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The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 by Popular Mechanics

Part 12 out of 15

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defective part, and pouring metal in to fill it up.

If you cannot obtain the use of a drill press, take an ordinary
brace, fasten a 3/8-in. drill in it, and bore a hole through the
end of a strip about 2 in. wide and 16 in. long; put the top of
the brace through this hole, and fasten the other end of the strip
to a bench, as shown in illustration. Find the center of the
paddle-wheel, place it under the drill, true it up with a square;
and drill it entirely through. Find the centers of the insides of
the other two castings, and drill them in the same manner.

A piece of mild steel 5 in. long, and 3/8-in. in diameter must now
be obtained. This is for a shaft. Commencing 1-1/2 in. from the
one end, file the shaft off flat for a distance of 1 in. Then cut
a slot in the paddle-wheel, and place the shaft inside of the
paddlewheel, with the flat part of the shaft turned to face the
slot in the wheel. Pour metal into the slot to key the wheel on to
the shaft.

The paddle-wheel is now ready to be fitted inside of the casing.
It may be necessary to file some of the ends off the paddles, in
order to let the paddle-wheel go into the casing. After it is
fitted in, so that it will turn easily, place the entire machine
in a vise, and bore three 1/4-in. holes, one in the lug, one in
the projections, B, b, and the other in the base, as shown by the
black dots in Fig. 6. Also bore the port-hole in projection B, and
the exhaust hole in projection b, and two 1/4-in. holes at d, d,
Fig. 6. Cut out a piece of gasket and fit it between the two
castings. Then bolt the castings together, screw down, and connect
to the boiler.

[Illustration: Using the Brace]

The reader must either cast a pulley out of babbitt metal, or else
go to a machinist and get a collar turned, with a boss and a set
screw, and with three small screw holes around the edge. Cut out a
small wood wheel and screw the collar fast to it, fasten it to the
shaft of the turbine and turn on the steam. Then take a knife or a
chisel, and, while it is running at full speed, turn the wheel to
the shape desired.

Your turbine engine is now ready for work, and if instructions
have been carefully followed, will do good service.

** Painting A Car [357]

When painting the automobile body and chassis be sure to stuff the
oil holes with felt or waste before applying the paint. If this
caution is not observed the holes will become clogged with paint
which will prevent any oil reaching the bearing.

** How To Build An Ice Boat [357]

The ice boat is each year becoming more popular. Anyone with even
small experience in using tools can

[Illustration: A Four-Runner Ice Yacht]

construct such a craft, and the pleasure many times repays the

Take two pieces of wood 2 by 6 in., one 6 ft. and the other 8 ft.
long. At each end of the 6-ft. piece and at right angles to it,
bolt a piece of hardwood 2 by 4 by 12 in. Round off the lower edge
of each piece to fit an old skate. Have a blacksmith bore holes
through the top of the skates and screw one of them to each of the
pieces of hardwood.

[Illustration: Plan of Ice Boat]

These skates must be exactly parallel or there will be trouble the
first time the craft is used.

Over the middle of the 6-ft. piece and at right angles to it, bolt
the 8-ft. plank, leaving 1 ft. projecting as in Fig. 1.

The rudder skate is fastened to a piece of hardwood 2 by 2 by 12
in. as the runners were fastened. This piece should be mortised 3
by 3 by 4 in. in the top before the skate is put on. Figure 2
shows the rudder post.

A piece of hardwood 1 by 6 by 6 in.

[Illustration: Details of Ice Boat Construction]

should be screwed to the under side of the 8-ft. plank at the end
with the grain running crosswise. Through this bore a hole
1-1/2-in. in diameter in order that the rudder post may fit
nicely. The tiller, Fig. 3, should be of hardwood, and about 8 in.

To the under side of the 8-ft. plank bolt a piece of timber 2 by 4
by 22 in. in front of the rudder block, and to this cross piece
and the 6-ft. plank nail 8-in. boards to make the platform.

The spar should be 9 ft. long and 2-1/2 in. in diameter at the
base, tapering to 1-1/2 in. at the top. This fits in the square
hole, Fig. 1. The horn should be 5-1/2 ft. long, 2 by 3 in. at the
butt and 1 in. at the end.

Figure 4 gives the shape and dimensions of the mainsail which can
be made of muslin. Run the seam on a machine, put a stout cord in
the hem and make loops at the corners.

Figure 6 shows the way of rigging the gaff to the spar. Figure 7
shows the method of crotching the main boom and Fig. 8 a reef
point knot, which may come in handy in heavy winds.

Make your runners as long as possible, and if a blacksmith will
make an iron or steel runner for you, so much the better will be
your boat.

** Electric Rat Exterminator [358]

Some time ago we were troubled by numerous large rats around the
shop, particularly in a storehouse about 100 ft. distant, where
they often did considerable damage. One of the boys thought he
would try a plan of electrical extermination, and in order to
carry out his plan he picked up an old zinc floor plate that had
been used under a stove and mounted a wooden disk 6 in. in
diameter in the center. On this disk he placed a small tin pan
about 6 in. in diameter, being careful that none of the fastening
nails made an electrical connection between the zinc plate and the
tin pan.

This apparatus was placed on the floor of the warehouse where it
was plainly visible from a window in the shop where we worked and
a wire was run from the pan and another from the zinc plate
through the intervening yard and into the shop. A good sized
induction coil was through connected with these wires and about
six dry batteries were used to run the induction coil whenever a
push button was manipulated.

It is quite evident that when a rat put its two fore feet on the
edge of the pan in order to eat the mush which it contained, that
an electrical connection would be made through the body of the
rat, and when we pushed the button up in the shop the rat would be

[Illustration: Electric Rat Trap]

2 or 3 ft. in the air and let out a terrific squeak. The
arrangement proved quite too effective, for after a week the rats
all departed and the boys all regretted that their fun was at an
--Contributed by John D. Adams, Phoenix, Ariz.

** How to Make a Simple Fire Alarm [359]

A fire alarm which is both inexpensive and simple in construction
is shown in the illustration. Its parts are as follows:

A, small piece of wood; B, block of wood nailed to A; S S. two
pieces of sheet brass about 1/4 in. wide, bent into a hook at each
end; P, P, binding-posts fastening the springs S S, to block B, so
that they come in contact at C. W is a piece of wax crayon just
long enough to break the contact at C when inserted as shown in
the illustration.

When these parts have been put together in the manner described,
connect the device in circuit with an electric bell, and place it
behind a stove.

[Illustration: Simple Fire Alarm]

When the stove becomes too hot the wax will melt at the ends,
allowing the springs to contact at C, and the alarm bell will
--Contributed by J. R. Comstock, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

** To Build a Merry-Go-Round [359]

This is a very simple device, but one that will afford any amount
of amusement. The center post rests in an auger hole bored in an
old stump or in a post set in the ground. The stump makes the best
support. The center pole should be 10 ft. high. An old wheel is
mounted at the top of the pole, and the pole works in the wheel as
an axle, says the American Boy. The wheel is anchored out by
several guy

[Illustration: Home-Made Merry-Go-Round]

wires. The seat arms may be any length desired. A passenger rides
in each seat and the motorman takes his station at the middle.

** Arbor Wheels [359]

Emery wheel arbors should be fitted with flanges or washers having
a slight concave to their face.

** Novelty Clock for the Kitchen [360]

An inexpensive and easy way to make an unique ornament of a clock

[Illustration: The Clock with Holder]

for kitchen use is to take an old alarm clock or a new one if
preferred, and make it into a clock to hang on the wall. Take the
glass, dial and works out of the shell and cut some pieces out of
the metal so that when the pieces left are turned back it will
have the appearance as in Fig. 1. Then get a 10-cent frying pan, 6
in. in diameter, and drill a hole in the center so the shaft for
the hands will easily pass through and extend out far enough to
replace the two hands. Put the works back in the metal shell and
solder it to the frying pan by the pieces turned out as in Fig. 2.
Gild the pan all over, including the handle, and print black
figures in the small circles. Calendar figures can be pasted on
small circles and these pasted on the frying pan. The parts can be
divided into minutes with small lines the same as shown in the
drawing. Make new hands that are long enough to reach the figures
from sheet brass or tin and paint them black.
--Contributed by Carl P. Herd, Davenport, Iowa

** How to Make a Small Silver Plating Outfit [360]

Take an ordinary glass fruit jar or any other receptacle in glass,
not metal, which will hold 1 qt. of liquid and fill it with rain
or distilled water and then add 3/4 oz. of silver chloride and
1-1/2 oz. of c.p. potassium cyanide. Let this dissolve and
incorporate well with the water before using. Take an ordinary wet
battery and fasten two copper wires to the terminals and fasten
the other ends of the wires to two pieces of heavy copper wire or
1/4-in. brass pipe. The wires must be well soldered to the brass
pipe to make a good connection. When the solution is made up and
entirely dissolved the outfit is ready for plating.

