&r, Drivers &Mechanics
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Tire-pump Body Used as Petrol Tank.
 " S.C." (Acton) writes :—" Whilst out testing one of our R.G. machines recently. I discovered that the petrol tank was leaking so badly that it had to be temporarily put out of commission until I could effect a repair at the works, Being quite five miles from any garage, I decided to rig up something to enable me to get home, and resorted to the following
means. procured the tire foot-pump and removed the plunger ; connected up the petrol-pipe to the float chamber with the union of the pump, and secured the latter to the back of the seat. The pump-body held about a pint of petrol, and by simply refilling occasionally, I got home without further trouble."
Straightening Bent Dumb-irons.
The sender of the following communication has been awarded the fOs. prize this week.
 " li.T." (Bedford Hill) writes :—" One of our vans recently came into collision with a tramway standard ancl returned to the garage with a bent dumbiron. FertnuateIy the damage was confined to mere distortion of the part. as, after careful examination, no cracks or flaws could be found. I first thought it might be possible to restore its proper shape by bend jug cold, but the attempts proved unsatisfactory. I did not favour using the blowpipe ; such a method causes much waste of time getting the necessary heat, owing to rapid radiation.
" Just how the difficulty was eventually overcome may be seen from the accompanying sketeh—[We have had this redrawn.—En.]—which shows a coke fire built up around the dumb-iron and generated with a blowpipe. The fire is contained in a bent piece of sheetiron, which deflected the heat from the radiator.
"The arrangement should be rigged up quite firmly, yet in such a manner as to enable it to be instantly removed when the damaged part is hot enough, thus leaving plenty of working-room. If the dumb-iron be very badly out it may be found neces n4
sary to make a template to fit inside the undamaged channel and hammer over the bent member until it assumes the correct shape."
When Taking Shafts Adrift.
 " G.F." (Cardiff) writes:—" I have frequently experienced trouble with the ends of shafts being burred or otherwise damaged through being driven out of their housings, even when using a copper or
brass drift for the purpose. I decided to make special form of punch which would not damage the shafts, and send you a, sketch [We have had this redrawn.—En.] of the appliance, which has proved very successful. I obtained a piece of weldless steel tube, 1 in. diameter and 9 ins. long ; in one end of this I brazed a wrought-iron plug, the remaining part of the tube I filled with molten lead. The punch is most efficient in use, the lead being well supported ; every blow with the hammer acts with telling effect, and the tool does not rebound." Making Up a Universal Joint  " it.T." (Brentford Hill) writes :" I was recently in charge of the repairs to a van, on which the universal-joints were badly worn. Examination showed that not only had the wear affected the blocks, but also the jaws in which they worked. I started by easing out the worn jaws in order to bring the wearing surfaces parallel to each other, and then 1 had to make new blocks to suit. The dimensions of the blocks were 3 in. by 3 in, by 2 in., and four in all were required.
"In the first place the forgings were made in. larger all round than the finished machined size_ The job would have been quite simple had a milling machine been available, but, as is generally the case, we could not obtain the use of one. I determined to do the work in a centre lathe. The first stage consisted of holding the block in a four-jaw chuck and facing it. Next I set the machined part towards the chuck base, putting the block in position for truing the opposite sides. All the parts were treated in this manner.
"The next operation consisted of holding two blocks together in the manner shown in the iiketch [We have had this re-drawn.—ED.] and facing up one of the wearing surfaces. By turning the blocks round in the chuck, they were machined perfectly square, and were quite interchangeable when turned to the micrometer. When this operation had been performed, the blocks were bored out to suit the pins on the propeller shaft. They were then provided with oil grooves on the working surfaces, and were hardened before being placed in service."
Loose Plate in Smoke-box Causes Bad Steaming.
 " G.M." (Manchester) writes.'—' I am a steam wagon-driver, and some little while bacis changed my situation and took over a Foslen steamer. The machine was about two years old., and turned out to be an indifferent steamer, quite a contrast to other wagons I know of the same make. After watching closely and experimenting for sonic time to find out the cause, I detected a small plate, about a foot square, situated in the bottom of the smoke-box and directly under the chimney, to be quite loose, thus allowing air to get into the smoke-box. The enclosed sketch [We have had this reclrawn.--En.] shows the situation of the pl.ate_ It was held in posi. tion by means of four g in. diameter bolts, but as the two at the rear were in an awkward position to get at to tighten up, I tapped them out. and used two in, set serews instead. To make up the joint I used pulped asbesto$, and tightened the plate down with the two set screws and the two bolts. As a reward for my trouble the boiler now steams highly satisfactorily, whereas on a 36-mile journey I frequently had to clean the fire of clinker, and now only have to do so once ; in addition 1 use about two cwt. of coal less. Of course the wagon was not turned out by the makers in the poor condition."
Coupling Two Pipes of Different Diameters.
 " E.F. 11." (New York) writes :—" I recently had an occasion to join two pipes of different diameters by means of a coupler so that they could be readily taken apart at frequent intervals. I procured a coupling-piece that fitted the larger pipe adapter, but the smaller pipe was without Other adapter or threads and as I had no reducing bushing I proceeded to make lip the joint as follows:— " A piece of thin sheet copper was bent round the small pipe to form a sleeve, a pipe plug was then screwed into one end of the coupler and the sleeve inserted into the other end. The sleeve was filled with putty and a wooden plug fitted for sealing. The coupler was then pounded with a mallet and swaged to fit the sleeve; having been annealed before swaging, the copper readily took the proper shape. The plug and putty were removed and the parts immersed in hot soda solution to remove all grease. The smaller pipe was then introduced, soldering An easiiy detachable pipe coupling. L-c.m.'
solution applied, and molten solder poured around the pipe into the end of the hell-shaped sleeve, sweating the latter to the pipe and making a firm joint. D7