I have a reprint of a Popular Mechanics book on sports and pastimes from
the early 1900s (when radio tubes were still called valves, even in
America.) Full of instructions on how to build dangerous machinery.
On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 23:08:14 -0500, Wolf Kirchmeir
Lindsay publications has a lot more, good stuff, reasonable prices
Infinite possibilities for committing suicide by various methods.
And this stuff was meant for kids?
(But his metalworking books are some of the best I've ever seen.}
I had a copy of this book given to me as a child (I still have it) and
I built the electric arc furnace as a project for a science fair in
high school. Unfortunately, the book was written before AC became a
standard and my arc, expcting DC, ballasted by an electric iron, only
tripped breakers and did not melt the aluminum powder in the crucible,
But as you say, a lot of ways to commit suicide, all in one volume.
On 22 Nov 2005 14:28:54 -0800, "video guy - www.locoworks.com"
Lots of things in there that are interesting, I'm waiting to see if
they publish the other volumes, I think there are three more.
But, out of curiosity, I went through Lindasy's site again, finding
several other locomotive projects, usually in 1/2" scale and either
live steam or electric. But, in the Lindsay catalog I got in the
mail, they're teasing me with a "coming Soon!", Henry Greely's 1954
"Model Steam Locomotives." I don't know how big that book is, but
would guess somewhere in the $20 range, unless it's much bigger than
most. Lindsay high end is about $40, and usually well worth the
Interesting though, some of the old formulas for metal plating and
photo processing call for some pretty nasty compounds. Stuff that
thankfully isn't available at your local drugstore anymore.
Just so you know this thread is on topic, article 165 from the book tells how
to make an electric locomotive. I've posted it below.
How to Make a Miniature Electric Locomotive 
A miniature electric railway is a thing that attracts the attention of almost
any person. The cost of a toy electric locomotive is beyond the reach of many
boys who could just as well make such a toy without much expense and be proud
to say they "built it themselves." The electric locomotive described herewith
uses for its power a small battery motor costing about $1. The first thing to
do is to make the wheels and axles. If one has nolathe, the wheels can be
turned at some machine shop. Four wheels are made from a round bar of metal, as
shown in Fig. 1. Each wheel is 1/4 in. thick and 1 in. in diameter, with a
1/16-in. flange and a 1/4-in. hole drilled in the center. Each pair of wheels
is fitted on a 1/4-in. axle, about 2-5/8 in. long. One of the axles should be
fitted with a grooved belt wheel, as shown. Make the frame from three pieces of
heavy brass, as shown in Fig. 2.
The first piece, or main part of the frame, is made from brass, 3/4 in. wide
and 16 in. long, bent into an oblong shape and the ends soldered or bolted
together. If the ends are to be soldered, before doing so drill four 1/4-in.
holes 1 in. from the ends and insert the ends of the axles. The other two
pieces are 1/2-in. wide and of the dimensions shown in the sketch. These pieces
are riveted in the middle of the oblong frame, each in its proper place. The
motor is now bolted, bottom side up, to the top of the piece fastened to the
frame lengthwise. A trolley, Fig. 3, is made from a piece of clock spring, bent
as shown, and a small piece of tin soldered to the top end for a brush
connection. A groove is made in the tin to keep the trolley wire in place.
The trolley wire is fastened to supports made of wood and of the dimensions
given in Fig. 4. The trolley should be well insulated from the frame. The
parts, put together complete, are shown in Fig. 5. Run a belt from the pulley
on the motor to the grooved wheel on the axle, as shown in Fig. 6, and the
locomotive is ready for running.
In making the connections the travel of the locomotive may be made more
complicated by placing a rheostat and controlling switches in the line, so that
the engine can be started and stopped at will from a distance and the speed
regulated. Automatic switches can be attached at the ends of the line to break
the circuit when the locomotive passes a certain point.
One connection from the batteries is made to the trolley wire and the other to
a rail. The connection for the motor runs from one binding post to the trolley
and this connection must be well insulated to avoid a short-circuit. The other
binding-post is connected to the frame.
The cost of making the wheels and purchasing the track will not be over $1.50.
The track can be made from strips of tin put in a saw cut made in pieces of
wood used for ties. This will save buying a track. --Contributed by Maurice E.
Fuller, San Antonio, Texas.
Ken Rice -=:=- kennrice (AT) erols (DOT) com
http://users.erols.com/kennrice - Lego Compatible Flex Track,
Just for the record ... "The Boy Mechanic" is not just ONE book, it is a
whole set. I have several volumes (IIRC, five) of them. Each is perhaps
1.5" thick, hardbound. I inherited these from my father. When I was much
younger I read most of them, and tried some of the projects. Among other
neat things were projects to build a variety of machine tools. I was
quite fascinated by the several different "rose engines" presented.
These were used for drawing or engraving all sorts of filigree patterns
on whatever. I never actually built one, but some were very elaborate.
I haven't had the books out of storage for many years, and have no idea
if I have the complete set, or just part of it. I haven't even thought
of these for a long time, until this thread popped up. Perhaps I'll get
ambitious, and dig them out.
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