65. - Wheel Brushes or Brush Wheels are very largely employed in the arts; they are made both hard and soft, and of all diameters from about 2 to 8 inches, with the hairs placed radially so that the outer rows lean a little towards the center to give them more stability.

Wheel brushes are used with emery, crocus, rottenstone, putty powder, whiting, and in fact all the polishing powders both with oil and dry, and they are employed for curved, indented, chased, open and pierced works, but it is to be remembered the brush rapidly obliterates keen angles, the preservation of which requires particular care and patience, and the employment of hard buffs or the wood and metal polishers already described - as the greater the degree of exactness that is required in the angles and edges of polished works, the greater should be also the degree of hardness in the face of the grinders and polishers employed.

66. - Wheel Brushes made of Iron and Brass Wire, instead of hairs, are occasionally used after the manner of scratch brushes made of metal wire, and for the same general purposes; as for cleaning and scratching the metals preparatory to gilding and silvering, but not for polishing. The ends of the wires are a little curved to soften the abruptness with which they would otherwise meet the work.


WHITING is common chalk, ground, washed for the separation of sand and other impurities, and dried in lumps. See Chalk.


WOODS. - Many variations will be met with in the modes by which the woods are polished, and which depend greatly on the qualities of the woods themselves, as to hardness, fibre and colour; consequently under this head it is preferred nearly to follow the arrangement of the turnery and other woods, enumerated in the tabular view in case 70 of the first Volume.

Turned Works.

1. - Woods of Soft Grain and Light Colours, such as alder, ash, small beech and birch wood, sallow, willow, and also holly, horse chesnut, sycamore and some others, which woods are used respectively for common toys, and the best Tunbridge wares, are in many cases so smoothly turned as not to require any polishing whatever, or at most, only the friction of a few of their own shavings.

The less-experienced may find it necessary previously to employ glass paper, and it is then desirable to polish the work first whilst it revolves in the one direction, which lays down flat such of the loose filaments as are not polished off; and then by reversing the motion of the lathe, these parts are as it were brushed up, and generally removed. The alternating motion of the pole or spring lathe, is therefore desirable in polishing such woods. A few shavings are mostly used after the glass paper to remove the loose dust and brighten the surface. Many of the toys and works here referred to are coated with the white sandarac varnish, and some few are subsequently polished.

2. - Woods of Medium Hardness and Colour, namely, apple tree, plum tree, and old beech wood, box, elm, oak, walnut, and also mahogany and some others, although in general turned with the tools for soft woods, and in the same manner as the first group, are polished in almost every case with glass paper. They are then in general coated either with boiled linseed oil, which is applied with a brush or rag, allowed to soak in for a short time, and is afterwards rubbed off with shavings; or else they are covered thinly with beeswax dissolved in turpentine, and applied on a flannel. As much as possible of the bees-wax is afterwards rubbed off with a clean flannel, to prevent the stickiness that occurs from an undue quantity of the dissolved bees-wax, which never thoroughly hardens. Some workmen judiciously add a little powdered resin to the bees-wax and turpentine, this gives a little more consistency to the wax and lessens its stickiness, but the quantity should be moderate.

Some workmen use the wax in its natural state, and rub it in by softening it with the friction caused by a stick of deal wood, applied successively over the surface of the work, and afterwards remove as much as possible of the wax with a flannel. For woods that have been stained black, the black wax or composition prepared for the shoemakers, (and called heel-ball,) is almost always thus applied, unless indeed the works are lackered after the manner of French polishing.

3. - Woods of the Hardest Grain and Darkest Colours, and some others such as the foreign hardwoods for turnery enumerated in the tabular view on page 70, vol. i., are sometimes polished precisely after one of the modes already described, in other cases they are lackered, the mode of fulfilling which will be afterwards described, but when the lacker is used it should be applied directly after the glass paper, and without either oil or bees-wax having been used previously. It should however be observed that careful workmen place but little reliance on the advantage to be derived from polishing, as in truth the work should be left so smooth and exact from the turning tool as to require little or nothing to be afterwards done to it. The practice employed by the mechanist of rubbing the emery or glass paper face to face to abrade any coarser particles is here likewise desirable, and also that of wrapping the papers around a parallel slip of wood in polishing flat surfaces and some others, as this tends to preserve the keenness of the angles and fillets of works turned in the woods. In polishing within the bottom or lid of a snuff box, it will be found advantageous to wrap the fine polishing paper around a small cubical block of wood, one or two of the faces of which are rounded or made cylindrical; this will tend to lay an even flat grain over the work. 4. - Hardwoods Polished with Tripoli. - A lustre that may be termed a natura polish is given to some of the hardwoods of close grain, as in the best flutes made of cocoa wood and ebony, and some other works; that is to say the surface of the wood is polished entirely by abrasion, the same as the metals, marble, and many other materials. The process is sometimes conducted with tripoli powder, at other times with Dutch rush; and it is needful in each case that the work should have been smoothly turned, and then rubbed with fine glass or emery paper, which latter is frequently preferred.