/2 in. wide, as shown in Fig. 4. Bevel these pieces the same as
the ones for the T-shaped boomerang. The two pieces are fastened
together as shown in Fig. 5. All of the boomerangs when completed
should be given several coats of linseed oil and thoroughly dried.
This will keep the wood from absorbing water and becoming heavy.
The last two boomerangs are thrown in a similar way to the first
one, except that one of the pieces is grasped in the hand and the
throw given with a quick underhand motion. A little practice is
all that is necessary for one to become skillful in throwing them.
--Contributed by O. E. Tronnes, Wilmette, Ill.

** How to Make Water Wings [202]

Purchase a piece of unbleached muslin, 1 yd. square. Take this and
fold it over once, forming a double piece 1-1/2 ft. wide and 3 ft.
long. Make a double stitch all around the edge, leaving a small
opening at one corner. Insert a piece of tape at this corner to be
used for tying around the opening when the bag is blown up. The
bag is then turned inside out, soaked with water and blown up. An
occasional wetting all over will prevent it from leaking. As these
wings are very large they will prevent the swimmer from sinking.
--Contributed by W. C. Bliss, St. Louis, Mo.

** How to Make an Ammeter [203]

The outside case of this instrument is made of wood taken from old
cigar boxes with the exception of the back. If carefully and
neatly made, the finished instrument will be very satisfactory.
The measurements here given need not be strictly followed out, but
can be governed by circumstances. The case should first be made
and varnished and while this is drying, the mechanical parts can
be put together.

[Illustration: Details of an Ammeter]

The back is a board 3/8 in. thick, 6-1/2 in. wide and 6-3/4 in.
long. The outer edges of this board are chamfered. The other parts
of the case are made from the cigar box wood which should be well
sandpapered to remove the labels. The sides are 3-1/4 in. wide and
5 in. long; the top and bottom, 3-1/4 in. wide and 4-1/2 in. long.
Glue a three cornered piece, A, Fig. 1, at each end on the surface
that is to be the inside of the top and bottom pieces. After the
glue, is set, fasten the sides to the pieces with glue, and take
care that the pieces are all square. When the glue is set, this
square box is well sandpapered, then centered, and fastened to the
back with small screws turned into each three-cornered piece.

The front, which is a piece 5-1/4 in. wide and 6-1/2 in. long, has
a circular opening cut near the top through which the graduated
scale may be seen. This front is centered and fastened the same as
the back, and the four outside edges, as well as the edges around
the opening, are rounded. The whole case can now be cleaned and
stained with a light mahogany stain and varnished. Cut another
piece of board, B, Figs. 2 and 3, to just fit inside the case and
rest on the ends of the three-cornered pieces, A, and glue to this
board two smaller pieces, C, 3 in. square, with the grain of the
wood in alternate directions to prevent warping. All of these
pieces are made of the cigar box wood. Another piece, D, 3/8 in.
thick and 3 in. square, is placed on the other pieces and a
U-shaped opening 1-3/4 in. wide and 2-1/2 in. high sawed out from
all of the pieces as shown. The piece D is attached to the pieces
C with four 1/2-in. pieces 2-5/8 in. long.

A magnet is made from a soft piece of iron, E, about 3/8 in.
thick, 1-1/4 in. wide and 2-3/4 in. long. Solder across each end
of the iron a piece of brass wire, F, and make a turn in each end
of the wires, forming an eye for a screw. These wires are about
2-1/2 in. long. Wind three layers of about No. 14 double
cotton-covered copper wire on the soft iron and leave about 5 or 6
in. of each end unwound for connections.

The pointer is made as shown in Fig. 5 from 1/16-in. brass wire
filed to make a point at both ends for a spindle. About 1/2 in.
from each end of this wire are soldered two smaller brass wires
which in turn are soldered to a strip of light tin 1/4 in. wide
and 2-5/8 in. long. The lower edge of this tin should be about 1/2
in. from the spindle. The pointer is soldered to the spindle 1/4
in. from one end. All of these parts should be brass with the
exception of the strip of tin. Another strip of tin, the same size
as the first, is soldered to two brass wires as shown in Fig. 4.
These wires should be about 1 in. long.

The spindle of the pointer swings freely between two bars of
brass, G, 1/16 in. thick, 1/4 in. wide and 2-1/2 in. long. A small
hole is countersunk in one of the bars to receive one end of the
spindle and a hole 1/8 in. in diameter is drilled in the other and
a thumb nut taken from the binding-post of an old battery soldered
over the hole so the screw will pass through when turned into the
nut. The end of the screw is countersunk to receive the other end
of the spindle. A lock nut is necessary to fasten the screw when
proper adjustment is secured. A hole is drilled in both ends of
the bars for screws to fasten them in place. The bar with the
adjusting screw is fastened on the back so it can be readily
adjusted through the hole H, bored in the back. The pointer is
bent so it will pass through the U-shaped cut-out and up back of
the board B. A brass pin is driven in the board B to hold the
pointer from dropping down too far to the left. Place the tin,
Fig. 4, so it will just clear the tin, Fig. 5, and fasten in
place. The magnet is next placed with the ends of the coil to the
back and the top just clearing the tin strips. Two binding screws
are fitted to the bottom of the back and connected to the
extending wires from the coil.

The instrument is now ready for calibrating. This is done by
connecting it in series with another standard ammeter which has
the scale marked in known quantities. In this series is also
connected a variable resistance and a battery or some other source
of current supply. The resistance is now adjusted to show .5
ampere on the standard ammeter and the position of the pointer
marked on the scale. Change your resistance to all points and make
the numbers until the entire scale is complete.

When the current flows through the coil, the two tinned strips of
metal are magnetized, and being magnetized by the same lines of
force they are both of the same polarity. Like poles repel each
other, and as the part Fig. 4 is not movable, the part carrying
the pointer moves away. The stronger the current, the greater the
magnetism of the metal strips, and the farther apart they will be
forced, showing a greater defection of the pointer. --Contributed
by George Heimroth, Richmond Hill, L. I.

