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After the wood is prepared, that is, sanded, coat it with a solution of iron, such as you have, but put enough nigrosine into that solution to make a dark black-appearing liquid. Then coat the wood, when it will turn a bluish gray.
It takes about twenty hours for the color to be completed. Do not wipe off the stain. Let it dry. After the color is produced, sand it lightly, then fill with a filler made of zinc white and turpentine. Make a paste and fill it so it will fill up the pores; rub crosswise over the wood. When the filler is about to set, rub it off with rags. Another way would be to take the filling coat and do not wipe it off, but apply the wax. When the wax has set for 15 to 20 minutes, rub in a circular manner and clean it off. This will fill the pores and clean off the flakes, leaving a nice, light gray finish.
I am sending you under separate cover a little sample of wood which gives you an idea of how it should appear when completed. This finish is never coated with shellac because the shellac gives it a red or yellowish brown color. The green was probably produced by adding the alcohol in the form of the nigrosine solution. If this does not clear up the problem for you, write again.
IVORY WHITE FINISH
Will you kindly give us some information as to how to best secure an ivory white finish? We propose to use soft maple, or possibly birch. We also desire full information on finishing flowered marquetrie in antique mahogany veneer. We should like to get up a suite of this character in antique mahogany, but we do not know how best to handle the veneer on account of staining.
S. F. F. Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-We can give you the information on ivory white finish, but let us understand first whether this is to be enamel or not. If it is, we will get you a sample and directions for producing it.
In regard to the finishing of marquetrie and antique veneer, the old way was to first pencil all the marquetrie work with varnish, then do the staining. When the stain work is dry, wash off the varnish with naphtha. Of course, this stain is to be a water stain. This might do for the manufacture of one or two pieces.
The Oriel Cabinet Co., from which we get the best information, and who, as you know, are large manufacturers, have provided a tank in which they emerge the veneer, turn on a steam jet and let the stain penetrate to such a depth as is desired. This is ascertained by occasionally taking out a piece and drying it and testing. This saves an immense amount of labor because the veneer is then the correct color to begin with. Then they match up the drawer fronts with the veneer.
EXPERIENCE WITH LUMBER
In the last issue of THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN you mentioned the fact that one lumber concern was supplying lumber to manual training schools at cost in order that future buyers of furniture would become familiar with the beauty and fine qualities of mahogany. The idea is a mighty good one. Even now high school boys have a big say in the selection of new furniture and it's a very few years before they will have furniture to buy for their own homes. And if they have a couple of nice pieces of mahogany that they have themselves made, they will know the difference between mahogany and birch. They will also know this wood can be shaped into finer lines than almost any other, and will make a big effort to get mahogany furniture for their homes. But unfortunately you did not give the name of this wide awake firm. Possibly you might be willing to send it to us anyway. We are interested, but in the dark.
Our experience with gum has not been satisfactory. We read so much about it in your magazine that we got in a considerable stock of it, but the waste from
splitting and working is appalling, and we have been using birch for articles that should be made in mahogany. Winnipeg, Canada. S. S. NEWTON, Kelvin Technical High School.
Answer by the Editor:-The item referred to originated with the American Lumberman, and a service of that kind would necessarily have to be more or less localized. Competition is so keen among the importers of mahogany that no one importer of this wood could afford to make a free distribution of working quantities of material to schools in all parts of the country, wherever they might be located. The ultimate reward of such an enterprise-increased sale of the material distributedwould be largely reaped by the dealers in the wood who had not been parties to the enterprise. But there is an opportunity for some dealer in cabinet woods, who will consent to do what might be called a mail order or retail business, to supply mahogany and the other valuable cabinet woods in small quantities to the constantly increasing number of manual training schools. Cabinet woods are not generally handled in retail lumber yards and can be found only in centers where there are furniture factories, piano factories, and factories making interior trim. Most of the handlers of the imported cabinet woods do business only in car load lots, and it has therefore become exceedingly difficult for the superintendents of manual training schools outside of the larger cities to get the supplies they want.
