John Phin.

The amateur's handbook of practical information for the workshop and the laboratory : containing clear and full directions for bronzing, lacquering, polishing metal, staining and polishing wood, soldering, brazing, working steel, tempering tools, case-hardening, cutting and working glass, varnishing online

. (page 1 of 6)
Online LibraryJohn PhinThe amateur's handbook of practical information for the workshop and the laboratory : containing clear and full directions for bronzing, lacquering, polishing metal, staining and polishing wood, soldering, brazing, working steel, tempering tools, case-hardening, cutting and working glass, varnishing → online text (page 1 of 6)
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AMATErns Handbook




Bronzing, Lacquering, Polishin
Polishing Wood, Soldering, Br
Tempering Tools, Case - hard

, Stair. ing and

Working Steel,

■ ... :.-tnO

Working Glass, "Va; ushing, Silver G icl'mg, Pre-

paring Skins, W 'grproofing, Making Vlloys, t- asil,!e

Metals, F.i ures, Polishing Powders, Signal

Lights, H "■< '- t., tnjj. lored Fires for Tableaux, Cartgut,

(. -i^v^.s. Glues, <&c, <&e.






A Copy of this look eceipt

of 15 one-cent sta».?>s. Industrial Pub. Co., 17' Broadway, IV. J.



A Practical Journal for Amateurs.

ISSUED MONTHLY. Price 50 Cents per year.

It is characteristic of young Americans that they want to beDoiNGSomething.
They are not content with merely knowing how things are done, or even with
seeing them done; they want to do them themselves. In other words, they want
to experiment. Hence the wonderful demand thathas sprung up for small tool
chests, turning lathes, scroll saws, w"ood carving tools, telegraphs, model steam
engines, microscoj es and all kinds of apparatus. In nine cases out of ten, how-
ever, the young workman finds it difficult to learn how to use his tools or ap-
paratus after he has got them. It is true that we have a large number of very
excellent text-books, but these are not just the thing. What is wanted is a liv-
ing teacher. Where a living teacher cannot be lound, the next best thing is a
live journal, and tnla we propose to furnish. And in attempting this it is not
our intention to confine ourselves to mere practical directions. In these days
of knowledge and scientific culture, the " Why *' becomes as necessary as the
"How." The object of the Young Scientist is to give clear and easily followed
directions for performing chemicl. "hiechanical and other operations, as well as
simple and accurate explanations of the principles involved in the various
mechanical asd chemical processes which we shall undertake to describe.

The scope and character of the journal will be better understood from an in-
spection of a few numbers, or from thq list of contents found on a subsequent
page, than from any labored description;, iher'e are, however, three features to
which we would call special attention!

Correspondence. — In this department we intend to place our readers in com-
munication with each other, and in this way we hope to secure for every one
just such aid as may be required for any special work on hnnd.

Exchanges.— An exchanee column, like that which has been such a marked
success in the Journd of Microscopy, will be opened in the Young Scientist.
Yearly subscribers who may wish to exchange tools, apparatus, boobs, or the
products of their skill, can «tate what they have to offer and what they want,
without, charge. Buying and se ling must, of course, be carried on in the adver-
tising columns.

Illustrations.— The journal will make no claim s to the character of a "pic-
ture book," but wherever engravings are needed to make the descriptions clear
they will be furnished. Some of the engravings which have already appeared in
our pages are as fine as anything to be found in the most expensive journals.

SSjaecia-l NTotice.

As our journal is too small and too low-priced to claim the attention of news
dealers, we are compelled to relv almost wholly upon subscriptions sentdirectly
to this office. As many persons would no doubt like to examine a few numbers
before becoming regular subsoribtrs, we will send four current numbers as a
trial trip f r


Where three or more subscribe together for the journal, we offer the following
liberal terms : •

3 cop -68 for $1.26

5 «' " 2.00

7 " " 2.75

10 " «' ~.7 3.60

Advertisements, 30 cents per line.

