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) Take 1 lb. logwood chips, 3/4 gal. water, 4 oz. pearlash, 2 oz. powdered indigo. Boil the logwood in the water till the full strength is obtained, then add the pearlash and indigo, and when the ingredients are dissolved the mixture is ready for use, either warm or cold. This gives a beautiful purple.
(2) To stain wood a rich purple or chocolate colour, boil 1/2 lb. madder and 1/4 lb. fustic in 1 gal. water, and when boiling brush over the work until stained. If the surface of the work should be perfectly smooth, brush over with a weak solution of nitric acid; then finish with the following: put 4 1/2 oz. dragons' blood and 1 oz. soda, both well bruised, into 3 pints spirits of wine. Let it stand in a warm place, shake frequently, strain and lay on with a soft brush, repeating until a proper colour is gained. Polish with linseed-oil or varnish.
(3) 2.2 lb. rasped logwood, 5.5 lb. rasped Lima red dyewood are boiled for 1 hour in 5.5 lb. water. It is then filtered through a cloth and applied to the article to he stained until the desired colour has been obtained. In the meanwhile a solution of 0.175 oz. potash carbonate in 17.5 oz. water has been prepared, and a thin coat of this is applied to the article stained red. But strict attention must be paid not to apply too thick a coat of this solution, or else a dark blue colour would be the result.
(1) The wood is plunged first in a solution of 1 oz. of curd soap in 35 fl. oz. water, or else is rubbed with the solution; then magenta is applied in a state of sufficient dilution to bring out the tone required. All the aniline colours behave very well on wood.
(2) For a red stain, a decoction of 1/4 lb. logwood and 1/2 oz. potash in 1 lb. water is used as the bath, being fixed by a wash of alum water. For scarlet, use 1 oz. cochineal, 6 oz. powdered argol, 4 oz. cream tartar, in 12 oz. tin chloride (scarlet spirits).
(3) Take 1 qt. alcohol, 3 oz. Brazil-wood, 1/2 oz. dragons' blood, 1/2 oz. cochineal, 1 oz. saffron. Steep to full strength and strain. It is a beautiful crimson stain for violin?, work-boxes, and fancy articles.
(4) Beside the aniline colours, which are, however, much affected by sunlight, cochineal gives a very good scarlet red upon wood. Boil 2 oz. cochineal, previously reduced to a fine powder, in 35 oz. of water for 3 hours, and apply it to the wood. When dry, give it a coating of dilute tin chloride to which is added a little tartaric acid - 1 oz. tin chloride, and 1/2 oz. tartaric acid in 35 fl. oz. water. If, instead of water, the cochineal is boiled in a decoction of bark (2 oz. bark to 35 oz. water), and the tin chloride is used as above, an intense scarlet and all shades of orange may be produced according to the proportions.
(5) Take 1 gal. alcohol, 1 1/2 lb. camwood, 1/2 lb. red sanders, 1 lb. logwood extract, 2 oz. aquafortis. When dissolved, it is ready for use. It should be applied in 3 coats over the whole surface. When dry, rub down to a smooth surface, using for the purpose a very fine paper. The graining is done with iron rust, and the shading with asphaltum thinned with spirits of turpentine. When the shading is dry, apply a thin coat of shellac; and when that is dry, rub down with fine paper. The work is then ready for varnishing - a fine rose tint.
(6) Monnier recommends steeping the wood for several hours in a bath of 1200 gr. potassium iodide to the quart of water, and then immersing it in a bath of 375 gr. corrosive sublimate, when it will assume a beautiful rose-red colour by chemical precipitation. It should subsequently be covered with a glossy varnish. The baths will not need renewal for a long time.
(7) 2.2 lb. finely-powdered Lima red dyewood and 2.l oz. potash carbonate are put in a glass bottle and digested in 5.5 lb. water for 8 days in a warm place; the bottle should be frequently shaken. It is then filtered through a cloth; the fluid is heated, and applied to the article to be stained until the latter acquires a beautiful colour. If it is desired to brighten the colour, a solution of 2.1 oz. alum, free from iron, in 2 • 2 lb. water is applied to the article while it is still wet. The last solution can be prepared by heat; when it has been accomplished, it is filtered. As soon as the stains have become dry, they should be rubbed with a rag moistened with linseed-oil, after which the varnish may be applied.