It is admittedly necessary to pile gum lumber with great care, and keep it where it will not be subjected to sharp changes of temperature. It can not be handled as other lumber is handled, but the manufacturers of furniture are getting good results from it and do not complain of the waste. Birch is undoubtedly a splendid wood and makes one of the best imitations of mahogany.
Will you kindly inform me of the cause of flapping belts? We have several such belts at our plant and I will appreciate it if you will give me any information you have on this subject. O. D.
Answer by Alexander T. Deinzer :-Flapping may be due to any of several causes, or to the combination of them. The most usual cause is that one or both of the pulleys run out of true. The belt is then alternately stretched and released, and while this may not cause flapping at one speed, it will usually do so at a higher speed. If the belt is rather slack, tightening it somewhat may cure or alleviate the flapping. The most obvious and best remedy, but the most expensive, is to turn the pulleys to run true. Pulleys being out of line with each other are another prolific source of flapping. The belt not being joined square will cause flapping. Too great a distance between pulleys will also do so. Belts running at high speed, above 4,000 feet per minute, flapping may occur when the pulleys are perfectly true and in line with each other, even when the belt has the proper tension.
BLEACHING DARK GOLDEN OAK
I would like to inquire if there is any wood bleach that will successfully bleach a dark golden oak so that it will make a light oak? WM. RICKETTS, Bloomington, Ill. Foreman the Dodge-Dickinson Co. · Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-We take it that you wish to reduce the shade of color. This can be done by first removing the finish. We presume it is a varnish finish. After you have removed the finish and gotten down to the shellac coat, take this off carefully with wood alcohol. Now you are down to the stain, golden oak or oil stain. These can be removed with naphtha. Washing it off with naphtha, without digging into the filler, is not as easy as supposed, but by taking a soft rag,
wiping it off until you have noticed that the shade is reduced, you can bring it back to almost any shade of golden oak. You can test your work by putting on a little shellac on one piece of the work so as to find out whether you have reduced it as far as you like. The shellac coat brings out the shade as it will appear when finished. If it is a water stain that you encounter after removing the finish, it can be reduced by simply washing in water in which you have placed a little potash. Care must be taken not to blotch up the work or mottle it.
We have been interested in your articles in THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN as to finishes, etc., and we have had some trouble with matching properly American walnut veneered goods. In view of this fact we are sending you four panels in this wood and would ask your advice as to treating the wood in order to get a uniform color throughout. We do not wish to stain this to get a darker color than that shown on the panels that are shellacked, still we must get away from the variations that you see when you look at this from different angles. We tried pyrogallic acid on one block; also tried different kinds of stain and filler, which seems to help some, but we thought you might have some better proposition in mind.
We have sent you one sample which has not been treated, so you can use this for experiment, and anything you can give us as to bettering this mode of finishing, will be appreciated. II. F. G.
Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-After examining the samples submitted, I recognized a proposition that cannot be overcome. It is a physical impossibility to lay the veneers as they are laid with the grain and pores running in opposite directions and have a uniform color. The only thing that can be done is to give it all a uniform stain. When you lay in a square, the lower left hand quarter and the upper right hand quarter will match when looking at them diagonally. Go to the other side of the table and you will find that the two opposite diagonals will correspond. One way will be dark and the other way they will be light.
I learn, in looking up this matter, from a man who knows all about veneers, finishing, etc., that a job of laying and staining of this kind of veneers is considered successful when looking at it head on. The piece then presents a uniform color. You cannot overcome the difference made by reversing the veneers in order to get the figures.
I am a steady reader of your articles in THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN entitled "Problems of the Finishing Room." I have a paint and varnish remover which I would like to manufacture and put on the market. It is a remover that is 100 per cent. efficient, contains no acids, not harmful to the workmen in any way, very cheap to make, and I would like to have you write me and let me know if there is any restriction on the manufacturing and sale of varnish removers. Racine, Wis.
