John Phin.

The workshop companion. A collection of useful and reliable recipes, rules, processes, methods, wrinkles, and practical hints for the household and the shop online

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When taken out of the dye, they should be exposed to the
air to dry off the alcohol. They then require arranging or
rotting into form, as, when wet, the petals and fine filaments
have a tendency to cling together. A pink saucer, as sold
by most druggists, will supply enough rose dye for two
ordinary bouquets. The pink saucer yields the best rose dye
by washing it off with water and lemon juice. The aniline
dyes yield the best violet, mauve and purple colors.


The excellence of a gun depends very much upon the form
and finish of the interior of the barrels, and as the owner
may, if he chooses, work the inside of his gun over so as tc
improve it, we give a few directions.

Freeing. It has been found that a perfect cylindrical tuoe
is not the best form for a gun barrel. Guns shoot most
closely and strongly when the bore is very slightly enlarged
towards the muzzle. This enlargement is easily effected by
means of very fine emery paper wrapped aboutTa round r<3


and used with a little oil. The freeing may extend to about
one-third of the length of the barrel, and the gun should be
tested from time to time during the process, so as to get the
very best results. The testing is done by firing a standard
charge of powder and shot at a sheet of brown paper and
noting the number of pellets that are put into a circle of
given size, and also the force with which they are driven into
a board. For ordinary bird guns, a 30-inch circle at forty
yards, makes a good target.

To Keep Barrels from Rusting. One of the great difficulties
which the sportsman has to contend against is the rusting of
his barrels, even when protected by the best browning. The
alkaline matter existing in snow and in rain, under certain
conditions of the atmosphere, works through the best coat-
ings, and reaches the iron. Varnish, as ordinarily laid on,
is objectionable, as it gives a gun a "Brummagem" look.
The best plan is the following: Heat the barrels to the tem-
perature of boiling water (not any hotter, or you may injure
them), and rub them with the best copal varnish, giving them
a plentiful coating. Let them remain hot for half an hour,
and then wipe them clean with a soft rag. In this way you
can get enough of the varnish into the pores of the metal to
act as a preservative, and, at the same time, no one would
suspect that the barrels had ever been touched with varnish.
We have applied boiled oil, beeswax, paraffin, and some
other substances, in the same way, and obtained good results ;
but on the whole, we find nothing better than good copal

Browning Gun 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 imperfectly 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
Statos Ordnance Manual, is to be presumed that
these are the directions that are followed in the government

Materials for Browning Mixture. Spirits of wine, Ifc oz. ;
tincture of steel, l oz. ; corrosive sublimate, 1^ oz. ; sweet
spirits of nitre, l oz. ; blue vitriol, 1 oz. ; nitric acid, 2 oz.
To be mixed and dissolved in one "quart of warm water, the
tq 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
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, but in the case of
old work, which is very oily or greasy, or when the oil or
grease has become dried or gummed on the surface, the bar-
rels must be first washed with a strong solution of potash in
warm water. After this the lime may be applied. 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 times a
day for four or five days, by which time the barrel will be of
a very dark brown color.

When Jbhe barrel is sufficiently brown, and the rust has
been carefully removed from every part, about a quart of
boiling water should be poured over every part of the bar-
rel, in order that the action of the acid mixture upon the
barrel may be destroyed, and the rust thereby prevented
from rising again.

The barrel, when cold, should afterwards be rubbed over
with linseed oil or sperm oil. It is particularly directed that
the steel scratch-card or scratch-brush be used in the place
of a hard hair-brush, otherwise the browning will not be
durable nor have a good appearance.

If the work be handled with unclean or greasy hands, im-r
perfectly browned places will show where tlie hands have
touched the barrels.

Varnish for Browned Iron. Shellac, 1 oz. ; dragon's blood,
3-16ths of an oz. ; alcohol, 1 quart. ^

Very complete directions for browning gun-barrels m^j
be found in a little book called "Shooting on the Wing,"
which may be obtainect froin the publishers of this yoj-


Handles, To Fasten.

