It is taken for granted that commercially prepared finishes are to be used; it is hardly profitable for boys to try to prepare their own stains and other finishes.

First Finish: (1) Remove all dust from the sanded surfaces. (2) Coat the piece to be finished with thin white shellac. (3) Allow this to stand over night; then sandpaper lightly with No. 00 paper held upon the tips of the fingers, Fig. 128. Sand just enough to remove the roughness of the shellaced surface. Do not use a block for the sandpaper; it is smoothness and not levelness that is required. It is too late to try to secure a level surface. (4) Apply a coat of prepared floor wax. These waxes are made to dry very rapidly. The directions for their application will be found printed upon the can labels. An easy way to remember these directions is to note that such waxes are applied and polished just as are the paste shoe polishes so generally used. (5) Polish this wax after it has stood some ten or fifteen minutes, using a flannel cloth. (6) After an hour another coat of wax may be applied and polished if desired. The more coats of wax the better the finish.

Second Finish: This finish is like the one just described, except that a coat of stain of the desired color is applied to the wood just before the thin coat of shellac.

Stains are of three kinds: water, oil, and spirit. Each has its advantages and its disadvantages. For simple manual training pieces, oil stains are recommended. Such stains are nothing more than paint thinned to proper consistency. Apply them with a brush, and immediately wipe the surface clear of the surplus material, using a cloth or piece of cotton waste. Make certain that all excess has been removed from corners as well as surfaces, otherwise a muddied effect will result at the uncleaned places.

Fig. 128. Sanding a Finish

Fig. 128. Sanding a Finish.