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Children's homemade projects ebook: 20120213

I now have two books on Smashwords that deal with homemade gadgets and gizmos that 11 to 15 years olds might like to make. The two books are available in a variety of formats but not as text. That's because text versions at Smashwords do not support images. Both books have many illustrations.

Clever Construction - Use Common Stuff To Make Cool And Useful Gadgets And Fun Gizmos is aimed at 11 to 14 year olds who like making items using materials such as paper, cardboard, used containers, string, pieces of wood, and other common materials. See better description at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/132169

Homemade Devices For Inventive Teens - Make Stuff For Fun is for 12 to 15 year olds and contains mostly a different selection of homemade projects. See http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131811

Smashwords allows you to read 30 percent of these books without purchase, so you can judge whether to buy the complete works.



homemade kerosene lamp: 20120305

I now have two books on Smashwords that deal with homemade gadgets and gizmos the 11 to 15 years olds might like to make. The two books are available in a variety of formats but not as text. That's because text versions at Smashwords do not support images. Both books have many illustrations.

Clever Construction - Use Common Stuff To Make Cool And Useful Gadgets And Fun Gizmos is aimed at 11 to 14 year olds who like making items using materials such as paper, cardboard, used containers, string, pieces of wood, and other common materials. See better descriptin at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/132169

Homemade Devices For Inventive Teens - Make Stuff For Fun is for 12 to 15 year olds and contains mostly a different selection of homemade projects. See http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131811

Smashwords allows you to read 30 percent of these books without purchase, so you can judge whether to buy the complete works.


Words and phrases descriptive of the contents of this post: homemade,improvised, devices, simple, practical, easy, tinkering, useful, inexpensive, ingenuity, gadgets, gizmos, cheap, handmade homemade kerosene lamp: 20120305

An oil lamp of sorts can be made from the metal cans that package wet cat food or tuna. I used two cans to make a lamp. One can was the size that held around 2 ounces and the other can held about 3 ounces. To get the most light the smaller can should be at least as tall as the larger can.

Invert the smaller can. Use a small nail and a hammer to punch two holes, opposite each other across the center of the can's bottom. Make the holes about one quarter inch apart. Put the end of a 4-inch long piece of cotton or jute string through one hole while the can is still inverted. Push the other string end through the other hole. Pull the string through the holes so about half the string is through each hole and the section of string running between the holes has no slack.

small can inverted inside large can with wick going from hole to hole

Fill the larger can with kerosene so its depth is a little less than the heighth of the smaller can. Do not use gasoline. Gasoline is way too flammable. Place the inverted small can into the larger can. Wait a few monents until the kerosene wicks up to wet the string, then use a match to light the exposed wick.

For a version that uses less kerosene, cut a small aluminum can to a shorter height using a tin snips or sturdy scissors. Bend a strip of aluminum sheet (perhaps from the can) into the shape shown and punch two holes.

shallow small can with bent metal strip as a wick holder

Light the wick with a match. If it does not catch fire, pull the loop of wick up slightly using a small nail.

flame above wick

A glass jar could be used instead of the larger can. If the glass is a couple of inches taller than the can that holds the wick, the glass with help protect the flame from being blown out by breezes. I suppose fuel oil could be used instead of kerosene, but I would guess the odor of fuel oil would be unpleasant.


Words and phrases descriptive of the contents of this post: homemade,improvised, devices, simple, practical, easy, tinkering, useful, inexpensive, ingenuity, gadgets, gizmos, cheap, handmade Paper wasp next enclosure: 200130411

A couple of years ago I noticed a paper wasp carrying the larva of a cabbage worm. Since then I have seen wasp on cabbage and other brassicas apparently searching for cabbage worm catepillars. It occurred to me that it might be worth my while to provide a nesting site for paper wasp near the garden. If a large number of wasps would patrol my garden's brassicas maybe I could spend much less time hand picking the destructive catepillars from the cabbages, cauliflowers, and other brassicas that have in recent years made up an important part of my garden crops.

So last year I nailed together 3 12-foot long 2 by 6s that where otherwise just scrap lumber. The three 2 bys were nailed, basically long edge to long edge forming a 12 foot long channel shape. Two 6 foot locust post put into 24-inch deep holes about 6 feet apart served as supports for the channel which was placed, inverted, atop the post. That formed a protective, partially enclosed space for the wasps to build their comb-like paper nests. A baffle consisting of an approximate 6 by 6 inch piece of 3/4 inch thick board was nailed within the channel near the end of the channel facing the prevailing wind to further protect any nest that wasp might build with the inverted channel.

That was done in July of 2012, late in the wasps nest building season. Only one nest was built and that nest was made within a few inches of the baffle. That suggested that wasp prefer a more enclosed space than the more open other areas of the channel, so about a week ago (early April, 2013) during a warm spell when I saw paper wasps flying, I thought it was time to add more baffles along the inverted channel to prehaps attract a large number of the nest builders this year. I cut about 10 more baffle from 3/4 inch by 4 1/2 inch scrap board and nailed them about every foot inside the inverted channel.

We'll see what happens. Hopefully, I'll get a lot of help this year with controlling the damage to my brassica crops. I'll post to this page again after the current growing seasons ends to report how this strategy succeeded or failed.



The 12-feet long wasp house supported on two 4-foot tall posts.
three 2X6s form a protected space


View from underneath the wasp house, looking upward at one of the ten or so baffles spaced every 12-inches or so along the wasp house.
baffles form near ideal protected spaces for nest building


Best wishes,
Contributed by Alan Detwiler. Bio at
www.smashwords.com/profile/view/alandetwiler

Words and phrases descriptive of the contents of this post: natural insect control using paper wasps, attracting paper wasps to a garden, how to make a wasp house, paper wasps to control cabbage worms, how to attract paper wasps to a garden,

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