** How to Make an Equatorial [204] Condensed from article
contributed by J. R. Chapman, F.R.A.S. Austwick Hall. W.
Yorkshire. England

This star finder can easily be made by anyone who can use a few
tools as the parts are all wood and the only lathe work necessary
is the turned shoulder on the polar axis and this could be dressed
and sandpapered true enough for the purpose. The base is a board 5
in. wide and 9 in. long which is fitted with an ordinary wood
screw in each corner for leveling. Two side pieces cut with an
angle equal to the colatitude of the place are nailed to the base
and on top of them is fastened another board on which is marked
the hour circle as shown. The end of the polar axis B, that has
the end turned with a shoulder, is fitted in a hole bored in the
center of the hour circle. The polar axis B is secured to the
board with a wooden collar and a pin underneath. The upper end of
the polar axis is fitted with a 1/4-in. board, C, 5-1/2 in. in
diameter. A thin compass card divided into degrees is fitted on
the edge of this disk for the declination circle.

The hour circle A is half of a similar card with the hour marks
divided into 20 minutes. An index pointer is fastened to the base
of the polar axis. A pointer 12 in. long is fastened with a small
bolt to the center of the declination circle. A small opening is
made in the pointer into which an ordinary needle is inserted.
This needle is adjusted to the degree to set the pointer in
declination and when set, the pointer is clamped with the bolt at
the center. A brass tube having a 1/4-in. hole is fastened to the

The first thing to do is to get a true N and S meridian mark. This
can be approximately obtained by a good compass, and allowance
made for the magnetic declination at your own place. Secure a slab
of stone or some other solid flat surface, level this and have it
firmly fixed facing due south with a line drawn through the center
and put the equatorial on the surface with XII on the south end of
the line. Then set the pointer D to the declination of the object,
say Venus at the date of observation. You now want to know if this
planet is east or west of your meridian at the time of
observation. The following formula will show how this may be
found. To find a celestial object by equatorial: Find the planet
Venus May 21, 1881, at 9 hr. 10 min. A. M. Subtract right
ascension of planet from the time shown by the clock, thus:

hour minute second
9 hr. 10 min. shows mean siderial. 1 0 0
Add 12 hrs 12
--- --- ---

Right ascension of Venus 2 10
--- --- ---
Set hour circle to before meridian 10 50 0
At 1 hr. 30 min. mean clock shows 5 20 0
Right ascension of Venus 2 10 0
--- --- ---
Set hour circle to 3 10 0

Books may be found in libraries that will give the right ascension
and declination of most of the heavenly bodies.

The foregoing tables assume that you have a clock rated to
siderial time,

[Illustration: Home-Made Equatorial]

but this is not absolutely necessary. If you can obtain the
planet's declination on the day of observation and ascertain when
it is due south, all you have to do is to set the pointer D by the
needle point and note whether Venus has passed your meridian or
not and set your hour index. There will be no difficulty in
picking up Venus even in bright sunlight when the plant is visible
to the naked eye.

** Electric Light Turned On and Off from Different Places [205]

How nice it would be to have an electric light at the turn in a
stairway, or at the top that could be turned on before starting up
the stair and on reaching the top turned out, and vice

[Illustration: The Wiring Diagram]

versa when coming down. The wiring diagram as shown in the
illustration will make this a pleasant reality. This wiring may be
applied in numerous like instances. The electric globe may be
located at any desired place and the two point switches are
connected in series with the source of current as shown in the
sketch. The light may be turned on or off at either one of the
--Contributed by Robert W. Hall, New Haven, Conn.

** How to Make a Bunsen Cell [206]

This kind of a cell produces a high e.m.f. owing to the low
internal resistance. Procure a glass jar such as used for a
gravity battery, or, if one of these cannot be had, get a glazed
vessel of similar construction. Take a piece of sheet zinc large
enough so that when it is rolled up in the shape of a cylinder it
will clear the edge of the jar by about 1/2 in. Solder a wire or
binding-post to the edge of the cylinder for a connection.

[Illustration: Cross Section and Completed Cell]

Secure a small unglazed vessel to fit inside of the zinc, or such
a receptacle as used in a sal ammoniac cell, and fill it with a
strong solution of nitric acid. Fill the outer jar with a solution
of 16 parts water and 5 parts sulphuric acid. The connections are
made from the zinc and carbon.

** Optical Illusion [206]

Can you tell which of these three figures is the tallest? Make a
guess, and then verify its correctness by measurement.

[Illustration: Who is tallest?]

** One Way to Cook Fish [206]

One of the best and easiest ways of cooking fish while out camping
is told by a correspondent of Forest and Stream. A fire is built
the size for the amount of food to be cooked and the wood allowed
to burn down to a glowing mass of coals and ashes. Wash and season
your fish well and then wrap them up in clean, fresh grass, leaves
or bark. Then, after scraping away the greater part of the coals,
put the fish among the ashes, cover up with the same, and heap the
glowing coals on top. The fish cooks quickly--15 or 20
minutes--according to their size.

If you eat fish or game cooked after this fashion you will agree
that it cannot be beaten by any method known to camp culinary
savants. Clay also answers the purpose of protecting. the fish or
game from the fire if no other material is at hand, and for
anything that requires more time for cooking it makes the best
covering. Wet paper will answer, especially for cooking fish.

** Hardening Copper [206]

A successful method of hardening copper is to add 1 lb. of alum
and 4 oz. arsenic to every 20 lb. of melted copper and stir for 10

** Packing Cut from Felt Hats [206]

Felt from an old hat makes good packing for automobile
water-circulating pumps. Strips should be cut to fit snugly in the
stuffing box. When the follower is screwed down, it will expand
the felt and make a watertight joint.

** Homemade Gasoline Engine [206]

The material used in the construction of the gasoline engine, as
shown in the accompanying picture, was pieces found in a scrap
pile that usually occupies a fence corner on almost every farm.
The cylinder consists of

[Illustration: Complete Homemade Gasoline Engine]

an old pump cylinder, 3/8 in. thick, 1-3/4 in. inside diameter and
about 5 in. long. This was fastened between some wooden blocks
which were bolted on the tool carriage of a lathe and then bored
out to a diameter of about 2 in. The boring bar, Fig. 1, consisted
of an old shaft with a hole bored through the center and a tool
inserted and held for each cut by a setscrew. A wood mandrel with
a metal shaft to turn in the centers of a lathe was made to fit
the bored-out cylinder. The cylinder was then placed on the
mandrel, fastened with a pin, and threaded on both ends. Flanges
were next made from couplings discarded from an old horsepower
tumbling rod, to fit on the threaded ends of the cylinder casting.
When these flanges were tightly screwed on the casting and faced
off smooth the whole presented the appearance of a large spool.