Procure a small piece of silver, a silver button, ring, chain or
anything made entirely of silver and fasten a small copper wire to
it and hang on the brass pipe with connections to the carbon of
the battery. Clean the article to be plated well with pumice and a
brush saturated in water. When cleaning any article there should
be a copper wire attached to it. Do not touch the article after
you once start to clean it, or the places touched by your fingers
will cause the silver plate to peel off when finished. When well
scoured, run clear, cold water over the article and if it appears
greasy, place in hot water. When well cleaned place in the plating
bath and carefully watch the results. If small bubbles come to the
surface you will know that you have too much of the anode or the
piece of silver hanging in the solution and you

[Illustration: Plating Jar and Battery]

must draw out enough of the piece until you can see no more
bubbles. Leave the piece to be plated in the solution for about
one-half hour, then take the article out and with a tooth brush
and some pumice, clean the yellowish scum off, rinse in clear
water and dry in sawdust. When thoroughly dry, take a cotton
flannel rag and some polishing powder and polish the article. The
article must have a fine polish before plating if it is desired to
have a finely polished surface after the plate is put on.

In order to see if your battery is working, take a small copper
wire and touch one end to the anode pipe and the other end to the
pipe holding the article to be plated. When these two parts touch
there will be a small spark. Always take the zincs out of the
solution when not in use and the batteries will last longer. This
description applies only to silver plating. Articles of lead,
pewter, tin or any soft metal cannot be silver plated unless the
article is first copper plated.

** Removing a Tight-Fitting Ring from a Finger [361]

When a ring cannot be removed easily from the finger, take a
string or thread and draw one end through between the ring and the
flesh. Coil the other end of the string around the finger covering
the part from the ring to and over the finger joint. Uncoil the
string by taking the end placed through the ring and at the same
time keep the ring close up to the string. In this way the ring
can be easily

[Illustration: Wrapping the Finger]

slipped over the knuckle and off from the finger.
--Contributed by J. K. Miller, Matietta, Penn.

** A Photographic Jig-Saw Puzzle [361]

Take any photographic print and mount it on heavy cardboard, or,
if you

[Illustration: Picture Marked for Cutting]

have a jig saw, a thin smooth wood board and mark out various
shaped pieces as shown in the accompanying cut. If the picture is
mounted on cardboard, the lines can be cut through with a sharp
pointed knife. If you have a jig saw, you can make a bromide
enlargement from the negative you have selected and mount the
print on a smooth board that is not too thick. This wood-mounted
picture can be sawed out making all shapes of blocks, which forms
a perfect jig-saw puzzle.
--Contributed by Erich Lehmann, New York City.

** Rolling Uphill Illusion [361]

This interesting as well as entertaining illusion, can be made by
anyone having a wood-turning lathe. A solid, similar to two cones
placed base to base, is accurately turned in a lathe, the sides
sloping to an angle of 45 deg. The spindle can be turned out of
the solid at the same time as the cone; or, after turning the
cone, drive an iron or wood shaft through the center making a
tight fit.

The boards for the track are made with a sloping edge on which the
cone is to roll. This slope will depend on the diameter of the
cone, which can be any size from 3 to 12 in. The slope should not
be too flat, or the cone will not roll, and it should be such that

[Illustration: The Illusion]

one end will be higher than the other by a little less than half
the diameter of the cone. Thus it will be seen that the diameter
of the cone determines the length of the slope of the tracks. A
notch should be cut in the tracks, as indicated, for the shaft to
drop into at the end of the course.

The lower end of the tracks are closed until the high edge of the
cone rests upon the inside edges of the tracks and the high end
spread sufficiently to take the full width of the cone and to
allow the shaft to fall into the notches. When the cone and tracks
are viewed from the broadside the deception will be more perfect,
and will not be discovered until the construction of the model is
seen from all sides. Should it be difficult to make the cone from
wood, a good substitute can be made from two funnels.
--Contributed by I. G. Bayley, Cape May Point, N.J.

** Annealing Chisel Steel [362]

Persons who have occasion to use tool or carbon steel now and then
and do not have access to an assorted stock of this material find
that the kind most readily obtained at the hardware store is the
unannealed steel known as chisel steel. Machining or filing such
steel is exceedingly slow and difficult, besides the destruction
of tools; as a matter of fact this steel is intended for chisels,
drills, and like tools which require only forging and filing. If
this steel is annealed, it can be worked as easily as the more
expensive annealed steel.

Annealing may be done by heating the steel to a cherry red, not
any more, and burying it in a box of slaked lime, where it is
allowed to remain until all the heat is gone. If well done, the
metal will be comparatively soft and in a condition to machine
easily and rapidly. In lieu of lime, bury in ashes, sand, loam, or
any substance not inflammable, but fine enough to closely surround
the steel and exclude the air so that the steel cools very slowly.

If possible, keep the steel red hot in the fire several hours, the
longer the better. In certain processes, like that of file
manufacturing, the steel blanks are kept hot for 48 hours or more.
Where it is impossible to wait so long as the foregoing method
takes, then a cold water anneal may be used with less time. This
method consists of heating the work as slowly and thoroughly as
the time will permit, then removing the steel from the fire and
allowing it to cool in the air until black and then quenching in

In addition to softening the steel, annealing benefits the metal
by relieving strains in the piece. Should a particularly accurate
job be called for, the steel should be annealed again after the
roughing cuts have been taken and before machining to the final
size. This will insure a true job and diminishes the danger of
spring in the final hardening.
--Contributed by Donald A. Hampson, Middletown, N. Y.

* * * * *

[Illustration: The above photograph was made by first printing a
maple leaf of the paper, not too dark, then printing on top the
picture from the negative, and finishing in the usual way.]

** How to Make a Post Card Holder [363]

This holder is designed to lay flat on the counter or to stack one
on top of the other, keeping each variety of cards separate, or a
number of them can be fastened on any upright surface to display
either horizontal or vertical cards.

The holders can be made from sheet tin, zinc, brass or aluminum.
The dimensions for the right size are given in Fig. 1; the dotted
line showing where the bends are made. The

[Illustration: Pattern for Cutting the Metal]

completed holder is shown in Fig. 2 as fastened to a wall.
--Contributed by John F. Williamson, Daytona, Fla.

** Unused Paint [363]

Do not allow paint that is left over from a job to stand
uncovered. The can should be tightly sealed and the paint will be
found suitable for use for several days.

** Perfume-Making Outfit [363]

The real perfume from the flowers is not always contained in the
liquid purchased for perfume. The most expensive perfume can be
made at home for less than 10 cents an ounce. The outfit necessary
is a large bottle or glass jar with a smaller bottle to fit snugly
into the open mouth of the large one. Secure a small piece of very
fine sponge and wash it clean to thoroughly remove all grit and

[Illustration: Bottle with Flowers]

Saturate the sponge with pure olive oil, do not use strong oil,
and place it inside of the smaller bottle.

Fill the large bottle or jar with flowers, such as roses,
carnations, pansies, honeysuckles or any flower having a strong
and sweet odor. Place the small bottle containing the sponge
upside down in the large one, as shown in the illustration.

The bottle is now placed in the sun and kept there for a day and
then the flowers are removed and fresh ones put in. Change the
flowers each day as long as they bloom. Remove the sponge and
squeeze out the oil. For each drop of oil add 2 oz. of grain
alcohol. If stronger perfume is desired add only 1 oz. alcohol to
each drop of oil.

** Home-Made Duplicator for Box Cameras [363]

The projecting tube of the lens on a hand camera can be easily
fitted with a duplicator while the box camera with its lens set on
the inside and nothing but a hole in the box does not have such
advantages. A small piece of heavy cardboard can be made to
produce the same results on a box camera as a first-class
duplicator applied to a hand camera.

[Illustration: Duplicator Attached to a Camera]

The cardboard is cut triangular and attached to the front end of
the camera as shown in Fig. 1 with a pin about 1 in. above the
lens opening. A rubber band placed around the lower end of the
cardboard and camera holds the former at any position it is
placed. A slight pressure of the finger on the point A, Fig. 2,
will push the cardboard over and expose one-half of the plate and
the same pressure at B, Fig. 3, will reverse the operation and
expose the other one-half. Pins can be stuck in the end of the
camera on each side of the lens opening at the right place to stop
the cardboard for the exposure. With this device one can duplicate
the picture of a person on the same negative.
--Contributed by Maurice Baudier, New Orleans, La.

** Optical Illusions [364]

The accompanying sketch shows two optical illusions, the first
having a perfect circle on the outside edge

[Illustration: The Two Illusions]

appears to be flattened at the points A, and the arcs of the
circle, B, appear to be more rounding. In the second figure the
circle appears to have an oval form with the distance from C to C
greater than from D to D. A compass applied to the circles in
either figures will show that they are perfectly round.
--Contributed by Norman S. Brown, Chippewa Falls, Wis.

** Use of Kerosene in Polishing Metals [364]

Anyone who has polished a flat iron or steel surface with emery
cloth knows how soon the cloth gums and fills up. The cloth in
this condition will do little or no cutting. A simple remedy for
this trouble is to use kerosene on the surface. The oil floats
away a large part of the gumming substance and leaves the emery
cloth sharp and clean to do the best work, also, it seems to act
as a lubricant to keep particles of metal from collecting on the
cloth and scratching or digging in the surface of the metal. A
very light lard oil is equally good for this purpose, but not
always easily obtained. A surface polished where oil or kerosene
is used does not rust so easily as one polished dry, for the
reason that a little oil remains on the metal.

Kerosene is the best to use on oil stones, being better than
heavier oil. This oil readily floats away all particles of the
feather edge that are liable to become loosened and forced into
the stone. These particles of metal when stuck to the stone are
the cause of spoiling it, as well as nicking the tools that are
being sharpened. Keep the surface of the stone well oiled at all
times to make the cutting free.
--Contributed by Donald A. Hampson, Middletown, N. Y.

