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Household Companion: The Practical Mechanic



Mending broken furniture, windows, brick or stone work, plumbing, painting, wall paper, and the thousands of things about a house which are liable to get out of order, means money in pocket if you can do it without having to call in a high-priced mechanic. There are many men who could employ evenings in making handsome and durable pieces of furniture, and at the end of the year find themselves richer and more comfortable for it.

TitleHousehold Companion: The Practical Mechanic
AuthorAlice A. Johnson, Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill, Dr. Henry HartShorne
PublisherM.L. Dewsnap
Year1909
Copyright1909

A Practical Reference Work For Housekeepers

Household Companion

---------Comprising--------

A Complete Cook Book—Practical Household Recipes, Aids And Hints For Household Decorations; The Care Of Domestic Plants And Animals And A Treatise On Domestic Medicine

Including a Chapter on TUBERCULOSIS The Great White Plague A CURABLE AND PREVENTABLE DISEASE

—By—

Dr. Lawrence F. Flick

Medical Director of the Henry Phipps Institute for the Study, Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculosis

General Editors Of The Work:

  • Alice A. Johnson -- Graduate in Domestic Science of Drexel Institute, Philadelphia
  • Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill -- Editor of the Boston Cooking School Journal
  • Dr. Henry Hartshorne, M.D.. Ll.D. -- Author of "Essential of Practical Medicine"
  • and Other Specialists

