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Armor Costs U. S. Less generally adopted, although experiments IN the United States where charges for

are also being made with all-steel and

reinforced cement ties. As a result, an government work are supposed to be

industry of considerable magnitude has excessive, armor plate for battleships is

been developed in this country. At said to be furnished at a price lower than

Brainerd, Minnesota, e. g., a plant is that at which England can buy it. The

being built that will have a capacity of London Times estimates that Great Brit

from 3,000 to 5,000 creosoted ties a day. ain is paying for armor about $150

The process of impregnating the ties per ton more than is being paid in the

with the preservative is as follows: The United States for armor of equal quality.

ties are first loaded upon steel hand cars, On a vessel of the King Edward type this

where they are chained together in involves an increased expenditure of

fasces or bundles. The cars are then from $500,000 to $600,000. The use of

shoved into a specially prepared retort, Krupp patents by manufacturers in En

into which the track leads. Then the gland is responsible, in part, for the dif

huge door is closed and sealed and the ference in price in the two countries.

preservative fluid is turned on under Five first class firms practically control

great pressure. After the pores of the the output of armor plate in that country.

wood have become saturated, the creosote is pumped off into storage tanks.

When this has been done the retort is Saving Life of Ties

unsealed, and the tie-laden cars are THE rapid disappearance of the na- shoved out at the end opposite to that at

tion's forests and the comparatively which they entered. Other cars take short-lived duration of even such tough their place, and so the process is conwoods as oak, have compelled the rail- tinued. roads to cast about either for a new ma- The all-steel tie is made flat and as terial for ties or for some method of pro- thin as is practicable in order that it may longing the life of the old material. have the greatest amount of elasticity Creosoting of ties has been the method possible. The cement tie is reinforced



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with iron straps, and is said to render very satisfactory service. No substitute, however, is “just as good” as wood. Hence the industry of creosoting ties is rapidly increasing in importance.

Fate of Old Engines AN interesting question in connection n with the present electrification of many of the steam railroad lines in the suburban service is the final disposal of their locomotives. It can hardly be imagined that the engines will be converted into scrap, and yet, if electricity should become the motive power on the steam railroads within the next few years, there would be a great number of steam locomotives thrown out of service and a vast amount of invested capital lying idle. Even the electrification of the suburban service of the New York Central's lines entering New York City, will throw out of service upward of half a hundred steam locomotives, while similar changes on other great lines are rapidly adding to this list of displaced engines.

The average value of the serviceable locomotives on the different trunk lines today can be placed at $14,000 each. Some cost a good deal more, and are worth nearly double this amount, but there are many others whose days of usefulness are short and their value is below this average.

The New York Central and other

large roads have added entirely new electric locomotives to their stock, and the displaced steam engines are being utilized in other branches of the system.

A number of steam locomotives have been equipped with electric motors in an experimental way, and they have demonstrated their ability to perform satisfactorily the work demanded of them. The Pennsylvania has several old steamconverted locomotives employed in the short-haul traffic near the Pittsburg iron and steam terminals, and the New England roads have also converted a number of steam engines into electric locomotives for short-haul service. In nearly all of these instances, the locomotives were of the old types, and their years of usefulness were short. Their service in the new field was sufficiently long to prove experimentally the value of such converted locomotives.

“Some way will certainly be found to utilize the old steam locomotives,” said an official of one of the large Eastern roads to the writer, “if we are ever confronted with the problem of adopting electricity as the motive power for both long and short distance traffic. They will certainly not be sent to the scrap pile yet awhile. If they cannot be converted into electric locomotives of the most powerful kind, they can at least be utilized for lighter traffic while newly-designed electric locomotives are built for the heavier and faster service."


Are you worried by any question in Engineering or the Mechanic Arts? Put the question into writing and mail it to the Consulting Department, TECHNICAL WORLD MAGAZINE. We have made arrangements to have all such questions answered by a staff of consulting engineers and other experts whose services have been specially enlisted for that purpose. If the question asked is of general interest, the answer will be published in the magazine. If of only personal interest, the answer will be sent by mail, provided a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed with the question. Requests for information as to where desired articles can be purchased, will also be cheerfwly answered.

To Make Ice Describe a device for making ice in small quantities.-L. M. B.

The following is a device by which good results can be obtained. In Fig. 1 is shown a cylindrical case, A, suspended on trunnions in a frame and capable of rotation by the crank handle shown. The cylinder is open at both ends, to which covers are fitted, however, as shown in the figure.

In Fig. 2, B represents a nest of cylinders seven in number and secured between heads. No two of these vessels are of the same size, the diameters decreasing from the largest down in regular proportion. This assemblage of cyl

inders fits into the case, A, and it is into
the cylinders that the water to be con-
gealed is placed. The object is to pro-
duce a uniform lining of ice in each cyl-
inder. It follows that the quantity of
water introduced in each must be meas-
ured with accuracy. This is easily done
by the tray shown in Fig. 2, in which
there is a ledge upon which the nest B,
rests. The nest is maintained at such an
angle that only a certain amount of water
can be poured out of the cylinders, which
amount is obviously directly proportional
to the diameter of each tube. The com-
partments are next inserted in the case,
A, the cover placed on and secured. The
case is then reversed and the other cover
taken off, so that a mixture of equal
weights of nitrate of ammonia and water
can be poured in. This fills the inter-
stices of the tubes. After this has been
done, the cover is put back and fastened,
and the apparatus rotated for five min-
utes by a crank. This suffices to produce
a materially thick film of ice around the
interior of each cylinder, and these films
can easily be taken out. It remains only
to fit one cylinder of ice into the other
and so to continue until all are fitted to-

