Spear & Jackson


Masters' Library


The Workshop Companion by John Phin, 1879



The following pages have been prepared with very great care, the chief aim being to give none but recipes which will not disappoint those who attempt to use them.

Several of the recipes here given are original, the formulae having been worked out or improved by the author after much labor and experiment.

In searching for really good formulate, we have been astonished at the errors which have crept into many of our standard books of recipes.

For example, in one case the two separate operations of a well-known process for staining wood are given as distinct, and, of course useless recipes!

In a seemingly favorite recipe for a washing fluid, the reader is directed to add vinegar to the ammonia employed, thus entirely neutralizing it.


 In the same way we find a recipe for transferring printed engravings to wood, in which the alkali (potash) is neutralized with vitriol! We suppose that in the last case, the author of this recipe thought that two strong liquids must be better than one, forgetting or not knowing the fact that one destroys the effect of the other.

A very slight knowledge of technological science would have enabled the compilers of these books to avoid such blunders.

 In addition to these defects, however, most of our large books of recipes contain so much that is entirely useless to the practical man, and so many mere repetitions of the same recipe in different language and terms, that their cost is greatly increased while their value instead of being enhanced, is actually lessened.

We have, therefore, endeavored to combine in the following pages all that is really of practical value to the professional or amateur mechanic, and at the same time by giving only one or two of the best recipes under each head, we have not only simplified the work, but we have brought it to such a size and price that everyone can afford to buy it.

J. P.
New York, October, 1879.

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