Profusely Illustrated With Color Plates, Half-Tone Engravings and Text Pictures

Copyright 1909, by M. L. DBWSNAP

-The Practical Mechanic: Introduction
Here are pages which will probably save the small cost of the whole volume many times over, in the numerous expenses for repairs which they will do away with, ...
-Every Man His Own Mechanic
Mend your broken chairs and crippled furniture; put fresh panes of glass into your broken windows; do your own repairs as far as it is practicable, indoors and ...
-Broken Window, How to Mend It.
We shall first look into the cost of the work when the householder is his own mechanic. The man who lays himself out to do odd jobs of this kind will of course ...
-Knowledge Must Be Paid For.
It is good policy, then, for every man who seeks to do a little as a handicraftsman, to lay out a few dollars in obtaining the services of any moderately ...
-Carpentry Most Desirable.
If it be asked what branch of handicraft trade, or, to bring matters within a narrower compass, what branch of the building trade is most suitable and most ...
-Bricklaying and Masonry.
Bricklaying and masonry are trades which possibly an amateur will not meddle much with; but some slight acquaintance with the principles of each, and the ...
-Excavating.
Lastly, a knowledge of excavating in all its branches is attended with advantage. In the term excavating a far greater variety of work is comprised than ...
-Kinds and Prices of Materials.
It is important for every one who attempts to work in wood that he should be familiar with the various kinds of wood that are used, and the purposes for which ...
-Working Drawings.
We would urge strongly on the amateur artisan the necessity of preparing careful plans and working drawings to scale of any piece of work that he is about to ...
-Kinds of Woods Generally Used in Ordinary Carpentry.
Of all the different kinds of wood, deal, or pine, is that with which the amateur will be most frequently employed, and of which it is most necessary that he ...
-Strength and Breaking Strain.
The most important qualities of building material necessary to consider are its strength and breaking strain or breaking weight, and the amount of pressure ...
-Tools Used
An able author and artisan, describes the tools used in carpentry in groups as follows, namely, Striking tools, saws, cutting tools, planes, boring tools, ...
-Striking Tools.
Of hammers, the amateur should possess three namely, an ordinary joiner's hammer for heavy work, a lighter one of the same form for medium work, and a light ...
-Rasping Tools.
Rasping Tools are those which act by abrasion or rubbing away the material to which they are applied. There are many kinds of saws in use, but those which the ...
-Paring Tools.
Paring Tools, or tools which are used for cleaning away the rough, ragged surface left by the teeth of the saw and rendering wood smooth and even, or otherwise ...
-Boring Tools.
The tools comprised in the first division of boring tools are bradawls, gimlets, and augers. These tools are, for the most part, extremely simple in ...
-Other Tools.
In good carpentry everything depends on accuracy of measurement of parts, and fitting the parts together at right angles, or at the required angle or bevel.
-The Glue-Pot.
The Glue-Pot should be in every house, whether the tenant turns his attention to household carpentry or not. So many little odd jobs can be done by its aid, ...
-Recipe for Making Glue.
The following is a good recipe for making, or, rather melting, glue. It is given by an authority in Workshop Receipts : Break the glue into small pieces, and ...
-Directions for Sharpening Tools.
Of course all cutting tools must be provided with a keen edge, and this is obtained by grinding them to a proper bevel on the grindstone and afterwards rubbing ...
-The Carpenter's Bench.
One of the most indispensable essentials to the performance of operations in carpentry and joinery is the carpenter's bench. Nothing can be fairly done without ...
-How to Hold and Handle Tools.
Having provided oneself with the necessary tools and work bench, or such a selection from the whole as may best meet his requirements, the next thing to be ...
-The Divisions Of The Building Trade
When any art or manufacture begins to assume importance, and there is a continually increasing demand for the articles, be they what they may, that are made by ...
-Practical Knowledge of all the Trades.
It is in doing repairs of an ordinary nature that the amateur will find practical knowledge of the arts connected with the building trades of use to him, in ...
-Work in Metals.
Similarly he may not be able to accomplish much in smiths' work, but it is certainly of advantage to be able to work in iron so far as to be able, by aid of ...
-Decorative Work.
In the decorative portions of the building trade he will find no very great difficulty. House-painting that is to say, covering wood or metal with a uniform ...