Fig. 1.


gether to produce a solid block of ice weighing about eleven pounds.

ated from the boiler, in the direction indicated by the arrows, the water at the top of the boiler always being much hotter than at the bottom. When the hot cock is open, cold water instantly begins to flow into the boiler at D, by reason of the pressure on the city main, and forces hot water out of the boiler at C. Thus it will be seen that hot water cannot be drawn unless the cold water inlet is free,

Kitchen Boiler Explosion What is the common cause for explosion of kitchen boilers ?-C. R. G.

The direct cause, of course, is a greater pressure in the boiler than it can withstand. Accidents of this sort can easily be avoided by exercising a little intelligence and care. The hot water cock should always be opened the first thing on entering the kitchen every morning. If the water flows freely, fire may then be started in the range without danger. The diagram shows the connections, and when water is turned on from the main supply, the entire system is filled. When it is filled all outlets are closed, and it is evident that no more can run in, although the boiler is in free connection with and is subjected to the full pressure of the source of supply. When a fire is started in the range and the water in the circulating pipes or water back is heated, the water expands, is consequently lighter and flows out through the pipe into the boiler at A, as this connection is placed higher up than the one at B. This starts the circulation, and the water, as it be

Barrow For Driving Posts.

and it is equally evident that cold water cannot enter the boiler unless the hot water cock or some other outlet is open.

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Platform for Driving Posts Can you direct me how to construct a platform for driving posts? A wagon drawn by horses is very unsatisfactory.-B. O. S.

What you desire, probably, is a portable staging that is light enough to push about. Build a platform of the kind indicated in the drawing, and attach a pair of wheels. Old wagon wheels, or wheels made of boards, will suffice. They should be not less than twelve inches in diameter. The dimension of the other parts should be: length of platform, three to four feet; width of platform, two and a half to three feet; height, 'thirty to forty inches. A board nailed across the handles will render it easy for the worker to ascend and descend.

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A. R. S.


Splicing Rubber Belts
Is it possible to splice rubber belts ?-

It can be done if proper care is taken. BLOW OFF

Strip each ply of the ends to be joined

for some eighteen inches, overlap two of PROPER PIPING FOR KITCHEN BOILER.

the corresponding plies and apply cement. comes heated, constantly flows into the Let the work remain thus for from three boiler at A, and rises to the upper part of to four hours. In like manner treatment the boiler; while the colder water at the is given the next plies, and finally the bottom flows out into the circulating belt is vulcanized in the press. To secure pipes at B, and if no water is drawn a the best results the work should be done slow circulation goes on as heat is radi- by some manufacturer of rubber belting. To Make Liquid Air

it may be drawn off. With a 3-horseDescribe the apparatus necessary for making power engine the yield is about a quart liquid air in small quantities.-G. F. B. of liquid air per hour.

One of the simplest methods of liquefying air is shown in principle in the figure. After thorough drying, the air to be liquified enters through the pipe, a, and

To Drill Glass in the compressor, C, is compressed to Will you please explain a method for drillabout 200 atmospheres (1 atmosphere = ing glass ?-H. L. B. 14.7 pounds per square inch). R is a Take an old three-cornered file, one water cooler, to remove the heat of com- that is worn out will do, break it off and pression. The air thus cooled and sharpen to a point like a drill and place strongly compressed passes down in a carpenter's brace. Have the glass through the inner tube of the helical coil, fastened on a good solid table so there H, to a valve below.

will be no danger of its breaking. Wet Through this valve it escapes into the the glass at the point where the hole is to reservoir, G, the expansion producing a be made with the following solution: considerable fall in temperature. The Ammonia, 672 drachms. cold air then passes from the reservoir Ether, 31/2 drachms. up through the outside tube of the helical Turpentine, 1 ounce. coil, which surrounds the tube down Keep the drill wet with the above sowhich the air comes, thus cooling the lution and bore the hole part way from compressed air in the inner tube. This each side of the glass. cooled air is allowed to escape in its Another solution is to dissolve a piece

of gum camphor the size of a walnut in one ounce of turpentine.

Still another method is to use a steel drill hardened, but not drawn. Saturate spirits of turpentine with camphor and wet the drill. The drill should be ground with a long point and plenty of clearance. Run the drill rapidly and with a light speed. In this manner glass can be drilled with small holes, up to 3-16th of an inch in diameter, nearly as rapidly as cast steel.

Smoke for Protecting Fruit Is smoke sometimes used to protect fruit from frost?-S. A. T.

Yes. Tar makes the best fuel for the purpose, as it creates a dense smudge. The smoke acts as a protecting mantle. Other material, of course, may be burned -old hay or straw, leaves, etc.

To Make Liquid AIR.

turn, becoming still colder by its expansion. As the process continues the temperature falls until liquid air begins to collect in the bottom of G, from which

Polish for Hard Wood
How shall I polish hard wood handles?-
T. J. O.

The following simple method is said to be excellent: take a piece of waste and dip it first in linseed oil, then in shellac, and apply it with vigorous rub

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