The back cylinder head was made from a piece of cast iron, about
1/2 in. thick, turned to the same diameter as the flanges, and
with a small projection to fit snugly inside the cylinder bore.
Two holes were then drilled in this head and tapped for 3/4-in.
pipe. Two pieces of 3/4 -in. pipe were fitted to these holes so
that, when they were turned in, a small part of the end of each
pipe projected on the inside of the cylinder head. These pieces of
pipe serve as valve cages and are reamed out on the inside ends to
form a valve seat. The outlet for the exhaust and the inlet for
the gas and air are through holes drilled in the side of each pipe
respectively and tapped for 1/2-in. pipe. Two heads were then made
to fit over the outer ends of the valve cages. These heads looked
similar to a thread spool with one flange cut off, the remaining
flange fitting on the

[Illustration: Steps in Making the Home-Made Gasoline Engine]

end of the valve cage and the center extending down inside to make
a long guide for the valve stems. These heads are held in place by
a wrought-iron plate and two bolts, one of which is plainly shown
in the picture. This plate also supports the rocker arms, Fig. 2,
and the guides for the rods that operate the valves. Both valves
are mechanically operated by one cam attached to a shaft running
one turn to two of the crankshaft. The gears to run this shaft
were cut from solid pieces on a small home-made gear-cutting
attachment for the lathe as shown in Fig. 3. The gear on the
crankshaft has 20 teeth meshing into a 40-tooth gear on the cam

The main part of the frame consists of a piece of 1/2-in. square
iron, 30 in. long, bent in the shape of a U, and on the outside of
this piece is riveted a bent piece of sheet metal 1/8 in. thick
and 3 in. wide. The U-shaped iron is placed near one edge of the
sheet metal. Two pieces of 2-1/2-in. angle iron are riveted
vertically on the ends of the U-shaped iron and a plate riveted on
them to close the open end and to form a face on which to attach
the cylinder with bolts or cap screws. A hole was cut through the
angle irons and plate the same size as the bore of the cylinder so
the piston could be taken out without removing the cylinder. A
1-in. angle iron was riveted to one side of the finished frame to
make a support for the crankshaft bearing. The rough frame, Fig.
4, was then finished on an emery wheel. This long frame had to be
made to accommodate the crosshead which was necessary for such a
short cylinder.

The piston and rod were screwed together and turned in one
operation on a lathe. The three rings were made from an old
cast-iron pulley. The cap screws were made from steel pump rods. A
piece of this rod was centered in a lathe and turned so as to
shape six or more screws, Fig. 5, then removed and the first one
threaded and cut off, then the second and so on until all of them
were made into screws. The rod was held in a vise for this last
operation. Studs were made by threading both ends of a proper
length rod. Make-and-break ignition is used on the engine;
however, a jump spark would be much better. The flywheel and
mixing valve were purchased from a house dealing in these parts.
The water jacket on the cylinder is a sheet of copper formed and
soldered in place, and brass bands put on to co v e r the soldered
--Contributed by Peter Johnson, Clermont, Iowa.

** Dripping Carburetor [208]

If gasoline drips from the carburetor when the engine is not
running, the needle valve connected with the float should be
investigated. If the dripping stops when the valve is pressed
down, the float is too high. If the valve keeps dripping, then it
should be ground to a fit.

** A Merry-Go-Round Thriller [209]

[Illustration: Swinging on the Merry-Go-Round]

As a home mechanic with a fondness for amusing the children I have
seen many descriptions of merry-go-rounds, but never one which
required so little material, labor and time, and which gave such
satisfactory results, as the one illustrated herewith. It was
erected in our back yard one afternoon, the materials being
furnished by an accommodating lumber pile, and a little junk, and
it has provided unlimited pleasure for "joy-riders," little and
big, from all over the neighborhood. It looks like a toy, but once
seat yourself in it and begin to go around, and, no matter what
your age or size may be, you will have in a minute enough thrill
and excitement to last the balance of the day.

The illustration largely explains itself, but a few dimensions
will be a help to anyone wishing to construct the apparatus. The
upright is a 4 by 4-in. timber, set 3 ft. in the ground with 8 ft.
extending above. It is braced on four sides with pieces 2 in.
square and 2 ft. long, butting against short stakes. The upper end
of the post is wound with a few rounds of wire or an iron strap to
prevent splitting. The crosspiece is 2 in. square, 12 ft. long,
strengthened by a piece 4 in. square and 5 ft. long. These two
pieces must be securely bolted or spiked together. A malleable
iron bolt, 3/4 in. in diameter and 15 in. long is the pivot. On
this depends the safety of the contrivance, so it must be strong
enough, and long enough to keep firmly in the post. Drive this
bolt in a 3/8-in. hole bored in the post, which will make it a
sufficiently tight fit. Make the hole for the bolt very loose
through the crosspiece, so that there will be plenty of "wobble,"
as this is one of the mirth-making features of the machine. Use a
heavy washer at the head. The seats are regular swing boards,
supported by a stout and serviceable rope. A 3/4 -in. rope is not
too heavy. One set of ropes are passed through holes at the end of
the crosspiece and knotted on top. The other set should be
provided with loops at the top and slid over the crosspiece, being
held in position by spikes as shown. This makes an easy
adjustment. Seat the heavier of the riders on the latter seat,
moving it toward the center until a balance with the lighter rider
is reached. A rope tied to the crosspiece about 2 ft. from the
center, for the "motive power" to grasp, completes the

Put plenty of soap or grease between the crosspiece and upright.
Be sure to have room for the ropes to swing out at high speed,
with no trees or buildings in the way. The "wobble" mentioned will
give an agreeable undulating motion, which adds greatly to the
flying sensation. This will be found surprisingly evident for so
small a machine. As there is no bracing, care must be taken to
have the two riders sit at the same moment, or the iron bolt will
be bent out of line. If it is to be used for adults, strong clear
material only should be employed.
--Contributed by C. W. Nieman.

** How to Make and Fly a Chinese Kite [210]

The Chinese boy is not satisfied with simply holding the end of a
kite string and running up and down the block or field trying to
raise a heavy paper kite with a half pound of rags for a tail. He
makes a kite as light as possible without any tail which has the
peculiar property of being able to move in every direction.
Sometimes an expert can make one of these kites travel across the
wind for several hundred feet; in fact, I have seen boys a full
block apart bring their kites together and engage

[Illustration: Parts of a Chinese Kite]

in a combat until one of their kites floated away with a broken
string, or was punctured by the swift dives of the other, and sent
to earth, a wreck.

