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) 1 pint spirits of wine, 1/4 oz. gum copal, 1/4 oz. gum arabic, 1 oz. shellac. Bruise the gums and sift them through a piece of muslin. Place the spirits and gums together in a vessel closely corked, near a warm stove, and frequently shake them; in 2 or 3 days they will be; dissolved. Strain through a piece of muslin, and keep corked tight.
(2) Shellac, 6 oz.; naphtha, 1 qt.; benzoin, 3/4 oz.; sandarach, 1 oz.
(3) Dissolve l 1/2 oz. shellac, 1/4 oz. sandarach, in 1/2 pint naphtha. To apply the polish, fold a piece of flannel into a sort of cushion, wet it well with the polish, then lay a piece of clean linen rag over the flannel, apply one drop of linseed oil; rub your work in a circular direction lightly at first. To finish off, use a little naphtha applied the same as the polish.
(4) Pale shellac, 2 1/4 lb.; mastic and sandarach, each 3 oz.; spirits, 1 gal. Dissolve, and add copal varnish, 1 pint; mix well by agitation.
(5) Shellac, 12 oz.; wood naphtha, 1 qt.; dissolve, and add 1/2 pint linseed oil.
(6) Crush 3 oz. shellac with 1/2 oz. gum mastic, add 1 pint methylated spirits of wine, and dissolve.
(7) Shellac, 12 oz.; gumelemi,2 oz.; gum copal, 3 oz.; spirits of wine, 1 gal.; dissolve.
(8) Shellac, 1 1/4 oz.; gum juniper, 1/2 oz. benzoin, 1/2 oz.; methylated alcohol, 1/2 pint.
(9) 1 oz. each of gums mastic, sandarach, seed lac, shellac, and gum arabic, reduce to powder; then add 1/4 oz. virgin wax; dissolve in a bottle with 1 qt. rectified spirits of wine. Let stand for 12 hours, and it is then fit for use.
(10) 1 oz. gum lac, 2 dr. mastic in drops, 4 dr. sandarach, 3 oz. shellac, 1/2 oz. gum dragon. Reduce the whole to powder.
(12) Soft water, 1 gal.; soap, 4 oz.; white wax, in shavings, 1 lb. Boil together, and add 2 oz. pearlash. To be diluted with water, laid on with a paint brush, and polished off with a hard brush or cloth.
(13) Wax, 3 oz.; pearlash, 2 oz.; water, 6 oz. Heat together, and add 4 oz. boiled oil and 5 oz. spirits of turpentine.
(14) Raw linseed oil, 6 oz.; white wine vinegar, 3 oz.; methylated spirit, 3 oz.; butter of antimony, 1/2 oz.; mix the linseed oil with the vinegar by degrees, and shake well so as to prevent separation; add the spirit and antimony, and mix thoroughly.
(15) Boiled linseed oil, 1 pint; yellow wax, 4 oz.; melt, and colour with alkanet root.
(16) Acetic acid, 2 dr.; oil of lavender, 1/2 dr.; rectified spirit, 1 dr.; linseed oil, 4 oz.
(17) Linseed oil, 1 pint; alkanet root, 2 oz.; heat, strain, and add lac varnish, 1 oz.
(18) Linseed oil, 1 pint; rectified spirit, 2 oz.; butter of antimony, 4 oz.
(19) For Darkening Furniture. - 1 pint linseed oil, 1 oz. rose pink, 1 oz. alkanet root, beaten up in a metal mortar; let the mixture stand for a day or two; then pour off the oil, which will be found of a rich colour.
(20) Or, mix 1 oz. alkanet root with 4 oz. shellac varnish, 2 oz. turpentine, 2 oz. scraped beeswax, and 1 pint linseed oil: this should stand a week.
(21) Reviver. - Pale linseed oil, raw, 10 oz.; lac varnish and wood spirit, each 5 oz. Mix well before using.
(22) For Turners' Work. - Dissolve 1 oz. sandarach in 1/2 pint spirits of wine; shave 1 oz. beeswax, and dissolve it in sufficient spirits of turpentine to make it into a paste, add the former mixture to it by degrees; then, with a woollen cloth, apply it to the work while it is in motion in the lathe, and polish it with a soft linen rag; it will appear as if highly varnished.
(23) Mahogany. - Take 1 pint furniture oil, mix with it 1/2 pint spirits of turpentine and 1/2 pint vinegar; wet a woollen rag with the liquid and rub the wood the way of the grain, then polish with a piece of flannel and soft cloth.
(24) Melt 3 or 4 pieces of sandarach, each of the size of a walnut, add 1 pint boiled oil, and boil together for 1 hour. While cooling, add 1 dr. Venice turpentine, and if too thick a little oil of turpentine also. Apply this all over the furniture, and after some hours rub it off; rub the furniture daily, without applying fresh varnish, except about once in 2 months. Water does not injure this polish, and any stain or scratch may be again covered, which cannot be done with French polish.
(25) For Wainscot. - Take as much beeswax as required, and, placing it in a glazed earthern pan, add as much spirits of wine as will cover it, and let it dissolve without heat. Add either ingredient as is required, to reduce it to the consistence of butter. When this mixture is well rubbed into the grain of the wood, and cleaned off with clean linen, it gives a good gloss to the work.
(26) For Carved Cabinet-work. - Dissolve 2 oz. seed lac, and 2 oz. white resin, in 1 pint spirits of wine. This must be laid on warm, and if the work can be warmed also, it will be so much the better; at any rate, moisture and dampness must be avoided. Used with a brush for standards or pillars of cabinet-work. The carved parts of cabinet-work are also polished thus: varnish the parts with the common wood varnish, and having dressed them off where necessary with emery paper, apply the polish used for the other parts of the work.
(28) French Polish Reviver. - Linseed oil, 1/2 pint; spirits of camphor, 1 oz.; vinegar, 2 oz.; butter of antimony, 1/2 oz.; spirit of hartshorn, 1/2 oz.
(29) 1/2 gill vinegar; 1 gill spirits of wine; 1 dr. linseed oil.
(30) Naphtha, 1 lb.; shellac, 4 oz.; oxalic acid, 1/4 oz. Let it stand till dissolved, then add 3 oz. linseed oil.
(31) Pastes. - To keep wood light, scrape 1/4 lb. beeswax into 1/2 pint of turpentine. By adding linseed oil the wood is darkened.