To keep tinware nice and bright scour it every two or three weeks with finely sifted coal ashes.
Keller's Britannia Metal is composed of:
10 4-10 parts Antimony,
85 7-10 parts Tin.
To make a simple and good fire kindler, that will start a coal or wood fire without much trouble: Take 2 quarts of tar and 6 pounds of common resin; melt them; let the mass cool somewhat; then mix it with as much pine sawdust, containing a small portion of charcoal bruised tolerably fine, as can be worked into it. Spread the mixture out upon a board while hot, to the thickness of about an inch, and with an old knife proceed to score it into squares an inch and a half each way, and when cold break up into convenient cakes.
A good lacquer for brass: Tumeric, 1 ounce; saffron, 1/4 ounce; annatto, the same quantity; rectified spirits. 1 pint. Digest at gentle heat for several days. Strain the mixture through coarse linen, then put the mixture into a bottle and add 3 ounces of coarsely pulverized seed-lac. Place in a moderate heat and shake occasionally until dissolved.
Lacquer of various tints can be made by putting 4 ounces best gum gamboge into 32 ounces spirits of turpentine, 4 ounces dragon's blood into the same quantity of spirits of turpentine as the gamboge, and 1 ounce annatto into 8 ounces of the same spirits. The three mixtures should be made in different vessels. They should then be kept for about two weeks in a warm place, and as much exposed to the sun as possible. At the end of that time they will be fit for use, and any desired tints may be obtained by making a mixture from them, with such proportions of each liquor as the nature of the color desired will point out.
To make a good colorless lacquer, dissolve bleached shellac in pure alcohol, settle and decant. Make the lacquer very thin. The usual lacquer for brass is made of ordinary shellac and alcohol, made very thin, settled and decanted.
A very elastic lacquer, perfectly supple, and not liable to peel off, may be made thus: About 120 lbs. of oil varnish are heated in one vessel, and 33 lbs. of quicklime are put into 22 lbs. of water in another. As soon as the lime causes an effervescence, 55 lbs. of india-rubber are added. This mixture is stirred and then poured into the vessel of hot varnish. The whole is instantly stirred so that the ingredients may become completely incorporated. Straining and cooling through the process. When required for use it is thinned with the necessary quantity of varnish, and applied hot or cold to wood, iron, walls, waterproof cloth, paper, or other material.
A lacquer for dipped brass is composed of the following: Alcohol, proof specific gravity of not less than 95-100ths, 2 gallons; seed-lac, 1 lb.; gum copal, 1 ounce; English saffron, 1 ounce; annatto, 1 ounce.