Old fashioned wood dyeing



The wood mostly used to dye black is pear-tree, holly, and beech, all of which take a beautiful black color. Do not use wood that has been long out, or aged, but let it be as fresh as possible. After the veneers have had 1 hour's boiling, and been taken out to cool, the color is always much stronger. When dyed, they should be dried in the air, and not by the fire, nor in a kiln of any kind, as artificial heat tends to destroy the color.

In order to dye blue, green, red or other colors take clear holly. Put the veneers into a box or trough, with clear water, and let them remain 4 or 5 days, changing the water once or twice as occasion may require. The water will clear the wood of slime, etc. Let them dry about 12 hours before they are put into the dye; by observing this the color will strike quicker, and be of a brighter hue.

_To Stain Oak a Mahogany Color._

Boil together Brazil-wood and alum, and before it is applied to the wood a little potash is to be added to it. A suitable varnish for wood, thus tinged, may be made by dissolving amber in oil of turpentine, mixed with a small portion of linseed oil.

Ebony-black.--Steep the wood for 2 or 3 days in lukewarm water, in which a little alum has been dissolved; then put a handful of logwood, cut small, into a pint of water, and boil it down to less than 1/2 a pint. If a little indigo is added, the color will be more beautiful. Spread a layer of this liquor quite hot on the wood with a pencil, which will give it a violet color. When it is dry, spread on another layer; dry it again, and give it a third, then boil verdigris at discretion in its own vinegar, and spread a layer of it on the wood; when it is dry rub it with a brush, and then with oiled chamois skin. This gives a fine black, and imitates perfectly the color of ebony.

_Another Method._

After forming the wood into the destined figure, rub it with aquafortis a little diluted. Small threads of wood will rise in the drying, which are to be rubbed off with pumice-stone. Repeat this prooess again, and then rub the wood with the following composition:--Put into a glazed earthen vessel 1 pint of strong vinegar, 2 oz. of fine iron filings, and 1/2 lb. of pounded galls, and allow them to infuse for 3 or 4 hours on hot cinders. At the end of this time augment the fire, and pour into the vessel 4 oz. of copperas (sulphate of iron), and a chopin of water having 1/2 oz. of borax and as much indigo dissolved in it, and make the whole boil till a froth rises. Rub several layers of this upon the wood; and, when it is dry, polish it with leather on which a little tripoli has been put.

Another.--Pour 2 qts. of boiling water over 1 oz. commercial extract of logwood, and when it is dissolved add 1 dr. of yellow chromate of potash, and stir well. This stain is cheap, keeps well, can be applied cold with a brush without any preparation.

_To Stain Beech-wood a Mahogany Color._

Break 2 oz. of dragon's blood in pieces, and put them into a qt. of rectified spirit of wine, let the bottle stand in a warm place, and shake it frequently. When dissolved it is fit for use.

_Another Method._

Boil 1 lb. of logwood in 4 qts. of water, and add a double handful of walnut-peeling. Boil it up again, take out the chips, add a pint of the best vinegar, and it will be fit for use.

_To Stain Musical Instruments._

Crimson.--Boil 1 lb. of ground Brazil-wood in 3 qts. of water for an hour; strain it, and add 1/2 an oz. of cochineal; boil it again for 1/2 an hour gently, and it will be fit for use.

Purple.--Boil 1 lb. of chip logwood in 3 qts. of water for an hour; then add 4 oz. of pearlash and 2 oz. of indigo pounded

_To Stain Box-wood Brown._

Hold the work to the fire, that it may receive a gentle warmth; then take aquafortis, and with a feather pass it over the work till it changes to a fine brown. Then oil and polish it.

_To Dye Wood a Silver Gray._

Let not the veneers be too dry; when put into the copper pour hot iron liquor (acetate of iron) over them and add 1 lb. of chip logwood with 2 oz. of bruised nut-galls. Then boil up another pot of iron liquor to supply the copper, keeping the veneers covered and boiling 2 hours a day, until thoroughly penetrated.

Bright yellow.--A very small bit of aloes put into the varnish will make the wood of a good yellow color.

_Another Method._

Reduce 4 lbs. of the roots of barberry, by sawing, into dust, which put in a copper or brass pan; add 4 oz. of turmeric, to which put 4 galls. of water, then put in as many holly veneers as the liquor will cover, boil them together for 3 hours after turning them. When cool add 2 oz. of aquafortis, and the dye will strike through much sooner.

Bright green.--Proceed as before to produce a yellow; but instead of aquafortis add as much of the vitriolated indigo as will produce the desired color.

_Another Method._

To 3 pts. of the strongest vinegar add 4 oz. of the best verdigris, ground fine, 1/2 oz. of sap-green and 1/2 oz. of indigo. Proceed in straining as before.

Bright red.--To 2 lbs. of genuine Brazil-dust add 4 galls. of water, put in as many veneers as the liquor will well cover, boil them for 3 hours, and let them cool; then add 2 oz. each of alum and aquafortis, and keep it lukewarm until it has struck through.

Purple.--To 2 lbs. of chip logwood and 1/2 lb. of Brazil-dust add 4 galls. of water. Put in the veneers, and boil them well; then add 6 oz. of pearlash and 2 oz. of alum; let them boil 2 or 3 hours every day, till the color has struck through.

Fine blue.--Into 1 lb. of oil of vitriol in a glass bottle put 4 oz. of indigo, and proceed as before directed.





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