Retired Sailor Builds Cars For Handicapped Veterans (May, 1952)

Retired Sailor Builds Cars For Handicapped Veterans

Using surplus airplane parts almost exclusively, a retired Navy chief petty officer builds oversize motor scooters for handicapped veterans. Also built into the compact vehicle are small power tools such as a jeweler’s lathe, a key-duplicating machine, a knife-sharpening outfit and a shoe-repair kit so the veteran can earn his living right inside his car. The retired sailor, Edward T. Adkins of Watsonville, Calif., started to build the first vehicle, which he calls the “Vetmobile,” while a patient at a Navy hospital. He did it to get a fellow patient, a discouraged amputee, “interested in something.” The tiny cars are made of a drop tank split lengthwise and mounted on a strengthened motor-scooter chassis. A converted auxiliary starter-motor generator from a B-29 powers the machine. One Vetmobile built for a Dallas, Tex., amputee is equipped with a two-way radio.



ONE of the most useful of all power tools for the home workshop, yet perhaps the easiest to make, is the vibrator type electric jig saw. You may use such a saw to cut intricate patterns in wood as thick as 1/2-inch, or as thin as 1/16-inch. The great speed at which the saw travels provides smooth and accurate cuts. With no rotating parts, a jig saw of this type should last indefinitely.

An electro-magnet attracts and releases a metal diaphragm to which is attached a saw blade. A flat steel spring supports and gives necessary tension to the upper end of the saw blade. With the unit adjusted properly, the stroke will be about 5/8-inch.

The speed of this saw depends upon the frequency of the A. C. power used, as the magnet is energized and de-energized twice for each cycle. Thus there will be 120 strokes per second when 60 cycle power is used for the electro-magnet.

Hydraulic Wheel-Chair Support (Dec, 1955)

Hydraulic Wheel-Chair Support

Anyone confined to a wheel chair will find use for this support, whether in the home or in business, as it permits the occupant to raise, lower, or turn the chair to any angle

By Clinton R. Hull

SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to hold the wheel chair of a handicapped filing clerk who uses a two-shelf, circular desk in his work, this swivel support is mounted on the hydraulically controlled column of an old barber chair. The latter not only permits a swivel action, but its hydraulic mechanism allows the wheel chair to be raised by its occupant to any height within the limits of the barber-chair column—in this case to permit the occupant to work from either level of the desk. It also positions the chair at a height most convenient for using a typewriter which is fitted on a swivel bracket mounted on the end support of the circular-desk shelf.

Simple Arc Light Works From Battery, Uses Pencil Leads for Electrodes (Jan, 1932)

Simple Arc Light Works From Battery, Uses Pencil Leads for Electrodes

TO MAKE an arc light of the simplest type only a few scrap parts are necessary. The sparking points of the arc are made from two pencil leads, the lower one being mounted in a plaster of paris cast, while the upper one is held by an adjustable arm, as illustrated in the accompanying drawing. This arm is supported by an upright and is adjusted with the weight and stop block as shown. The upper and lower carbons of the arc are hooked to a six-volt storage battery, which can be cut out by a small knife switch inserted in the circuit.

For best lighting effects a concave metal reflector polished to focus rays should be placed behind the arc.

Pint-Size Tractor Has Gas Engine (Sep, 1948)

This looks damn fun. Also I love the fact that it uses a washing machine engine. I want a gas powered washer!

Pint-Size Tractor Has Gas Engine

Driving his own gasoline-engine tractor, three-year-old Gus Dobert of Nashville, Tenn., is the envy of youngsters of his neighborhood. Made by his father, a machinist, the small tractor has a two-cycle washing-machine engine. Power is transmitted by a V-belt and sprocket chain. The gear ratio insures lots of power but little speed. The clutch pedal tightens the belt on the pulleys.

Build a Toy World from Spools and Scraps of Wood (Jan, 1932)

Build a Toy World from Spools and Scraps of Wood

WITH some pieces of soft wood like pine, a collection of spools, a few sharp tools and a little ingenuity, you can make an endless variety of toys; in fact, create a whole toy world that will provide you with considerable enjoyment. The accompanying drawings give plans which are self-explanatory, but you can go ahead on your own hook and design any number of toys of your own.

