The Scientific American Boy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about The Scientific American Boy.

In the morning our friends broke camp and started westward.  Dutchy and I watched them packing up their goods into a couple of very compact bundles, which they strapped to their backs with a peculiar pack harness.  I took careful note of the way the harness was put together, and when we returned to the island we made two sets for use on our tramping expeditions.  A canvas yoke was first cut out to the form shown in Fig. 213.  We used two thicknesses of the heaviest brown canvas we could find, binding the two pieces together with tape.  The yoke was padded with cotton at the shoulders and a strap was fastened to each shoulder piece.  These were arranged to be buckled to a pair of straps fastened to the back of the yoke and passing under the arms.  Riveted to these straps were a pair of straps used for fastening on the pack.  The yoke straps were attached with the rough side against the yoke, while the pack straps were riveted on with the rough side uppermost, as indicated in the drawing.

[Illustration:  Fig. 213.  Pack Harness.]


[Illustration:  Fig. 214.  Riveting the Straps Together.]

The method of riveting together the leather straps may need a word of explanation.  A copper rivet was passed through a hole in the two straps; then the washer was slipped over the projecting end of the rivet.  This washer had to be jammed down tight against the leather, and to do this we drilled a hole of the diameter of the rivet in a block of wood, and putting this block over the washer, with the end of the rivet projecting into the hole, we hammered the block until the washer was forced down tight against the leather.  Then taking a light tack hammer we battered down the end of the rivet onto the washer.  Care was taken to do this hammering very lightly, otherwise the end would have been bent over instead of being flattened.



Only one thing of importance occurred between our Christmas holidays and Eastertide:  this was Bill’s invention of the tricycle sailboat or land yacht.  We had returned to school with sailing on the brain.  Our skate sail served us well enough while there was any ice, but as spring came on we wished we had our canoe with us, or even the old scow to sail on the lakes near the school.  Once we seriously considered building a sailboat, but the project was given up, as we had few facilities for such work.  But Bill wasn’t easily baffled, and I wasn’t surprised to have him come tearing into the room one day, yelling, “I’ve got it!  I’ve got it!” In his hands were two bicycle wheels, which I recognized as belonging to a couple of bicycles we had discarded the year before.

“What are you going to do with them?” I inquired.

“I’m going to make a tricycle sailboat.”


“A tricycle sailboat, a land boat, or anything you’ve a mind to call it.  I mean a boat just like our ice boat only on bicycle wheels instead of skates.  We can sail all over south Jersey on the thing.  Come on down and help me build it.”

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The Scientific American Boy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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