This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
Some very odd and beautiful effects can be obtained in lathe work by making up the stock from several pieces of various kinds of wood glued together. The pieces can be arranged in many pleasing combinations, and if good joints are made and a good quality of glue used, the built-up stock is just as durable as a solid piece.
Candlesticks turned from built-up stock are especially attractive, parts of the various light and dark woods appearing here and there in all manner of odd shapes and proportions. If the stock is placed off center in the lathe, a still greater variety of effects will be produced.
The application of a potassium-bichromate solution to the finished work turns each piece a different color. This solution can be made in any depth of color by varying the amounts of potassium salt and water. Maple or birch treated with this solution are colored to a rich Osage orange which cannot be surpassed in beauty. Mahogany is turned a deep reddish brown, and walnut is darkened a great deal. The solution is applied as evenly as possible with a camel's-hair brush while the wood is turning in the lathe. The grain of the wood is somewhat roughened by this process, but it can be dressed down again with very fine sandpaper. In polishing the work, only the best shellac should be used, and several thin coats applied rather than one or two heavy ones. Each coat, with the exception of the last, should be sandpapered slightly. Powdered pumice stone on a cloth held in the palm of the hand can be used to apply a beautiful luster. Some suggestions as to the manner of combining various woods, and a simple candlestick of mahogany and maple are shown in the sketch. - Contributed by Olaf Tronnes, Wil-mette, Ill.
Ill: Vase Made of Different Woods