C. F. R.
Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-Broadly speaking, the market is open to the manufacturer of varnish removers, The patent office gives you in patents Nos. 965,404, 982,524 and 797,136 a description of patents issued to the present manufacturers who are manufacturing and who permit the manufacture of similar compounds under licenses in part to the patentees.. I would suggest that you get copies of these patents, and the information will immediately tell you whether or not you are conflicting with them. Some of the component parts of most of the varnish removers, so-called, have been known to act as solvents of gums, oils and resins long before they were marketed in combination as varnish removers. Therefore, there is a doubt in my mind whether your combina
tion would be an infringement. There is a market for a varnish remover that will sell at a reasonable price. The trade generally feels that the price at which this commodity is held is prohibitive. The house painters and many manufacturers buy the raw material and make up a very satisfactory remover. If you make an article to be sold at a fair margin of profit and which will do all you say it will, in my opinion there would be a good market for it.
WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THIS BLOWER?
A number of years ago we purchased a 35 inch double blower. This concern was installed by the writer's predecessor and has been considered as inefficient. I took charge of the mechanical end of this business a few years ago and have at various times inspected the blower, but find that the machine is all right, but there is something else wrong and would like to know whether you can help me solve our problem. We have too much back pressure on the machine. There seems to be sufficient suction, even in the separator, which is attached on top of our shaving house. Would like to learn the cause of this back pressure. Have changed the system of piping at various times, but this does not seem to solve the problem. The speed of the blower is between 1,700 and 1,800, approximately, which certainly seems sufficiently fast and as stated, there is considerable suction, but conflicting back pressure. Have but a few machines connected and haven't what may be termed long drag pipes. Have a shut off at every machine and when not in operation all suction is shut off. Our discharge pipe is 13 inches in diameter, same diameter as discharge ends of the blower. We have the same sized pipe right through to the sepThe length of the pipe leaving the blower is 37 feet long, then a 90 degree elbow is attached and the pipe rises 16 feet 6 inches. Here we have a 45 degree elbow and the pipe enters the separator. Where is our
trouble and how can we eliminate it?
Answer by Alexander T. Deinzer:-If, as you state, the fan in question is in good mechanical condition, the trouble is due to the manner in which it is installed. I understand that you employ two 13 inch pipes from the discharge openings of the fan and these combine into a single 13 inch pipe. Right here we have a condition which is dead wrong and would seriously hamper the exhauster in the performance of its duty. I assume that the 13 inch pipe is required for the discharge of each side and that the inlet of each fan is connected up to a corresponding area of branch pipes. If this is the case. instead of the 13 inch discharge pipe, you should have a pipe of area equivalent to the sum of the areas of the two 13 inch pipes. Eighteen inch pipe would be a big improvement, but a 19 inch would be better. Undoubtedly the separator is proportioned to receive the discharge from one 13 inch pipe and it as well should be enlarged. You should have a good low pressure sexarator. In shutting off the connections at the machines when they are not in use, you should not close more than 25 or 30 per cent., as doing so will cut off the air necessary to convey the material in the discharge pipe. I believe these suggestions indicate the most serious difficulties with your system, although it would be to your advantage to take the matter up with a competent blow pipe man in your vicinity.
SPARKING OF DYNAMO
We would like to know what causes sparking in our dynamo. Our experience is very limited in the electrical line and any information you may give will be appreciated. We would prefer if you will not quote our name when replying. THE M. FURNITURE CO.
Answer by Alexander T. Deinzer:-You should study the principles which govern perfect commutation. A very good treatise on this subject is a small pocket book published by the Cleveland Armature Works. There are,
however, other causes beside improper designs of the dynamo which may cause a machine to spark. When the commutator is in good condition, true and smooth, and the brushes have a firm contact against it, and the machine invariably sparks at a heavy load, the trouble may be attributed to a poor design. In a well-designed machine the causes for sparking will be a rough commutator, a commutator out of round, or brushes not having sufficient contact against the commutator. fact, the causes of sparking may be divided into two classes-sparking from electrical causes and sparking from mechanical causes. In most machines built at the present time any sparking that there may be is principally due to mechanical causes. It is clear that in order to have sparkless running the brushes must at all times touch the commutator. The fact that from some cause or other the brushes do not touch the commutator all the time is the cause of most cases of sparking. If the brush is not free to move, sparking will result, for even in the best machines there will be some movement of the commutator with reference to the brush, and if the brush cannot follow it there will be a short arc that maybe will not be seen until the commutator is blackened and burned at one spot.