** How to Make Lamps Burn Brightly [364]

For a good, steady light there is nothing better than a lamp, but
like most everything it must have attention. After cleaning well
and fitting it, place a small lump of camphor in the oil vessel.
This will greatly improve the light and make the flame clearer and
brighter. If there is no camphor at hand add a few drops of
vinegar occasionally.

** A Practical Camera for Fifty Cents [365]
By C. H. Claudy

I say for fifty cents, but really this is an outside estimate. If
you possess a few tools and the rudiments of a shop, by which is
meant a few odds and ends of screws, brass and nails, you can
really make this camera for nothing.

The camera box is the first consideration, and for this a cigar
box answers every purpose. It is better to use one of the long
boxes which contain a hundred cigars and which have square ends.
This box should be cut down, by means of a saw and a plate, until
the ends are 4 in. square. Leave the lid hinged as it is when it
comes. Clean all the paper from the outside and inside

[Illustration: Construction of Camera Box]

of the box--which may be readily done with a piece of glass for a
scraper and a damp cloth--and paint the interior of the box a dead
black, either with carriage makers' black or black ink.

Now bore in the center of one end a small hole, 1/4 in. or less in
diameter. Finally insert on the inside of the box, on the sides,
two small strips of wood, 1/8 by 1/4 in. and fasten them with
glue, 1/8 in. from the other end of the box. Examine Fig. 1, and
see the location of these strips, which are lettered EE. Their
purpose is to hold the plate, which may be any size desired up to
4 in. square. Commercially, plates come 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 in., or, in
the lantern slide plate, 3-1/4 by 4 in. If it is desired to use
the 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 in. plates. which is advised, the box should
measure that size in its internal dimensions.

We now come to the construction of the most essential part of the
camera--the pin hole and the shutter, which take the place of the
lens and shutter used in more expensive outfits. This construction
is illustrated in Fig. 4. Take a piece of brass, about 1/16-in.
thick and 1-1/2 in. square. Bore a hole in each corner, to take a
small screw, which will fasten it to the front of the camera. With
1/4-in. drill bore nearly through the plate in the center, but be
careful that the point of the drill does not come through. This
will produce the recess shown in the first section in Fig. 4. Now
take a No. 10 needle, insert the eye end in a piece of wood and
very carefully and gently twirl it in the center of the brass
where it is the thinnest, until it goes through. This pin hole, as
it is called, is what produces the image on the sensitive plate,
in a manner which I shall presently describe. The shutter consists
of a little swinging piece of brass completely covering the recess
and pin hole, and provided with a little knob at its lower end.
See Fig. 3, in which F is the front of the camera, B the brass
plate and C the shutter. This is also illustrated in the second
cross section in Fig. 4. In the latter I have depicted it as swung
from a pivot in the brass, and in Fig. 3 as hung from a screw in
the wood of the front board; either construction will be

Lastly, it is necessary to provide a finder for this camera in
order to know what picture you are taking. Make a little frame of
wire, the size of the plate you are using, and mount it upright
(see Fig. 5) on top of the camera as close to the end where the
pin hole is as you can. At the other end, in the center, erect a
little pole of wire half the height of the plate. If now you look
along the top of this little pole, through the wire frame and see
that the top of the little pole appears in the center of the
frame, everything that you see beyond will be

[Illustration: Pin Hole and Shutter Construction]

taken on the plate, as will be made plain by looking at the dotted
lines in Fig. 5, which represents the outer limits of your vision
when confined within the little frame.

[Illustration: Explanation of Action of Pin Hole]

When you want to use this camera, take it into an absolutely dark

[Illustration: Constructing a Finder for Camera]

and insert a plate (which you can buy at any supply store for
photographers) in the end where the slides of wood are, and
between them and the back of the box. Close the lid and secure it
with a couple of rubber bands. See that the little shutter covers
the hole. Now take the camera to where you wish to take a
photograph, and rest it securely on some solid surface. The
exposure will be, in bright sunlight and supposing that your
camera is 10 in. long, about six to eight seconds. This exposure
is made by lifting the little brass shutter until the hole is
uncovered, keeping it up the required time, and then letting it
drop back into place. It is important that the camera be held
rigid during the exposure, and that it does not move and is not
jarred--otherwise the picture will be blurred. Remove the plate in
the dark room and pack it carefully in a pasteboard box and
several wrappings of paper to protect it absolutely from the
light. It is now ready to be carried to some one who knows how to
do developing and printing.

To explain the action of the pin hole I would direct attention to
Fig. 2. Here F represents the front of the camera, D the pinhole,
AA the plate and the letters RR, rays from a lighted candle. These
rays of course, radiate in all directions, an infinite multitude
of them. Similar rays radiate from every point of the object, from
light reflected from these points. Certain of these rays strike
the pin hole in the front of the camera, represented here by RRRR.
These rays pass through the pin hole, and as light travels only in
straight lines, reach the plate AA, forming an inverted image of
the object, in this case a candle in a candlestick. Millions of
rays are given off by every point in every object which is lighted
by either direct or reflected light. To all practical purposes
only one of these rays from each point in an object can pass
through a minute opening like a pin hole. This being so, any
screen which interrupts these selected rays of light will show
upon it a picture of the object, only inverted. If that screen
happens to be a photographically sensitive plate, which is
protected from all other light by being in a dark box, upon it
will be imprinted a photographic image which can be made visible
by the application of certain chemicals, when it becomes a
negative, from which may be printed positives. This camera is not
a theoretical possibility, but an actual fact. I have made and
used one successfully, as a demonstration of pin-hole photography.

** Use for an Old Clock [367]

Remove the hair spring of the clock, and fasten a spring to one
end of the pawl and a small wire to the other end. Make a slit in
the case of the clock opposite the pawl. Fasten the spring on the
outside in any convenient way and pass the wire through the slit
to an eccentric or other oscillating body. To make the dial, paste
a piece of paper over the old dial, pull the wire back and forth
one hundred times, and make a mark where the minute hand stops.
Using this for a unit divide up the whole dial. The hour hand has
an inner circle of its own. Put the alarm hand at a little before
twelve and wind the alarm. When the alarm is

[Illustration: Revolution Recorder]

unwound the hour hand starts on a new trip. The clock I used was
put on an amateur windmill and when the hour hand went around once
86,400 revolutions or jerks on the wire were made, while the
minute hand recorded one-twelfth of this number, or 7,200.
--Contributed by Richard H. Ranger, Indianapolis, Ind.

** Renewing Dry Batteries [367]

Dry batteries, if not too far gone, can be renewed by simply
boring a small hole through the composition on top of each carbon
and pouring some strong salt water or sal ammoniac solution into
the holes. This kink is sent us by a reader who says that the
process will make the battery nearly as good as new if it is not
too far gone beforehand.

** Saving a Brush [367]

If a round brush spreads too much, slip a rubber band over the
upper part of the bristles.

** How to Make a Simple Burglar Alarm [368]

Take a piece of any wood about 6 by 8 in. for the base. This may
be finished in any way desired. For the contact points use brass
or any sheet metal

[Illustration: Simple Burglar Alarm]

which will be satisfactory. Take a piece about 2-1/2 or 3 in. in
length and bend the ends up about 1/2 in. in a vertical position
as shown. Fasten this to the top of the board using screws or
nails. Under this strip of metal fasten a copper wire which can be
connected to a binding-post on the board if desired. Take another
piece of metal about 4-1/2 in. in length and make a lever of it in
the shape shown in the diagram. Fasten this so that one end of it
will swing freely, but not loosely between the ends of the other
piece marked C-C. Near the end fasten a spiral spring, S, which
can be obtained almost anywhere. Fasten the end of this to the
screw marked X. Also fasten to this screw a copper wire leading to
the binding-post. In the lower end of the lever make a small hole
to fasten a string through.

This string may be fastened across a door or window and any
movement of it will pull it to the contact point on the right. If
the string is cut or broken the spring will pull the lever to the
contact point on the left and thus complete the circuit. If the
string is burned it will also act as a fire alarm.

** How to Fit Corks [368]

Occasionally odd-sized bottles are received in stores which
require corks cut to fit them. No matter how sharp a knife may be,
it will leave some sharp edges after cutting the cork, which will
cause leakage. The illustration shows three very effective methods
of reducing the size of corks. The one shown in Fig. 1 is made
from two pieces of 1/2-in. wood fastened together at one end with
a common hinge. Two or three grooves are cut cross-wise in sizes
desired. The cork is put into the groove and both pieces are
pressed together, which will make the cork smaller.

Rolling the cork between two flat

[Illustration: Three Methods for Reducing Size of Corks]

surfaces (Fig. 2) is simple and almost as good as pressing in the
grooves. A cork rolled on the floor (Fig. 3) is a quick and
effective way. A slower and equally as good way is to soak the
cork in hot water for a short time.
--Contributed by L. Szerlip, Brooklyn, N. Y.

** Right Handed Engine [368]

Standing at the cylinder end and looking toward the flywheel of an
engine, the wheel will be at the right if the engine is

** Home-Made Crutch [369]

While a fractured bone was healing in the limb of my boy he needed
a pair of crutches and not being able to secure the right length,
I set about to make the crutches from two broom handles. I split
the handles to within 1 ft. of the end (Fig. 1) with a rip saw,
and then stuck them in a barrel of water for three days to make
the wood pliable for bending. A grip for each stick was made as
long as the hand is wide and a hole bored through the center the
size of a No. 10 gauge wire. These grips were placed between the
two halves of each stick at the right distance for the length of
the boy's arm and a wire run through both split

[Illustration: A Broom Handle Crutch]

pieces and the handle then riveted as shown in Fig. 2. Another
piece was cut as shown at A, Fig. 3, and nailed to the upper ends
of each half of the broom handle.
--Contributed by Geo. P. Grehore, Nashville, Tenn.

