Rotten Stone

This is sometimes harsh and gritty, and the best way of trying it is to take a little between the teeth, when the least portion of grit may be detected. Careful workmen will always wash it before they use it. This is effected by stirring the fine powder in a considerable quantity of water, then allowing it to remain at rest for a few seconds, and pouring the water into a glazed earthen vessel, the powder which precipitates will be very fine and smooth, by washing the remainder, the whole of the finer parts may be separated from the grit.

Securing Brass Letters To Glass

Every one who uses brass letters on glass windows, and knows how often they drop off from unequal expansion, or from the too energetic efforts of window cleaners, will find the following useful: Litharge 2 parts, white lead' 1 part, boiled linseed oil 3 parts, gum copal 1 part. Mixed just before using, this forms a quick-drying and secure cement.

Size, Or Mordant Varnish

One of the best mordants or sizes for signs or for work to be exposed to the weather, is called fat-oil size. It should be prepared as follows: Expose boiled linseed oil to a strong heat in a pan, when it begins to smoke, set fire to the oil, allow it to burn a moment, and then suddenly extinguish it by covering the pan. This will be ready for use, when cold, but will require thinning with a little turpentine.


These are liable to appear when varnish is allowed to skin over. Some varnishes will skin over although the can is constantly corked, and this skin being broken and mixing with the varnish will cause it to look sandy or seedy. The well-known common causes of specky work may be mentioned, dust or pumice powder upon the job, dirt present in the air, particularly liable in loosely or badly built shops during windy weather, and specks or lice in the varnish brush due to a variety of causes.


New sponges should always be soaked in warm water for several hours before being used, and the water should be changed while it is at all colored. Feel the sponge all over before using, as frequently small portions of rock remain in it, the sharp points of which scratch the paint.

Plumber's Solder

Mix 2 or 3 parts of lead and 1 part of tin. It must be free from zinc.

Polished Floors

These should be rubbed two or three times with linseed oil, and then polished every week with turpentine and beeswax. The oftener the oil is rubbed in to begin with, the darker the boards will be.

Preserving Painted Iron

A method of preventing paint from detaching itself in large flakes from iron surfaces is as follows: First wash the surface to be painted with soap and water, rinse and let dry. When dry, go over it with a stiff brush dipped in hot linseed oil. When this becomes tacky the paint can be applied. If the object is small, and of such a nature that heating will not hurt it, raise the temperature until a drop of oil brought into contact with it smokes. Go over the surface carefully with the raw oil, and let cool. It is now ready to receive the paint. With large objects which cannot be heated, the main point is to apply the oil as hot as possible, the nearer to boiling point the better. Objects thus painted will preserve the coat of color for an indefinite period, the paint being unaffected by heat or cold, excessive moisture or excessive dryness. Wood exposed to the weather may be treated with good results in the manner indicated.