Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about Handbook on Japanning.
wood.  The reason for using this coating is that it effects a considerable saving in the quantity of varnish used, and because the matter of which the priming is composed renders the surface of the body to be varnished uniform, and fills up all pores, cracks, and other inequalities, and by its use it is easy after rubbing and water polishing to produce an even surface on which to apply the varnish.  The previous application of this undercoat was thus an advantage in the case of coarse, uneven surfaces that it formed a first and sort of obligatory initial stage in the process of japanning.  This initial coating is still applied in many instances.  But it has its drawbacks, and these drawbacks are incidental to the nature of the priming coat which consists of size and whiting.  The coats or layers of japan proper, that is of varnish and pigment applied over such a priming coat, will be continually liable to crack or peel off with any violent shock, and will not last nearly so long as articles japanned with the same materials and altogether in the same way but without the undercoat.  This defect may be readily perceived by comparing goods that have been in use for some time in the japanning of which an undercoat has been applied with similar goods in which no such previous coat has been given.  Provided a good japan varnish and appropriate pigments have been used and the japanning well executed, the coats of japan applied without a priming never peel or crack or are in any way damaged except by violence or shock, or that caused by continual ordinary wear and tear caused by such constant rubbing as will wear away the surface of the japan.  But japan coats applied with a priming coat crack and fly off in flakes at the slightest concussion, at any knock or fall, more especially at the edges.  Those Birmingham manufacturers who were the first to practise japanning only on metals on which there was no need for a priming coat did not of course adopt such a practice.  Moreover, they found it equally unnecessary in the case of papier-mache and some other goods.  Hence Birmingham japanned goods wear better than those goods which receive a priming previous to japanning.

Priming or preparing the surface to be japanned.

The usual priming, where one is applied, consists of Paris white (levigated whiting) made into a thin paste with size.  The size should be of a consistency between the common double size and glue, and mixed with as much Paris white as will give it a good body so that it will hide the surface on which it is applied.  But in particular work glovers’ or parchment size instead of common size is used, and this is still further improved by the addition of one-third of isinglass, and if the coat be not applied too thickly it will be much less liable to peel or crack.  The surface should be previously prepared for this priming by being well cleaned and by being brushed over with hot

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Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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