As postal currency has nearly disappeared from circulation, we receive post-
age stamps of the lower denominations (ones, twos and threes) attheir full value.
Postal orders are, however, much safer and more convenient. To avoid delay
and mistakes address all communications to " The Young Scientist, Box 4875,
New York," and make all checks and orders payable to John Phin.


In a letter to the Editor, Oliver Wendel Holmes, the genial "Autocrat
of the Breakfast Table," says: "I am much pleased with the Young
Scientist. It makes me want to be a boy again."

"It is a little publication, calculated to call out and educate all the
latent ingenuity and thirst for knowledge which the youthful mind pos-
sesses, and we hope it will wiu its way into every household in the laud." —
[Scientific Press.

"We have never seen a periodical, designed for youth, which came
nearer to our ideal of what such a journal should be."— [Canadian Phar-
maceutical Journal.

"The Young Scientist is one of the choicest publications for juvenile
minds in this country. Every page treats on subjects of importance to
young and old, portrayed iu a clearly comprehensive manner, which at
once interests the young idea in its careful perusal."— [Lapeer Clarion.

"It seems to fill the bill."— [Newport Daily News.

"It is pleasing to note that its youthful subscribers will not be misled
by clap-trap advertisements or advertisements of patent medicines, which
will not be received at any price. The Young Scientist is doing good
work in setting its face against this class of humbugs."— [Manufacturing
and Trade Review.

"The work is a copiously illustrated monthly, and is full of practical
hints that will instruct and amuse the young folks."— [Industrial School

"A small but elegant and very instructive monthly." — [Pittsburg

" Contains the beBt possible reading for the young of both sexes." —
[Ottawa Journal.

"We can safely recommeua nds magazine as one of the very best
publications for the young folks.'— [The Independent, Fenton, Mich.

"This journal occupies a new field, and iB needed to put the minds of
our youth on the right track to secure a correct understanding of the
nature of things."— [Wayland Press.

"It is ably edited by John Phin, who will make a large place in the
heart of the rising generation, if he persists in his venture. We hope bis
success in the field will be equal io the article furnished — first best." —
[Sunset Chimes.

"The articles are Britten in a popular, readable style, and profusely
illustrated." — Akron City Times.

"The Young Scientist is excellent in conception, and well designed to
amuse a^u. instruct young people."— [Chicago Evening Journal.

" The Young Scientist ia a handsome monthly magazine, each number
containing about 10 pages, handsomely illustrated. It will supply a
place which has been heretofore unoccupied. The copy before us comes
fully up to the promise of the prospectus." — [The Times, Iroquois, Mich.

"It is a journal which should be in the hands of both young and old,
and is a great benefit to the young scientist as well as the advanced pro-
fessor. It is a thousand times more valuable than the dime novel series,
so much read bv bovs. Parents would do well to have it in their house-
holds."— [The Iron Home.

"This publication is a new launch, and it is very gratifying to witness
the ableness which pervades its pages."— Amherst Free Press.



to es
of bi















Amateur's Handbook





Bronzing, Lacquering, Polishing Metal, Staining and
Polishing Wood, Soldering, Brazing, Working Steel,
Tempering Tools, Case - hardening, Cutting and
Working Glass, Varnishing, Silvering, Gilding, Pre-
paring Skins, Waterproofing, Making Alloys, Fusible
Metals, Freezing Mixtures, Polishing Powders, Signal
Lights, Harmless Colored Fires for Tableaux, Catgut,
Cements, Glues, &e., &e.






£S r " A Copy of this book will be sent to any Address post-paid on receipt
of 15 one-cent stamps. Industrial Pub. Co., 176 Broadway, N. Y.

Copyright secured, 1878.



