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310. Example Contents.

For instance, there should be an axe, a hatchet, a saw (a large wood
saw also, with a buck or stand, if wood is burned), a hammer, a
tack-hammer, a mallet, three or four gimlets and bradawls of different
sizes, two screw-drivers, a chisel, a small plane, one or two
jack-knives, a pair of large scissors or shears, and a carpet fork or

311. Nails.

Also an assortment of nails of various sizes, from large spikes down
to small tacks, not forgetting some large and small brass-headed nails.

312. Screws.

An assortment of screws, likewise, will be found very convenient, and
iron hooks of different sizes on which to hang things.

313. Container.

The nails and screws should be kept in a wooden box, made with
divisions to separate the various sorts and sizes, for it is very
troublesome to have them mixed.

314. Maintain Supply.

And let care be taken to keep up the supply, lest it should run out
unexpectedly, and the deficiency cause delay and inconvenience at a
time when some are wanted.

315. Tool Closet.

It is well to have somewhere, in the lower part of the house, a roomy
light closet, appropriated entirely to tools, and things of equal
utility, for executing promptly such little repairs as may be required
from time to time, without the delay or expense of procuring an
artisan. This closet should have at least one large shelf, and that
about three feet from the floor.

316. Drawer.

Beneath this shelf may be a deep drawer, divided into two
compartments. This drawer may contain cakes of glue, pieces of chalk,
and balls of twine of different size and quality.

317. Shelves.

There may be shelves at the sides of the closet for glue-pots,
paste-pots and brushes, pots for black, white, green, and red paint,
cans of oil and varnish, paint-brushes, &c.

318. Hanging Tools.

Against the wall, above the large shelf, let the tools be suspended,
or laid across nails or hooks of proper size to support them.

319. More Effective.

This is much better than keeping them in a box, where they may be
injured by rubbing sgainst each other, and the hand may be hurt in
feeling among them to find the thing that is wanted.

320. Visible.

But when hung up against the back wall of the closet, of course each
tool can be seen at a glance.

321. Organization.

There is an excellent and simple contrivance for designating the exact
places allotted to all these articles in a very complete tool closet.

322. Outlined Tools.

On the closet wall, directly under the large nails that support the
tools, is drawn with a small brush dipped in black paint or ink, a
representation in outline of the tool or instrument belonging to that
particular place.


323. Examples of Outlining.

For instance, under each saw is sketched the outline of that saw,
under each gimlet a sketch of that gimlet, under the screw-drivers are
slight drawings of screw-drivers.

324. Place Shown.

So that when any tool that has been taken away for use is brought back
to the closet, the exact spot to which it belongs can be found in a
moment; and the confusion which is occasioned in putting tools away in
a box and looking for them again when they are wanted, is thus

325. Wrapping Paper.

Wrapping paper may be piled on the floor under the large shelf. It
can be bought at a low price by the ream, at the large paper
warehouses; and every house should keep a supply of it in several
varieties. For instance, coarse brown paper for common purposes, which
is strong, thick, and in large sheets, is useful for packing heavy
articles; and equally so for keeping silks, ribbons, blondes, &c., as
it preserves their colours.

326. Printed Papers.

Printed papers are unfit for wrapping anything, as the printing ink
rubs off on the articles enclosed in them, and also soils the gloves
of the person that carries the parcel.

327. Waste Newspapers.

Waste newspapers had best be used for lighting fires and singeing
poultry. If you have accumulated more than you can use, your butcher
or grocer will generally buy them of you if they are clean.

328. Waste Paper.

Waste paper that has been written on, cut into slips, and creased and
folded, makes very good allumettes or lamp-lighters. These matters may
appear of trifling importance, but order and regularity are necessary
to happiness.

329. Beds for the Poor.

Beech-tree leaves are recommended for filling the beds of poor
persons. They should be gathered on a dry day in the autumn, and
perfectly dried. It is said that the smell of them is pleasant and
that they will not harbour vermin. They are also very springy.

