Tinned iron goods are the most largely japanned, and for these brown and black colours are principally employed. Both are obtained by the use of brown japan, the metal having a preliminary coating of black paint when black is required. Only one coating of brown japan is given to cheap goods, but for better articles two or more are applied. For these it is possible that a final dressing with pumice-stone, then with rotten-stone, and rubbed with a piece of felt or cloth, or even the palm of the hand, may be necessary, but as a rule not.
Large numbers of articles of the above description, such as tea-trays, tea-canisters, cash-boxes, coal-boxes, and similar goods, are japanned at Birmingham, and it is to such that the preceding instructions apply.
In all cases of re-enamelling old work, it is absolutely necessary to remove all traces of the first enamelling, and if this has been well done in the first instance, it will prove no mean job. The best way to clean the work is to soak it in a strong “lye” of hot potash, when the softened enamel can be wiped or brushed off—this latter method being pursued in the more intricate and ungetatable portions of the work. New work, which has not been enamelled, can be treated in the same way for the removal of all grease, stains, finger-marks, etc., and too much attention cannot be paid to the initial preparation of the surface of the metal, to have it thoroughly even and smooth, as it adds so much to the ultimate finish and appearance of the work. Plenty of labour must be bestowed before the final coat, as any blemish will show through this finishing, and so mar what would otherwise be a highly satisfactory bit of work. In all kinds of bicycle work, whether new or old, the most satisfactory results are obtained by the application of at least two, and sometimes four or five, successive coats of good but thin enamel, as this will impart the necessary perfect coat, combined with durability, a high finish, and a good colour. A good enamel should be sufficiently hard, so as not to be scratched on the merest touch or rubbing. It will, of course, be understood that no solder-work must be put into the stove, or the pieces will separate. Should any of this work be discovered, the pieces must be taken apart, and then brazed together before being enamelled, and put in the stove.
The enamelling and japanning stove—pigments suitable for japanning with natural lacquer—modern methods of japanning with natural Japanese lacquer.