-Practical Points in Excavating.
The following facts with regard to excavator's work, may be of use: In loose ground a man can throw up about 10 cubic yards per day, but in hard or gravelly ...
-Flaking Good Concrete.
Concrete, now so much used in forming the foundations of buildings of every description, and even the walls themselves, is a mixture of cement and sand, gravel, ...
-Quantities of Cement Used.
When made into stucco for covering a wall, the following table will show the ex tent of surface that a bushel of cement may be made to cover when used pure or ...
-Bricklaying
Bricklaying is in itself an apparently simple process, inasmuch as it consists merely in laying or disposing regular and similar rectangular pieces of baked ...
-Mortar for Brickwork.
Bricks are cemented together with mortar, which is a mixture of lime and sand brought to a pasty consistence by the addition of water. When it is desired to ...
-Soldering and Brazing.
For zinc-working, plumbing, gasfitting, and all kinds of work in sheet metal, a knowledge of the processes termed soldering and brazing is necessary. By these ...
-How Soldering is Done.
The surfaces to be united must be thoroughly cleaned and brightened. Without this the metal will not adhere. The soldering iron must be warmed sufficiently to ...
-Indoor and Outdoor Painting.
Nearly all that has been said with regard to operations in the building trades is connected with construction, but here we shall speak chiefly of decoration.
-The Several Coats of Paint.
As soon as the priming is dry, all holes made by punching in the heads of nails, cracks, etc., must be stopped with putty. It is useless to attempt to do this ...
-Removing Old Paint.
When the surface of a coat of paint, that is to say, of any under coat, appears rough, especially in the case of patches in old work that have been retouched, ...
-Other Modes of Removing Old Paints.
Recipe. To Remove Old Paint from Woodwork. (i) Make a very strong solution of common washing soda, and apply it to the paint with a brush until the paint can ...
-The Care of Brushes.
Similarly, brushes not in use should have the bristles or hair kept under water, that they may remain soft and flexible. It is better, however, when the ...
-Various Coloring Substances Used in Painting.
It will be useful to the amateur painter to mention the various pigments or coloring substances used in painting to produce different simple colors, and to ...
-Table of Simple Coloring Substances.
(1) Whites. White lead, including Ceruse and Flake White, Zinc White (oxide of zinc), Griffith's Zinc White (oxy-sulphide of zinc non-poisonous), Spanish White.
-Recipes for Tints Produced by Mixing Simple Colors.
Straw Color. Chrome yellow and white lead. Lemon Color. Chrome yellow and white lead; more of the first than in straw color. Orange. Chrome yellow and ...
-Varnishes, and Recipes for Making Varnishes.
Varnishes may be bought at the oil and color store at reasonable rates. A few coats of varnish much improve painted or stained work by imparting to it a smooth ...
-Gold Varnish.
Thoroughly wash and cleanse from color one part of gum shellac; when dry pulverize it well, reducing it in a mortar to an impalpable powder; mix with it four ...
-Polishing, and Recipes for Polish
Polishing very greatly improves the appearance of articles made of any fancy wood or stained work. There are many different sorts of polish; but those for ...
-Paper Hanging.
Next to painting, the most important decorative work that can be done within the house is paper-hanging, and a knowledge of the mode of doing this will often ...
-Small Patterns Most Satisfactory.
The most satisfactory kind of pattern is a small geometrical one, consisting of some simple form, a leaf or flower, conventionally treated. For staircases, ...
-Preliminary Work for Paper Hanging,
If the wall be new it will require sizing before the paper is put on, though this is by no means done as a rule. If the wall has to be re-papered, it must be ...
-Paste for Paper Hanging.
Good paste for paper-hanging is made of old flour, mixed to a milk-like consistency with water. When put in the saucepan to boil, a little size or glue may be ...
-Where to Begin to Hang Paper.
Where to make a commencement in hanging a room with paper will be a bit of a puzzle to the amateur paper-hanger. The rule is that the edges of the paper when ...
-Cutting Paper into Lengths.
When the edges are cut the next step is to cut the paper into lengths suitable to the height of the room, and this, whether the overplus at top and bottom be ...
-Attaching to the Wall.
As many strips as may be required having been laid one on top of another on the board, the first strip may be pasted, but a little judgment must be used as to ...
-Bells And Telephones
The electric bell constitutes one of the most simple pieces of apparatus for signaling by electricity, and although more than half a century has elapsed since ...