The handles of knives, forks, and similar articles, that
have come off' by being put in hot water, may be fastened on
in the following manner:

1. Take powdored resin and mix with it a small quantity
of powdered chalk, whiting or slaked lime. Fill the hole
in the handle with the mixture, heat the tang of the knife or
fork and thrust in. When cold it will be securely fastened.

2. Take one Ib. resin and 8 oz. sulphur, melt together,
form into bars, or when cold reduce to powder. One part of
the powder is to be mixed with half a part of iron filings,
brick dust or fine sand; fill the cavity of the handle with the
mixture and insert the tang, previously heated.

3. Brick dust and powdered resin, make a very good com-
position. It may be melted and poured into the handle, or
powdered and then put in, and the tang inserted warm.

4. Chopped hair, flax, hemp or tow, mixed with powdered
resin and applied as above.

5. One pound colophony, 8 oz. sulphur; melt, and when
cool reduce to powder. 'Mix with this some fine sand or
brick dust, and use as stated.

6. Take a portion of a quill, put it into the handle, warm
the tang and insert it into the quill in the handle, and press
it firmly. This is a simple method, and answers the purpose
required very well. ^


The varieties of writing-fluids that have been devised and
introduced are almost innumerable, but for practical pur-
poses the inks in common use may be divided into three
classes, viz: 1. Those which consist of a powder mechanic-
ally divided and suspended in water by means of mucilage.
2. Those which consist of chemical precipitates held in sus-
pension in the same way. 3. Those which consist of a true
solution of some coloring matter, such as aniline or carmine.
Of the first class, Indian or China ink is the great type. It
consists of carbon in the form of very fine lamp-black, ground
to a state of impalpable fineness in water, and mixed with
some pure form of gelatine. Its use is wholly restricted to
draughtsmen, who prefer it for several reasons. In. the first
place, it gives the and clearest black of any ink known;
it }.s unchangeable; and in the third place, it does


not corrode the fine and expensive steel instruments with
which it is used. A really good article of Indian ink is some-
what difficult to find. Much of the ink in market is gritty,
and instead of being a fine jet black, it is of a blueish-gray
color. Moreover, notwithstanding all the grinding that the
artist can give it, the particles are always coarse, and it does
not readily sink into the paper. With such ink it is difficult
to draw fine, clear, black lines, and utterly impossible to
produce a soft mellow tint in shading. It is probable that
the quality of the ink depends not only upon the materials
from which it is made, but upon the method pursued in its
manufacture, and in regard to both these points we are as yet
wholly in the dark. "When good Indian ink is wanted, there-
fore, the only method of securing it is to test carefully the
various samples, until vre get a good one, and then secure a
supply that will last indefinitely. Fortunately the last is not
a difficult thing to do, when we have found a sample that
suits us; for a single stick of Indian ink, if carefully used,
will last many years, even in the hands of a professional
draughtsman. Of late years ix liquid Indian ink has been in-
troduced, and has given good satisfaction, but it is scarce and
expensive. Since the ordinary Indian ink is made up with a
fine animal glue, instead of muciiuge made of vegetable gum,
it very soon decomposes when groand up with water. Henco
it can not be kept in bottles like ordinary ink, but must be
prepared fresh whenever it is needed. As an ink for ordinary
writing it is worthless, for the simple reason that it does not
flow well, though for purposes where an absolutely indelible
ink is needed as, for instance, in writing out deeds and
records nothing better can be obtained. When used for
this purpose, the addition of a very small quantity of caustic
alkali or, what is better yet, of 'ox-gall causes it to flow
freely and to sink deeply into the paper or other material
usev 1 " to receive it, provided the latter be not too heavily
sized. When properly applied, neither heat, moisture, acids,
alkalies, nor chemicals of any kind, affect it; and it might
therefore be properly used to write those records which are
placed under the corner-stones of important buildings, and
which are expected to endure for an indefinite period.

