For DRIVERS MECHANICS & FOREMEN
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Light your lamps at 6.33 in London, 7.15 in Edinburgh, 6.39 in Newcastle, 6.44 in Liverpool, 6.40 in Birmingham, 6.43 in Bristol, and 7.27 in Dublin.
Improvising a Water Gauge for the Tank.
The sender of the following communication has been awarded the Ws, prize this week.
 " A.W." (Dewsbury) writes:—' The water level in the tank of a steam wagon is not of such great consequence as is the same thing in the boiler, in the sense that a small difference in level is not so likely to result in immediate disaster in the ease of the
former as it iswith the latter. Every driver, however, who takes an interest in the consistent running of his wagon, and who is not desirous of finding himself short of a reserve supply of water at an unexpected ,and awkward moment, likes to have some ready means of ascertaining the amount still available in the tank. On new chassis, the tank is usually fitted with a gauge glass, and this, of course, is all that is necessary. Unfortunately, these glasses are liable to be broken, and because they are not so vital to the running of the chassis as is the boiler sight-feed glass, the driver is frequently called upon to continue to run for a time without one.
"The following alternative substitutes for a gauge glass will, therefore, be of interest at the present time to all drivers of steam wagons. They are neither of them quite so convenient as a glass, but will nevertheless be found to servo the same purpose very efficiently. I have tried both of them at different times, and on different wagons, the tank gauge glasses of both having been broken from accidental causes. I enclose sketches of both methods [We have had these redrawn.—En.j, and the following brief description„ together with reference to the sketches, will enable any driver to understand the methods employed. -" The first method I adopted was, in a way, a, trial and error method of ascertaining the water level. I fitted the tank with four taps, as shown in the sketch, these taps being placed at different levels. By opening them, the amount of water in the tank could be ascertained roughly, to an accuracy limited by the distance between the taps. The method of working was to open first the top tap, and, if the water did not flow from that, to open the second, third, and so on. When water flowed from a tap, that was clear evidence that the level of ,the water was above that at which the tap was; fitted.
"If Criticism be levelled at the position of the lowest of these taps, in that it may be regarded by some
drivers as being too low, I. may point out that the object in putting it so low was in order that it might serve as a safety device or alarm, inasmuch as, if the water did not flow from the lowest of the taps, it was clearly time for a fresh supply to be obtained at once without any further delay.
"The second expedient is more simple than the first, and it affords, besides, a more accurate indication of the level of the water. , It is also easier to fit. In this case a single tap is fitted at the lowest convenient point in the tank. • It will very often be found possible to screw it into the same hole as that previously occapied by the bottom gauge glass fitting, aItheugh this is better left undisturbed, and a new glass fitted when obtainable. To the end of the tap is fitted a piece of rubber pipe. When testing the level, the pipe is first of all held so that its upper end is abase the top of the tank. The tap is then turned on, and the pipe gradually lowered until the water flows from its upper end. That at once indicates the level of the water inside the tank. I should add that the latteladeviee is not of my own originating; it was euggested to me by a friend of mine who is an experienced engineer."
Valve Lifter and Spanner Combined.
[18381 " K.J.G." (Tottenham) writes :—"A valve lifter as a, rule is rather bulky, and where toolbox capacity is limited it frequently finds a. place in the garage. In consequence, it is not available in the event of some roadside emergency which calls for its use. I have designed and made a little fitting, which can be-added to a, 10-in. adjustable spanner of. the Billings type, the combination forming an excellent valve lifter...
!'I first of an looked up a disused jaw end of a con trol rod. Selecting a set-sciew of suitable length, I filed the hexagon head of this so that it fitted between the jaws of the spanner, and drilled this head to take the pin of the jaw end. Set-screw and jaw end are coupled together, and form the fitting named. Two inches from the butt end of the spanner, I drilled a in. hole, and through this hole the set-screw is passed, being locked into place by two nuts, one on each side of the spanner. The result is as illustratedby the sketch [Which we have had redrawn.—En.], and I may add that it. makes a very efficient tool indeed. The extra fitting can be carried loose in the toolbox. It does not take a minute to attach it to the end of the spanner It is loosened in a moment by swinging the jaw end at right angles to the set-screw and giving the set-screw a half turn."