It is a fact well known to the editors of scientific and
technical journals, that there are a series of questions to
which answers are continually desired by new subscribers,
no matter how often these questions may have been previ-
ously discussed. To give a reply to every one, in the col-
umns of the journal, would be an injustice to other readers ;
to reply to each by letter would be an endless task, and to
ignore them entirely would be inadmissible. Fortunately
the majority of these questions may be fully and thoroughly
answered once for all in a few pages of type, and this is the
end and aim of the present work, which has been pub-
lished at a price which places it within the reach of all.

The utmost care has been taken to give none but trust-
worthy directions and recipes. Most persons who have oc-
casion to consult an ordinary book of recipes must be pain-
fully aware of the fact that accuracy seems to be the last
quality sought for by the compilers and indeed by most of
those who contribute recipes to our technical journals.
With them complexity is in more favor than efficiency, and
we therefore see long lists of ingredients strung out one
ifter the other, most of them being useless and some being
even injurious. All this we have tried to avoid, and we feel
confident that the amateur and those whose skill and ex-
perience is not verv great will find here an efficient guide.

New York, October, 1878.


That this little book supplied a real want has been very
well shown by the rapidity with which the first edition,
though a large, one, has been sold off. In this edition we
have given a good deal of new matter and it is hoped that
in its extended form it will be still more acceptable to those
who desire information of the kind which it contains.

Editor Young Scientist.

Nt w York, February, 1879.



Alloys. — Alloy for Filling Holes in Iron. — Aluminium
Silver. —Amalgam for Silvering the Insides of Glass
Globes, etc. — Amalgam for Electrical Machines. —
Copper Amalgam. — Babbitt Metal for Lining Boxes.
— Fusible Alloys. — Pewter. — Type Metal 7

Brazing and Soldering 9

Bronzing. — Dark Bronze for Brass Instruments. — Bed

Bronze for ditto. — Bright Bronze. — Antique Bronze. 10

Browning Gun Barrels. — Process of Browning. —

Varnish for Browned Barrels „ „ 11

Case-Hardening. — Deep Process. — Surface Process. . . 12

Cements. — Aquarium Cement. — Armenian Cement. —
Buckland's Cement for Labels. — Cement for Glass,
Earthenware, etc. — Cement for Kerosene Lamps. —
Cement for attaching Leather to Metal. — Cement for
Leather Belting. — Cement for attaching Metal to
Glass. — Cementing Labels to Metal. — Cheese Ce-
ment for Mending China, etc. — Chinese Cement
(shio Had). — Chinese Cement. — Faraday's Cement, —
Electrical Cement. — Glue. — Iron Cement. — Cast
Iron Cement. — Japanese Cement. — Liquid Glue. —
Mouth Glue. — Mucilage for Labels. — Paris Cement
for Mending Shells, etc. — Paste. — Sorel's Cement. —
Transparent Cement for Glass. — Turner's Cement.
— Wollaston's Cement 13

Liquid for Desilvering 19

Etching Liquid for Steel 19

Etching on Glass 19

Gilding. — Gilding on Leather, Cloth, etc. — Gilding

Wood.— Gilding Metals 20

Glass Working. — Cutting Glass. — Drilling Holes in
Glass. — Turning Glass in the Lathe.— To Kemove

Tight Glass Stoppers 20

Hardening Copper, Brass, etc 23



Inks. — Black Ink. — Runge's Black Ink. — Blue Ink.—
Carmine Ink. — Red Ink. — Marking Ink for Linen. —
Gold Ink. — Silver Ink. — Sympathetic or Secret Ink
for writing privately on Postal Cards, Letters, etc. 23

Lacquer. — Process for Lacquering. — Deep Gold Lac-
quer. — Bright Gold Lacquer. — Pale Gold Lacquer.
— Lacquer used by A. Ross 24

Lubricators. — Fine Lubricating Oil. — Booth's Axle

Grease. — Anti- Attrition 2G

Polishing Metals 27

Polishing Wood 29

Silvering. — Process for Silvering. — Silvering Powder.