330. To Preserve Tables.

A piece of oilcloth (about twenty inches long) is a useful appendage
to a common sitting-room. Kept in the closet, it can be available at
any time, in order to place upon it jars, lamps, &c., whose contents
are likely to soil your table during the process of emptying or
filling them. A wing and duster are harmonious accompaniments to the

331. Protecting Gilt Frames.

Gilt frames may be protected from flies and dust by pinning tarlatan
over them. Tarlatan fit for the purpose may be purchased at the
draper's. It is an excellent material for keeping dust from books,
vases, wool work, and every description of household ornament.

332. Damp Walls.

The following method is recommended to prevent the effect of damp
walls on paper in rooms: - Line the damp part of the wall with sheet
lead, rolled very thin, and fastened up with small copper nails. It
may be immediately covered with paper. The lead is not to be thicker
than that which is used to line tea-chests.

333. Another Method.

Another mode of preventing the ill effects of damp in walls on
wall-paper, is to cover the damp part with a varnish formed of naphtha
and shellac, in the proportion of 1/4lb. of the latter to a quart of
the former. The smell of the mixture is unpleasant, but it wears off
in a short time, and the wall is covered with a hard coating utterly
impervious to damp, and to which the wall paper can be attached in the
usual way.

334. No Wet Scouring In Winter.

Bedrooms should not be scoured in the winter time, as colds and
sickness may be produced thereby. Dry scouring upon the French plan,
which consists of scrubbing the floors with dry brushes, may be
resorted to, and will be found more effective than can at first be
imagined. If a bedroom is wet scoured, a dry day should be chosen - the
windows should be opened, the linen removed, and a fire should be lit
when the operation is finished.


335. To Get Rid of a Bad Smell in a Room Newly Painted.

Place a vessel full of lighted charcoal in the middle of the room, and
throw on it two or three handfuls of juniper berries, shut the
windows, the chimney, and the door close; twenty-four hours
afterwards, the room may be opened, when it will be found that the
sickly, unwholesome smell will be entirely gone. The smoke of the
juniper berry possesses this advantage, that should anything be left
in the room, such as; tapestry, &c., none of it will be spoiled.

336. Smell of Paint.

To get rid of the smell of oil paint, let a pailful of water stand in
the room newly painted.

337. Airing a Larder.

If a larder, by its position, will not admit of opposite windows, a
current of air should be admitted by means of a flue from the outside.

338. Keeping a Door Open.

To keep a door open, place a brick covered neatly with a piece of
carpeting against it, when opened sufficiently.

339. To Ascertain whether a Bed be Aired.

Introduce a drinking glass between the sheets for a minute or two,
just when the warming-pan is taken out; if the bed be dry, there will
only be a slight cloudy appearance on the glass, but if not, the damp
of the bed will collect in and on the glass and assume the form of
drops - a warning of danger.

340. To prevent the Smoking of a Lamp.

Soak the wick in strong vinegar, and dry it well before you use it;
the flame will then burn clear and bright.

341. Encrusted Tea-Kettles.

Water of every kind, except rain water, will speedily cover the inside
of a tea-kettle with an unpleasant crust; this may easily be guarded
against by placing a clean oyster-shell or a piece of stone or marble
in the tea-kettle. The shell or stone will always keep the interior of
the kettle in good order, by attracting the particles of earth or of

342. To Soften Hard Water.

or purify river water, simply boil it, and then leave it exposed to
the atmosphere.

343. Cabbage Water

should be thrown away immediately it is done with, and the vessel
rinsed with clean water, or it will cause unpleasant smells.

344. Disinfectants.

A little charcoal mixed with clear water thrown into a sink will
disinfect and deodorize it. Chloride of lime and carbolic acid
considerably diluted, if applied in a liquid form, are good
disinfectants, and carbolic powder - a pink powder with a smell
resembling tar, and sold at about 2d. per lb. - is both useful and
effective. The air of a bedroom may be pleasantly sweetened by
throwing some ground coffee on a fire shovel previously heated.

345. Chimney Smoking.

Where a chimney smokes only when a fire is first lighted, it may be
guarded against by allowing the fire to kindle gradually, or by
heating the chimney by burning straw or paper in the grate previous to
laying in the fire.