The Chinese boy makes his kite as follows:

From a sheet of thin but tough tissue paper about 20 in. square,
which he folds and cuts along the dotted line, as shown in Fig. 1,
he gets a perfectly square kite having all the properties of a
good flyer, light and strong. He shapes two pieces of bamboo, one
for the backbone and one for the bow. The backbone is flat, 1/4 by
3/32 in. and 18 in. long. This he smears along one side with
common boiled rice. Boiled rice is one of the best adhesives for
use on paper that can be obtained and the Chinese have used it for
centuries while we are just waking up to the fact that it makes
fine photo paste. Having placed the backbone in position, paste
two triangular pieces of paper over the ends of the stick to
prevent tearing. The bow is now bent, and the lugs extending from
the sides of the square paper are bent over the ends of the bow
and pasted down. If the rice is quite dry or mealy it can be
smeared on and will dry almost immediately, therefore no strings
are needed to hold the bow bent while the paste dries.

After the sticks are in position the kite will appear as shown in
Fig. 2. The dotted lines show the lugs bent over the ends of the
bow and pasted down. Figure 3 shows how the band is put on and how
the kite is balanced. This is the most important part and cannot
be explained very well. This must be done by experimenting and it
is enough to say that the kite must balance perfectly. The string
is fastened by a slip-knot to the band and moved back and forth
until the kite flies properly, then it is securely fastened.

A reel is next made. Two ends--the bottoms of two small peach
baskets will do--are fastened to a dowel stick or broom handle, if
nothing better is at hand. These ends are placed about 14 in.
apart and strips nailed between them as shown in Fig. 4, and the
centers drawn in and bound with a string. The kite string used is
generally a heavy packing thread. This is run through a thin flour
or rice paste until it is thoroughly coated, then it is run
through a quantity of crushed glass. The glass should be beaten up
fine and run through a fine sieve to make it about the same as
No.2 emery. The particles should be extremely sharp and full of
splinters. These particles adhere to the pasted string and when
dry are so sharp that it cannot be handled without scratching- the
fingers, therefore the kite is flown entirely from the reel. To
wind the string upon the reel, all that is necessary is to lay one
end of the reel stick in the bend of the left arm and twirl the
other end between the fingers of the right hand.

A Chinese boy will be flying a gaily colored little kite from the
roof of a house (if it be in one of the large cities where they
have flat-roofed houses) and a second boy will appear on the roof
of another house perhaps 200 ft. away. Both have large reels full
of string, often several hundred yards of it. The first hundred
feet or so is glass-covered string, the balance, common packing
thread, or glass-covered string. As soon as the second boy has his
kite aloft, he begins maneuvering to drive it across the wind and
over to the first kite. First, he pays out a large amount of
string, then as the kite wobbles to one side with its nose
pointing toward the first kite, he tightens his line and commences
a steady quick pull. If properly done his kite crosses over to the
other and above it. The string is now payed out until the second
kite is hanging over the first one's line. The wind now tends to
take the second kite back to its parallel and in so doing makes a
turn about the first kite's string. If the second kite is close
enough, the first tries to spear him by swift dives. The second
boy in the meantime is see-sawing his string and presently the
first kite's string is cut and it drifts away.

It is not considered sport to haul the other fellow's kite down as
might be done and therefore a very interesting battle is often
witnessed when the experts clash their kites.
--Contributed by S. C. Bunker, Brooklyn, N. Y.

** Home-Made Vise [211]

An ordinary monkey wrench that has been discarded is used in
making this vise. The wrench is supported by two L-shaped pieces
of iron fastened with

[Illustration: A Swivel Bench Vise]

a rivet through the end jaw, and these in turn are bolted or
screwed to the bench. The handle end is held down with a staple.
The inside jaw is used in clamping and is operated with the thumb
screw of the wrench. Two holes bored through the thumb piece will
greatly facilitate setting up the jaws tightly by using a small
rod in the holes as a lever.

The vise may be made into a swing vise if the wrench is mounted on
a board which is swung on a bolt at one end and held with a pin at
the other as shown in the illustration. Various holes bored in the
bench on an arc will permit the board to be set at any angle.
--Contributed by Harry S. Moody, Newburyport. Mass.

** Home-Made Changing Bag for Plate Holders [212]

A good bag for changing plates and loading plate holders and one
that the operator can see well to work in can

[Illustration: Made of Black Cambric]

be made by anyone on a sewing machine. Ten yards of black cambric
or other black cloth and a little ruby fabric will be required.
Take the cambric and fold it into 2-yd. lengths (Fig. 1) which
will make five layers of cloth, tack or fasten the layers together
so they will not slip and cut an 8-in. square hole in the middle
of one half (Fig. 2) and sew the ruby fabric over the opening. Be
sure and make the seam light-tight and have enough layers of ruby
fabric so no white light can get in. Fold the cloth up so it will
be 1 yd. square (Fig. 3) and sew up the edges to make a bag with
one side open. Put a drawstring in the edge of the cloth around
the open side and the bag is complete ready for use.

Take the holders and plate boxes in the lap and put the bag over
the head and down around the body, then draw the string up tight.
A bag made up in this manner is for use only for a short time. If
it is necessary to do considerable work at a time, then a dust
protector, such as mill men use, must be attached to a 3-ft.
length of 2-in. rubber hose and the hose run through a hole in the
bag. This will make it possible to work in the bag as long as you
--Contributed by Earl R. Hastings, Corinth, Vt.

** Home-Made Asbestos Table Pads [212]

Asbestos table pads to prevent the marring of polished table tops
from heated dishes can be easily made at home much cheaper than
they can be bought. Procure a sheet of asbestos from a plumbing
shop and cut it in the shape of the top of your table. If the
table is round, make the pad as shown in the illustration, cutting
the circular piece into quarters. Cut four pieces of canton
flannel. each the size of half the table top. Two of the asbestos
pieces are used to make one-half of the pad. Place the two pieces
with their edges together so they will form half a circle disk and
cover both sides with a piece of the flannel and pin them in
place. A binding of white cotton tape is then basted around the
edges to hold all the pieces together until they are stitched on a
sewing machine. A line of machine stitching is made all around the
outside and through the middle

[Illustration: Pads Made of Asbestos]

between where the edges of the asbestos sheets join together. This
will form a hinge so the two quarters may be folded for putting
away. Make the other half circular disk in the same way. If leaves
are wanted in extending the table, any number of pads can be made
to cover them in the same manner with the hinge in the middle of
each pad. The flannel is used with the nap side out so it will
make the pad soft and noiseless. This kind of a pad furnishes
perfect protection to the table from any heat or moisture.
--Contributed by H. E. Wharton, Oakland, Calif.