-A Grounded Circuit.
On long distances wire can be saved by using a grounded circuit, which is done as follows : Drive a piece of iron into the earth, from four to five feet down, ...
-Making Connections.
In all ordinary electric bell work, if reasonable care is taken, no connections or splices are necessary in the wire. Should it be necessary to make a ...
-The Working of the Bell.
The electric bell consists essentially of an electro-magnet and a vibrating armature piece which oscillates in front of it. If a current enters the terminal A ...
-Alternating Currents.
Such vibrating electric bells will work with both direct and alternating currents, but not nearly so well with the latter. As, however, it is very often found ...
-Cautions to be Observed.
To sum up, then, let us say that in putting up electric bells, telephones, etc., there are several points which must be carefully attended to, if satisfactory ...
-Putting up Telephones.
There are two very distinct methods of transmitting the voice possible in telephonic systems : electro magnetic transmitters for use without batteries, and ...
-Line Wires.
In towns, each person having a telephone is connected to an excnange, and by which he can be connected at will to any other person also connected to the ...
-Number of Bells Required.
A couple of cells of almost any make such as Daniells or Le Clanche are quite enough for working a short telephone line, and for longer distances three or four ...
-Operating a Telephone.
The manipulation of a telephone instrument is quite simple. In nearly every type of instrument the receivers are hung on a hook which is pivoted on an axis.
-Batteries.
Batteries are connected by attaching the carbon side of one cell to the zinc side of the next; follow this for any number and there will always remain one ...
-Facts And Figures For Every Day Use: Shingles
The best shingles are of white cedar. When of good quality, they will last 40 to 50 years in our Northern States. Cypress and white pine are much used for ...
-Painting.
For outside wood work, paint made from white lead ground in linseed oil is most used. If the oil is raw, or unboiled, dryer is added; if boiled, no dryer is ...
-White and Other Washes.
For outside wood-work. In a tight bushel, slake half a bushel of fresh lime by pouring over it boiling water sufficient to cover it 4 or 5 inches deep, stir ...
-Stone-Work.
A perch of stone work is 1 rod long, 1 feet thick and 1 foot high, and contains 24 cubic feet. A cord of stone, like a cord of wood, contains 128 cubic feet, ...
-Concrete Walls.
Concrete walls for houses are built of 1 of cement to 6 or 7 of broken stone, shingle, gravel, or slag. The substance mixed with the cement must be free from ...
-Plastering.
Estimate of material for 100 square yards. Materials Two coats slipped coat finish Three coats with hard finish Quicklime 3.5 casks 4 casks for fine stuff . 2/ ...
-Brick-Work.
Brick-work is generally measured by 1,000 bricks laid in the wall. In consequence of variations in size of bricks, no rule for volume of laid brick can be ...
-Slating.
A square of slate or slating is 100 superficial feet. In measuring, the width of the eaves is allowed at the widest part. Hips, valleys, and cutting are to be ...
-Rules for Obtaining Approximate Weight of Iron.
For Round Bars. Rule : Multiply the square of the diameter in inches by the length in feet, and that product by 2.6. The product will be the weight in pounds, ...
-To Test Quality of Iron.
If fracture gives long silky fibres of leaden-gray hue, fibres cohering and twisting together before breaking, may be considered a tough, soft iron. A medium ...
-Average Weight of Animals.
Cart-horse, 14 cwt. Riding-horse, 11 cwt. Ox, 7 to 8 Pig, 1 to 1.5 Cow, 6.5 to 8 Sheep, 1 Average weight of a man, 140 lbs. A dense crowd of people, 85 lbs.
-Average Number of Cubic Feet Per Ton of Various Substances for Estimating Work or Stowage.
Iron................... 4.7 Lead................... 3.2 Brick................... 22 Clay................... 22 Sand................... 24 Earth, loose..........
-Workshop Recipes. part 1
A Home-Made Lubricator. Tallow and plumbago thoroughly mixed make the best lubricator for surfaces when one is wood or when both are wood. Oil is not so good ...
-Workshop Recipes. part 2
To Remove Rust From Steel. Steel which has been rusted can be cleaned by brushing with a paste compound of 0.5 oz. cyanide potassium, 0.5 oz. castile soap, 1 ...
-Soldering Recipes
To Solder Brass Easily. Cut out a piece of tinfoil the size of the surface to be soldered. Then apply to the surface a solution of sal-ammoniac for a flux.
-How to Mix Inks or Paints for Tints.
A larger quantity of the first-named color must always be used. Dark green and purple make bottle green. White and medium yellow make buff tint. Red, black, ...
-Time-Savers.
We give the following figures as worth remembering. They will save calculation and give approximately accurate results with least amount of labor: Four loads, ( ...
