This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
The general use of electricity in the home has opened up a new field in the way of heating and cooking utensils. While these utensils are sold by electric-supply houses, some of them can be easily made at home and answer the purpose just as nicely. One of these is the eiectric shaving mug.
A mug that will stand heat is the first thing required, and an aluminum cup of standard shape and design, which can be bought in almost every town, will do perfectly well. These
Detail of the Parts for the Construction of an Electric Shaving Mug. The Heating of Sufficient Water for a Shave can be Accomplished at a Nominal Cost cups are spun from a flat sheet and have no seams to open and leak, and it is necessary that no holes be drilled in the cup as it is impossible to make such a hole watertight. The heating element must be fastened to the mug with a clamp. The clamp will also allow the heating coil to be removed for repairs without injury to the mug. The bottoms of these mugs have a flange which makes a recessed part and in this the heating element is placed.
The legs of the mug are made of sheet brass as shown in Fig. 1, one of the three having an enlargement near its center with a hole for an insulating button (Fig. 2), of "transite" or some other material, to hold the. supply cord in place.
The clamp for holding the heating coil in place is shown in Fig. 3. This clamp has a screw in the center to tighten it in place. The legs and clamp may be nickelplated if desired.
The heating coil is shown in Fig. 4 which is a coil of flat "Nichrome" wire, or ribbon as it is called, 12 ft. long, 1/16 in. wide and 3/1000 in. thick. This is equal in cross section to a No. 26 gauge wire. To wind this coil, procure a block of wood, 7/8. thick and about 4 in. square, with a 1/2 -in. hole in the center for an axis or pivot. Clamp a 1/2 -in. rod in a vise so that the block can be rotated about it. Begin at the center and fasten one end of the ribbon to the block, leaving about 2 in. projecting for a connection, then proceed to wind the ribbon in a spiral coil, separating each turn from the preceding one with a strand of asbestos cord. A small section of the coil is shown in Fig. 5, in which A, or the light part, represents the asbestos insulation, and B, or the black lines, the heating element. The insulation may be obtained by untwisting some 1/8 -in. round asbestos packing and using one of the strands. This cord insulates each turn of the ribbon from the other and the current must travel through the whole coil without jumping across from one turn to the other. The whole coil must be closely wound to get it into the limited space at the bottom of the mug.
Before taking the coil from the block, rub into its surface a little asbestos retort cement, or a cement composed of a mixture of silicate of soda and silica, or glass sand. This mixture, when dry, will tend to hold the coil together and the current may be passed through the coil to test it as well as to bake it in its coiled shape.
The support for the heating coil is made of a piece of 5/16-in. asbestos wood or transite. Cut it to fit into the recessed bottom of the mug, then with a chisel remove the material in the top to form a depression 1/16 in. deep to receive the coil with its top flush. The leads of the coil are run through the disk. The surface of the coil is then plastered evenly with retort cement. The legs are fastened to a second piece of insulating material with roundhead brass machine screws, 1/2 in. long, with nuts. The heads of these screws are shown in Fig. 6, the nuts being above the brass and between the two insulating pieces.
The ends of the heating ribbon are brought through the lower insulating disk and attached to binding posts as shown. The leads may be covered with tape to prevent any short circuit.
The mug uses 31/2 amperes at 110 volts, either direct or alternating current, and it will cost about 3 cents an hour to operate it. Care should be taken to use a separable attachment for connecting, as an ordinary lamp socket may be burned out by turning off the current, it being adapted only to a small capacity.
In assembling the parts, several pieces of mica should be placed between the coil and the metal of the mug to insulate the coil from the mug.