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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 177

shellac.  If the commercial cut
shellac is used it should be re-
duced with alcohol in the pro-
portion of one part of shellac
to three of alcohol.  This is be-
cause shellac, as it is ordinarily
cut for commercial purposes, is
mixed in the proportion of four
pounds to a gallon of alcohol,
so that in order to make it thin
enough it is necessary to add
sufficient alcohol to obtain a
mixture of one pound of shellac
to  a   gallon of    alcohol. If
the worker does his own cut-
ting he will naturally use the
proportion   last   mentioned,<
one pound of shellac to a gallon of alcohol.
When the piece is ready for the final finish,
apply a coat of thin shellac, adding a little
color if necessary; sandpaper carefully and
then apply one or more coats of liquid wax.
These directions are entirely for the use of
home workers.    The method we use in the
Craftsman Workshops differs in many ways,
for we naturally have much greater facilities
for obtaining any desired effect than would be
possible with the equipment of a home worker.
  For lighter pieces of furniture suitable for
a bedroom or a woman¹s sitting room, where
dainty effects are desirable, we find maple the
most satisfactory, in both color and texture,
of our native woods, for the reason that it is
hard enough to be used for all kinds of furni-
ture.  Gumwood is equally beautiful, but is
not hard enough for chairs.   For built-in fur-
niture, however, and for tables, dressers and
the like, gumwood is one of the most beauti-
ful woods we have, as it takes on a soft, satin-
like texture with variable color effects not un-
like those seen in the finest Circassian walnut.
We find that the best effect in both maple and
gumwood is obtained by treating the wood
with a solution of iron-rust made by throwing
iron filings or any small pieces of iron into
acid vinegar or a weak solution of acetic acid.
After forty-eight hours the solution is drained
off and diluted with water until the desired
color is obtained. The wood is merely brushed
     over with this solution,<wetting it thor-
     oughly,<and left to dry. This is a process
     that requires  much experimenting with
     small pieces of wood before attempting to
     treat the furniture, as the color does not
     show until the application is completely
     dry. By this treatment maple is given a
     beautiful tone of pale silvery gray and the
     gumwood takes on a soft pale grayish
     brown, both of which colors harmonize
     admirably with dull blue, old rose, straw
     color, or any of the more delicate shades
     so often used in furnishing a bedroom or
     a woman¹s sitting room.
       As to the actual construction of the
     pieces shown here, it is in most cases very
     simple. By a careful study of the different
     models it will be noted that the only at-
     tempt at decoration lies in the emphasiz-
     ing of the actual structural features, such
     as posts, panels, tenons with or without
     the key, the dovetail joint and the key as

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