** Home-Made Necktie Holder [369]

The gas bracket is considered a good place to hang neckties, even
if it does crowd them together. The illustration shows a better
method, a curtain rod attached to one end of a bureau. Two
long-shanked, square-hooked screws should be used, so they may be
screwed beneath and close up to the projecting top. When removed
they will leave no

[Illustration: Hanger for Ties]

disfiguring holes.
--Contributed by C. W. Neiman, New York City.

** How to Make a Trousers Hanger [369]

Secure from your tinsmith a piece of sheet metal 7 in. wide and 12
in. long. Cut the metal as shown in Fig. 1 and make a close bend
at the point.A, but not too close to cause it to break. The piece
will then appear as shown in Fig. 2. Cut a piece from the waste
material 1/2 in. wide and 2-1/4 in. long and bend it around the
two pieces B, Fig. 2, so it will slide freely on their length.
Bend the edges C in for 1/8 in. to hold the trousers firmly. Drill
a hole through the top end of B and attach a wire formed into a
hook for use in hanging on a nail. The bottom end of the trousers
is inserted between the jaws C and the small ferrule pushed

[Illustration: Cut from Sheet Metal]

down to clamp them on the cloth.
--Contributed by A. Levinson, Saginaw, Michigan.

** Easy Designs in Ornamental Iron Work [370]

Many an industrious lad has made money manufacturing the common
forms of wood brackets, shelves, boxes, stands, etc., but the day
of the scroll

[Illustration: Fig. 1 to 6]

saw and the cigar-box wood bracket and picture frame has given way
to the more advanced and more profitable work of metal
construction. Metal brackets, stands for lamps, gates, parts of
artistic fences for gardens, supporting arms for signs, etc., are
among the articles of modern times that come under the head of
things possible to construct of iron in the back room or attic
shop. The accompanying sketches present some of the articles
possible to manufacture.

First, it is essential that a light room be available, or a
portion of the cellar where there is light, or a workshop may be
built in the yard. Buy a moderate sized anvil, a vise and a few
other tools, including bell hammer, and this is all required for
cold bending. If you go into a forge for hot bending, other
devices will be needed. Figure 1 shows how to make the square
bend, getting the shoulder even. The strip metal is secured at the
hardware store or the iron works. Often the strips can be secured
at low cost from junk dealers. Metal strips about 1/2 in. wide and
1/8 in. thick are preferable. The letter A indicates a square
section of iron, though an anvil would do, or the base of a
section of railroad iron. The bend is worked on the corner as at
B, cold. If a rounded bend is desired, the same process is applied
on the circular piece of iron or the horn of an anvil. This is
shown in Fig. 2, at C. This piece of iron can be purchased at any
junk store, where various pieces are always strewn about. A piece
about 20 in. long and 4 in. in diameter is about the right size.
The bend in the metal begins at D and is made according to the
requirements. Occasionally where sharp bends or abrupt corners are
needed, the metal is heated previous to bending.

Although the worker may produce various forms of strip-metal work,
the bracket is, as a rule, the most profitable to handle. The
plain bracket is shown in Fig. 3, and is made by bending the strip
at the proper angle on form A, after which the brace is adjusted
by means of rivets. A rivet hole boring tool will be needed. A
small metal turning or drilling lathe can be purchased for a few
dollars and operated by hand for the boring, or a common hand
drill can be used. Sometimes the bracket is improved in design by
adding a few curves to the end pieces of the brace, making the
effect as shown in Fig. 4. After these brackets are made they are
coated with asphaltum or Japan; or the brackets may be painted or
stained any desired shade.

In some of the work required, it is necessary to shape a complete
loop or circle at the end of the piece. This may be wrought out as
in Fig. 5. The use of a bar of iron or steel is as shown. The bar
is usually about 2 in. in diameter and several feet in length, so
that it will rest firmly on a base of wood or stone. Then the
bending is effected as at F, about the bar E, by repeated blows
with the hammer. After a little practice, it is possible to
describe almost any kind of a circle with the tools. The bar can
be bought at an iron dealers for about 40 cents. From the junk
pile of junk shop one may get a like bar for a few cents.

A convenient form for shaping strip metal into pieces required for
brackets, fences, gates, arches, and general trimmings is
illustrated at Fig. 6. First there ought to be a base block, G, of
hard wood, say about 2 ft. square. With a round point or gouging
chisel work out the groove to the size of the bar, forming a seat,
by sinking the bar, H, one-half its depth into the wood as shown.
In order to retain the bar securely in position in the groove,
there should be two caps fitted over it and set-screwed to the
wooden base. These caps may be found in junk dealers' heaps,
having been cast off from 2-in. shaft boxes. Or if caps are not
available, the caps can be constructed from sheet metal by bending
to the form of the bar, allowing side portions or lips for boring,
so that the caps can be set screwed to the wood. Thus we get a
tool which can be used on the bench for the purpose of effecting
series of bends in strips of metal.

Since the introduction of the laws requiring that signs of certain
size and projection be removed from public thoroughfares in
cities, there has been quite a call for short sign brackets, so
termed, of the order exhibited in Fig. 7. These sign-supporting
brackets do not extend more than 3 ft. out from the building. A
boy can take orders for these signs in almost any city or large
town with a little canvassing. The sign supporting bracket shown
is merely a suggestion. Other designs may be wrought out in
endless variety. A hook or eye is needed to sustain the ring in
the sign.

The young man who undertakes to construct any sort of bracket,
supports, frames or the like, will find that he will get many
orders for lamp-supporting contrivances, such as shown at Fig. 8.
It is hardly necessary to go into details

[Illustration: Fig. 7 to 10]

for making these stands, as every part is bent as described in
connection with the bending forms, and the portions are simply
riveted at the different junctures. Both iron and copper rivets
are used as at I, in Fig. 9, a cross sectional view.

The best way is to bore straight through both pieces and insert
the rivet. In some cases the rivet is headed up in the bore and
again washers are used and the heading effected on the washer.
Copper rivets are soft and easily handled, but are costly as
compared with iron rivets.

Good prices are obtained for the guards for open fireplaces made
in many varieties in these days. The return of the open fireplace
in modern houses has created a demand for these guards and in Fig.
10 we show a design for one of them. The posts are made

[Illustration: Fig. 11 to 15]

sufficiently stiff by uniting two sides with rivets. The ends at
top are looped as shown, while the ends or butts at the base are
opened out to make the feet. Rings are shaped on forms and are
then riveted to the base cross-piece as illustrated. Crosses are
made to describe to central design and the plan is worked out
quite readily with the different shapes.

The making of metal fire grate fronts has proven to be a very
interesting and profitable occupation for boys in recent times.
Not long ago it was sufficient for the ingenious youth to turn out
juvenile windmills, toy houses and various little knickknacks for
amusement. The modern lad wants more than this. He desires to turn
some of his product into cash. Therefore we present some of the
patterns of fire grates which boys have made and can make again
from scrap iron, with few tools and devices, and find a ready
market for the same as soon as they are made. Figure 11 is a
sketch of a form of fire grate bar or front that is constructed
with a series of circles of strip metal. The best way is to go to
the hardware store or iron dealer's and buy a quantity of 1/4-in.,
1/2-in., and 3/4-in. iron, about 1/8 to 3/16 in. thick. In fact
1/16-in. metal would do in many cases where the parts are worked
out small in size. The 1/8-in. metal is very strong. Then after
getting the supply of strip metal in stock, procure the usual type
of metal worker's hammer, a cheap anvil, a 9-1b. vise, a cold
chisel, a file or two, and a round piece of shaft iron, about 3
in. diameter and 2 to 3 ft. long. This piece of iron is
represented at B, Fig. 12.

The iron is held in position by means of the straps of metal C, C,
which are bent over the shaft tightly and grip the board base with
set or lag screws as shown. The wooden base should be about 2 in.
thick and large enough to make a good support for the iron shaft.
The process of bending the rings in this way is as shown. The
piece of strip iron is grasped at D. Then with the hammer the iron
is gradually worked cold about the mandrel as at E until the
perfect form is acquired. After the form is finished, the strip at
the terminus of the ring is cut off. In order to get a steady base
the wooden part may be bolted to a bench. In Fig. 13 is shown the
method of clipping off the completed ring. The cold chisel is held
upright, and by delivering several blows with the hammer upon the
same, the point is caused to chip through the metal and release
the ring. The shaft or mandrel is marked G. The cold chisel is
indicated at I and the position where the hand grasps the strip is
at H. The final operation in shaping the ring is by driving the
protruding cut, lip down, to the common level of the opposite
point, thus giving us the finished ring with the lips closed on
the mandrel as at J, Fig. 14. These rings can be turned out in
this way very speedily. The next operation involves the process of
uniting the rings in the plan to shape the design. The design work
is often worked out ahead and followed. Some become so proficient
that they can develop a design as they proceed.

