Dutch rush produces similar results upon very close grained hardwoods and upon ivory. A small bundle loosely bound together at the ends, formed of a moderate quantity of the short lengths of the rush cut from between its knots, and frequently dipped in water while used, is pressed and rolled about upon the revolving work, so that all sides of the rush may be equally used, until its cutting action is apparently lost. The rush soft and inoperative, is then laid aside to dry and a fresh quantity used if required. The work being also allowed to dry, the worn rush when dried is then used to complete the polishing.

The majority of works in hardwood are polished with the spirit polish, known as hardwood lacker; the process has been noticed, page 1413, Vol. III., but being both expeditious and suitable to most of the following examples, further description may be convenient in this place. For the best results, the work left smooth from the tool or glass paper and wiped clean as before, has the lacker applied to it upon a soft rubber, which varies from very small to about the size of a walnut, according to the dimensions of the work. The rubbers consist of cotton wool, or for large works for which they must be more enduring, of several small pieces of soft clean rag folded one over the other; either kind being enclosed in one thickness of rag which is then gathered together behind and tied, so as to form a soft ball. When used the face of the rubber is rather plentifully supplied with the lacker, by gently pouring a small quantity upon it from the bottle, or, the lacker is placed upon it with a brush, which, as conveying only the supernatant fluid is to be preferred; the rubber is then covered by a single thickness of fine clean rag, the edges of which are gathered and held together behind by the fingers. The finer portions of the lacker penetrate this covering, and one or two drops of linseed oil, placed on the center of the lacker coming through the external rag, completes the preparation.

The rubber is then carried along over all parts of the gently revolving work with a slight, equal pressure, neither the hand nor the work remaining still for a moment; the lacker rapidly transferring itself from the one to the other, so as soon to require replenishing. This occurs many times, but most rapidly in the early stages until the pores of the wood become thoroughly filled, for the rubber is never allowed to become dry, which would cause it to adhere to and damage the tender polish; gently squeezing the rubber occasionally with the , fingers, brings the lacker to the surface and reveals its con-« dition as to dryness. Several successive applications are required, during which the rubber is allowed to linger within internal angles and hollows and upon any portions of the work that appear to have been at all neglected, all parts the end way of the grain being more absorbent, receiving a larger supply. On the other hand should the rubber be overfilled, or allowed to remain too long upon them, the lacker is apt to collect upon external, and within internal angles, and small grooves or mouldings; as the polishing is continued therefore and the work becomes coated with the lacker, the rubber is used both with a lighter hand and for a longer period without replenishment, while the motion of the lathe is also occasionally stayed, that it may be used lengthwise upon all cylindrical forms, and across surfaces, to render the entire thin coating flat and uniform. Should the loose covering of the rubber show signs of becoming hard after some use, it is immediately renewed to prevent possible damage; the small quantity of oil used with every supply of lacker and required to relieve the friction, being never omitted.

The lackering is continued until the surfaces acquire a brilliant uniform polish, and the work, still upon the chuck, is then set aside to harden. After a few days the brilliancy of the polish will probably somewhat diminish from the continued absorption of the wood, the surface also appearing partially cloudy, arising from the oil used. Time having been allowed for absorption, a slight repetition of the lackering restores the brilliancy of the polish which is then generally permanent, after which, the work is lightly gone over with a small quantity of spirits of wine upon a fresh cotton wool rubber; this, called spiriting off, entirely removes all cloudiness, together with the small quantity of oil from which it arises; but spiriting off is confined to the barest necessity, for if continued it gradually removes the surface of the lacker. For works less carefully polished, the rubber may be placed on the mouth of the lacker bottle and the two then shaken together, and the oil added as before ; while for inferior works, a more plentiful supply of oil is first put on the rubber and then the lacker, the external covering of rag being discarded.

Polishing with hardwood lacker is also employed for improving the colour of a pale specimen of wood, or for darkening h h 2 one piece to agree with the colour of a better, the colouring matters used, described in the last chapter, being steeped in the oil or in the lacker. For slightly toning the work, the coloured oil, but rather more in quantity, is employed in the manner already described; for a more considerable effect, the rubber is saturated with the coloured oil and the lacker put upon that.

In all polishing with hardwood lacker, it should also be noticed, that the rubber is never directly lifted off the work unless that be in revolution, when the work is still, it is always swept off at the termination of one of the straight strokes to avoid the risk of its adhering to and removing a small patch of the yet soft polish. Damage to the surface from the rubber adhering, or from the accidental intrusion of any foreign particle, causes the lacker to rapidly collect about and to aggravate the blemish, the sole remedy then being to entirely remove the lacker with fine glass paper and to recommence. It may also happen that portions of the work may prove to be coated with unequal thicknesses of the lacker, arising either from want of sufficient exactness in previously finishing the work, or of care in the polishing; in such cases, the polish when thoroughly hardened, is levelled with fine glass paper and the work relackered. Very excellent results may be obtained by thus rubbing down and relackering, and this practice is necessary, as in the analogous process of varnishing, when it is desired to cover the work with a more considerable coating. It is perhaps hardly necessary to add that all defects and accidents to the surface should be entirely removed, or when that is not possible, as in the case of holes or fissures, these are filled with melted shellac or other material, prior to the polishing, which otherwise gives them increased prominence, in the same degree that it exhibits the beauty of the grain of the wood.