John F. Adams
This is the season of the year when the big ash pile in the corner of the cellar demands attention, and usually it is a job which is approached with reluctance, as during the work of sifting and removing it, both the worker and the cellar become liberally coated with dust. The sifting device here described is one recently made by a neighbor, and he reports that the sifting of ashes is not only a quick and easy matter, but also that very little dust can escape during the operation.
The illustration clearly shows the design. The unsifted ashes are placed in the hopper and the lid immediately closed. The ashes fall into the cylindrical iron screen which is turned by the crank on the end of the shelf extending through the front of the hopper. The screen is inclined at an angle of 15°, so that the turning causes the coals to run out of the lower end, where they fall into a box or hod placed to receive them.
The ashes and all bits of coal fall through the screen, which is of 1/2 in. mesh, into a box underneath; the box being removed when full, and the ashes emptied. The box receptacle can be replaced by the usual wooden barrel, by making the bottom into a hopper shape, but this brings the feed hopper rather high from the floor as, owing to the weight, it is not easy to lift from one barrel to another. The box arrangement shown is to be preferred.
It will be advisable to construct the screen cylinder first, and then make the dimensions of the box to conform to the screen, keeping in mind that the screen shaft is inclined at an angle of about 15° and that allowance must be made for the overhang of the screen at the ends. With a screen 30 in. long an 15 in. diameter, this requires that the box be 33 in. long on the inside. The shaft is a piece of 1/2 in. cold rolled iron, 62 in. long. At the outer ends two bends of 5 in. each are made to form a crank, but the bending is not done until after the screen is finally put in place.
For the screen will be needed a piece of heavy wire galvanized iron screening with 1/4 in. mesh, 47 in. long and 30 in. wide. In cutting off, leave enough of the protruding ends to turn over the cross wire, thus preventing the joint from opening up with wear. It will also be necessary to remove one cross wire so that in rnaking the joint the protruding ends can be turned over the cross wire of the opposite end, thus making a firm joint. A pair of long nosed pliers will be helpful in this work, the turns then being closed up with a hammer.
It will next be necessary to fit two arms to the shaft upon which to support the screen. In the one examined by the writer these arms were made of pieces of wood 15 x 2 x | in., fitted to the shaft with a jam fit and further secured by wire nails put through small holes drilled in the shaft with a hand drill, the ends of the nails being turned over. As these pieces of wood sometimes checked the free movement of the ashes, abetter way would be to use some 1/2 in. half round iron strips, two pieces at each end, riveting to the shaft and to each other, and turning the ends outward and curving them to the shape of the screen, to which they are secured by wiring. These arms are located 3 1/2 and 29 1/2 in. from the inner end of the shaft.
The wooden case is made of lumber from a large case, or several shoe.cases, and obtained at much less expense than if purchased in the board at the lumber yard. The constructing of the lop is shown in the illustration. The two pieces running lengthwise are 34 in. long and 4 or 5 in. wide; the two pieces at the ends 20 in. long and 5 in. wide. These are nailed together with the end pieces underneath. The bottom is made the same size and in the same way, with the exception that it is completely covered with boards running lengthwise.
The sides are then nailed on and are cut from matched boards 38 in. long. The two lower pieces of the rear end are then put on, the boards running cross-wise, and the front end from the top downward, for 32 in. A door, hinged at the top, is made to cover the lower part of the front.
The top part of the hopper is a box 12x14x10 in. with a cover hinged as shown. The board at the back is only 8 in. wide, to allow the lower edge to be set 2 in. below the level of the top of the large box. The lower outside edges are beveled off with a drawknife and placed so that the pieces forming the bottom of the hopper may be securely nailed to it. The pieces forming the V part of the hopper are about 10 in. long at the longest parts, and are cut to bevels to fit the end of the box at the corners. The front side at the bottom is about 3 in. wide. When correctly fitted they are nailed to the top, and after cutting a feed hole in the front of the box, the hopper is then nailed to the box.
The feed hole just mentioned is a shallow U shape about 10 in. diameter, with the lower edge about 14 in. from the top of the screen box. The lower end of the hopper is then covered with a piece of zinc or tinned iron from a large can, having a lip which projects about 2 in. into the screen box and serving to prevent the ashes from falling between the ends of the box and screen. It is fastened in place with tinned tacks, holes being punched in the tin plate for the same with a sharpened nail.
A thrust block bearing is then made for the rear end of the screen shaft. A piece of board about 6x 10 in.
is recessed on one side to receive a small iron plate, which may be made from a piece of tire iron, or similar stock, to be had at any blacksmith shop. Holes are drilled for screws for attaching to the board. A hole about 1 in. diameter is bored in the center of the wood to receive the shaft, the end of which rests against the iron plate.
The bearings for the shaft are then made from two pieces of flat bar iron about 6 in. long, 1 in. wide and 3-16 in. thick. They are laid side by side and a small circle laid out at the center of the joint. The circle is filed out with around file, keeping in mind that the shaft is at an angle of 15° and the hole between the pieces must coincide. The hole is made slightly less than the diameter of the shaft, so that the wear can be taken up by moving the plates together as they wear. Similar plates are made for the front end bearings, but owing to the angle of the hopper front, it will be necessary to receive the plates. A 1-in. hole is bored through the front of the hopper at an angle to receive the screen shaft.
The screen is then put into place through the opening left at the rear, this opening is boarded up, covers made for the top of the case and hopper and lower part of the front. A box is made to receive the ashes and placed in the space under the screen, and the sifter is then ready for duty.
The pupils in manual training schools who wish to convince their parents that the instruction they are receiving is of some" practical " value, will find this sifter, if well made, an excellent illustration in that respect.
Bismuth is a hard, brittle metal, with a reddish-white color and metallic luster. It looks much like antimony, but is readily distingushed from the latter by its reddish tinge of color. When heated to redness it burns with a bluish flame, forming the yellow oxide of bismuth. It is not very abundant in nature. The most important ores of bismuth are the oxide and sulphide. Its chief use is in pharmacy, and the metal must be free from impurities, particularly arsenic. Bismuth ores are roasted, after which various methods of treatment are employed, according to the ore. When arsenic is present the last traces of It may be removed by melting the metal with niter. Hydrochloric acid has little effect on metallic bismuth ; strong sulphuric acid forms bismuth sulphate, and when treated with nitric acid bismuth acid results. Bismuth is not known to form any combinations with hydrogen.
Among the uses that borax is put to are: In the manufacture of porcelain-coated ironware known as granite ware; in pottery and earthenware as a glaze; in the manufacture of paste used in glasses and enamels; in artificial gems, etc.