University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes

Cabinet work for home workers and students who wish to learn the fundamental principles of construction,   pp. 169-184

Page 176

been kiln-dried.  Where any sap wood has
been left on, that part will be found unaffect-
ed by the fumes.   There is apt also to be a
slight difference in tone when the piece is not
all made from the same log, because some
trees contain more tannic acid than others.
To meet these conditions it is necessary to
make a ³touch-up² to even the color.   This is
done by mixing a brown aniline dye (that will
dissolve in alcohol) with German lacquer, com-
monly known as ³banana liquid.²      The mix-
ture may be thinned with wood alcohol to
the right consistency before using.  In touch-
ing up the lighter portions of the wood the
stain may be smoothly blended with the dark-
er tint of the perfectly fumed parts, by rub-
bing along the line where they join with a piece
of soft dry cheese-cloth, closely following the
brush.   If the stain should dry too fast and
the color is left uneven, dampen the cloth
very    slightly
with alcohol.
After    fuming,
sandpapering      and
touching up a piece of
furniture, apply a coat
of lacquer,  made   of
one-third white shellac
and two-thirds German
lacquer.  If the fum-
ing process has result-
ed in   a  shade  dark
enough to be satisfac-
tory, this lacquer may
be applied   clear; if
not, it may be dark-
               ened by the addition of a
               small  quantity of the stain
        used in touching up.   Care must be
        taken, however, to carry on the color
        so lightly that it will not grow muddy
        under the brush of an inexperienced
        worker.   The danger of this makes
        it often more advisable to apply two
        coats of lacquer, each containing a
        very little color.  If this is done,
        sandpaper each coat with very fine
        sandpaper after it is thoroughly dried
        and then apply one or more coats
        of prepared floor wax. These direc-
        tions, if carefully followed, should
        give the same effects that character-
        ize the Craftsman furniture.
          Sometimes a home cabinetworker
        does not find it practicable or desir-
        able to fume the oak.     In such a
case there are a number of good stains on
the market that could be used on oak as
well as on other woods.
 Oak and chestnut alone are susceptible to
the action of ammonia fumes, but in other
ways the oak, chestnut, ash and elm come
into one class as regards treatment, for the
reason that they all have a strong, well-de-
fined grain and are so alike in nature that
they are affected in much the same way by
the same method of finishing.  For any one
of these woods a water stain should never
be used, as it raises the grain to such an
extent that in sandpapering to make it smooth
again, the color is sanded off with the grain,
leaving an unevenly stained and very un-
pleasant  surface.   The   most   satisfactory
method we know, especially for workers who
have had but little experience, is to use a
small amount of color carried on in very thin

Go up to Top of Page