It has frequently been our lot to
enter the workshops of amateur mechanics, and of professional
ones too, for that matter, and to find the owners of them on the
horns of a dilemma respecting some little appliance or other
which they lack, and which seems to them absolutely
indispensable for the proper completion of the work in hand.
in nine cases out of ten, these little tools, or whatever it be that
is needed, can be made by the worker himself, that is, of
course, if he knows how to do it. "There are ways of killing a
cat besides choking it with butter,'' says a popular phrase, and
it is the same with any particular thing in the workshop - if it
cannot be done in one way it can in nine cases out of ten be
successfully accomplished in another.
But it is not everybody who has the
faculty of getting over workshop difficulties, and work is often
put aside and left uncompleted because the "how" of doing it is
not known to the amateur, or because he cannot get on without a
particular tool. To the rich amateur this last alternative does
not matter, for if he finds himself without a tool which he
thinks necessary, he can go to the nearest hardware store and
buy it. But the amateur whose means are limited cannot do this.
He must make the tool himself or construct a makeshift.
Our object, therefore, in this book
is to show the amateur who cannot afford to buy expensive tools,
but who has a few of the simpler variety and knows how to use
them, how to make most of the tools he is ever likely to need
for himself; how to
a lathe, fretsaw, etc., etc., for a few pence, or in many cases
for nothing except labour, from the odds and ends that are
generally lying around in most households and are considered
useless rubbish by the owners thereof; and we venture to believe
that although this book is especially written for the amateur
whose purse is small, his mechanically inclined brethren, who
have unlimited means and time at their disposal, might pick up a
few useful hints from ''Workshop Makeshifts.''
Very naturally, under the
circumstances, the reader cannot expect to make, for the few
pence above-mentioned, a lathe upon which he can do ornamental
turning or planing, or milling, or fine screw-cutting. But the
lathe described further on is capable of turning tool handles,
chess men, and boxes, of cutting screws for the lids thereof
automatically to some extent, and of a host of other things
which the amateur who makes it will find out for himself,
almost, if not quite, as well as a lathe which, when new, would
cost five or six guineas.
And many of the tools of which we
shall describe the home manufacture will be as good as those
which can be bought in shops; they will be made from old
rubbish, and will cost in some cases nothing and in others a
twentieth part of what they would cost new, plus, of course, the
value of the labour expended on them.