IMPORTED WILLOW FURNITURE
We are asked by one of our friends in Venezuela for willow furniture which they say is manufactured in Japan and passes through the United States without paying duty.
Can you advise us whether such an article is being either partly manufactured or handled by the American market, and if so, who in this country would be able to supply this article? New York
NATIONAL ASSN. OF MANUFACTURERS.
Foreign Trade Department. Answer by the Editor:-While there is at present a good deal of summer furniture imported from the Philippines and China principally, possibly some from Japan, it is for the most part of bamboo and so-called Chinese grass. We know of none which is willow furniture, of the sort we know as willow furniture. Willow furniture of that kind with which we are familiar is made from willows grown in this country and Europe, principally Germany and France. Very superior willow furniture comes from the Madiera islands. The following concerns can give you information regarding the sort of goods imported from the Orient: Shewan, Tomes & Co., New York City; H. R. Moody Co., Ltd., 480 Lexington, New York City; George R. Gregg & Co., Toronto, Canada; Mentzer-Piaget Co., 2 E. 23rd St., New York City. There are other concerns, jobbers and importers of the same class of goods, but the names we have given are those best known to the trade.
THE ENGLISH PAPERS
I would like to borrow or secure an English furniture magazine, or find out how I can secure a copy. Toledo, Ohio. HOWARD R. BLUE.
Answer by the Editor:-There are two papers published in London devoted to the furniture industry. One of these is The Cabinetmaker and the other is The Furniture Record. We are sending you copies of both these
GLUE FOR SCHOOLS
What kind of glue would you recommend for furniture, and where may it be obtained? We have been using LaPage's liquid glue and wish something stronger. California, Pa. JULIA E. IVES.
Manual Training Department
Answer by the Editor:-You should be able to buy small quantities of hide glue at any hardware store. If
you can buy in fifty-pound lots or more you can get it from any of the glue manufacturers or jobbers, among them the American Glue Company, Chicago, Ill.; Armour & Company, Chicago, Ill.; Swift & Company, Chicago, Ill., and the United States Glue Company, Grand Rapids, Mich. Of course, this means that the glue must be heated and you must put in apparatus for putting it in condition for use. You must be careful about over-cooking it if you want to get results.
FINISHING FOR MOLDINGS
Can you give me the correct proportions of plaster of paris, glue, linseed oil and rosin to mix compo used in the manufacture of moldings and picture frames and other material for the ornamentation of moldings, and to make imitation carvings? A. HOHENSTEIN.
San Francisco, Cal.
Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-This is rather out of my line. Write to the Picture and Art Trade, Monadnock building, Chicago, Ill., and they may be able to put you in communication with some one who has this information.
A COST ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
We are manufacturers of pneumatic player actions. Our superintendent subscribes to your magazine, which the writer reads and in which he is very much interested. Do you know of any concern in the wood-working business which has a system of keeping track of the waste in lumber and which also knows the cost of each individual article manufactured? Any pointer you can give will be appreciated. New York.
STANDARD PNEUMATIC ACTION CO. A. W. Johnston, Treas. Answer by the Editor:-There are many systems of cost accounting. We have published a number of these in our pages, but we cannot now furnish you copies of the paper containing the articles.
It has become more and more evident to cost accountants that cost systems must be especially adapted to the material or factories under consideration. Our suggestion to you would be to get into communication with J. L. Maltby, who is now the cost expert of the Upholstery Manufacturers' Association, and also of an organization of the chair manufacturers, and whose address is the Monadnock building, Chicago, and arrange a personal conference with him upon his next visit to New York, where his duties sometimes take him. Mr. Maltby might be able to outline a simple system for you by letter, but we know he would prefer to arrange a personal conference.