346. Ground Glass.

The frosted appearance of ground glass may be very nearly imitated by
gently dabbing the glass over with a paint brush dipped in white paint
or any other oil colour. The paint should be thin, and but very little
colour taken up at one time on the end of the bristles. When applied
with a light and even touch the resemblance is considerable.

347. Oiling Clocks.

Family clocks ought only to be oiled with the very purest oil,
purified by a quart of lime water to a gallon of oil, in which it has
been well shaken, and suffered to stand for three or four days, when
it may be drawn off.

348. Neat Mode of Soldering.

Cut out a piece of tinfoil the size of the surfaces to be soldered.
Then dip a feather in a solution of sal ammoniac, and wet over the
surfaces of the metal, then place them in their proper position with
the tinfoil between. Put the metals thus arranged on a piece of iron
hot enough to melt the foil. When cold the surfaces will be found
firmly soldered together.


349. Maps and Charts.

Maps, charts, or engravings may be effectually varnished by brushing a
very delicate coating of gutta-percha solution over their surface. It
is perfectly transparent, and is said to improve the appearance of
pictures. By coating both sides of important documents they can be
kept waterproof and preserved perfectly.

350. Temperature of Furniture.

Furniture made in the winter, and brought from a cold warehouse into a
warm apartment, is very liable to crack.

351. Paper Fire-Screens

should be sized and coated with transparent varnish, otherwise they
will soon become soiled and discoloured.

352. Pastilles for Burning.

Cascarilla bark, eight drachms; gum benzoin, four drachms; yellow
sanders, two drachms; styrax, two drachms; olibanum, two drachms;
charcoal, six ounces; nitre, one drachm and a half; mucilage of
tragacanth, sufficient quantity. Reduce the substances to a powder,
and form into a paste with the mucilage, and divide into small cones;
then put them into an oven, used quite dry.

353. Breaking Glass.

Easy method of breaking glass to any required Figure. - Make a small
notch by means of a file on the edge of a piece of glass, then make
the end of a tobacco-pipe, or of a rod of iron of the same size, red
hot in the fire, apply the hot iron to the notch, and draw it slowly
along the surface of the glass in any direction you please: a crack
will follow the direction of the iron.

354. Bottling and Fining.

Corks should be sound, clean, and sweet. Beer and porter should be
allowed to stand in the bottles a day or two before being corked. If
for speedy use, wiring is not necessary. Laying the bottles on their
sides will assist the ripening for use. Those that are to be kept
should be wired, and put to stand upright in sawdust. Wines should be
bottled in spring. If not fine enough, draw off a jugful and dissolve
isinglass in it, in the proportion of half an ounce to ten gallons,
and then pour back through the bung-hole. Let it stand a few weeks.
Tap the cask above the lees. When the isinglass is put into the cask,
stir it round with a stick, taking great care not to touch the lees at
the bottom. For white wine only, mix with the isinglass a quarter of a
pint of milk to each gallon of wine, some whites of eggs, beaten with
some of the wine. One white of an egg to four gallons makes a good

355. To Sweeten Casks.

Mix half a pint of vitriol with a quart of water, pour it into the
barrel, and roll it about; next day add one pound of chalk, and roll
again. Bung down for three or four days, then rinse well with hot

356. Wrinkly Paintings.

Oil paintings hung over the mantel-piece are liable to wrinkle with
the heat.

357. To Loosen Glass Stoppers of Bottles.

With a feather rub a drop or two of salad oil round the stopper, close
to the mouth of the bottle or decanter, which must then be placed
before the fire, at the distance of about eighteen inches; the heat
will cause the oil to insinuate itself between the stopper and the
neck. When the bottle has grown warm, gently strike the stopper on
one side, and then on the other, with any light wooden instrument;
then try it with the hand: if it will not yet move, place it again
before the fire, adding another drop of oil. After a while strike
again as before; and, by persevering in this process, however tightly
it may be fastened in, you will at length succeed in loosening it.

358. The Best Oil for Lamps,

whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, is that which is clear and
nearly colourless, like water.

