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.
Too numerous to mention are the little conveniences of having a little flour paste always at hand, as those made of any of the gums impart a glaze to printed matter, and make it rather difficult to read. Dissolve a tablespoonful of alum in a quart of warm water and when cold, stir is as much flour as will give it the consistency of thick cream, being particular to beat up all the lumps, then stir in as much powdered resin as will stand on a dime, then throw in half a dozen cloves, merely to give a pleasant odor. Next, have a vessel on the fire which has a teacupful or more of boiling water, pour the flour mixture on the boiling water, stir it well all the time; in a very few minutes it will be of the consistence of mush; pour it out in an earthen or china vessel; let it cool; lay a cover on it, and put it in a cool place. It will keep for months. When needed for use, take out a portion and soften it with warm water. Keep it covered an inch or two in water to prevent the surface from drying up.