** How to Make a Ladies' Handbag [213]

To make this bag, get a piece of Russian calf modeling leather. A
shade of brown is the best as it does not soil easily and does not
require coloring, which spoils the leather effect.

The dimensions of the full sized bag are: from A to B, 17-1/2 in.;
from C to D, 16-1/4 in.; from E to F,9-1/4 in.; G to H, 6-1/4 in.,
and E to G, 2-1/4 in.

Enlarge the accompanying pattern to the given dimensions, trace
this or some other appropriate design on it, and then cut the
leather the size of the pattern.

Use a sponge to dampen the leather on the rough side, not so damp
that the water will come through to the right side when working,
but damp enough to allow the design to be well impressed

[Illustration: Pattern]

on the leather. Use a smooth, non-absorbent surface to lay the
leather on while at work.

Now lay the pattern on the right side of the leather and with the
smallest end of the leather tool or a sharp, hard pencil, trace
the design carefully on the leather. Moisten the leather as

[Illustration: Design on the Leather]

often as necessary to keep it sufficiently moist to work well.
Trace the openings for the handles, also lines A-G, H-B, and E-G,
G-J, and corresponding lines on the other side.

Remove pattern and trace the design directly on leather with the
round point of tool, until it is made distinct and in marked
contrast to the rest of the leather. Do not make sharp marks but
round the edges of the lines nicely, with the rounded sides of the

To complete the bag, get something with which to make a lining. A
piece of oozed leather is the most satisfactory. Cut it the same
size as the bag, place both together and with a leather punch,
make holes all around the edge of the bag about 1/8 in. apart. Cut
out the leather for the handle openings. Care should be taken not
to cut the holes too near the edge of the bag lest the lacing pull
out. Now cut narrow thongs, about 1/8 in. wide, and lace through
the holes, lacing the sides of the end pieces in with the sides of
the bag. Crease the lines A-G and B-H inward for ends of bag.

** Removing Wire Insulation [213]

The claw of a hammer can be used for removing the insulation on
copper wire, if not more than 1 in. is taken off at a time.

** A Small Electric Motor [214]

The drawing herewith shows a simple electric motor which can be
easily constructed by any boy who is at all handy with tools. I
made this motor

[Illustration: Electro-Magnet Motor]

many times when a boy and can say that if carefully constructed it
will run with greater rapidity than the more expensive ones.

A common magnet which can be purchased at any toy store is used.
The one shown is 3-1/2 in. in length. The armature core is a strip
of 1/16 by 1/4-in. iron, 2-1/4 in. long, bent U-shaped and
fastened to the wood flywheel. Each leg of the armature is wound
with 10 ft. of No. 24 gauge magnet wire. The commutator is made
from an old 22 cartridge filed into two equal parts, each being a
half circle, both of which are made fast to a collar on the shaft
E. Each half of the commutator must be insulated from the other
half. The collar can be made by wrapping paper around the shaft
until the required size is obtained.

The top end of the shaft runs in a hole bored in a brass support,
B, which is screwed on the end of a piece of wood mortised in the
base, as shown in Fig. 1. The lower end of the shaft runs in a
glass bead, D, which is fastened to a small piece of brass with
sealing wax. The small brass piece is fastened to the base with
screws. The bead should not have an eye larger in diameter than
the shaft. The shaft is made from an old discarded knitting
needle. The brushes are fastened to each side of the upright piece
of wood supporting the brass bearing B.

The connections to the battery are shown in Fig. 2. Each half of
the commutator C is connected to the coils AA as shown in Fig. 1.
--Contributed by J.M. Shannon, Pasadena, Calif.

** Moving a Coin Under a Glass [214]

Place a penny or a dime on a tablecloth, towel or napkin and cover
it over with a glass in such a way that the glass will rest upon
two 25 or 50 cent pieces as shown in the sketch. The coin is made
to come forth without touching it or sliding a stick under the
edge of the glass. It is only necessary to claw the cloth near the
glass with the nail of the forefinger.

[Illustration: Removing the Coin]

The cloth will produce a movement that will slide the coin to the
edge and from under the glass.

** Improving Phonograph Sound [214]

When playing loud and harsh records on a phonograph the music is
often spoiled by the vibration of the metal horn. This may be
remedied by buckling a valise or shawl strap around the horn, near
the center.

** How to Make Paper Balloons [215]

Balloons made spherical, or designed after the regular aeronaut's
hot-air balloon, are the best kind to make. Those having an odd or
unusual shape will not make good ascensions, and in most

[Illustration: Paper Balloon; Pattern and Parts to Make Balloon]

cases the paper will catch fire from the torch and burn before
they have flown very far. The following description is for making
a tissue-paper balloon about 6 ft. high.

The paper may be selected in several colors, and the gores cut
from these, pasted "in alternately, will produce a pretty array of
colors when the balloon is in flight. The shape of a good balloon
is shown in Fig. 1. The gores for a 6-ft. balloon should be about
8 ft. long or about one-third longer than the height of the
balloon. The widest part of each gore is 16 in. The widest place
should be 53-1/2 in. from the bottom end, or a little over half
way from the bottom to the top. The bottom of the gore is
one-third the width of the widest point. The dimensions and shape
of each gore are shown in Fig. 2.

The balloon is made up of 13 gores pasted together, using about
1/2-in. lap on the edges. Any good paste will do--one that is made
up of flour and water well cooked will serve the purpose. If the
gores have been put together right, the pointed ends will close up
the top entirely and the wider bottom ends will leave an opening
about 20 in. in diameter. A light wood hoop having the same
diameter as the opening is pasted to the bottom end of the gores.
Two cross wires are fastened to the hoop, as shown in Fig. 3.
These are to hold the wick ball, Fig. 4, so it will hang as shown
in Fig. 5. The wick ball is made by winding wicking around a wire,
having the ends bent into hooks as shown.

The balloon is filled with hot air in a manner similar to that
used with the ordinary cloth balloon. A small trench or fireplace
is made of brick having a chimney over which the mouth of the
paper balloon is placed. Use fuel that will make heat with very
little smoke. Hold the balloon so it will not catch fire from the
flames coming out of the chimney. Have some alcohol ready to pour
on the wick ball, saturating it thoroughly. When the balloon is
well filled carry it away from the fireplace, attach the wick ball
to the cross wires and light it.

In starting the balloon on its flight, take care that it leaves
the ground as nearly upright as possible.
--Contributed by R. E. Staunton.