359. China or Wedgwood Teapots.

China teapots are the safest, and, in many respects, the most
pleasant. Wedgwood ware is very apt, after a time, to acquire a
disagreeable taste.


360. Care of Linen.

When linen is well dried and laid by for use, nothing more is
necessary than to secure it from damp and insects. It may he kept free
from the latter by a judicious mixture of aromatic shrubs and flowers,
cut up and sewed in silken bags, which must be interspersed among the
drawers and shelves. The ingredients used may consist of lavender,
thyme, roses, cedar shavings, powdered sassafras, cassia, &c., into
which a few drops of otto of roses, or other strong-scented perfume
may be thrown.

361. Repairing Linen.

In all cases it will he found more consistent with economy to examine
and repair all washable articles, more especially linen, that may
stand in need of it, previous to sending them to the laundry. It will
also be prudent to have every article carefully numbered, and so
arranged, after washing, as to have their regular turn and term in
domestic use.

362. Mending.

When you make a new article always save the pieces until "mending
day," which may come sooner than expected. It will be well even to buy
a little extra quantity for repairs. Read over repeatedly the
"DOMESTIC HINTS" (_pars_. 1783-1807). These numerous paragraphs
contain most valuable suggestions, that will be constantly useful if
well remembered. They should be read frequently that their full value
may be secured. Let your servants also read them, for nothing more
conduces to good housekeeping than for the servant to understand the
"system" which her mistress approves of.

363. Cleansing of Furniture.

The cleaning of furniture forms an important part of domestic economy,
not only in regard to neatness, but also in point of expense.

364. Method of Cleansing.

The readiest mode indeed consists in good manual rubbing, or the
application of a little elbow-grease, as it is whimsically termed; but
our finest cabinet work requires something more, where brilliancy of
polish is of importance.

365. Italian Varnish.

The Italian Cabinet-Work in this respect excels that of any other
country. The workmen first saturate the surface with olive oil, and
then apply a solution of gum arabic dissolved in boiling alcohol.
This mode of varnishing is equally brilliant, if not superior, to that
employed by the French in their most elaborate works.

366. Another Method.

But another Mode may be substituted, which has less the appearance of
a hard varnish, and may always be applied so as to restore the
pristine beauty of the furniture by a little manual labour. Heat a
gallon of water, in which dissolve one pound and a half of potash; and
a pound of virgin wax, boiling the whole for half an hour, then suffer
it to cool, when the wax will float on the surface. Put the wax into a
mortar, and triturate it with a marble pestle, adding soft water to it
until it forms a soft paste, which, laid neatly on furniture, or even
on paintings, and carefully rubbed when dry with a woollen rag, gives
a polish of great brilliancy, without the harshness of the drier

367. Marble Chimney-Pieces.

Marble chimney-pieces may also be rubbed with it, after cleaning the
marble with diluted muriatic acid, or warm soap and vinegar; but the
iron or brass work connected with them requires other processes.

368. Polished Iron Work

may be preserved from rust by an inexpensive mixture, consisting of
copal varnish intimately mixed with as much olive oil as will giye it
a degree of greasiness, adding thereto nearly as much spirit of
turpentine as of varnish.

369. Cast Iron Work

is best preserved by the common method of rubbing with black-lead.

370. Rust.

If rust has made its appearance on grates or fire-irons, apply a
mixture of two parts of tripoli to one of sulphur, intimately mingled
on a marble slab, and laid on with a piece of soft leather. Or emery
and oil may be applied with excellent effect; not laid on in the usual
slovenly way, but with a spongy piece of fig wood fully saturated with
the mixture. This will not only clean but impart a polish to the metal
as well.

371. Brass.

Brass Ornaments, when not gilt or lacquered, may be cleaned in the
same way, and a fine colour given to them, by two simple processes.

372. First Brass Process.

The first is to beat sal ammoniac into a fine powder, then to moisten
it with soft water, rubbing it on the ornaments, which must be heated
over charcoal, and rubbed dry with bran and whiting.

373. Second Brass Process.

The second is to wash the brasswork with roche alum boiled in strong
ley, in proportion of an ounce to a pint; when dry, rub it with fine
tripoli. Either of these processes will give to brass the brilliancy
of gold.

