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The Fumigator


I am indebted to a communication from J. M. Weeks, published on page
151 of the Cultivator for 1841, for this method. The description of the
fumigator that I constructed will vary a trifle from his, but will
retain the principle. I obtained a tin tube four inches long, and two
in diameter. Next, I made a stopper of soft wood, three inches long, to
exactly fit one end of the tube when driven in half an inch, and
secured it by little nails driven through the tin. Through the centre
of this stopper I made a hole one-fourth of an inch in diameter. To
prevent this hole filling up, the end in the tube was covered over with
wire cloth, made a little convex. The end of this stopper was cut down
to about half an inch, tapering it from the tin. For the other end a
similar piece of wood is fitted, though a little longer, and not to be
fastened, as it must be taken out for every operation. The outer end of
this is cut down into a shape to be taken into the mouth, or attached
to the pipe of a bellows. (I fitted them in the turning lathe, but
have seen them fixed very nicely without.) It could all be made of tin;
but then it is necessary to use solder, which is liable to melt and
cause leaks.

"The puff-balls must not be too much injured by remaining in the
weather, and should be picked, if possible, just before they are ripe
and burst open. When not thoroughly dry, put them in the oven after the
bread is out." When used, the cuticle or rind must be carefully
removed; ignite it by a lamp or coal (it will not blaze in burning),
blow it, and get it thoroughly started, before putting it in the tube.
Put in the stopper, and blow through it; if it smokes well, you are
ready to proceed. When it does not burn freely, unstop and shake it
out. The dry air is much better than moist breath at the commencement.

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