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.
Bichromate of potassium gives a lustrous, rich, light to dark brown stain on woods. The crystals are first dissolved into a saturated solution, which is then diluted with water. The stained surface needs no rubbing, as the stain leaves the wood perfectly clear for any desired finish. The satinlike appearance of wood treated by this stain cannot be produced with any of the pigment stains. - Contributed by August Meyer.