Homemade Air Thermometer – How to Make a Homemade Thermometer

The illustration shows the complete thermometer.
The water in the glass tube is caused to rise and fall by the expansion and contraction of the air in the tin box.

Air Thermometer

A paper-fastener box, about 1-1/4 in. deep and 2 in. in diameter will serve very well for the box A. Solder in the side of the box 1-in. piece of 1/4-in. brass tubing, B, and then solder on the cover, C, so that the only escape for the air is through the brass tube.
Secure a piece of 1/4-in. glass tubing – not shorter than 18 in.—and bend it as shown at D in the sketch.
Hold the part of the tube to be bent in the broad side of a gas jet, and in a minute or two the tube will bend with its own weight. Any angle can be given glass tubing in this way. Connect the glass tube to B with a short piece of rubber hose, E. If the hose is not a tight fit, bind with a short piece of fine copper wire. The standard, F, is made from a piece of No. 10 wire about 10 in. long. To this standard solder the supporting wire, G—No. 14 wire will do. On one side bend the wire around the tube B, and on the other around the glass tube, D.

The base, H, can be made of oak, stained and varnished. The bottom of the box, A, is covered with lampblack so as to readily absorb all heat that strikes the surface. The black should not be put on until just before you paint the supports, cover and rim of the box with gold or silver paint. Hold the bottom of the box to be blackened over a little burning cotton saturated with turpentine.

The scale on the glass can be etched with hydrofluoric acid, or made with a little black paint. The water can be put in with a medicine dropper. This instrument will measure the amount of heat given by a candle some 20 or 30 ft. away.

—Contributed by J. Thos. Rhamstine.
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