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.
The following methods of plating iron with nickel and silver appeared in a recent issue of a German paper. In nickelplating iron, a thin coating of copper is first produced on it by rubbing on a solution of 20 parts sulphate of copper, 5 parts sulphuric acid and 100 parts of water. After the copper plate has been formed rub over it, with a rag, a solution of 3 parts tin, 6 parts nickel and 1 part iron in 100 parts of hydrochloric acid and 3 parts of sulphuric acid. If finally the object is rubbed with a rag that has been dipped in finely pulverized zinc, a nickel deposit will be formed on the copper. The thickness of the deposit of nickel can be increased by repeating the two last operations.
According to a recent patent, a silver coating can be produced by dissolving freshly precipitated chloride of silver in a solution of hyposulphite of soda, 1.1 parts to 10 parts of water, and adding to this solution 180 parts spirits of sal ammoniac and then stirring in 800 parts of finely washed chalk. This mixture is applied and rubbed until it dries on the object being silvered, and the result is a brilliant deposit of pure silver.
A good filling for cracks in old furniture is made of shellac, either melted by heat or dissolved in alcohol to make a thick paste.