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The Practical Mechanic:
Every Man His Own Mechanic
Broken Window, How To Mend It
Knowledge Must Be Paid For
Kinds Of Woods Used In Carpentry
Toosl Used In Carpentry
The Glue Pot
Sharpening Tools
The Carpenter's Bench
How To Hold And Handle Tools
Divisions Of The Building Trade
Soldering And Brazing
Indoor And Outdoor Painting
Varnishes And Recipers For Making Varnishes
Polishing And Recipes For Polish
Wall Paper Hanging

Polishing And Recipes For Polish

( Originally Published 1902 )

Polishing very greatly improves the appearance of articles made of any fancy wood or stained work. There are many different sorts of polish ; but those for which recipes are given below will be found to answer the amateur's purpose in every way:

FRENCH POLISH.-Spirits of wine, 1 pint; gum sandarac, 1/4 oz. ; gum lac, 1/2 oz.; gum shellac, 1/2 oz. Expose the whole to a gentle heat, frequently shaking the mixture until the gums are dissolved.

NAPHTHA POLISH.-Wood naphtha, 1/2 pint; orange shellac, 1 oz.; dragons' blood, 1/4 oz.; benzoin, 1/4 oz. Prepare in the same way as French polish.

SHELLAC POLISH.-Orange shellac, 1 1/2 oz. ; spirits of wine, 1 pint.

The method of applying these polishes is the same for all. A flannel rubber is made and dipped in the polish, and a piece of fine and old linen is then put over the rubber. When the polish oozes through the covering, dip the pad into or slightly moisten it with linseed oil. Another way is to strain the linen over the flannel pad, and then to moisten the linen with a drop or two of the polish and a drop or two of oil. The pad should be held in the right hand, and the linen strained tightly, so that the pad may present a rounded surface. Apply the pad to the surface of the wood in a series of light strokes made by a circular sweep of the hand until the surface is nearly dry, when the pad should be passed up and down in the direction of the grain of the wood. When the rubber is dry some more polish and oil must be put upon it in the same manner as before, and the rubbing continued.

Plenty of what is generally called "elbow-grease" should be given to the work, and not too much polish. Beginners generally lay on a large quantity of polish in clots or thick coats, but when this is done the polish does not look well, neither has it a permanent effect.

No more polish should be laid on than is absolutely necessary. The polish should be well rubbed in and finished off with a little pure naphtha or spirits of wine, whichever happens to be the spirit that is used in the polish. The naphtha or spirits of wine, as the case may be, should at first be laid on very gently and with great care, otherwise it will dissolve and remove the polish already laid on ; but if proper care is taken its effect will be not only to give the polish a better gloss, but to render it more lasting. Some woods absorb a great deal of polish. In order to prevent this absorption, a coat of gold size, or something of a like nature, is given before the application of the polish. When polishing mahogany or other ornamental or colored wood, should there be any inequalities or faults in any conspicuous part of the object, fill them up with stopping, consisting of plaster of Paris mixed to the consistency of cream with water, tinted with staining or coloring matter corresponding with the color of the article that is to be polished. A mixture of putty, consisting of finely-pounded whiting and painters' drying oil and some coloring matter, will do quite as well. For large holes a composition of beeswax, resin, and shellac is found very useful.

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