Butter Churn From Washer (Nov, 1950)

Butter Churn From Washer
Here is a way of converting your washer into a butter churn in just a few minutes. Cut a triangular hole in the center of a sheet of plywood so that it fits tightly over the agitator of the machine. Then assemble four separate compartments on the plywood base, making them 2-1/2 x 3-7/8 x 7 in. to hold quart-size fruit jars. Fill the jars half full of cream to allow for expansion and fasten the lids tightly. Churn the cream by laying the jars in the compartments, as shown, and turning on the washer for the required length of time.
Elton L. Nash, Maple City, Mich.

Build Your Own Mahogany Sports Car (Sep, 1956)

Check out the cover for a better view of the finished car.

MI’s Speedball Special

You can build this beautiful sports car for less than $500 with ordinary tools.

By Don Bruce

HOW would you like to own this snazzy-looking mahogany-paneled sports car? You can—and for less than $500 if you are the least bit handy with ordinary tools and not afraid to get your hands dirty. The entire chassis and body are made of wood. The power plant can consist of any 2- to 4-cylinder motorcycle engine. Because of its high power to weight ratio, about 12.3 to 1, you will be able to do close to 90 mph. The finished car will weigh in the neighborhood of 750 pounds.

Civilian Designs Simple Gas Mask (Mar, 1940)

This is insane. I don’t trust myself to make an improvised shelf, let alone a gas mask. Plus, a gas mask that requires you to hold your nose while breathing does not exactly inspire confidence.

Civilian Designs Simple Gas Mask
With the threat of gas raids hanging” over more and more cities in Europe, the demand for gas masks in many communities far exceeds the supply. To provide some sort of gas protection in case of an emergency, an ingenious Scandinavian inventor has designed the improvised mask shown at the left. It consists simply of a hollow wooden tube and a cloth bag filled with chemicals. Air purified by the chemicals is sucked into the mouth through the tube, while the nose is held shut with the thumb and forefinger of the hand holding the mask.

Build a Streamlined Bobsled (Dec, 1953)

Where would you even use a homemade bobsled?

Streamlined Bobsled

Chills, thrills, and spills make the sport of bobsledding a zestful experience you’ll never forget, and this two-man job will enable you and a friend to share exciting rides.

THE chief objective in the design of this bobsled was to provide a streamlined canopy that completely encloses the driver and brakeman. I had made some rough calculations using some data based on the use of an unstreamlined sled which indicated that a substantial increase in speed could be expected from even a moderate amount of streamlining.

MUSICAL FREAKS Win Fame for MAJOR BOWES’ Amateurs (Jul, 1936)


All right, all right! Wire, glass, tin cans— anything. It was all the same to these boys, who made jobs grow from their mechanical ingenuity. This article relates what you didn’t hear on the radio.

IT’S marvelous how a home workshop fan can make himself famous with a broom, a saw, a dozen tin cans or a few dingy bottles picked up from a junk pile.

Build a Hunter’s Crossbow (Dec, 1953)

Hunter’s Crossbow

This old-time weapon has the hitting power and accuracy of a modern rifle.

By E. Milton Grassell

THIS crossbow, with all the romance and charm of a medieval weapon, is so powerful and accurate that it is used extensively for hunting and precision target shooting. It’s a deadly weapon, not a toy, exceptionally fine for hunting rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, and even capable of killing big game like deer, elk, antelope, and cougar when used by one skilled in its handling. Therefore it is most imperative that the crossbow be handled carefully. Never hold it in a position where it might endanger anyone if fired accidently, and always reckon with the area beyond the target or game in the event you should miss hitting the object aimed at.


This stuff was a bit harder before photoshop.


LAUGH-PROVOKING trick pictures are fun to make and more fun to show. Contrary to popular belief, such pictures can be produced by the amateur photographer, even though he has only limited equipment. Trick shots involve two steps: cutouts and pasteups. The equipment required for them, in addition to a camera and enlarger, is a sharp knife, a sheet of clear glass large enough to hold an 8 x 10 glossy print, and a piece of heavy cardboard of the same size.

Build a (rather bad) Salmon Can Fax Machine (Jun, 1932)

It seems like having to have a belt drive connect both the transmitter and receiver might be a bit of a limitation, but this is still pretty neat. I wonder what the results looked like?

Simplified Electric Picture Transmitter

A COUPLE of sardine and salmon cans, a few bits of brass and several pieces of wood are all the materials that are needed to assemble an experimental but very practical picture transmitter and receiver.

Two of each of the cans will be needed. The salmon cans should be of the small or half can size and the end that has been opened should be replaced by soldering in water tight, a new disc of tin.

Use Old Phonograph as Grindstone (Jul, 1932)

Use Old Phonograph as Grindstone
OLD phonographs can be made to do double duty by changing the turntable into a novel grindstone for sharpening knives, chisels and other small cutting tools.

This home-made sharpener is rigged up by cutting a piece of emery cloth of the circumference of the turn-table and slipping it over the revolving axis. When the motor is started, emery wheel turns.

TRICK Drawings From PHOTOS (Apr, 1938)

Wow, he looks 20 years younger in the drawing. Will you be his valentine?

TRICK Drawings From PHOTOS

MANY novel effects can be obtained by means of a simple process of converting ordinary photographic prints into black-and-white or colored line drawings. For engineering and other technical purposes, unnecessary or unimportant parts of machinery can be eliminated from a picture and the main structure thus given increased emphasis. For purposes of general illustration—serious or humorous—the faces or figures of people can be exaggerated or caricatured, double pictures built up, extra features inserted, etc. Comparatively little drawing ability is required, as the original print serves as a guide.