Make Paper Windows, Loosen a Stuck Screw, and Other Tips

This installment in an occasional series on maintenance tips describes a way of making paper "windows" and of making a modified screwdriver you can use to loosen a stuck screw.


| November/December 1978



054-0cf-01i1

Use a knife to create a wood fringe near the head of a match stick. It might be enough extra fuel to keep the match lit in a strong wind.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Got some maintenance projects around the ol’ homestead demanding your attention? Maybe some of these tips will help you get them done.

Make Paper "Windows"

A translucent material which looks like parchment and is every bit as durable can be made from ordinary cotton- or linen-based white paper.

All you have to do is soak the unmarked sheets in a solution of camphor and alcohol. (Make sure you dissolve as much of the crystalline substance in the liquid as it will hold ... and wash your hands well after you`ve finished!)

Once it dries, this "poor man's isinglass" can be used to make lampshades or—when dyed—an attractive imitation stained-glass window.

Loosen a Stuck Screw

Every once in a while we all encounter a screw—either rusted in place or just plumb stuck—that a team of dray horses couldn't loosen. Working at it in frustration with a regular tool will like as not strip out the fastener's head slot and set the whole operation back two squares.

A homemade screwdriver that provides enough leverage to (sometimes) free those stubborn fasteners, however, can be fashioned from two pieces of 5/16-inch steel rod.





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE