This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
To erase Cumberland-lead pencil marks, native or bottle india-rubber answers perfectly. This, however, will not entirely erase any kind of German or other manufactured pencil marks. What is found best for this purpose is fine vulcanised india-rubber; this, besides being a more powerful eraser, has also the quality of keeping clean, as it frets away with the friction of rubbing, and presents a continually renewed surface to the drawing; the worn-off particles produce a kind of dust, easily swept away. Vulcanised rubber is also extremely useful for cleaning off drawings, as it will remove any ordinary stain.
For erasing ink lines, the point of a penknife or erasing knife is commonly used. A much better means is to employ a piece of fine glass-paper, folded several times, until it presents a round edge; this leaves the surface of the paper in much better order to draw upon than it is left from knife erasures. Fine size applied with a brush will be found convenient to prevent colour running.
To produce finished drawings, it is necessary that no portion should be erased, otherwise the colour applied will be unequal in tone; thus, when highly finished mechanical drawings are required, it is usual to draw an original and to copy it, as mistakes are almost certain to occur in delineating any new machine. "Where sufficient time cannot be given to draw and copy, a very good way is to take the surface off the paper with fine glass-paper before commencing the drawing; if this be done, the colour will flow equally over any erasure it may be necessary to make afterwards.
Where ink lines are a little over the intended mark, and it is difficult to erase them without disfiguring other portions of the drawing, a little Chinese white or flake-white mixed rather dry, may be applied with a fine sable-brush; this will render a small defect much less perceptible than by erasure.
Whenever the surface of the paper is roughened by using the erasing knife, it should be rubbed down with some hard and perfectly clean rounded instrument.