— Novargent.— Silvering Amalgam 30

Skins, Tanning and Curing. — Curing Fur Skins. —
To Prepare Sheep Skins for Mats. — Skins of Rab-
bits and other Small Animals 31

Staining Wood. — Processes for Staining and Improv-
ing Wood. — Mahogany. — Ebonizing Wood. — Black
Walnut Stain. — Brown Stain 31

Steel, Working and Tempering.— Forging Steel.—
To Restore Burnt Cast Steel. — Hardening and Tem-
pering Steel 34

Varnishes. — White Spirit Varnish. — Shellac Varnish.

— Turpentine Varnish. — Varnish for Violins. —
White, Hard Varnish. — White Varnish for Paper.

— Mastic Varnish. — Map Varnish. — Varnish for
Bright Iron Work. — Black Varnish for Iron 3C>

Waterproofing. — General Principles. — To Render
Leather Waterproof. — Waterproof Canvas for Cov-
ering Carts, etc. — To Make Sail Cloth Impervious
to Water.— Waterproofing Cloth, etc • 37



Freezing Mixtures. — Without Ice. — With Ice or Snow 40

Paper. — Tracing Paper. — Waxed Paper 41

Polishing Powders. — Chalk or Whiting. — Prepared
Chalk. — Crocus or Rouge. — Andrew Ross's Mode of
Preparing Do. — Lord Ross's Mode of Preparing Do.
— Oilstone Powder. — Pumice-Stone Powder. — Putty
Powder. — Andrew Ross's Method of Preparing
Putty Powder 42

Signal and Colored Lights. — Recipes from U. S.
Ordnance Manual. — Lights for Indoor Illumination.
— Ghosts, Demons, Spectres, Murderers, etc. — Cau-
tion 48

Miscellaneous Recipes. — To Remove Blue Color from
Steel or Iron. — Size for Improving poor Drawing
Paper. — To Fix Pencil Marks so they will not rub
out. — Cure for Burns. — Care of Looking-glasses. —
Secret of Laundry Gloss. — Kalsomine, Materials
and Process for. — To Stain Dried Grass. — Amalga-
mating Zincs for Galvanic Batteries. — Amber, to
Unite Broken Pieces. — Arsenical Preservative Pow-
der. — Arsenical Soap. — Black Varnish for Cast Iron.
— Black Varnish for Optical Work. — To make Cat-
gut Cords. — Coral Artificial. — To Render Dresses
Fire Proof. — Glass Paper. — Do. Water-proof. — To
Powder Glass Easily. — Imitation Ground Glass. —
Packing Glass Ware. — Javelle Water. — Jewelry-
Cleaning. — Pillows for the Sick Room. — Sieves for
the Laboratory. — Silvering Glass Mirrors for Opti-
cal Purposes. — To Bleach Wax. — To Pulverize
.Zinc 52



Alloy for filling holes in Iron. — Lead, 9 ; antimony, 2 ; bis-
muth, 1. This alloy expands in cooling, so that when a hole
is filled with the melted alloy, the plug is not loose when it
is cold.

Aluminium Silver. — Copper, 70 ; nickel, 23 ; aluminum, 7.
Has a beautiful color and takes a high polish.

Amalgam for Silvering the insides of Globes, etc. — 1. Lead,
2oz ; tin, 2oz ; bismuth, 2oz ; mercury, 4oz. Melt the first
three and add the mercury. The glass being well cleaned,
is carefully warmed and the melted amalgam is poured in
and the vessel turned round until all parts are coated. At a
certain temperature this amalgam adheres readily to glass.

2. Bismuth, 8 ; lead, 5 ; tin, 3 ; mercury, 8. Use as
directed for No. 1.

Amalgam for Electrical Machines. — 1. Tin, loz ; zinc,
loz ; mercury, 2oz.

2. Bcettger's. Zinc, 2oz ; mercury, loz. At a certain
temperature (easily found by experiment) it powders readily
and should be kept in a tightly corked bottle. Said to be
very good.

