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.
Take 1 lb. peroxide of iron, pure, and put half of it into a washbasin, pouring on water, and keeping it stirred until the basin is nearly full. While the water and crocus are in slow motion, pour off, leaving grit at the bottom. Repeat this a second time, pouring off into another basin. Cleanse out grit, and do the same with the other half. When the second lot is poured off, the crocus in the first will have settled to the bottom; pour off the water gently, take out the powder, dry it, and put both when washed clear of grit, and dried, into a box into which dust cannot get. If the silver work is very dirty, rub the mixture of powder and oil on with the fingers, and then it will be known if any grit is on the work. If the work is not very black, take a piece of soft chamois leather, and rub some dry crocus on, and when well rubbed, shake out the leather, and let the powder fall off that is not used, or rub it off with a brush. Do not put down the leather in the dust.
Glaze Wheels for Finishing Steel - For hollow finishing, the following wheels are required: - A mahogany wheel for rough glazing. A mahogany wheel for smooth glazing. A lead wheel, or lap. For flat finishing: A buff wheel for rough. A buff wheel for smooth. A buff wheel for finishing. Lastly, a polisher. To make the glaze wheels : Get the spindles, and point them on each end; then get a block of beech and wedge it on the steel at one end with iron wedges, and turn it for the pulley for the band to run on. Take two pieces of flat mahogany and glue and screw them together, so that the grain of one piece crosses the other, to prevent warping. Let it get thoroughly dry, and wedge it on the spindle and turn it true. The lead wheel is made the same way but wider, and has a groove turned in the edge. The wheel is put into sand, and a ring of lead run round the edge; it is then turned true. To make the buff wheels, proceed as with the glaze; but to save expense, pine or deal wood will do as well as mahogany, only leave it about double the width of the glaze, which is about 1/2 in. wide, by 12 or 14 in. across. The buff wheels are covered with glue, and then the leather is tacked on with tacks driven in about half-way, so that they may be easily drawn out again.
The leather is then turned true. The polisher is made the same way, but the size of the polisher must be a little less than any of the other wheels, say, about 1 in. The buff wheels are dressed by laying on a fine thin coat of clear glue, and rolling them round - No. 1, in superfine corn emery; No. 2, in smooth emery; No. 3, by making a cake of equal parts of mutton suet, beeswax, and washed emery; then it is held on the wheel while it is going round. The glaze wheels are dressed while using, by mixing a little of the emery with oil, and putting it on the wheel with a stick or the finger. The leather of the polisher is not covered with glue, but dressed with a mixture of crocus and water, not oil. Care must be taken to keep each wheel and substance to themselves, the work must be carefully wiped after each operation, and cleanliness must be studied above all things in using the polisher, as the slightest grease getting on it stops the polishing.