��Popular Science Monthly
��A Novel Waste-Basket with a Drop Bottom
THE pyramidal shape of this waste- basket guarantees it against upsetting, even when bulky newspapers project from its top. The solid construction will hold the pipe-ashes and dust until it becomes necessary to dump them, and then the bottom may be unhinged and emptied completely by pulling the catch, so that it is not necessary to use the hands to take the papers out. If made of quartered oak, cypress or even of yellow pine, stained so as to bring out the grain, such a basket can be made an ornament to any room. It may be finished in any style.
The essential parts of the basket are the four sides and the bottom, the sides being of 3^-in. material and the bottom, either of the same thickness or of i-in. lumber.
���Waste paper basket with drop bottom. Details and dimensions for its construction
��Two of the sides are i8 in. wide at the bottom, tapering to 8 in. at the top; the other two are i in. narrower. These sides should be securely nailed together, as there are no inside supports. The construction is strong enough, however, for the purpose of such a basket. If the work is well done, with the nails countersunk and all holes and cracks puttied before staining, the joints will not be visible. The effect of the legs may be obtained, if desired, by cutting out the bottoms of the sides with a compass- saw.
After nailing together and sandpapering the whole, the stain may be applied. If it is desired to bring out the grain, apply the stain over only a small portion at a time. Allow it to set for a moment and then wipe off the surface with a dry cloth. The resulting tone depends on the time that the stain is allowed to stand and the amount of wiping done. When the stain has dried, the piece may be finished by rubbing with wax in the usual manner; or an almost
��equally good effect may be obtained by applying a coat of flat or mat varnish.
When the piece is thus prepared, the bottom may be fitted. It consists of a board a trifle less than 17 in. square, preferably with all four edges beveled to the same angle as the sides of the basket. Push this piece in from the bottom until it fits snugly, and mark the level on both sides of the basket. Remove it and attach hinges to one side; then replace it in the same position and fasten the hinges tempo- rarily to the side of the basket. Placed in this way the bottom will not turn as desired until the inner edge has been shaved a trifle, and the amount of paring may be easily determined.
When the bottom is cut and fitted, bend a strip of spring-brass into the shape of the figure 7. Cut a narrow slot in the. side of the basket opposite the hinges, just large enough to allow the end of the catch to pass, ^ Slip the catch through and fasten the lower edge to the side of the basket. It should then be in the position shown at A in the detail drawing. It is evident that a pull on the catch will allow the bottom to drop. When the bottom is shoved back, the spring of the metal will again throw the catch into position.
While this completes the basket, it may be found that in beveling the bottom board to allow it to turn, there was too much cut away and that a crack large enough to permit some of the finer particles of dirt to escape is the result. If this is the case it may be remedied by gluing or tacking a strip of cloth over the opening, making sure to have sufficient play to allow the drop bottom to work.— A. E. Swoyer.
��Cleaning the Crusted Carbide on Containers
THE sludge which forms in an acetylene generator has a very detrimental effect upon the apparatus when allowed to adhere to the surface of the metal, as it is very likely to do. A very simple remedy is to dissolve a little brown sugar in the water, which is allowed to act upon the carbide. Sugar, or saccharose, to give the substance its chemical name, has no ill effects upon the carbide, but forms a soluble compound with the lime in the sludge, known as saccharate of lime. This prevents the sludge from sticking to the metal. — H. J. Gray.