This section is from the book "The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook", by Isaac Ridler Butt. Also available from Amazon: The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook.
This article, so much esteemed for uniting pieces of broken glass, for repairing precious stones, and for cementing them to watch cases and other ornaments, is made by soaking isinglass in water until it becomes quite soft, and then mixing it with spirit in which a little gum mastic and ammoniacum have been dissolved.
The jewellers of Turkey, who are mostly Armenians, have a singular method of ornamenting watch cases, etc, with diamonds and other precious stones, by simply glueing or cementing them on. The stone is set in silver or gold, and the lower part of the metal made flat, or to correspond with the part to which it is to be fixed; it is then warmed gently, and has the glue applied, which is so very strong that the parts so cemented never separate; this glue, which will strongly unite bits of glass, and even polished steel, and may be applied to a variety of useful purposes, is thus made in Turkey: - Dissolve five or six bits of gum mastic, each the size of a large pea, in as much spirits of wine as will suffice to render it liquid; and in another vessel, dissolve as much isinglass, previously a little softened in water, (though none of the water must be used,) in French brandy or good rum, as will make a two-ounce vial of very strong glue, adding two small bits of gum albanum, or ammoniacum, which must be rubbed or ground till they are dissolved. Then mix the whole with a sufficient heat. Keep the glue in a vial closely stopped, and when it is to be used, set the vial in boiling water. Some persons have sold a composition under the name of Armenian cement, in England; but this composition is badly made; it is much too thin, and the quantity of mastic is much too small.
The following are good proportions: isinglass, soaked in water and dissolved in spirit, two ounces, (thick); dissolve in this ten grains of very pale gum ammoniac, (in tears,) by rubbing them together; then add six large tears of gum mastic, dissolved in the least possible quantity of rectified spirit.
Isinglass, dissolved in proof spirit, as above, three ounces; bottoms of mastic varnish (thick but clear) one and a half ounces; mix well.
When carefully made, this cement resists moisture, and dries colorless. As usually met with, it is not only of very bad quality, but sold at exorbitant prices.