Copper Amalgam. — Dissolve 3oz. sulphate of copper in
water and add loz. sulphuric acid Hang clean iron scraps
in the solution until the copper has fallen down in fine pow-
der. Wash this powder, and for each ounce of powder take

8 amateur's

7oz. of mercury. To incorporate the mercury and copper,
first moisten the latter with protonitrate of mercury and then
add the mercury and rub up in a mortar. When thoroughly
mixed wash off all acid. This amalgam is easily moulded,
adheres readily to glass, takes a fine polish and becomes quite
hard in a short time.

Babbitt's Anti- Attrition Metal for lining Boxes. — First
melt four pounds of copper, and, when melted, add, by de-
grees, twelve pounds best quality Banca tin ; then add eight
pounds regulus of antimony, and then twelve pounds more of
tin, while the composition is in a melted state. After the cop-
per is melted, and four or five pounds of tin have been added,
the heat should be lowered to a dull red heat, in order to
prevent oxidation ; then add the remainder of the metal. In
melting the composition it is better to keep a small quantity
of powdered charcoal in the pot, on the surface of the metal.

The above composition is made in the first place and is
called hardening ; for lining work take one pound of the
hardening and melt with two pounds Banca tin, which pro-
duces the very best lining metal. So that the proportions for
lining metal is four pounds copper, eight regulus of antimo-
ny and ninety-six pounds tin.

The object in first preparing the hardening is economy,
for when the whole is melted together there is a great waste
of metal, as the hardening is melted at a much less degree
of heat than the copper and antimony separately.

Fusible Alloys. — 1. Bismuth, 8 ; lead, 5 ; tin, 3 . Melts
with the heat of boiling water.

2. Lead, 3 ; tin, 2 ; bismuth, 5. Melts at 197 degrees,

3. Bismuth, 15 ; lead, 8 ; tin, 4 ; cadmium, 3. Melts be-
tween 150 and 160 deg. Fahr.

Pewter. — Tin, 4 ; lead, 1.

Type Metal. — Lead, 44 ; antimony, 8 ; tin, 1.


Brazing and Soldering,

The term soldering is generally applied when fusible al-
loys of lead and tin are employed. When hard metals, such
as copper, brass or silver are used, the term brazing (derived
from brass) is more appropriate.

In uniting tin, copper, brass, etc., with any of the soft
solders, a copper soldering-iron is generally used. This tool
and the manner of using it are too well known to need de-
scription. In many cases, however, the work may be done
more neatly without the soldering-iron, by filing or turning
the joints so tbat they fit closely, moistening them with sol-
dering fluid, placing a piece of smooth tin-foil between them,
tying them together with binding wire and heating the
whole in a lamp or fire till the tin-foil melts. We have
often joined pieces of brass in this way so that the joints
were quite invisible. Indeed, with good soft solder almost
all work may be done over a lamp without the use of a sol-

Advantage may be taken of the varying degrees of fusi-
bility of solders to make several joints in the same piece of
work. Thus, if the first joint has been made with fine tin-
ner's solder, there would be no danger of melting it in mak-
ing a joint near it with bismuth solder, composed of lead, 4,
tin, 4, and bismuth, 1, and the melting point of both is far
enough removed from that of a solder composed of lead, 2,
tin, 1, and bismuth, 2, to be in no danger of fusion during
the use of the latter.

Soft solders do not make malleable joints. To join brass,
copper or iron so as to have the joint very strong and mal-
leable, hard solder must be used. For this purpose equal
parts of silver and brass will be found excellent, though for
iron, copper, or very infusible brass nothing is better than
silver coin rolled out thin, which may be done by any silver-
smith or dentist. This makes decidedly the toughest of all

10 amateur's

joints, and as a little silver goes a long way, it is not very

For most hard solders borax is the best flux. It dissolves
any oxides which may exist on the surface of the metal and
protects the latter from the further action of the air, so that
the solder is enabled to come into actual contact with the
surfaces which are to be joined. For soft solders the best
flux is a soldering fluid which may be prepared by saturat-
ing equal parts of water and hydrochloric acid (spirit of salt)
with zinc. The addition of a little sal ammoniac is said to
improve it. In using ordinary tinner's solder, resin is the
best aud cheapest flux. It possesses this important advan-
tage over chloride of zinc, that it does not induce subsequent
corrosion of the article to which it is applied. When chlo-
rides have been applied to any thing that is liable to rust, it is
necessary to see that they are thoroughly washed off and the
articles carefully dried.

