THERE is a knack to keeping one’s balance on a single-runner coaster which you may acquire quickly, or may not. The coaster requires a l-by-4 board 6 feet long for the runner and brace.

The runner must have a slight curve to its bow, as indicated in Fig. 1. To warp the wood, steam it or soak it in hot water, then place the bow end in a vise, and block up the other end until a curve a trifle greater than that shown is obtained.

Prizes for Home-Built Baby Autos! (Jun, 1931)

Prizes for Home-Built Baby Autos!

IT’S a safe bet to say that at one time or another practically every man in America has built himself a home-made vehicle embodying his own ideas in automotive construction. Maybe it was only a pushmobile made to imitate his favorite car; maybe, as he grew older, he turned out a race car job, or put a racing body on a chassis powered by a motorcycle engine.

SEEING SOUND With A Home-Made Oscillograph (Nov, 1936)

SEEING SOUND With A Home-Made Oscillograph


Hooked up to the loudspeaker terminals of a radio this device converts music into rhythmic light rays.

FASCINATING mysteries of sound can be explored with a simple oscillograph made from junk-box parts. Plugged into your radio set, it will convert programs into wiggling lines of light, moving across a screen.

TIN CAN JEWELS (Oct, 1958)

AUTHENTIC copies of European crown jewels, in tin and glass, are the hobby of Dick Stier of Bloomfield, N. J. Stier, himself of noble German descent, got on the kick watching the coronation of Elizabeth II, now has crown jewels of the czars, the Pope, German royalty—all meticulously copied in fruit can metal and junk gems.

Winners in NEW USE for Old Fords Contest (Feb, 1929) (Feb, 1929)

Winners in NEW USE for Old Fords Contest

MODERN MECHANICS pays $10 for every acceptable photo and description of the odd uses to which old Tin Lizzies have been put. The machines shown below are all made from old Model T Fords.

DOWN at Iowa Park, Texas, is an old flivver motor which is enjoying a ripe old age puffing and grunting on half her lungs while the other half supply fresh ozone for tires which have lost the courage of their convictions.



IF ONE of your bunch can scare up a barrel, that barrel will furnish staves for a dozen skis. You will see by the diagram that a piece of board is fastened several inches forward of the center of the stave, and that a house slipper is nailed to this board. If you lack a slipper, cut down an old shoe or overshoe. For a more efficient ski, smooth the sole with sandpaper, then rub in linseed oil and polish with floor wax.

If the skis do not rack straight, cut a groove in the bottom of the skis with a routing chisel. Do not rout out too much. A groove about 1/4-inch wide and 1/4-inch deep will do nicely to pack the snow under the ski and hold the user on his course.

Build This Monorail Bathing Chute for Thrills (Jul, 1931)

Build This Monorail Bathing Chute for Thrills

As a thrill producer, it will be hard to beat this monorail bathing chute. Erected on a hill sloping down to a beach, it will send you flying out into the water at a breathtaking speed. Construction is very simple.

BATHING weather prompts many novel means of sport in the water such as diving slides, swings, etc., but here is a regular “shoot the chute” in simplified form with which loads of sport can be obtained and all at a minimum cost.

Mechanical Flying Goose Decorates Radiator Cap (Jan, 1932)

Mechanical Flying Goose Decorates Radiator Cap

For novelty in radiator ornaments, you’ll have to go a long way to beat this mechanical flying goose. As you speed along in your car, an ingenious arrangement of mechanism in the bird causes it to straighten out and flap its wings to simulate a real live goose in flight.

WHILE your car is standing still this wild goose isn’t so wild. He perches sedately upon the radiator cap surveying the world with a glassy eye. But as soon as you start up and shift into high he flattens out his tail, stretches his neck forward and begins to flap his wings as if he were going somewhere, and going there in a hurry.

Approval Meter (Apr, 1947)

Approval Meter


WITH the “approval meter,” program directors will no longer have to rely on laughter, applause or boos to learn just what the audience thinks of entertainment.

The method—developed by Schwerin Research Corporation—works automatically and records reaction for study later. All you do is push or pull a tiny lever at your side.

“Perpetual Motion” Machine Makes Novel Window Display (Jul, 1931)

“Perpetual Motion” Machine Makes Novel Window Display

For novelty in window displays you can’t beat this “perpetual motion machine” as a means of attracting the attention of passers-by. Powered by magnets concealed in the tracks, the steel ball whirls round and round, bewildering those who pause to watch.

SCORES of people will walk right by an artistically decorated store window without giving the display a glance. On the other hand, another store window with a novel display catches the eye of every passer-by.