** A Simple Steamboat Model [216]

The small boat shown in the accompanying sketch may have a length
of 12 to 18 in. and is constructed in the

[Illustration: Sectional View and Completed Boat]

following manner: A small steam boiler, A, is supported by two
braces over an alcohol lamp in the middle of the boat. A small
pipe is fastened to the top of the boiler in such a way that the
open end will be opposite the open end of another pipe, B,
somewhat larger in size. The pipe B opens into the stern of the
boat at C, as shown in Fig. 1. The steam, coming through the small
pipe A, is driven forcibly through the larger pipe B, and carries
with it a certain amount of air out through the opening C into the
water. As the boat is driven forward by this force, the steam
arises to the surface in the form of bubbles. The boat soon
attains considerable speed, leaving a long wake behind.

** To Remove Grease from Machinery [216]

A good way to remove grease or oil from machinery before painting
is to brush slaked lime and water over the surface, leaving the
solution on over night. After washing, the iron is dried and the
paint will stick to it readily. In removing grease from wood,
common whitewash may be left on for a few hours and then washed
off with warm water, after which the paint will adhere

** A Game Played on the Ice [216]

Two lines are drawn parallel on the ice from 50 to 100 ft. apart
and blocks of wood are placed every 6 ft. apart on these lines.
The player opening the game skates to the line and delivers, in
bowling form, a sliding block similar to the blocks that are
placed on the lines with the exception that it has a handle. The
blocks are about 6 in. wide by 6 in. high and 8 in. long. The
sliding blocks should be at least 1 ft. long and each provided
with a handle. The handle is attached by boring a hole near one
end in the middle of the block and driving in a wood pin. The hole
is bored slanting so as to incline the handle. Two of these blocks
are provided for the reason that when a player bowls one of the
opposing player's blocks over the line he is entitled to another
throw. The side wins that bowls over all of the opposing

[Illustration: Bowling Over the Opponent's Blocks]

players' blocks first. This will prove an interesting and
enjoyable pastime for skaters.

** Making Photo Silhouette Brass Plaques [217]

Secure a brass plate having a smooth surface the right size for
the photograph and cover it with a coat of paraffin. This is done
by heating the paraffin in a vessel hot enough to make the wax run
freely, then pouring the liquid over the entire surface of the

When the paraffin has cooled sufficiently the outlines of the
photograph must be drawn upon its surface. There are three ways of
doing this: First, the photograph can be traced on tissue paper
and then retraced on the paraffin surface. The exact outlines of
the photograph can be obtained this way without destroying the
print. Second, if you have several copies of the photograph, one
can be utilized by tracing direct to the surface of the paraffin.
In using either of the two methods described, carbon paper must be
placed on the paraffin before the tissue paper or photograph is
laid upon it. Third, cut out the outlines of the photograph and
lay it on the paraffin surface, then trace around the edges with
the point of a needle or sharp point of a knife. The outlines
drawn by the first method are cut through the paraffin in the same
way. The paraffin is carefully removed from the inside of the
lines, leaving the brass surface perfectly clean, as is shown in
Fig. 1.

The exposed part of the plate is now ready to be etched or eaten
away to the right depth with acid. The acid solution is made up of
1-1/2 parts muriatic acid and 2 parts water. The mixture should be
placed in a glass or earthenware

[Illustration: Fig. 1 Waxed Brass Plate]

vessel. If the plate is a small one a saucer will do for the acid
solution. Pour the acid on the plate where the paraffin has been
removed and allow it time to etch. The acid should be removed
every five minutes to examine the etching. If any places show up
where the paraffin has not been entirely removed they must be
cleaned so the acid will eat out the metal. When the acid solution
becomes weak new solution must be added until the proper depth is
secured. Rinse the plate in cold water, stand in a tray and heat
it sufficiently to run off all the paraffin. Polish the plate by
rubbing it with a piece of flannel.

The plaque can be given a real antique finish by painting the
etched part with a dull black paint. Drill a small hole in each of
the four corners, being careful not to dent the metal. The plaque
is backed with a piece of wood 3/4 in. thick, the dimensions of
which should exceed those of the brass plate sufficiently to
harmonize with the size of the plaque. The wood should be painted
black with the same paint used in the plaque. Paint the heads of
four thumb tacks black and use them in fastening the plaque to the
board. The finished silhouette will appear as shown in Fig. 2.
--Contributed by John A. Hellwig, Albany, N. Y.

[Illustration: Fig. 2 Finished Plaque]

** Aligning Automobile Headlights [217]

Automobile headlights should be set to throw the light straight
ahead, not pointed down at the road at an angle.

** Telescope Stand and Holder [218]

With the ordinary small telescope it is very difficult to keep the
line of sight fixed upon any particular object. To meet the
situation I constructed the

[Illustration: Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Made of a Camera Tripod]

device illustrated herewith. A circular piece of wood, B, 6 in. in
diameter, is fastened to a common camera tripod, A, with a set
screw, S. Corner irons, CC, are screwed to the circular piece.
These corner irons are also screwed to, and supported in a
vertical position by the wood standard D, which is 4 in. wide and
of any desired height. To this standard is secured the wood
shield-shaped piece E by the screw G upon which it turns. A
semi-circular slit is cut in the piece G, through which passes the
set screw S. The telescope is secured to the piece G by means of
the pipe straps FF. Rubber bands are put around the telescope to
prevent rubbing at the places where the straps enclose it.

The wood pieces were made of mahogany well rubbed with linseed oil
to give them a finish. The corner irons and set screws or bolts
with thumb-nuts can be purchased at any hardware store. The pipe
straps of different sizes can be obtained from a plumber's or gas
and steam fitter's store. With this device, either a vertical or a
horizontal motion may be secured, and, after bringing the desired
object into the line of sight, the set screws will hold the
telescope in position. Anyone owning a tripod can construct this
device in three or four hours' time at a trifling cost. In Fig. 1
is shown the side view of the holder and stand, and Fig. 2 the
front view.

It may be of interest to those owning telescopes without solar
eyepieces to know that such an eyepiece can be obtained very
cheaply by purchasing a pair of colored eyeglasses with very dark
lenses and metal rims. Break off the frame, leaving the metal rims
and nibs at each end. Place these over the eyepiece of the
telescope and secure in place with rubber bands looped over the
nibs and around the barrel of the instrument.
--Contributed by R. A. Paine, Richmond, Va.

