VARNISHED WORKS of the finest kinds, such as the wood work of harps, are thus treated. The wood is covered with about six layers of the white hard varnish, and allowed thoroughly to dry between each, this entirely fills the pores of the wood; the face is then rubbed quite smooth with fine glass paper. The ornamental painting is then done, after which about eight or ten coats more of varnish are laid on, and at every third coat the surface is rubbed with fine glass paper to remove the brush marks.
When all the varnish is put on, and has become hard, the surface is rubbed with fine pumice-stone powder and water on woollen rags, the work is allowed to stand for a day or two, and is then polished with yellow tripoli and water, after which it is washed quite clean with a sponge, and wiped dry with a clean wash leather.
The varnish is now touched at a few places, with the finger smeared with fine rendered tallow, which is then thoroughly rubbed all over with the ends of the fingers; clean wheat flour is dusted over the work, and also well rubbed in with the fingers; and after the removal of the flour, the surface is slightly rubbed with a clean old silk handkerchief, which completes the splendid lustre given to these instruments.
It should be observed that the rottenstone of commerce is sometimes ground very fine with a stone muller before use, and so is likewise the tripoli. The tripoli used by the Messrs. Erats, from whom these particulars were gathered, was obtained from the earth removed in digging the canal in the Regent's Park, London; the dry lumps when cleared from the clay by which they are surrounded, are of a light brown yellow, and as hard as a stone, so as to require to be crushed with a hammer previously to being ground.