374. Carpets.

If the corner of a carpet becomes loose and prevents the door opening,
or trips every one up that enters the room, nail it down at once. A
dog's-eared carpet marks the sloven as well as the dog's-eared book.
An English gentleman, travelling some years ago in Ireland, took a
hammer and tacks with him, because he found dog's-eared carpets at all
the inns where he rested. At one of these inns he tacked down the
carpet, which, as usual, was loose near the door, and soon afterwards
rang for his dinner. While the carpet was loose the door could not be
opened without a hard push; so when the waiter came up, he just
unlatched the door, and then going back a couple of yards, he rushed
against it, as his habit was, with a sudden spring, to force it open.
But the wrinkles of the carpet were no longer there to stop it, and
not meeting with the expected resistance, the unfortunate waiter fell
full length into the room. It had never entered his head that so much
trouble might be saved by means of a hammer and half a dozen tacks,
until his fall taught him that makeshift is a very unprofitable kind
of shift. There are a good many houses in England where a similar
practical lesson might be of service.

375. Cleaning Carpets.

Take a pail of cold water, and add to it three gills of ox-gall. Rub
it into the carpet with a soft brush. It will raise a lather, which
must be washed off with clear cold water. Rub dry with a clean cloth.
Before nailing down a carpet after the floor has been washed, be
certain that the floor is quite dry, or the nails will rust and injure
the carpet. Fuller's earth is used for cleaning carpets, and weak
solutions of alum or soda are used for reviving the colours. The crumb
of a hot wheaten loaf rubbed over a carpet has been found effective.

376. Carpet-Beating.

Beat a carpet on the wrong side first; and then more gently on the
right side. Beware of using sticks with sharp points, which may tear
the carpet.

377. Sweeping Carpets.

Persons who are accustomed to use tea-leaves for sweeping their
carpets, and find that they leave stains, will do well to employ fresh
cut grass instead. It is better than tea-leaves for preventing dust,
and gives the carpets a very bright, fresh look.

378. Making a Carpet Last Longer.

A half-worn carpet may be made to last longer by ripping it apart, and
transposing the breadths.

379. Sweeping a Stair-Carpet.

A stair carpet should never be swept down with a long broom, but
always with a short-handled brush, a dust-pan being held closely under
each step of the stairs during the operation of sweeping.

380. Cleaning Oilcloth.

Oilcloth should never be scrubbed with a brush, but, after being first
swept, it should be cleansed by washing with a large soft cloth and
lukewarm or cold water. On no account use soap or hot water, as either
will injure the paint, and in time remove it.

381. Cleaning Straw Matting.

Straw matting may be cleaned with a large coarse cloth dipped in salt
and water, and then wiped dry. The salt prevents the matting from
turning yellow.


382. Method of Cleaning Paper-Hangings.

Cut into eight half quarters a quartern loaf, two days old; it must be
neither newer nor staler. With one of these pieces, after having blown
off all the dust from the paper to be cleaned, by the means of a good
pair of bellows, begin at the top of the room, and, holding the crust
in the hand, wipe lightly downward with the crumb, about half a yard
at each stroke, till the upper part of the hangings is completely
cleaned all round. Then go round again, with the like sweeping stroke
downwards, always commencing each successive course a little higher
than the upper stroke had extended, till the bottom be finished. This
operation, if carefully performed, will frequently make very old paper
look almost equal to new. Great care must be taken not to rub the
paper hard, nor to attempt cleaning it the cross or horizontal way.
The surface of the bread, too, must be always cut away as soon as it
becomes dirty, and the pieces renewed as often as may be necessary.

383. Cleaning Rosewood Furniture.

Rosewood furniture should be rubbed gently every day with a clean soft
cloth to keep it in order.

384. Cleaning Ottomans and Sofas.

Ottomans and sofas, covered with cloth, damask, or chintz, will look
better for being cleaned occasionally with bran and flannel.

385. Polishing Dining-Tables.

Dining tables may be polished by rubbing them for some time with a
soft cloth and a little linseed oil.

386. Mahogany.

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