Figure 11 is a design of grate front used for various purposes in
connection with grate fires. The series of rings are united by a
rivet between each at the joining point. With thin metal the holes
can be punched with an iron punch and hammer on an anvil where
there is a hole to receive the point of the punch after the punch
penetrates the metal. For the heavier forms of metal a drill is
necessary. A metal drill and brace can be purchased very cheaply
for this work. After drilling the holes, the parts are erected and
the rivets inserted and headed up as each addition is made. Thus
the series of rings are united and then the side pieces are
similarly riveted. The points at the top are then worked out and
joined on. These points are filed down to the necessary taper
after the union is effected. The finishing work involves smoothing
rough places with a file and painting. Asphaltum makes a good
black finish. Some of the best designs of grates are bronzed. Some
are silvered. The different designs are finished as desired by

Figure 15 is another design of grate in which the process of
shaping the rings is like that in the first design. There are some
half circles in this pattern and these are framed by shaping the
same about the mandrel with the hammer. In order to get the
shoulders close and the circle complete it is necessary to heat
the metal. A coke fire can be made in a hole in the ground. Then
procure a tin blowpipe and blow the flame against the metal at the
point to be bent. This metal will become red hot very soon, and
can be bent readily against the anvil and the circular form. Let
the metal cool off on the ground after heating. Fig. 16 is another

[Illustration: Fig. 16 to 20]

which can be wrought out. The middle adjustment is wire screen
work which may be bought at a hardware store and set into the
position shown. Fig. 17 shows a chipping off device useful in
connection with this work. Metal chippers can be bought at any
tool store. The chipper is placed in the jaws of the vise as at K,
and secured there. The strip of metal in process of cutting is
marked M. The hammer head is caused to strike the metal just over
the cutting edge of the chipper. The quick, hard blow causes the
cutting edge to penetrate far enough to sever the piece. Bending
cold with a wooden form is done as in Fig. 18. The wooden form is
marked P and is about 8 in. wide and 7 in. high, forming a
one-sided oval shape. There is a pin R set into the base board of
the oval form and the strip of metal for bending is grasped at S
and the other end is inserted back of the pin R. By applying
pressure, the strip of metal is bent to the form.

Figure 19 shows the hour-glass wood bending form, made by
selecting a piece of hard wood block, about 6 in. square and
boring through with an inch bit. Then the hole is shaped
hour-glass like. The view is a sectional one. The block is placed
in a vise and the strip for bending is inserted as at T.

The strip of metal is grasped at W and can be bent to various
forms by exerting pressure. Fig. 20 is another type of fireplace
front, constructed by uniting the shaped metal pieces. In fact an
almost endless variety of designs can be wrought out after the
start is once made. A good way to figure the price on the grate is
to add up the costs of the parts and charge about 12 cents per
hour for the work.

** How to Make a Water Wheel [374]

Considerable power can be developed with an overshot water wheel
erected as in Fig. 1. This wheel is made with blocks of wood cut
out in sections as indicated by the lines, so as to form the
circle properly. The wheel can be

[Illustration: Overshot and Undershot Wheels]

about 24 in. in diameter to produce results and about 10 in. wide.
Get some tin cans and attach them around the wheel as shown. Bore
the wheel center out and put on the grooved wood wheel, P, and a
rope for driving, R. This rope runs to a wooden frame in the
manner illustrated. The water is carried in a sluice affair, N, to
the fall, O, where the water dippers are struck by the volume and
from 2 to 4 hp. will be produced with this size of wheel if there
is sufficient flow of water. This power can be used for running
two or three sewing machines, fans, fret-saws, and the like.
Another form of water wheel is shown in Fig. 2. This is driven by
an underflow of current. This type of wheel can be made on lines
similar to the other, only that the paddles are of wood and extend
outward as shown. The wheel is supported in a bearing on the piece
S. A belt, T, communicates the power to the wheel V and from here
the power is carried to any desired point.

** How To Build An Imitation Street Car Line [374]

An imitation street car line may sound like a big undertaking,
but, in fact, it is one of the easiest things a boy can construct,
does not take much time and the expense is not great. A boy who
lives on a farm can find many fine places to run such a line, and
one in town can have a line between the house and the barn, if
they are some distance apart.

Often all the boards and blocks required can be had for helping a
carpenter clear away the rubbish around a new building. Wheels and
parts of old bicycles, which can be used in so many ways, can be
found at a junk shop at very low prices, wheels in good repair are
not expensive. For the car for the street car line try to find a
set of wheels having axles, but if you cannot find such, make
shafts of hard wood, about 3 in. by 2-1/2 in. and by means of a
jackknife turn, or shave down the ends to receive the hub bearings
of the wheels. Fasten the wheel hubs securely over the ends of the
wood with pins or little bolts, or if the wheel bearing is of such
a nature that it revolves on its own journal, the journal can be
fastened to the end of the wood piece. Each of the wheels should
be provided with a sprocket; any chain sprocket of a bicycle may
be used. Fasten these sprockets on the outside of the wheels as
shown in Fig. 1. They can be set on over the bearing end and
secured with a set screw, or the original key can be employed. It
is best in cases like this to use the original parts. Make the
floor of the car of pieces of boards placed on the axles and
nailed, screwed or bolted, as shown at A. To erect the frame,
place uprights, C C C C, in position as shown, fastening the ends
to the base-boards and making

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

the roof line as at B, then put in the cross-pieces, G G. Seats, E
E, are simply boxes. The drive of the car is effected by using the
driving sprockets, D D, fitted to the crosspieces, G G, with the
original bearings. The parts are thereby secured to the car and
the chain placed on.

Key the cranks for turning to the upper sprocket's shaft and all
is ready. If there are sprocket gears and cranks on either side,
four boys may propel the car at one time. Considerable speed can
be made on smooth roads, but it is the best amusement to run a car
line on wooden tracks with a brake consisting of a piece of wooden
shaft, passing through a bore in the car floor, and fitted with a
leather covered pad as at H. A spiral spring holds up the brake
until pressure is applied by foot power, when the brake contacts
with the wooden track and checks the car.

The track plan is illustrated in Fig. 2. Get some boards and place
them end for end on other pieces set as ties. The main boards or
tracks, JJ, can be about 6 in. wide, to the edges of which nail
strips about 3/4 in. wide and about the

[Illustration: Construction of Car]

same height. The ties, I I, can be almost any box boards. Wire
nails are the best to use in putting the tracks together. The
sprocket connection with the chain is shown in Fig. 3. This
consists of the sprocket gear on the propelling shaft, and the
crank. The pedals may be removed and a chisel handle, or any tool
handle, substituted, so as to afford means for turning the

[Illustration: Section of the Track]

crank by hand power. Great fun can be had with the road, and,
furthermore, it can be made remunerative, as boys and girls can be
given rides for a penny each.

** Clean Before Painting [375]

Apply a coat of raw starch water to a dirty wall before painting;
this, when dry, may be brushed or wiped off.

** Varnish for Electric Terminals [375]

A good varnish for electric terminals is made of sealing wax
dissolved in gasoline. To prevent brittleness add a little linseed

** Measuring the Height of a Tree [376]

[Illustration: Method of Applying the Triangle Measure]

"Near the end of the season our boy announced the height of
our tall maple tree to be 33 ft.
"'Why, how do you know?' was the general question.
"'Measured it.' "'How?'
"'Foot rule and yardstick.'
"'You didn't climb that tall tree?' his mother asked anxiously.
"'No'm; I found the length of the shadow and measured that.'
"'But the length of the shadow changes.'
"'Yes'm; but twice a day the shadows are just as long as the
things themselves. I've been trying it all summer. I drove a
stick into the ground, and when its shadow was just as long as
the stick I knew that the shadow of the tree would be just as
long as the tree, and that's 33 ft.'"

The above paragraph appeared in one of the daily papers which come
to our office. The item was headed, "A Clever Boy." Now we do not
know who this advertised boy was, but we knew quite as clever a
boy, one who could have got the approximate height of the tree
without waiting for the sun to shine at a particular angle or to
shine at all for that matter. The way boy No. 2 went about the
same problem was this: He got a stick and planted it in the ground
and then cut it off just at the level of his eyes. Then he went
out and took a look at the tree and made a rough estimate of the
tree's height in his mind, and judging the same distance along the
ground from the tree trunk, he planted his stick in the ground.
Then he lay down on his back with his feet against the standing
stick and looked at the top of the tree over the stick.

If he found the top of stick and tree did not agree he tried a new
position and kept at it until he could just see the tree top over
the end of the upright stick. Then all he had to do was to measure
along the ground to where his eye had been when lying down and
that gave him the height of the tree.

'The point about this method is that the boy and stick made a
right-angled triangle with boy for base, stick for perpendicular,
both of the same length, and the "line of sight" the hypotenuse or
long line of the triangle. When he got into the position which
enabled him to just see the tree top over the top of the stick he
again had a right-angled triangle with tree as perpendicular, his
eye's distance away from the trunk, the base, and the line of
sight the hypotenuse. He could measure the base line along the
ground and knew it must equal the vertical height, and he could do
this without reference to the sun. It was an ingenious application
of the well known properties of a right-angled triangle. --Railway
and Locomotive Engineer.

** White Putty to Black [376]

White putty on a black window frame can be made to harmonize by
rubbing the fresh putty with a piece of cotton dipped in

** Using Sandpaper [376]

Sandpaper may be kept from slipping under the hand by chalking the

** An Interesting Electrical Experiment [377]

Anyone possessing a battery having an electromotive force of from
4 to 20 volts can perform the following experiment, which is
particularly interesting on account of the variation of results
with apparently the same conditions.