The second class of inks comprises all those black inks and
writing fluids that are commonly employed for commercial
correspondence and records. TTlie different formula? for $10.


preparation of ink that have been published, would fill a
good sized volume; but most of the inks and writing fluids in
market consist of a precipitate of gallate or tannate of iron,
held in suspension by means of mucilage. Since iron may
be used in either one of two distinct conditions when it is
employed for the manufacture of ink, it follows that two dis-
tinct kinds of ink may be made from it. In one of these the
iron is fully oxidated, and the ink is of a deep jet black. The
precipitate of iron which exists in such ink seems to assume
a coarse and heavy form, with a strong tendency to sink to
the bottom of the containing vessel. It therefore requires a
large proportion of mucilage to keep the coloring matter in
suspension. The advantage which it possesses, is, that the
ink is, from the very first, of a deep black ; but on the other
hand, the objections are quite as important, anJ consist in
the fact that it can not be made to flow freely, and that it
does not sink well into the paper, and is consequently easily
removed. On the other hand, ink made with salts in which
the iron exists as protoxide, is always pale at first, but after-
wards assumes a dark hue; it flows freely and sinks well into
the fibre, so that it is difficult to remove marks made by it.
This character it is apt to lose, however, when exposed to
the air, as we shall note when speaking of the preservation of

In some cases a compromise is made, and the ink is pre-
pared from materials, part of which only are in a state of
complete oxidation. An attempt is thus made to secure an.
ink, which, while black from the first, will flow freely and.
sink well into the paper, and some very good inks are thus,

Most of the inks known as violet, mauve, blue, red, car-,
mine, etc., consist of true chemical solutions, generally
nowadays of aniline, though the finest red ink is still made,
from carmine dissolved in ammonia. From the fact that,
there is no solid material to be kept in supension, these inks,
do not require mucilage in their composition provided they
are used on paper that has a good deal of size in it; they con-,
^equently flow freely, do not leave a heavy streak of liquid
behind the pen, and the streak that they do leave sinks
almost instantly intp the paper and disappears. In using
them, no blotter is required; and they are, therefore, great
favorites with authors and those persons who pay less


to the color of their writing than to the ease with which the
work is done, and the clearness and tinblotted appearance
which it presents. But from the fact that no really good
black ink of this class has yet been produced, they have not
come into general use amongst book-keepers and commercial
men, and it must be acknowledged that on the whole a good
black ink gives a better appearance to a set of books than ink
of any other color. '

Ink used for copying letters by means of the press, requires
to be thicker than that used for ordinary writing, and there-
fore it is less pleasant to use; but the great advantage which
attends the mechanical process of copying letters will always
keep up the demand for it.

Such being the peculiar character of the inks in common
use, it may be well to say a few words concerning the best
methods of preserving them in good condition. The great
enemies of all inks are evaporation, dust, and decomposition,
and, in the case of iron inks, oxidation. The first difficulty
can only be avoided by keeping the ink from exposure to the
air, and this is best effected by adopting an inkstand in which
the ink exposes a very small surface to the air. Many of
the inkstands in use are made large at the base, for the pur-
pose of rendering them difficult to overturn. In such stands
the ink is spread out in a thin, wide layer, and not only
evaporates rapidly, but where ordinary black ink is used, the
iron oxidates, and the ink consequently deteriorates. A very
common practice on the part of those who use ink, is to leave
the mouth of the stand uncovered, in which case the ink
becomes in a short time reduced to mud. All these diffi-
culties may be in a measure avoided by using a heavy stand,
having a small well or ink-holder, which should be kept well
covered when not in use, and ought to be frequently cleaned,
the old ink being thrown away. The supply of ink should
be kept in a bottle, securely corked, and when the stand is
filled, the new ink ought never to be poured into the old, as
is generally done. Throw the old ink away; wash out tlio
stand carefully, and fill it up with new fluid, and then you
can enjoy the luxury of writing with ink that flows freely,
and does not take half a minute to moisten the paper at each
stroke that you attempt to make. To keep ink in good
order, the stand should be washed out every two or three
weeks. *


Many inks, especially those made with iron and galls, a6
liable to mould and decompose. The formation of mould
may, to a certain extent, be prevented by the use of creosote,
carbolic acid, or cloves, and most of the better class of inks
in market are prepared so as to resist this evil.