More minute directions may be found in the Young
Scientist, vol. I, page 56.


Two distinct processes have had this name applied to
them. The first consists in staining brass work a dark brown
or bronze color and lacquering it ; the second consists in par-
tially corroding the brass so as to give it that greenish hue
which is peculiar to ancient brass work. The first is gener-
ally applied to instruments and apparatus, the second to
articles of ornament.

Bronze for Brass Instruments. — 1. The cheapest and sim-
plest is undoubtedly a light coat of plumbago or black lead.
After brushing the article with plumbago place it on a clear
fire till it is made too hot to be touched. Apply a plate
brush as soon as it ceases to be hot enough to burn the brush.
A few strokes of the brush will produce a dark brown polish


approaching black, but entirely distinct from the well known
appearance of black lead. Lacquer with any desired tint.

2. Plate powder or rouge may be used instead of plum-
bago and gives very beautiful effects.

3. Make the articles bright, then dip in aqua fortis, which
must be thoroughly rinsed off with clean water. Then make
the following mixture : Hydrochloric acid, 6 lbs.; sulphate
of iron, ^ lb.; white arsenic, i lb. Be careful to get all the
ingredients pure. Let the articles lie in the mixture till
black, take out and dry in hot sawdust, polish with black
lead and lacquer with green lacquer.

Antique Bronze. — Dissolve loz. sal-ammoniac, 3oz. cream
tartar and 6oz. common salt in 1 pi^t of hot water; add
2oz. nitrate of copper dissolved in I pint of water ; mix well
and, by means of a brush, apply it repeatedly to the article,
which should be placed in a damp situation.

Browning Grim Barrels.

To obtain a handsomely browned barrel we must not only
use a first rate recipe but we must apply a good deal of skill
and no small amount of hard work. When barrels are im-
perfectly browned the fault lies more frequently in defective
work than in the use of a poor recipe.

The following are the directions given in the United
States Ordnance Manual, and it is to be presumed that these
are the directions that are followed in the government

Materials for Browning Mixture. — Spirits of wine, l^oz.;
tincture of steel, l^oz.; corrosive sublimate, ljoz.; sweet
spirits of nitre, \\oz.\ blue vitriol, loz.; nitric acid, foz. To
be mixed and dissolved in one quart of warm water, the
mixture to be kept in glass bottles and not in earthen jugs.

Previous to commencing the operation of browning it is
necessary that the barrel or other part should be made quite

12 amateub's

bright with emery or a fine smooth file (but not burnished),
after which it must be carefully cleaned from all greasiness ;
a small quantity of powdered lime rubbed well over every
part of the barrel, is the best for this purpose. Plugs of
wood are then to be put into the muzzle of the barrel and
into .the vent, and the mixture applied to every part with a
• clean sponge or rag. The barrel is then to be exposed to the
air for twenty-four hours, after which time it is to be well
rubbed over with a steel scratch-card or scratch-brush, until
the rust is entirely removed ; the mixture may then be ap-
plied again, as before, and in a few hours the barrel will be
sufficiently corroded for the operation of scratch-brushing to
be repeated. The same process of scratching off the rust
and applying the mixture is to be repeated twice or three

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryJohn PhinThe amateur's handbook of practical information for the workshop and the laboratory : containing clear and full directions for bronzing, lacquering, polishing metal, staining and polishing wood, soldering, brazing, working steel, tempering tools, case-hardening, cutting and working glass, varnishing → online text (page 1 of 6)