** How to Make an Electrical Horn [218]

Secure an empty syrup or fruit can, any kind having a smooth flat
bottom will do. If the bottom is not perfectly flat, it will
interfere with the regular tone vibrations, and not produce the
right sound. Remove the label by soaking it in hot water. Take an
ordinary electrical bell and remove the gong, clip off the
striking ball and bend the rod at right angles. Cut a block of
wood 3/4 in. thick, 5 in. wide and 8 in. long for the base. Fasten
the can on it with a piece of sheet brass or

[Illustration: Tin Can and Bell Parts]

tin as shown in the sketch. Mount the bell vibrator on the base,
using a small block of wood to elevate it to the level of the
center of the can, and solder the end of the vibrator rod to the

Connect two dry cells to the bell vibrator, and adjust the contact
screw until a clear tone is obtained. The rapidly moving armature
of the bell vibrator causes the bottom of the can to vibrate with
it, thus producing sound waves. The pitch of the tone depends on
the thickness of the bottom of the can. This horn, if carefully
adjusted and using two cells of dry battery, will give a soft
pleasant tone that can be heard a block away. If the two
projecting parts of the vibrator are sawed off with a hacksaw, it
can be mounted on the inside of the can. This will make a very
compact electric horn, as only the can is visible. --Contributed
by John Sidelmier, La Salle, Ill.

** Driving a Washing Machine with Motorcycle Power [219]

The halftone illustration shows how 1 rigged up my washing machine
to be driven by the power from my motorcycle. I made a wheel 26
in. in diameter of some 1-in. pine boards, shrunk an iron band on
it for a tire, and bolted it to the wheel on the washing machine.
A long belt the same width as the motorcycle belt was used to
drive the machine. The motorcycle was lined up and the engine
started, then the motorcycle belt thrown off and the long belt run
on, connecting the engine and washing machine wheel. -1. R.
Kidder, Lake Preston, S. D.

[Illustration: Machine Belted to the Motorcycle]

** Home-Made Aquarium [219]

A good aquarium can be made from a large-sized street lamp globe
and a yellow pine block. Usually a lamp globe costs less than an
aquarium globe of the same dimensions. Procure a yellow pine block
3 in. thick and 12 in. square. The more uneven and twisted the
grain the better for the purpose,

[Illustration: Lamp Globe as an Aquarium]

it is then less liable to develop a continuous crack.

Cut out a depression for the base of the globe as shown in Fig. 1.
Pour in aquarium cement and embed the globe in it. Pour more
cement inside of the globe until the cement is level with the top
of the block. Finish with a ring of cement around the outside and
sprinkle with fine sand while the cement is damp. Feet may be
added to the base if desired. The weight of the pine block makes a
very solid and substantial base for the globe and renders it less
liable to be upset.
--Contributed by James R. Kane, Doylestown, Pa

** Protect Your Lathe [219]

Never allow lard oil to harden on a lathe.

** Frame for Displaying Both Sides of Coins [220]

It is quite important for coin collectors to have some convenient
way to

[Illustration: Holding Coins between Glasses]

show both sides of coins without touching or handling them. If the
collection consists of only a few coins, they can be arranged in a
frame as shown in Fig. 1. The frame is made of a heavy card, A,
Fig. 2, the same thickness as the coins, and covered over on each
side with a piece of glass, B. Holes are cut in the card to
receive the coins C. The frame is placed on bearings so it may be
turned over to examine both sides. If there is a large collection
of coins, the frame can be made in the same manner and used as
drawers in a cabinet. The drawers can be taken out and turned
--Contributed by C. Purdy, Ghent, O.

** How to Make Lantern Slides [220]

A great many persons who have magic lanterns do not use them very
much, for after the slides have been shown a few times, they
become uninteresting, and buying new ones or even making them from
photographic negatives is expensive. But by the method described
in the following paragraph anyone can make new and interesting
slides in a few minutes' time and at a very small cost.

Secure a number of glass plates of the size that will fit your
lantern and clean them on both sides. Dissolve a piece of white
rosin in a half-pint of gasoline and flow it over one side of the
plates and allow to dry. Place the dried plate over a picture you
wish to reproduce and draw the outline upon the thin film. A lead
pencil, pen and ink or colored crayons can be used, as the rosin
and gasoline give a surface that can be written upon as easily as
upon paper. When the slide becomes uninteresting it can be cleaned
with a little clear gasoline and used again to make another slide.
A slide can be made in this way in five minutes and an interesting
outline picture in even less time than that.

This solution also makes an ideal retouching varnish for
--Contributed by J.E. Noble, Toronto, Canada.

** How to Make a Developing Box [220]

A box for developing 3-1/4 by 4-1/4 -in. plates is shown in detail
in the accompanying sketch. It is made of strips of wood 1/4-in.
thick, cut and grooved, and then glued together as indicated. If
desired, a heavier piece can be placed on the bottom. Coat the
inside of the box with paraffin or wax, melted and applied with a
brush. Allow it to fill all crevices so that the developing box
will be watertight. It will hold 4 oz. of developer. Boxes for
larger plates

[Illustration: Details of the Developing Box]

can be made in the same manner. Use a small wooden clip in taking
the plates out of the box, being careful not to scratch the
sensitive film.
--Contributed by R.J. Smith, Milwaukee, Wis.

** Staining Wood [221]

A very good method of staining close-grained woods is to use
muriatic acid. The acid is put on with a brush like any ordinary
stain. The colors thus obtained are artistic and most beautiful,
and cannot be duplicated by any known pigment. The more coats
applied the darker the color will be. This method of staining has
the advantage of requiring no wiping or rubbing.
--Contributed by August T. Neyer, One Cloud, Cal.

** Sheet-Metal Whisk-Broom Holder [221]

A whisk-broom holder such as is shown in the accompanying picture
may be easily made by the amateur. The tools needed are few: a
pair of tin shears, a metal block of some kind upon which to pound
when riveting, a hammer or mallet, several large nails, and a
stout board upon which to work up the design. A rivet punch is
desirable, though not absolutely necessary.

The material required is a sheet of No. 24 gauge copper or brass
of a size equal to that of the proposed holder, plus a 3/8-in.
border all around, into which to place the screws that are to be
used to hold the metal to the board while pounding it. The design
shown in the picture is 6 by 8 in. at the widest part and has
proven a satisfactory holder for a small broom.

Carefully work out the design desired on a piece of drawing paper,
both outline and decoration, avoiding sharp curves in the outline
because they are hard to follow with the shears when cutting the
metal. If the design is to be of two-part symmetry, like the one
shown, draw one part, then fold on a center line and duplicate
this by inserting double-surfaced carbon paper and tracing the
part already drawn. With this same carbon paper transfer the
design to the metal. Fasten the metal to the board firmly, using
1/2-in. screws placed about 1 in. apart in holes previously
punched in the margin with a nail set or nail.

