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.
This is done with a wolfs or dog's tooth, or a steel burnisher; for this purpose place the books in a screw press, with boards on each side of them, and other boards distributed between each volume; first rub the edges well with the tooth to give them a lustre. After sprinkling or staining and when the edges are dry, burnish the front; then turning the press, burnish the edges at the top and bottom of the volume. Burnish the gilt edges in the same manner, after having applied the gold; but observe in gilding, to lay the gold first upon the front, and allow it to dry; and on no account to commence burnishing till it is quite dry.