I am sending herewith samples of abrasives which I wish you to examine. Hardness, 6 to 9; gravity, 2 to 3. This is the best material I have ever found in this country. There are several thousand tons in the deposit and as the new railroad is about completed, it is now available for working. I am of the opinion that there is a market for it in Grand Rapids, but do not know of the particular concern which buys things like the samples I am sending you in large quantities. If you can advise me in this matter I will appreciate it very much. I am also sending sample of Halloysite. This is a fine filter and absorbent. S. WARRINGTON. San Diego, Cal. Cecil Hotel. Answer by the Editor:-There are no manufacturers of sandpaper or other abrasives here in Grand Rapids. Better send samples of your find to the Armour Co., sandpaper department, Chicago, Ill., and the Carborundum Co., Niagara Falls, New York.
Fire which destroyed the warehouse of the Old Mission Furniture Co., Louisville, Ky., April 3, damaged the engine room and dry kiln, causing a loss of $10,000.
A Few Examples of Furniture Being Made by Students in the School Together With a Brief Account of the
IN THE opposite page a number of illustrations are given of the work of students in the manual training school in Los Angeles, Cal. The cuts are selections from photographs of about twenty pieces made by the students. As far as possible the amount of work devoted to each piece, and the position of the student in the course is designated. The school is under the direction of J. C. Beswick, who writes of its establishment and the work it is doing as follows:
"The Manual Arts High School was started September, 1910, under the able management of Dr. A. E. Wilson, and now has an enrollment of 2,000 students. To give you a better personal understanding of the school I must speak of the actuating force back of the school and all its activities. Our principal, Dr. Wilson, is a man of vision, energy, and good judgment, a great believer of keeping his school in close touch with actual life, and a strong
School and the Work it is Doing
"When the boys enter the cabinet department, they are given a course in bench work involving principles of construction, that are later applied to cabinet work. The boys are then taught to execute the principles by hand, and afterwards, wherever possible, execute the same principles by machinery.
"After the bench work, they are given a short course in wood turning, securing to them sufficient knowledge of the work to enable them to apply wood turning to cabinet construction, when making Flanders Dutch pieces, William and Mary, or Early English.
"After this preliminary training, the boys are treated as individuals and not as a class; each progresses as rapidly as he is able, making as difficult or large a piece as is within his ability.
"The boy is now taught to design whatever piece he wishes to make. I see to it that the student has a design involving enough woodwork in its construction to be of the greatest educational value to the boy. I have found that I create a desire for better designed furniture by helping the boy a great deal with his design. In designing his second piece, the student requires, on the average, only about one-half the help he needed with the first. We make all drawings actual size and detail them.
"One of our successes in the cabinet department has been the incentive and inspiration that the good work of one boy has furnished to many others.
"We feel that we are doing much to create and stimulate in the public a desire for furniture and house furnishings of good design. Unquestionably this means of education develops a taste and desire for better furniture in the boys, who in a few years, will be purchasing furnishings for their own homes. Our annual visitors' day, in the
Ladies' toilet table, finished in soft brown mahogany,
advocate of vocational and industrial education. The Manual Arts High School, cost over a half million dollars, and is located on a ten-acre campus in the heart of the busy Southwest section of the city of Los Angeles. It is built on the group plan, arcades connecting all buildings. At the center front of the campus, is the big administration building, flanked on either side, by the art building and science hall, respectively. These form an L. Along one side of the campus are the extensive shops of the Mechanics' Arts department, costing about $100,000. This department comprises machine shop, forge shop, foundry, auto shop, mill, cabinet, pattern, and carpentry workshop.
"The conditions under which the pieces of furniture photographed were manufactured are described below:
William and Mary desk made in walnut, egg shell finish, first semester of second year
spring, attracts thousands of visitors from the homes of Los Angeles.
"A strong feature of our department is our lecture and demonstration work, before the assembled class. All work turned out here is the honest work of the boys.
"My classes make mostly period furniture, using much mahogany, some walnut, and of course the other cabinet woods, as the style of furniture demands. My classes make but a small percentage of craftsman furniture. Los Angeles harbor is a very heavy importer of mahogany,