How to build a rodent fence

If you garden in a rural area where visits by rabbits, squirrels, gophers, and moles are quite frequent, you may save yourself some work and grief by building a fence like this around your lot, your vegetable garden, or around your most valued plants. Here are the materials you would need to build a rodent-proof … Read more


How to Get the Best Results by the Most Modern Method MANY modern homes are equipped with the latest electric cooking ranges and appliances, and the housewife needs to know something about their management to be able to use them efficiently. Three great advantages will be appreciated. The electric cooking range reduces labour to a … Read more

Cableway for the Garden, A Model

The principle of this is as follows. A wire is stretched tightly between two points, for a small suspended carriage to run on. One end of the cable can be raised or lowered to give a slope in either direction. A person at that end is therefore able to control the movements of the carriage. … Read more


PLANE irons, chisels and gouges require occasional grinding and frequent sharpening. Grinding is done on a circular grindstone or emery wheel, with water as lubricant and cooling agent, to produce a uniform bevel of about 25 degrees. The stone or wheel should turn towards the edge of the tool, both to keep it flooded with … Read more


A step-ladder, or pair of steps, as it is otherwise called, is an important item of the household equipment which any amateur joiner of fair skill can easily put together. For the sides are wanted two 4-foot 3-inch lengths of wood measuring 4 inches by $ inch after planing. The top, A, is 18 inches … Read more


ALTHOUGH sewing machines are extraordinarily efficient, they are not made to stand rough treatment. Because a machine does not go quite so well as usual it is not necessarily the fault of the machine. It may be that the user has neglected to treat it properly. Adjustments may often be made by the mere twisting … Read more

Saws and their Uses

Saws are important – and often much-abused – items of a household tool equipment. The professional includes in his outfit a rip saw, with large forward-raking teeth for ripping, that is, cutting along the grain; a cross-culling saw, with smaller teeth, set slightly back in front, for cutting across the grain; a panel saiv, with … Read more

Repointing a Garden Wall

Rain and frost canse lime mortar exposed to them to crumble; and the poorer the quality of the mortar the faster it deteri orates. Many garden walls, the brickwork of which is often inferior to that of the houses to which they belong, show signs of decay at a comparatively early age. The mortar joints … Read more


THE time-honoured method of allowing 1 taps to run at night during frost is not always effective, and besides being very wasteful may be disastrous if the outlet of a sink or bath becomes sealed by ice. The safest method of protecting the main is to have a drain-cock fitted near the turn-off cock, turn … Read more

Making a Plumb-rule

This simple piece of apparatus is useful for testing the verticalness of walls, posts and other parts of structures. It can be quickly made out of a 6-foot length of floorboard, planed smooth all over and given quite straight and parallel edges. A line is marked with the gauge down the centre from end to … Read more


SHARPENING is done on a very fine- grained stone, first wiped quite clean and given a few drops of thin oil. The strokes should be short, until skill is attained, and care be taken not to alter the angle between cutter and stone, and thereby produce a rounded, instead of a flat, bevel. Adjusting the … Read more


If the old paint is blistered, and generally in bad condition, the best course is to remove it, and treat the woodwork as new. Burning off with a blowlamp is far the quickest method. The paint is removed with a stripping knife, pushed upwards whenever possible, as fast as the flame softens it sufficiently to … Read more


THE ingredients of ordinary paints are white lead or zinc white; raw or boiled linseed oil, or both; turpentine; driers; and, in the case of coloured paints, pigment. The first is the base, or chief protective material; the oil enables the base to be distributed by the brush, and when it dries, that is, hardens … Read more

Nails and Nailing

The wire nail is the most popular form of nail for general use. It has good holding-power and is easier to drive than nails with blunt ends. It can be bought in sizes ranging from 1-6 in. in length, and in various gauges or thicknesses. Its large head makes it difficult to punch in below … Read more


LILY PONDS would allow for a larger number of lilies, which should not be planted thicker than one to the square yard of surface area. A LILY pond may be made by lining bottom and sides of an excavation with well-puddled clay of suitable consistency. The sides will be more stable if faced with bricks … Read more


LINOLEUM is a mixture of oxydized linseed oil, resins, cork-dust and other substances, rolled out on a backing of canvas. It is either monochrome (self-coloured) or patterned. A pattern may be either printed on the surface of a monochrome sheet or go right through to the backing. Through patterned or inlaid linoleum is more expensive … Read more

Lawn Mowers

Once your new grass – whether grown from seed or turf – has reached a height of 5 cm (2 in) it can be cut lightly with a mower to reduce it to 2.5 cm (1 in). This first cut should be made when the grass is perfectly dry, and the clippings should be collected … Read more


Ladders which will be much exposed to the weather should be kept well painted, especially at the ends of the rungs, which are their most vulnerable points. If a ladder is so long that it cannot be housed under cover, it should be hung on spikes driven into a wall, and protected from the rain … Read more

Inlaying and Overlaying

What is known as solid inlaying is the easiest form of inlaying for the amateur to adopt. In this case the inlaid ornamental work goes right through the background. A treadle-driven saw is almost essential, as this has a table which can be tilted to any angle. Wood J, j%, or ½ inch thick may … Read more


All surfaces which will be soldered should have been well cleaned beforehand and tinned with the very fusible bismuth solder that must be used for the purpose. Dont have the bit very hot, for fear of melting the zinc; and while soldering press the parts together to make a good joint. Solder over all heads … Read more

Ice Cabinet, A cheap home-made

Though we are not often visited by a spell of very hot weather, when one does arrive it is very useful to have some means of preserving perishable provisions and preventing butter becoming almost liquid. The chest illustrated by the two diagrams following can be made cheaply by any handy person, and will be found … Read more

Gutters, House

As a great part of the soot, dust, leaves and other rubbish which falls on a roof is washed by rain into the gutters, these will gradually fill up if not cleaned periodically. Leaves are perhaps the chief offenders, especially as regards low roofs near trees. They decay and form mud. A partly-filled gutter may … Read more

Cutting Glass

Glass is cut with either a diamond or a tiny sharp-edged and very hard steel wheel. The diamond is undoubtedly the finer tool, especially for thick glass. But a glaziers diamond costs a pound or more, whereas a first-class steel-wheel cutter can be bought for a shilling or eighteenpence, including a few spare wheels. In … Read more


THE conveniences of having a motor car to use are seriously lessened if the car has to be housed in a public garage, or in a hired lock-up garage some distance away. And the oftener the car is needed, the more is the handicap felt. From the financial point of view alone it is worth … Read more


Fretwork, when carried out in good materials from good designs, can be highly artistic, especially when it embraces inlaying and overlaying with metals, xylonite and other hard substances which the fretsaw is able to deal with. To carry it out in a pleasing manner requires a good deal of practice, and much care. The Outfit. … Read more

Fences and Gates, Garden

The cheapest form of fencing, after plain post-and-wire, is that of split chestnut, sold ready for fixing in long lengths by any timber merchant. The wire spacing the bars and holding them together is stapled at intervals to posts, upon the durability of which largely depends that of the fence. The posts sold with the … Read more

Keeping cells in good condition

In a full charged, healthy battery the positive plates have a chocolate colour, and the negative plates are of light or bluish grey. Any deposit at the bottom of a cell should be brown. The cells will not give off gas during discharge or when idle – except for a short while after a full … Read more


THE four main items of a private generating plant are: (1) the engine; (2) the dynamo; (3) the switchboard; (4) the battery. As regards the engine. If the makers directions about cleaning, lubrication and the occasional examination of certain parts are followed out, this should give very little trouble. The governor and fuel pump, when … Read more