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.
(1) Mordant the wood with red liquor at 1° B. This is prepared by dissolving separately in water 1 part sugar of lead and 4 of alum free from iron; mix the solutions, and then add 1/32 part of soda crystals, and let settle overnight. The clear honor is decanted off from the sediment of lead sulphate, and is then diluted with water till it marks 1° B. The wood when mordanted is dyed green with berry liquor and indigo extract, the relative proportions of which determine the tone of the green.
(2) Verdigris dissolved in 4 parts water.
(3) 4.2 oz. copper, cut up finely, are gradually dissolved in 13 oz. nitric acid (aquafortis), and the articles to be stained are boiled in this solution until they have assumed a fine green colour.
(1) Greys may be produced by boiling 17 oz. orchil paste for 1/2 hour in 7 pints water. The wood is first treated with this solution, and then, before it is dry. steeped in a beck of iron nitrate at 1° B. An excess of iron gives a yellowish tone; otherwise a blue grey is produced, which may be completely converted into blue by means of a little potash.
(2) 1 part silver nitrate dissolved in 50 of distilled water; wash over twice; then with hydrochloric acid, and afterwards with water of ammonia. The wood is allowed to dry in the dark, and then finished in oil and polished.
(I) Boil 1/2 lb. madder and 2 oz. logwood chips in 1 gal. water, and brush well over while hot. When dry, go over with pearlash solution, 2 dr. to the quart. By using it strong or weak, the colour can be varied at pleasure.
(2) Soak 1 lb. stick varnish in 2 qt. water until all the colour is dissolved out; strain off the water, and add to the residue 25 dr. powdered madder. Set the mixture over the fire until it is reduced to 3/4 of its original volume. Then mix together 25 dr. cochineal, 25 dr. kermes berries, 1 pint spirits of wine, and 1/2 oz. pearlash, out of which the colour has been washed by soaking in a gill of soft water. Add this mixture to the decoction of madder and varnish, stirring well together, and adding so much aquafortis as will bring the red to the desired shade.
Introduce into a bottle 15 gr. alkanet root, 30 gr. aloes, 30 gr. powdered dragons' blood, and 500 gr. 95 per cent. alcohol, closing the mouth of the bottle with a piece of bladder, keeping it in a warm place for 3 or 4 days, with occasional shaking, then filtering the liquid. The wood is first mordanted with nitric acid, and when dry washed with the stain once or oftener, according to the desired shade; then, the wood being dried, it is oiled and polished.
Same as dark mahogany, but the stain being only applied once. The veins of true mahogany may be imitated by the use of iron acetate skilfully applied.
(5) The following process is recommended in Wiederhold's Trade Circular: - The coarse wood is first coated with a coloured size, which is prepared by thoroughly mixing up, in a warm solution, 1 part commercial glue in 6 of water, a sufficient quantity of the commercial mahogany brown, which is in reality an iron oxide, and in colour stands between so-called English red and iron oxide. This is best effected by adding in excess a sufficient quantity of the dry colour with the warm solution of glue, and thoroughly mixing the mass by means of a brush until a uniform paste is obtained, in which no more dry red particles are seen. A trial coat is then laid upon a piece of wood. If it is desired to give a light mahogany colour to the object, it is only necessary to add less, and for a darker colour more, of the brown body-colour. When the coat is dry, it may be tested, by rubbing with the fingers, whether the colour easily separates or not. In the former case, more glue must be added until the dry trial coat no longer perceptibly rubs off with the hands. Having ascertained in this way the right condition of the size colour with respect to tint and strength, it is then warmed slightly, and worked through a hair sieve by means of a brush.
After this, it is rubbed upon the wood surface with the brush, which has been carefully washed. It is not necessary to keep the colour warm during the painting. Should it become thick by gelatinizing, it may be laid on the wood with the brush, and dries more rapidly than when the colour is too thin. If the wood is porous and absorbs much colour, a second coat may be laid on the first when dry, which will be sufficient in all cases. On drying, the size colour appears dull and unsightly, but the following coat changes immediately the appearance of the surface. This coat is spirit varnish. For its production 3 parts spirits of wine of 90° are added in excess to 1 part of red acaroid resin in one vessel, and in another 10 parts shellac with 40 of spirits of wine of 80°. By repeated agitation for 3 or 4 days, the spirit dissolves the resin completely. The shellac solution is then poured carefully from the sediment, or, better still, filtered through a fine cloth, when it may be observed that a slight milky turbidity is no detriment to its use. The resin solution is best filtered into the shellac solution by pouring through a funnel loosely packed with wadding. When filtered, the solutions of both resins are mixed by agitating the vessel and letting the varnish stand a few days.
The acaroid resin colours the shellac, and imparts to it at the same time the degree of suppleness usually obtained by the addition of Venetian turpentine or linseed-oil. If the varnish is to be employed as a coat, the upper layers are poured off at once from the vessel. One or two coats suffice, as a rule, to give the object an exceedingly pleasing effect. The coats dry very quickly, and care must be taken not to apply the second coat until the first is completely dry.
(6) 7. oz. madder, 8.7 oz. rasped yellow wood, are boiled for 1 hour in 5. lb. water, and the boiling liquor is applied to the articles until the desired colour has been poduced.
(7) 1.5 oz. powdered turmeric, l.5 oz. powdered dragons' blood, are digested in 8.75 oz. of 80 per cent. strong alcohol, and when the latter seems to be thoroughly coloured it is filtered through a cloth. The filtrate is heated and applied warm to the article.
(S) 17.5 oz. madder, 8.75 oz. ground logwood, are boiled for 1 hour in 5.5 lb. water. This is filtered while still warm, and the warm liquor is applied to the wood. When this has become dry, and it is desired to produce a darker mahogany colour, a solution of 0.525 oz. potash carbonate in 4.4 lb. water is applied to the wood. This solution is prepared cold, and filtered through blotting-paper.
(9) 0.35 oz. aniline is dissolved in 8.75 oz. spirits of wine 90 per cent. strong. Then another solution of 0.35 oz. aniline yellow in 17.5oz. spirits of wine 90 per cent. strong is made, and this is added to the aniline solution until the required reddish-yellow colour is obtained. By adding a little of a solution of aniline brown (0.35 oz. aniline brown in 10.5 oz. spirits of wine 90 per cent. strong), the colour is still more completely harmonized, and a tint very closely resembling mahogany can be given to elm and cherry wood with this mixture.
(10) 0.7 oz. logwood is boiled in 3.5 oz. water down to about 1/2. This is then filtered, and 0.12 oz. baryta chloride is dissolved in it.