Handbook contains, in a form convenient for everyday use, a
comprehensive digest of the knowledge of Staining, Varnishing,
and Polishing Woods, scattered over ten thousand columns of WORK
- the weekly journal it is my fortune to edit - and supplies concise
the general principles of the crafts on which it treats.
In preparing for
publication in book form the mass of relevant matter contained
in the volumes of work much that was tautological in character
had to be rejected.
The remainder necessarily had to be arranged
anew, altered and largely re-written.
From these causes the
contributions of many, are so blended that the writings of
individuals cannot be distinguished for acknowledgment.
Polishing and spirit varnishing or both in combination,
household furniture and many other things are covered with a lac
solution, with the object of giving them a polished mirror-like
surface, showing the beauty and figure of woods to the best
By painting, the latter qualities are hidden, and to an
extent the cabinet-maker's skill has been so much labor in
vain. The surface, as it comes from the cabinet maker's
hands, shows an unfinished article, to which dust and finger
marks would soon give a dirty appearance.
Staining is the process of imparting to the surface of wood
a color different from its natural one. Staining requires no
preliminary preparation, the stain being applied directly to
stains raise the grain of the wood to a considerable extent, so
before applying varnish, it is necessary to sand-paper the wood
enough to render the grain smooth again; this sometimes involves
the use of a second coat of stain, after which the sand-paper
must be again applied.
To simply stain a piece of wood in a uniform tint, and to
produce a gloss by coats of varnish, is not all that is required
in these modern days of keen competition ; and this is
particularly true in the case of furniture of the medium and
Readers who may desire
additional information respecting special details of the matters
dealt with in this Handbook, or instruction kindred subjects,
should address a question to Work, so that it may be answered in
the columns of that journal.
P. N. Hasluck