Immerse two pieces of brass in a strong solution of common salt
and water. Connect one piece to the positive wire and the other to
the negative, taking care that the brass pieces do not touch each

After the current has passed one

[Illustration: How Wires are Connected]

or two minutes, the solution will become colored, and if the
process is continued a colored pigment will be precipitated. The
precipitate varies considerably in color and may be either yellow,
blue, orange, green or brown, depending on the strength of the
current, the strength of the solution, and the composition of the

** Novelty Chain Made from a Match [377]

The accompanying engraving shows what is possible to do with a

[Illustration: Lay a Match on the Picture]

A small chain composed of several links was cut from the wood that
forms the match.

** Keeping Doors Closed [377]

Glass doors in bookcases may be kept from swinging open by boring
a hole, about 1/4 in. deep, either at the top or bottom in the
edge of the door, 2 in. from the closing edge, and inserting an
ordinary cork, allowing a small portion to project and rub on the

** Restoring Broken Negatives [377]

Whoever has the misfortune to break a valuable negative need not
despair, for the damage can be repaired most effectively. In case
the negative be broken into many pieces, take a clean glass, the
same size as the broken negative, and put upon this the pieces,
joining them accurately, says Camera Craft. Put another clean
glass on top of this and bind the three together with
passe-partout binding or gummed strips of ordinary paper, as one
would a lantern slide, and cover the glass edges.

Next make a transparency of this--in the camera, of course--and if
it is done right, the positive will only show the cracks as dark
and light lines. The

[Illustration: Before and After Mending]

dark lines are removed with the etching knife and the light ones
with the retouching pencil. From this transparency another
negative can be made, or as many negatives as necessary, by either
contact or in the camera, and if the work on the glass positive
was done carefully, no trace of the break should be seen on the
finished negative. If the negative is broken in two or three
larger pieces only, a contact positive may be made in the printing
frame without binding, by using a clean glass in the latter, upon
which the pieces are put together, face up, and a dry plate
exposed in contact with them in the dark room. The accompanying
engravings show a print before and after repairing a broken
negative in this manner.

** Coin and Tumbler Trick [378]

The accompanying sketch shows how a good trick may be easily
performed by anyone. Lay a piece of

[Illustration: This Is a Good Trick]

heavy paper that is free from creases on a board or table. Secure
three tumblers that are alike and stick a piece of the same heavy
paper over the openings in two of them, neatly trimming it all
around the edges so as to leave nothing of the paper for anyone to
see. Make three covers of paper as shown in Fig. 1 to put over the
tumblers. Place three coins on the sheet of paper, then the
tumblers with covers on top of the coins, the unprepared tumbler
being in the middle. Now lift the covers off the end tumblers, and
you will see that the paper on the openings covers the coins.
Replace the covers, lift the middle one, and a coin will be seen
under the tumbler, as the opening of this tumbler is not covered.
Drop the cover back again and lift the other tumblers and covers
bodily, so that the spectators can see the coins, remarking at the
same time that you can make them vanish from one to the other. The
openings of the tumblers must never be exposed so that any one can
see them, and a safe way to do this is to keep them level with the

** Another Way to Renew Dry Batteries [378]

There are many methods of renewing dry batteries, and I have used
several of them, but I found the following the best: Remove the
paper cover and with a 1/4-in. drill make about six holes around
the side of the zinc, about 1/2 in. from the bottom. Then drill
another row of holes about half way up the side and put the
battery to soak in a solution of sal ammoniac for 48 hours. Then
remove and plug the holes up with hard soap, and replace in the
paper box, when it will give nearly as strong a current as when

** Simply Made Wire Puzzle [378]

The object of this simply made wire puzzle is to get the ring off,
which is not easy unless you know how. To do so it is necessary to
move the triangle with ring to one of the hinge joints and fold
the puzzle. Then slip the ring off the triangle over the hinge
joint and it will slip all around and off at the other hinge.

[Illustration: Puzzle]

** Pronunciation [378]

Diabolo is pronounced Dee-ab-lo.

** Repairing Box Cameras [379]

In repairing the inner part of box cameras which have been broken
loose, use a binding of strong black cloth well glued in place.
This will materially strengthen the joints where the wooden pieces
are so thin that it is impossible to use brads in holding them

Do not forget to thoroughly clean all the old glue or cement from
the joints with a rasp or sandpaper before attempting a repair.

** A Fishhook Box [379]

A box that may be used to hold fishhooks, sinkers, matches or any
small articles, can be made from two empty shotgun cartridges as
shown in the sketch. The paper is cut from the brass part of one
shell at the place marked A, Fig. 1, and the brass part, Fig-. 2,
is used for a cap on the other

[Illustration: Made of Shotgun Shells]

shell (Fig. 3). Coating the box with shellac will improve its
--Contributed by Abner B. Shaw, N. Dartmouth, Mass.

** A Tin Drinking Cup for the Camp [379]

If in need of a drinking cup while camping, a temporary cup can be
made of a tomato or baking-powder can. Punch two holes near the
top of the can; bend a piece of wire and place the ends through
the holes as shown at A in the sketch. Pull the ends to draw the
loop close up on the inside of the tin and then twist the ends to
form a handle as shown at B. When there is enough wire twisted to
form a good handle, pass the ends around the can

[Illustration: Handle on a Tin Can]

at the bottom and twist them together on the opposite side.
--Contributed by W. A. Lane, El Paso, Tex.

** A Bookmark [379]

A very handy bookmark can be made by attaching a narrow ribbon to
an ordinary paper clip and using it as shown in the sketch. The
clip is slipped over the binding in the back of the book as shown
in the sketch.
--Contributed by Chester E. Warner, Kalamazoo, Mich.

[Illustration: Bookmark]

** Kitchen Knife Sharpener [379]

A good serviceable knife sharpener may be made from a piece of
steel cut as shown with two screw holes drilled for fastening it
to a piece of wood or to a table. The knife is drawn through and
sharpened on either side. Both positions of the knife are shown.

[Illustration: Sharpener on Table Edge]

steel is hardened before fastening it in place.
--Contributed by George Madsen, Chicago. Ill.

** Devices of Winter Sports-How to Make and Use Them [380]

In the north the red-cheeked boy digs a hole in the ice and while
he amuses and invigorates himself at skating the fish underneath
the icy sheet

[Illustration: "Tip Up Pole"]

fasten themselves to the hook he has let down through a hole. The
boy used to sit over the hole in the ice and wait for the fish to
bite, but that became too slow and detracted too much from his
pleasure at skating. So his inventive genius set itself to work
and the "tip-up" and "signal" shown in the illustration was the
result. When the fish is not biting the flag lies flat on the ice,
but as soon as a fish has swallowed the hook the flag pole stands
straight up wafting its bright colored flag to the breezes and all
the boys on the skating pond read the word "fish." The fish is
drawn up, the hook rebaited and the youthful fisherman resumes his
pleasures on the ice. Often a score or more of these "tip-ups" are
planted about the edges of the ice pond, each boy bringing his
fishing tackle with his skates and thus finding a double source of
amusement. Maybe one boy will thus have a half dozen different
lines in the water at once, it being easy to watch them all

The device by which the fish is made to give its own signal when
caught is exceedingly simple and any boy can make it. Procure a
light rod about 2 ft. in length and to one end fasten a small
flag, made of any bright colored cloth.

[Illustration: "Tip-Up" Fish Caught]

Bind the rod at right angles to another stick which is placed
across the hole, so that a short piece of the flagrod projects
over the cross stick. To this short end fasten the fishing line.
Be sure and use strong string in binding the two rods together,
and also take care that the cross stick is long enough to permit
several inches of each end to rest on the ice. After fastening the
line to the short end of the rod, bait the hook with a live minnow
or other suitable bait and let it down through the hole. When the
fish is hooked the flag will instantly raise and wave about
strenuously until the fish is taken from the water.

** "Jumping-Jack" Fisherman [380]

[Illustration: Jumping-Jack Fisherman]

If the small boy has a "jumping-jack" left over from Christmas. he
may make this do his fishing for him and serve as well as the
"tip-up," or he can easily make the jumping-jack himself
independent of Santa Claus. The string which is pulled to make the
joints move is tied securely to the fishing line; the hook is
baited and lowered into the water through a hole in the ice. The
"jumping-jack" waves his legs and arms frantically to notify the
boys when the fish is biting. The "jumping-jack" is also used for
fishing in summer time by placing it on a float which is cast into
the water.

** Merry-Go-Round Whirl on Ice [380]

A German device for the amusement of children is a whirl on an ice
merry-go-round. It is made by placing a vertical shaft or stake,
provided with a couple of old cart-wheels, in a hole in the ice.
One wheel acts as a turning base and prevents the shaft from
sinking into the pond, and the other forms a support for the long
sweep attached for propulsion purposes, and should be fastened to
the shaft about 3 ft. above the base wheel. The sleds are made
fast in a string to the long end of the sweep, which when turned
rapidly causes the sleds to slide over the ice in a circle at a
high speed.

If the sweep is long enough to have each end from the shaft the
same length, two strings of sleds may be attached, which will
balance the device and make the turning much easier.