In the recipes generally given for making ink, it is reconl-
mended to bail the ingredients. A much better plan is to
powder the galls and macerate them in cold water. By this
latter process, more time is of course necessary to make it;
but then the ink is very superior, and entirely free from
extractive matter which has no inky quality, and which
only tends to clog the pen and to turn the 'ink ropy and

Black Ink. 1. In 1 gallon of water macerate 1 Ib. of finely
powdered Aleppo galls for two weeks, and strain off the
liquid. Dissolve 5 oz. sulphate of iron and 5 oz. gum arabic
in as little water as is necessary, and mix the two liquids with
constant stirring. Keep in a tall bottle, allow it to settle for
some days, and it will be ready for use.

2. Take gall nuts, broken, one pound; sulphate of iron,
half a pound ; gum acacia and sugar candy, of each, a quarter
of a pound; water, three quarts. Place the whole of these
ingredients in a vessel where they can be agitated once a
day; after standing for a fortnight or three weeks the ink is
ready for use. Logwood and similar materials, are often
advised to be used in conjunction with the gall nuts, but
they serve no good purpose unless it be to make a cheaper
article which fades rapidly.

3. It is said that the juice of eideiv ernes to which sul-
phate of iron has been added, makes a good ink. The best
formula is said to be 12 pints juice and oz. each sulphate
of iron and crude pyroligneous acid.

jRunge's Black Ink. 1. The original recipe of the inventor
is as follows: Digest i Ib. logwood in chips for 12 hours in 3
pints boiling water. Simmer down gently to 1 quart, filter
and add 20 grains yellow chromate of potassa.

2. The following modification of the above is more easily
prepared: Dissolve 16 parts of extract of logwood in 1,000
parts of water, and add 1 part of neutral potassium chromate
(yellow chromate of potassa).

Blue Ink. Take 6 drachms pure Prussian blue and 1
drachm oxalic acid. Grind in a mortar with a little water


Until they form a perfectly smooth paste. Dissolve a suf-
ficient quantity of this paste in water to give the proper tint.

Carmine Ink, French Process. Take 22 grammes (4 grains)
of the best carmine, add to it sixty -five grammes (2 ounces)
of caustic ammonia, add one gramme (15 ^ grains) of white
gum arabic. Leave the mixture until the gum is entirely
dissolved. This ink is undoubtedly dearer than that pre-
pared in the ordinary way, but it is incomparably more
beautiful and more durable, for experience has proved tfe^.t
letters written with this ink, have for forty years been pre-
served without the slightest alteration.

Red Ink. Boil Ib. of Brazil wood, oz. of gum, oz.
of sugar, and \ oz. of alum in a sufficient quantity of vinegar.

Aniline Inks. The following formulae for aniline inks are
from recent authorities, and are said to give superior results :

Alcoholic Solutions. 1. General Formula: Dissolve 15
parts of aniline color in 150 parts of strong alcohol in a ves-
sel of glass or enamelled iron for three hours; then add 1,000
parts distilled water; heat gently for some hours, in fact,
till the odor of the alcohol has quite disappeared; then add
a solution consisting of GO parts of powdered gum arabic in
250 parts of water.

2. Special Formula for Violet: Digest oz. aniline violet
in 1 oz. alcohol in a suitable vessel, as above, for three hours;
then add 1 qt. of distilled water, and heat gently till odor of
spirit is dissipated. Then add 2 drachms gum arabic dis-
solved in pt. water, and allow the whole to settle. This
will bear dilution, if desired, with an additional quantity of
distilled water.

3. Special Formula for Blue: Dissolve 15 grains aniline
blue in 1 oz. alcohol, and add 6 oz. in distilled water. Boil
in proper vessel, as above, until odor of alcohol has dis-
appeared. Then add 3 drachms powdered gum arabic dis-
solved in 4 oz. distilled water. Finally filter. It will be
perceived that there is considerable difference in the above
special formulae, but there can be no harm in making it too
strong, as it is no difficult matter to dilute with distilled
water to taste.

Aqueous Solutions. 1. Magenta, 1 oz. to the gallon of
boiling distilled water. 2. Violet: oz. to a gallou difcto.
3. Blue: 1 o& t& ty pts. ditto. 4. Green: 1 oz. to 5 pts.


