No. 1. - Dissolve 1 1/4 oz. of sulphate of iron crystals in 1 quart of water and then add 2 oz. of logwood chips and boil the fluid for one hour; then strain the fluid and apply it to the wood with a sponge, or else steep the wood in the fluid for a few minutes; then remove the wood, allow it to dry by exposure to the air, not before a fire, and repeat the application of the fluid, or the steeping in it until the wood is black enough. To increase the deepness of the black tone, the wood may be wetted with iron liquor, after the first application of the logwood solution and before the second and third application. This iron liquor is prepared by dissolving 2 oz. of steel filings, clean and free from grease, by boiling them in 1/2 pint of strong vinegar or acetic acid, and straining or filtering the fluid. When the wood is stained deep enough and is dry, sandpaper it until a smooth surface is obtained, then lay on the surface a slight coating of olive oil, and then mix a little French polish and drop black and rub over the surface of a polishing pad such as French polishers use.
Such a pad is made by taking a quantity of tow or cotton wool, rolling it into a ball, and then covering the ball with a piece of clean linen rag; cotton fabric will not do, as the fiber is too short, and works up fluffy under the rubbing. To use the polish, pour a little of it into a plate and then mix a little powdered drop black to disguise the brown color of the polish. The blade of a knife is the best thing to rub up the polish and drop black, being careful that there is no lump of the black left uncrushed or unmixed with the polish.
Now take the polishing pad between the thumb and forefinger, moisten its surface with a little olive oil, dip the oiled surtace on the polish, but not too much, put one spot of olive oil on top of the layer of polish and proceed to rub the pad over the wood. The rubbing is usually done in a series of intertwining circles, but the outline of the pattern will determine how best to rub the pad over the wood. When you find the polishing pad becoming sticky, apply a little more polish and oil to the pad. Any polish that has found its way into the cut-out pattern of the wood should be removed by means of a piece of wood covered with a piece of fine linen.
If it is desired to bring up a very highly polished surface, a little methylated finish should be rubbed over the polished surface before the polish has become quite dry. Instead of bringing up a polish with French polish, the wood may be varnished with a coat of quick-drying varnish, and if required to present a dull gloss, the varnished surface, when dry, may be rubbed with a pad dipped in finely powdered pumice stone, and then raw linseed oil rubbed over the pumiced surface until it is uniformly smooth. Instead of French polishing or varnishing, a very good smoothly finished surface is imparted to the wood by wax polishing, which is much simpler and quicker. The process is carried out as follows:
No. 2; - Put 1 oz. of beeswax, 1/2 oz. of Japan wax and 1/4 oz. of yellow wax (ceresin)into a small saucepan, and gently heat them until melted; then remove the saucepan from the fire and add sufficient oil of turpentine to render the mixture of a soft, unctuous consistence when cold. The actual amount of turpentine required will depend on the quality of the waxes used. Pure beeswax and a high-class ceresin will require more oil of turpentine than the inferior qualities. If the compound sets too solid at first, it should be remelted at a gentle heat, because the turpentine that is in the compound will render it very inflammable at anything like a high temperature, because the turpentine vapors that are given off when hot easily ignite when they reach a naked flame. Allow the melted wax to cool slightly, and add more turpentine and allow to cool until congealed; repeat the melting and addition of turpentine if still too solid and stiff until the mass is of a soft greasy consistence. By means of a few grains of any of the aniline colors which are soluble in oils and fats, known as oil dyes, the wax compound can be colored to match any kind of wood.
To use the wax polish, just lightly rub the surface of the stained wood, after having smoothed it with sandpaper and with a little olive or raw linseed oil, and then rub the polish on with a soft piece of felt; it may be applied warm if it is desired to penetrate deeply into the wood ; then with a second piece of dry felt rub the waxen surface until a dull gloss results. If too much wax be not used and the rubbing well done, no greasy feel will be imparted to the wood, and an occasional rub up with a dry rag will renovate it very quickly, and prevent all dust and grime adhering.
No. 3 - Put 1 quart of strong vinegar into a saucepan and boil it up along with 8 oz. of Berlin blue, and 1/2 oz. of nut galls. Boil the mixture for half to three-quarter of an hour, then strain and when cool the fluid is ready for use as directed in No. 1.