** The Running Sleigh [381]

Another winter sport, very popular in Sweden, and which has
already reached America, is the "running sleigh," shown in the
illustration. A light sleigh is equipped with long double runners
and is propelled by foot power. The person using the sleigh stands
with one foot upon a rest attached to one of the braces connecting
the runners and propels the sleigh by pushing backward with the
other foot. To steady the body an upright support is attached to
the runners. The contrivance can be used upon hard frozen ground,
thin ice and snow-covered surfaces, and under favorable conditions
moves with remarkable speed. The "running sleigh" has a decided
advantage over skis, because the two foot supports are braced so
that they cannot come apart. Any boy can make the sleigh.

[Illustration: Running Sleigh]

** The Winged Skater [381]

With the actual speed of the wind a skater may be hurled along the
ice if he is aided by sails. He has been known to travel at the
rate of 40 miles an hour,

[Illustration: Frame for Skater's Sails]

And the sport while affording the limit of excitement, is not
attended with danger. The sails are easily made, as the
illustrations and description will show.

Secure two large thin hoops about 4 ft. in diameter. They may be
obtained from an old hogshead or by bending thin strips. For each
hoop select a piece of strong cane about 3/4 in. in diameter to
constitute the fore and main masts or cross-yards. Extend these
across the center of the hoop and fasten each end firmly to the
hoop's sides. For the middle of each cross-spar make a cleat and
lash it on firmly. The main spar should also be made of two pieces
of strong cane, each about 9-1/2 ft. long. Bind them together at
each end so that the large end of one is fastened to the small end
of the other.

Next comes the attaching of the sails to the separate masts. The
sails should be made of strong sheeting or thin canvas. Tack the
cloth to the hoop on the inner side after it has been wrapped
around the hoop two or three times.

Now the main spar should be attached by springing it apart and
slipping the cleats of the cross-spar between the two pieces. Bind
the inner sides of the hoops tightly together by means of a very
strong double cord, as shown in the figure. Then your sail is
ready for the ice pond. See that your skates are securely
fastened, raise your

[Illustration: Skater's Sails Finished]

sail and you will skim along the ice as lightly as a bird on the
wing. With a little practice you will learn to tack and guide
yourself as desired.

[Illustration: Plan of Ice Boat, Sail and Rudder]

If the hoops cannot be easily obtained the sails may be made
equally effective by using the main spar and fore and main masts
as herein described, making the sails square shaped instead of
round and leaving off the hoops. In this case the sails should be
securely bound with strong tape. Attach a corner to each end of
the cross-spar, and a corner to the outer end of the main spar.
The remaining corner of each then appears opposite to each other,
and should be fastened together by strong cord in the same manner
as the hoops. In this case the sails may be left off until after
the frame is entirely put together and then fastened on to the
spars by buttons.

A more simple sail may be made according to the plans illustrated
in the lower drawing. It is made by binding together in the center
the halves of two strong hogshead hoops, or two bent poles are
better. If possible the sail should be about 8 ft. long and 4 ft.
wide. Fasten on the sail at the four corners. The rig will convey
two persons and is more easily constructed than any other.

** Ice Boating [382]

But the sport that is greatest of all, the one that used to be
part of the life of every northern boy, and which is being revived
in popularity after years of stagnation, is ice boating. With the
aid of old skates, pieces of board and an old sheet or a small bit
of canvas, any boy possessed of ordinary mechanical genius may
make an ice boat. The frame of the boat should be made something
in the form of a kite. The center-board should be 4 or 5 ft. long,
6 in. wide and 2 in. thick. The cross board may be of a piece of 1
by 6 in. plank 3 ft. long. Fasten these with braces of small stout
strip, as shown in the drawing, and screw the cross-piece securely
to the center-board. Bore a hole in the center of the intersection
for the mast pole. The seat may be made of a piece of strong cloth
or leather. Three skates are fastened on to either side of the
cross-board and one to the rear end of the center-board, the
latter of which is to operate as a rudder. In attaching the skates
first make a couple of runner blocks, each 6 in. long and 3 in.
wide. Bore holes in them for the straps of the skates to pass
through and fasten them securely. Nail the runner blocks firmly to
the crossboard about 1-1/2 in. from each end.

[Illustration: Boy's Ice Boat]

In making the rudder hew down a piece of scantling 1 ft. long
until it assumes the shape of a club with a flat base. Nail a
strip of wood firmly to this base, and to the strip fasten the
skate. Run the top of the club through a hole bored in the stern
of the centerboard. Then make the helm by boring a hole in one end
of a strip of soft board about 1 ft. long, and through this hole
pass the club or rubber-pole and fasten it so it may be shifted
when desired. Make the sail out of an old sheet, if it be strong
enough, piece of canvas, or any such substance and attach it to
the mast and sprit as shown in the illustration, and guide it by a
stout string attached to the lower outer corner. As an ice boat
will travel faster than the wind, some care and considerable skill
is necessary. Unless you are accustomed to managing a sail boat,
do not select a place in which to learn where there are all holes
or open water. To stop the boat throw the head around into the
wind, same as you would with a sailboat. If the wind is strong the
occupants of the boat should lie flat on their stomach.

** Coasters and Chair Sleighs [383]

Make your own sled, boys! There is no use in buying them, because
your hand-made sled is probably better than any purchased one and
then you can take so much more pride in it when you know it is of
your own construction. There are so many different designs of
sleds that can be made by hand that the matter can be left almost
entirely to your own ingenuity. You can make one like the bought
sleds and face the runners with pieces of an iron hoop which will
answer every purpose. A good sled for coasting consists simply of
two barrel staves and three pieces of board as shown in the
picture, Fig. 1.

[Illustration: Fig. l; Barrel Stave Sled]

[Illustration: Chair Sleigh]

No bought sled will equal it for coasting and it is also just the
thing for carrying loads of snow for building snow houses. The
method of its construction is so simple that no other description
is needed than the picture. You can make a chair-sleigh out of
this by fitting a chair on the cross board instead of the long top
board or it will be still stronger if the top board is allowed to
remain, and then you will have a device that can readily again be
transformed into a coasting sled. In making the chair-sleigh it is
necessary, in order to hold the chair in place, to nail four
L-shaped blocks on the cross boards, one for each leg of the
chair. Skating along over the ice and pushing the chair in front
of him the proud possessor of a chair-sleigh may take his mother,
grown sister or lady friend with him on his outings, and permit
her to ride in the chair.

** Folding Chair Sleigh [384]

[Illustration: Fig. 2-Folding Chair Sleigh Bottom ]

[Illustration: Fig. 3-Folding Chair Sleigh-Top Parts Disconnected]

[Illustration: Fig. 4-Folding Chair Sleigh Open]

A folding chair sleigh is even more enjoyable and convenient than
the device just described. If the ice pond is far from home this
may be placed under your arm and carried where you like.

The illustrations, Figs. 2 and 3, show all the parts as they
should look before

[Illustration: Fig. 6-Folding Chair Sleigh Closed]

being joined together. The seat may be made of a piece of canvas
or carpet. The hinges are of leather. Figure 4 shows the folding
chair sleigh after it has been put together. Skates are employed
for the runners. The skates may be strapped on or taken off
whenever desired. When the chair is lifted the supports slip from
the notches on the side bars and fall on the runner bars. The
chair is then folded up so that it can be carried by a small boy.
With regular metal hinges and light timbers a very handsome chair
can be constructed that will also afford an ornamental lawn chair
for summer.

** The Toboggan Sled [384]

When the snow is very deep a toboggan sled is the thing for real
sport. The runners of the ordinary sled break through the crust of
the deep snow, blocking the progress, and spoiling the fun. The
toboggan sled, with its broad, smooth bottom, glides along over
the soft surface with perfect ease.

To make the toboggan sled, secure two boards each 10 ft. long and
1 ft. wide and so thin that they can be easily bent. Place the
boards beside each other and join them together with cross sticks.
Screw the boards to the cross stick from the bottom and be sure
that the heads of the screws are buried deep enough in the wood to
not protrude, so

[Illustration: Fig. 6-The Toboggan]

that the bottom will present an absolutely smooth surface to the
snow. Fasten two side bars to the top of the cross sticks and
screw them firmly. In some instances the timbers are fastened
together by strings, a groove being cut m the bottom of the boards
so as to keep the strings from protruding and being ground to
pieces. After the side bars are securely fastened, bend the ends
of the boards over and tie them to the ends of the front cross bar
to hold them in position. See Fig. 6. The strings for keeping the
boards bent must be very strong. Pieces of stout wire, or a
slender steel rod, are even better. The toboggan slide is the
favored device of sport among the boys in Canada, where nearly
every boy knows how to make them.

** The Norwegian Ski. [384]

You have often read of the ski, the snowshoe used by the
Norwegians and other people living in the far north. With them the
men and women glide down the snow-covered mountain sides, leap
across ditches, run races and have all kinds of sport. They are
just as amusing to the American boy who has ever learned to
manipulate them, and it is wonderful how much skill can be
attained in their use. Any boy with a little mechanical ingenuity
can make a pair of skis (pronounced skees). They can be made from
two barrel staves. Select staves of straight grained wood. Sharpen
the ends of each and score each end by cutting grooves in the
wood, as shown in the cut, Fig. 7. A pocket knife or small gouge
will suffice for this work. Then smear the end of the staves with
oil and hold them close to a hot fire until they can be bent so as
to tip the toes upward, as shown in the picture, Fig. 7. Then with
a cord bind the staves as they are bent and permit them to remain
thus tied until they retain the curved form of their own accord.
Now screw on top of each ski a little block, just broad and high
enough to fit in front of the heels of your shoe. Fasten a strap
in front of

[Illustration: Home-Made Skis]

each block through which to slip your toes, and the skis are made.
The inside of the shoe heel should press firmly against the block
and the toe be held tightly under the strap. This will keep the
skis on your feet. Now procure a stick with which to steer and
hunt a snow bank. At first you will afford more amusement to
onlookers than to yourself, for the skis have a way of trying to
run in opposite directions, crosswise and various ways, but with
practice you will soon become expert in their manipulation.