The addition of a small quantity of vinegar will consider-
ably improve the color of blue aniline fluid. These aqueous
solutions are very enduring, though not exactly permanent,
as they give way to long-continued exposure to sunlight.
They are very limpid, dry quickly, and never clog. They
should of course be filtered.

Gold Ink. Grind gold-leaf with honey in a mortar until ic
is reduced to a fine powder. Wash out the honey with hot
water and add mucilage of gum arabic. A cheap article may
be made by using yellow bronze powder.

Silver Ink. Prepared in the same way as gold ink, using
silver leaf or silver bronze powder.

Marking Ink for Linen. Dissolve oz. nitrate of silver in
1 oz. water and add strong liquid ammonia antil the precipi-
tate which is at first formed is redissolved. Add l drachms
gum mucilage and enough coloring ina er to render the
writing clearly visible. The writing is r a,de black and in-
delible by passing a hot iron over it. Keep in the dark.

IndeUtf ' Aniline Ink. Triturate Ij grammes of aniline-
black with 60 drops of strong hydrochloric acid and 42 or 43
grammes strongest alcohol; then add to it a hot solution of
2-J grammes gum arabic in 170 grammes of water.

This ink attacks steel pens but little. It is not destroyed
either by strong mineral acids or by strong lye.

If the first alcoholic solution of aniline black be diluted
with a solution of 2 grammes of shellac in 140 grammes of
alcohol (instead of gum arabic in 170 grammes of water) an
ink is produced which may be employed for writing on wood,
brass or leather, and which is remarkable for its deep black

Indelible Indian Ink. Draughtsmen are well aware of the
fact that lines drawn on paper with good India ink which
has been well prepared, can not be washed out by mere
sponging or washing with a brush. Now, however, it is
proposed to take advantage of the fact that glue or gelatine,
when mixed with bichromate of potassa, and exposed to the
light, becomes insoluble, and thus renders India ink, which
always contains a little gelatine, indelible. Keisenbichler,
the discoverer, calls this kind of ink "Harttusch," or "hard
India ink ;" it is made by adding to the common article, when
making, about one per cent., in a very fine powder, of
bichromate of potash This must be mixed with the ink in


a dry state; otherwise, it is said, the ink could not be ground
up easily in water. Those who can not provide themselves
with ink prepared as above in the cake, can use a dilute
solution of bichromate of potash in rubbing up the ink; it
answers the same purpose, though the ink should be used
thick, so that the yellow salt will not spread.

Indestructible Ink.. An ink that can not be erased with
acids is obtained by the following recipe: To good gall ink
add a strong solution of fine soluble Prussian blue in dis-
tilled water. This addition makes the ink, which was pre-
viously proof against alkalies, equally proof against acids,
and forms a writing fluid which cannot be erased without
destroying the paper. The ink writes greenish blue, but
afterwards turns black.

Ink that will not Freeze. It is said that a mixture of equal
parts of concentrated glycerine, alcohol and water, deeply
colored with aniline black, does not freeze in the coldest
weather, flows freely from the pen, and does not spread.
Our only fear would be that such ink would not dry thor-

Sympathetic Ink or Secret Ink. Write with thin solution of
starch, and let the correspondent wash with solution of
iodine. ^

2. Write with milk, onion juice or lemon juice, and let
the correspondent expose to heat.

3. Write with solution of tartar emetic and wash with any
alkaline sulphuret.

4. Brown. On dissolving 1 part of potassium bromide,
and 1 part of copper sulphate in 20 parts of water, and
writing with the solution on paper, veiy careful heating will
turn the writing brown.

5. Yellowish-green. Writing done with a solution of 2
parts of potassium chromate, 2 of nitric acid, 2 of sodium
chloride in 40 parts of water, turns yellowish-green on gentle

G. Blue. A solution of equal parts of sodium chloride
and cobalt chloride in 20 times the amount of water pro-
duces lines which turn blue on gentle warming.

Letters may be written on postal cards with these inks,
and will remain invisible until washed with the appropriate
solution or exposed to heat. To prevent the letters from
being seen by close scrutiny the solutions should be very

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Online LibraryJohn PhinThe workshop companion. A collection of useful and reliable recipes, rules, processes, methods, wrinkles, and practical hints for the household and the shop → online text (page 6 of 16)