-A Polish for Wood.
The wooden parts of tools, such as the stocks of planes and handles of chisels, are often made to have a nice appearance by French polishing; but this adds ...
-To Calculate the Number of Shingles for a Roof.
To calculate number of shingles for a roof, ascertain number of square feet, and multiply by four, if two inches to weather, 8 for 4.5 inches; and 7 1-5 if 5 ...
-A Chimney that Will Draw.
To build a chimney that will draw forever, and not fill up with soot, you must build it large enough, sixteen inches square; use good brick, and clay instead ...
-Keeping Tools.
Keep your tools handy and in good condition. This applies everywhere and in every place, from the smallest shop to the greatest mechanical establishment in the ...
-Three Thermometer Scales.
There are three standard thermometers in use, each a recognized standard in one or another part of the world. The scale of Reaumur (R.) prevails in Germany. As ...
-Weighing Liquids
One gallon of pure water weighs nearly 8)4 lbs. avoirdupois. A pint is a pound is an old saying, and very nearly true. The gallon containing 231 cubic inches, ...
-Engines And Boilers: Steam Boilers.
For all boilers three different parts, viz., fire-surface, water-space and steam-room, must be considered. Each part or division has a distinct and separate ...
-Engines And Boilers: Useful Rules for Calculations.
To find the fire-grate surface of flue boilers. Square the nominal horse-power, and divide it by the heating surface in square yards; the quotient will be the ...
-How to Care for Boilers.
Every one who owns a steam-boiler, as well as the engineer who is responsible for the same, should at all times exercise the greatest care. A fifteen-story ...
-Engines And Boilers: For the Engineer and Firemen
Always start your engine slowly, so that the air and water condensation can be expelled from your cold cylinder; then you will gradually bring it to its ...
-How to Thaw Out a Frozen Steam-Pipe.
A. good way to thaw out a frozen-up steam-pipe, is 10 take some old cloth, discarded clothes, waste, old carpet, or anything of that kind, and lay on the pipe ...
-Steam as a Cleansing Agent.
For cleaning greasy machinery nothing can be found that is more useful than steam. A steam hose attached to the boiler can be made to do better work in a few ...
-Suggestion for Hot-Water Heating Systems.
Let your risers not be less than 1.25 , for smaller pipes soon become coated, if the water used contains lime or other matters in solution or suspension.
-A Cheap Filter.
A cheap filter which any tinner can make is 12 x 6 inches in size, and 8 inches high. The water flows in near the top, and on the top is a door through which ...
-Tables Of Measure And Weight
Circular Measure. 60 seconds = 1 minute. 60 minutes = 1 degree. 360 degrees = 1 circle. English Money. 4 farthings = 1 penny. 12 pennies = 1 shilling. 20 ...
-The Metric System.
1. The Metric System of weights and measures has been legalized in the United States. Its fundamental unit is the meter, from which all the other units of the ...
-Miscellaneous Tables.
Linear Measures. 3 barley-corns, or sizes = 1 inch. Used by shoemakers. 4 inches = 1 hand Used to measure the height of horses at the shoulder 21.888 inches = ...
-Book Measure.
Measurements of folded paper and certain articles: A sheet A sheet of folded into The book is paper makes 1 leaves a folio, 4 pp. (pages) 4 a quarto or 4to, 8 ...
-Miscellaneous Weights and Measures.
100 lb. of grain or flour = 1 cental. 100 dry fish = 1 quintal. 100 lb. of nails = 1 keg. 196 flour = 1 barrel. 200 beef or pork = 1 barrel. 240 lime = 1 cask.
-Miscellaneous Equivalents.
231 cu. in. = 1 gal. liquid measure. 268 4-5 =1 gal. dry measure. 277.274 =1 imperial gal. of Great Britain. 2150.42 = 1 bushel of U. S. 2216.192 =1 Great ...
-Bible Weights and Measures.
A day's journey = 33 1-5 U. S. miles. A Sabbath-day's journey = 1 mile Ezekiel's reed = 11 feet nearly. Cubit Hebrew = 22 inches, nearly. Greek = 18 about. A ...
-Capacity of Cylindrical Cisterns.
The following table shows the capacity in gallons for one foot in depth of cylindrical cisterns of any dimensions. Find the diameter of any given cistern and ...
-Mensuration ; or, Useful Rules for Computing Measurements.
Area of a triangle base * 1/2 altitude. Area of a parallelogram multiply base by altitude. Area of a trapezoid altitude * 1/2 the sum of parallel sides. Area ...
-Lumber and its Measurement.
A board foot is 1 foot long, 1 foot wide, and 1 inch thick, and is used as the unit of measurement. What is called scantling lumber is 3 or 4 inches wide, and ...
-To Compute Volume of Square Timber.
When all the dimensions are in feet : Rule. Multiply the breadth by the depth and that product by the length, and the product will give the volume in cubic ...









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