** Home-Made Settee [385]

Many people have old wooden beds stored away which can easily be
made into handy settees like the one shown in the accompanying
photograph. A few nails and one-half dozen 3-in. screws are all
the materials necessary besides the old bed. The tools needed are
a saw, hammer and a screwdriver. The head-board, if too high, can
be cut

[Illustration: Settee Made from Old Wooden Bed]

off and some of the ornaments replaced. The footboard must be cut
in two to make the ends or arms of the settee. The side rails and
a few of the slats are used in making the seat.
--Contributed by Wm. F. Hild, Lake Forest, Ill.

** Enameling a Bicycle Frame [385]

Make an enamel by mixing 2 oz. burnt umber with 1 qt. boiled oil,
heating, and then adding 1 oz. asphaltum. Keep the mass hot until
thoroughly mixed, says the Master Painter. Thin with turpentine
while still hot.

Use a camel's hair brush for applying the enamel and allow it to
set; then place the article in an oven, bake for six or eight
hours at a temperature of 250 deg. F. When cool rub down with
steel wool. Apply a finishing coat and allow it to bake eight
hours at 250 deg. F. Rub down with a soft rag, varnish and bake
again at 200 deg. F. Heat and cool the frame gradually each time.
Black enamel is easiest to apply and bakes hardest, but requires a
temperature of 300 deg. Colors can be baked at from 200 to 250

** How to Make a Sewing Bag [386]

A very practical and novel sewing bag for odds and ends necessary
for mending, etc., can be made of a folding camp stool. If an old
stool is not

[Illustration: Camp-Stool Work Bag]

at hand, a new one can be purchased for 25 cents. Remove the top
or seat, which is usually made of a piece of carpet, then make a
bag as shown in Fig. 1 and stitch a heavy cord around the top to
make it strong. Make pockets on the inside as shown and nail the
bag to the two crosspieces on which the ends of the carpet were
tacked. Large, brass furniture nails should be used. Attach a
small hook and eye on each end and fasten two leather handles to
the crosspieces.

Such a bag requires little room when folded and can be stored in a
closet when not in use.
--Contributed by Joseph Ledwinka, Philadelphia, Pa.

** Home-Made Roller Skates [386]

The rubber-tired wheels of an old carpet sweeper can be used to
advantage in making a pair of roller skates. In Fig. 1 is shown
how an iron washer or two may be fastened to the wood with a piece
of sheet metal to support

[Illustration: Rubber Tired Roller Skate]

the short axles of the wheels. The wheels are oiled through the
holes A and B, Fig. 2. These holes should be smaller than the
axles. The two side pieces are fastened together with a board
nailed on the top edges, as shown. This board also furnishes the
flat top for the shoe sole. Two straps are attached for fastening
the skate to the shoe.
--Contributed by Thos. De Loof, Grand Rapids, Mich.

** Adjuster for Flexible Electric Wires [386]

The accompanying illustration shows an adjuster for changing the
drop of an electric light. The main feature of this adjuster is
that it can be removed from the cord at any time. The adjuster is
made from a piece of wood, 3/8 in. thick, 2 in. wide and 3 in.
long. A 1/4 in. hole is bored in the center near each end of the
wood and a slot cut from

[Illustration: Can Be Taken from the Cord]

the holes to the outside edge, as shown in Fig. 1. It is attached
to the flexible cord as shown in Fig. 2.
--Contributed by J.J. Voelcker; Decatur, Ill.

** Making Photographs on Watch Dials [386]

Beat to a foam the white of an egg, with the addition of a little
ammonia. Add 9 oz. and 3 dr. of water and beat again. After the
egg has settled, filter and let the liquid run over the dial,
which has been previously cleaned with ammonia. When the surplus
has run off, coat with the mixture and allow to dry.

A sensitive collodion is now produced as follows: Dissolve 9 gr.
of chloride of zinc in 5 dr. of alcohol; add 7-1/2 gr. of
collodion cotton and 6-1/2 dr. of ether. Shake the whole forcibly.

Dissolve 23 gr. of nitrate of silver in hot water, add 1-1/2 dr.
of alcohol and keep the whole solution by heating. The silver
solution is now added in small quantities at a time to the
collodion, which must be well settled. This, of course, is done in
the dark room. After 24 hours the emulsion is filtered by passing
it through cotton moistened with alcohol. This durable collodion
emulsion is now flowed thinly upon the prepared watch dial, which,
after the collodion has coagulated, is moved up and down in

water until the fatty stripes disappear. The water is then
changed once, and after a short immersion, the dial is left to
dry on a piece of blotting paper. It is now ready for exposure.
Expose under magnesium light and develop with a citrate
oxalic developer, or in the following hydroquinone developer:

Hydroquinone .............1 dr.
Bromide of potassium .... 6 dr.
Sulphite of soda......1-1/2 oz.
Carbonate of soda ....2-2/3 dr.
Water....................14 oz.

After fixing and drying, coat with a transparent positive varnish.

** Home-Made Overhead Trolley Coaster [387]

The accompanying sketch shows a playground trolley line which
furnished a great deal of amusement to many children at a minimum
cost. The wire, which is 3/16 in. in diameter, was stretched
between a tree and a barn across a vacant quarter block. The
strength of the wire was first tested by a heavy man. When not in
use the wire is unhooked from the tree and

[Illustration: Details of the Trolley and How It Is Used]

hauled into the barn and coiled loosely in the hay loft. The wire
was made taut for use by a rope which was fastened to the beams in
the barn. The trolley was made, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, of
strips of wood bolted with stove bolts on two grooved pulleys. The
middle wide board was made of hardwood. The wheels were taken from
light pulley blocks and stove bolts were purchased from a local
hardware store to accurately fit the hubs. As it was necessary to
keep the bearings greased, we used vaseline. This coaster made
great sport for the youngsters and at no time were they in danger
of a serious fall as the line was hung low and the slant of the
wire was moderate.
--Contributed by H. J. Holden, Palm Springs, Calif.

** How to Make an Electric Furnace Regulator [388]

We have a furnace in our house and a part of my work each evening
last winter was to go down in the basement at 9 o'clock, fill the
furnace with coal for the night and stay there until it was
burning in good shape, then to close the draft door. As this
performance requires from twenty to thirty

[Illustration: Details of Furnace Regulator Construction]

minutes I concluded to make a self-acting device which would close
the draft and leave the furnace safe, without any further
attention on my part, after putting in the coal and opening it up
to burn. As some other boys may like to build the same regulator I
will tell just how to make one and how it operates.

Referring to Fig. 1, you will see a straight cord is attached to
the draft door of the furnace, D, and is run over the pulley P and
finally is attached to a small piece of iron H. This piece of
iron is hinged to 1. To the other side of H another cord G is
fastened, which passes over the pulley N and terminates in any
convenient place in the rooms above. This piece of iron H is held
in place by the release A. Now C is a coil of wire from a door
bell. R is an armature which works A on pivot J. M is a U-tube,
filled with mercury, one end being connected to a half liter glass
flask F by the tube T, and the other end terminates in an overflow
tube O. B is a battery of three bichromate cells which are
connected up with the C and the platinum points 1--2, which are
fused into the U-tube.

On fixing the furnace the iron piece H takes position X, this
being the normal position when draft door D is closed. On arriving
upstairs I pull the cord G, which causes the piece H to become
fixed in the vertical position by means of A. This opens the draft
door at the same time. Now when the furnace heats up sufficiently
it causes the air to expand in F, which causes the mercury in M to
rise a little above the point 2. This immediately causes a current
to flow through C which in turn draws R towards it, raises A and
causes H to drop to position X. This shuts the furnace door. Now
the furnace, of course, cools down, thus causing the air in F to
contract and consequently opening the circuit through C. If at any
time the furnace should overheat, the raising of A, on which is
grounded a wire from a signal bell upstairs, will make a circuit
through the bell by means of the point Z and wire leading
therefrom. This bell also serves to tell me whether H has dropped
or not. This same device of regulating the draft D can be used to
regulate the damper, found on the coal doors of most furnaces, by
simply fusing a platinum point on the other side of M and changing
the cord which is attached to D. A two-contact switch could also
be inserted to throw connections from 2 to 3. It would work in
this manner: The damper door, of course, which keeps a low fire,
would be up in a position similar to D; on the furnace cooling too
much, connection, due to contracting of air in F, would be made
through 3 and C, causing H to drop, thus closing door. This simple
device worked very well all last winter and gave me no trouble

If you cannot readily procure a U-tube, you can make one, as I
did, and the work is interesting.

The U-tube is constructed in the following manner. A glass tube is
closed at one end. This is done by holding the tube in one corner
of a gas flame, somewhat near the dark area (A, Fig. 2), and
constantly turning the tube, when it will be found that the glass
has melted together. Now, after it is cool, about 3 or 4 in. from

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