To flatten the metal preparatory to fastening it to the board,
place a block of wood upon it and pound on this block, never upon
the metal directly,

[Illustration: Completed Holder Brass Fastened to Board-Method of

or the surface will be dented and look bad in the finished piece.

Take the nail, a 10 or 20-penny wire or cut, and file it to a
chisel edge, rounding it just enough to take the sharpness off so
that it will not cut the metal. This tool is used for indenting
the metal so as to bring out the outline of the design on the

There are several ways of working up the design. The simplest way
is to take the nail and merely "chase" the outlines of holder
design. Remove the screws, cut off the surplus metal and file the
edges until they are smooth. Make a paper pattern for the metal
band that is to hold the broom. Trace around this pattern on the
metal and cut out the shape. Punch rivet holes in holder and band,
also a hole by which to hang the whole upon the wall.

Rivet the band to the holder. Punch the rivet holes with a nail
set and make the holes considerably larger than the diameter of
the rivet, for in flattening the raised edges the holes will
close. Do the riveting on a metal block and keep the head of the
rivet on the back of the holder. Round up the "upset" end of the
riveted part as shown in the picture. Do not bend it over or
flatten it. This rounding is done by pounding around the outer
edge of the rivet end and not flat upon the top as in driving a

Clean the metal by scrubbing it off with a solution composed of
one-half water and one-half nitric acid. Use a rag tied to a stick
and do not allow the acid to touch either your hands or clothes. A
metal lacquer may next be applied to keep the metal from early

** How to Make a Camp Stool [222]

The stool, as shown in Fig. 1, is made of beech or any suitable

[Illustration: Camp Stool Details]

with a canvas or carpet top. Provide four lengths for the legs,
each 1 in. square and 18-1/2 in. long; two lengths, l-1/8 in.
square and 11 in. long, for the top, and two lengths, 3/4 in.
square, one 8-1/2 and the other 10-1/2 in. long, for the lower

The legs are shaped at the ends to fit into a 5/8-in. hole bored
in the top pieces as shown in Fig. 2, the distance between the
centers of the holes being 7-5/8 in. in one piece and 9-5/8 in. in
the other. The lower rails are fitted in the same way, using a
1/2-in. hole bored into each leg 2-1/2 in. up from the lower end.

Each pair of legs has a joint for folding and this joint is made
by boring a hole in the middle of each leg, inserting a bolt and
riveting it over washers with a washer placed between the legs as
shown in Fig. 3. The entire length of each part is rounded off for
the sake of neatness as well as lightness.

About 1/2 yd. of 11-in. wide material will be required for the
seat and each end of this is nailed securely on the under side of
the top pieces. The woodwork may be stained and varnished or plain
varnished and the cloth may be made to have a pleasing effect by
stencilling in some neat pattern.

** A Small Home-Made Electric Motor [222]

The accompanying photographs show the construction of a very
unique electric motor, the parts consisting of the frame from an
old bicycle pedal wrapped with insulated wire to make the armature
and three permanent magnets taken from an old telephone magneto.
The pedal, being ball bearing, rotated with very little friction
and at a surprisingly high rate of speed.

[Illustration: The Motor Complete]

The dust cap on the end of the pedal was removed and a battery
connection, having quite a length of threads, was soldered to it
as shown in the photograph. The flanges were removed from an
ordinary spool and two strips of brass fastened on its
circumference for the commutator. The spool was held in position
by a small binding

[Illustration: Commutator Parts]

post nut. The shape of this nut made a good pulley for a cord
--Contributed by John Shahan, Attalla, Ala.

** Rocker Blocks on Coaster Sleds [223]

The accompanying sketch shows a coasting sled with rocker blocks
attached on both front and rear runners. The runners and the other
parts of the sled are made in the usual way, but instead of
fastening the rear runners solid to the top board and the front
runners to turn on a solid plane fifth wheel, they are pivoted so
each pair of runners will rock when going over bumps.

The illustration will explain this construction without going into
detail and giving dimensions for a certain size, as these rocker
blocks can be attached to any coaster or toboggan sled. It will be
noticed that the top board may bend as much as it will under the
load without causing the front ends of the rear runners and the

[Illustration: Coaster Sled with Rocker Runners]

rear ends of the front runners gouging into the snow or ice.
--Contributed by W. F. Quackenbush, New York City.

** How to Make a Watch Fob [223]

[Illustration: Watch Fob]

This novelty watch fob is made from felt, using class, college or
lodge colors combined in the making with emblems or initials
colored on the texture. Two pieces of felt, each 1-1/4 in. wide
and 4-1/4 in. long, are cut V-shaped on one end of each piece
about 1 in. in depth, and 3/8 in. in from the other end of one
piece cut a slit 1/2 in. long; the end of the other piece is
folded over, making a lap of about 1 in., and a slit is cut
through the double thickness to match the one cut in the first
piece. The desired emblem, initial, or pennant is stenciled on the
outside of the folded piece with class, college or lodge colors.
The strap is made from a strip of felt 3/16 in. wide and 8-1/4 in.
long; stitched on both edges for appearance. Make a hole with a
punch 1-1/4 in. from one end, and two holes in the other, one
about 1 in. and the other 2-3/4 in. from the end. Purchase a
1/2-in. buckle from a harness maker and you will have all the
parts necessary for the fob. Assemble as shown in the sketch. The
end of the strap having the two holes is put through the slots cut
in the wide pieces and the tongue of the buckle is run through
both holes. The other end is passed through the ring of the watch
and fastened in the buckle as in an ordinary belt. --Contributed
by C. D. Luther. Ironwood. Mich.

** Drill Lubricant [223]

A good lubricant for drilling is made by dissolving 3/4 to 1 lb.
of sal-soda in one pailful of water.

** New Way to Remove a Bottle Stopper [224]

Take a bottle of liquid, something that is carbonated, and with
the aid of a napkin form a pad which is applied

[Illustration: Removing the Stopper]

to the lower end of the bottle. Strike hard with repeated blows
against the solid surface of a wall, as shown in the sketch, and
the cork will be driven out, sometimes with so much force that a
part of the liquid comes with it and deluges the spectators, if
desired by the operator.

** Imitation Fancy Wings on Hinges [224]

The accompanying sketch shows how I overcame the hardware troubles
when I was not able to find ready-made hinges in antique design


Back to Full Books