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.
These, from their nature, are readily turned very smooth; fine glass-paper will suffice to give them a very perfect surface; a little linseed-oil may then be rubbed on, and a portion of the turnings of the wood to be polished may then be held against the article, whilst it turns rapidly round, which will, in general, give it a fine gloss. Sometimes a portion of shellac, or rather of seed lac, varnish is applied upon a piece of cloth, in the way, formerly described. The polish of all ornamental work wholly depends on the execution of the same, which should be done with tools properly sharpened; and then the work requires no other polishing but with a dry hand-brush, to clean it from shavings or dust, this trifling friction being sufficient to give the required lustre.