All the people of your toy world can be made from spools. A good-sized army can be built up, its strength limited only by the number of spools available. On the opposite page you will find plans for building also the main “engines of war”—a rapid fire gun, a cannon and an airplane. Should you be inclined to beat your swords into plow shares, you can build any number of farm toys, plans for which are shown. Identify the people by painting faces on the spools.

Gravity Clock Makes Unique Ornament (Jan, 1932)

Gravity Clock Makes Unique Ornament

HERE is a combination water and weight clock that anyone reasonably adept with a soldering iron can construct. It makes a novel addition to the den and generally draws the interest of persons unfamiliar with the principle on which it operates.

The important part of the clock is a metal drum partly filled with water. It is suspended by two cords wound around a rod which passes through the drum. Gravity tends to cause the drum to revolve as the cord unwinds, but this motion is controlled by three baffle plates, each pierced by a tiny hole, which are soldered within the drum.

Working Model Steam Engine, 1/20 h.p., Constructed Entirely of Glass (Nov, 1931)

Working Model Steam Engine, 1/20 h.p., Constructed Entirely of Glass

ENGINES are made in many forms, and glass has been blown in many forms, but never until quite recently has glass been blown into the form of an engine —an engine that actually runs. This remarkable feat has been accomplished by America’s oldest glass blower, A. W. Scott, of Long Beach, Cal. Seven months of painstaking labor went into the blowing of this unique engine, which is perfect in every detail of construction and operation. The 374 separate parts which make up the machine were electrically welded and function with utmost smoothness. The machine has a governor, two flywheels, double pistons and a tiny lamp which generates the steam.

Building Blocks of Science (Nov, 1946)

If you are thinking of making this, keep in mind that 21 new elements have been discovered since it was printed. You can find out more at http://www.webelements…..

Building Blocks of Science


Science Editor, The Associated Press

THE periodic table of the elements—the 96 metals, nonmetals and gases that form everything in the material universe— is the blueprint of the atomic future.

This table states a very simple fact: Everything material is made of three kinds of particles; namely, neutrons, protons and electrons. The difference between any two elements, iron and oxygen, for example, is in the number of particles.

On a map, specific places are always at specific points. The periodic table is like that. It tells facts about the elements that never change.

Although the table does not show where to look for uranium, it indicates the likely mineral formations. It shows that the kind of chain reaction that makes uranium bombs cannot be achieved without uranium’s aid. It also gives the limits of the uranium reaction and guarantees that it will not explode the earth.

Build an Air-Rifle Shooting Gallery (Dec, 1953)

Air-Rifle Shooting Gallery

Do you have a budding marksman in your home? You’ll rate high with him if you help him build this Lilliput shooting gallery.

By Kenneth Murray

IF YOUR invitation to the next A-bomb test hasn’t arrived yet, you can still get your bangs at the nearest shooting gallery. Or, if you feel like tinkering, you can have a shooting gallery (junior grade) for your very own. It’s fun to construct and exciting to use, so it makes a perfect dad-and-lad undertaking. It works just like the big ones at summer carnivals, but an air rifle or air pistol with BB ammunition is used. That puts the shooting expense way down. Also, there’s no danger—you can set the target up either inside the house or, when the weather permits, outdoors on the lawn. It fits comfortably on an ordinary card table. The project is simply made. It has a wooden base and a front row of moving characters, such as Bugs Rabbit, who run on an endless belt. They can be knocked over, but come to life again the next trip around the circuit. At the rear are some more targets. One revolves slowly and, theoretically, you get a prize if you put a BB slug through the right hole at the right time and ring the bell. Then there are some “clay” pipes that look like the real thing. Instead of breaking, however, they merely spin merrily each time they are hit. Lastly, for timid shooters, there’s a round target that doesn’t go anywhere but has a large hole through which it’s easy to ring the gong.