I have received several requests for the dry powdered pigments I use and having mentioned them in my forth coming book, I decided to offer them for sale as a set.
Black Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide, Yellow Ocher, Burnt Umber, & Zinc White.
These are the traditional pigments from the nineteenth century and earlier, zinc oxide is substituted for white lead, as some people won’t allow the sale of lead for some reason.
All natural earth pigments ground 900 fine, they are non-fugative and will not fade. They are compatable with any medium: linseed oil and turpentine, shellac or spirit based varnish, oil based varnish [to make enamel], and water based finishes such as gum arabic or for distemper [hide glue size], etc.
Five one ounce (by weight) glass jars with metal lids, they are available here.
A friend of mine showed me a bottle of Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue with an old expiration date and he thought it was still good. I looked at the date and it was 7-01 and I thought there was no way it was any good. So I did the finger/thumb test and sure enough it exhibited ‘legging’ or ‘cottoning’ indicating it was still good.
So the following day I conducted the only sanction test for testing the usefullness of liquid hide glue, a bead of glue on paper, cooked in a 150 degree [F] oven for 15 to 20 minutes and allowed to cool. To my surprise it cracked indicating it was still good.
It had not been stored in special conditions although the shop never got real hot. Good idea to test before you throw it away.
Other side view
Eight and 1/2 inches long, 4 3/16 inches wide, and 2 3/16 inches thick, plus or minus a bit as it is 300 years old. Sent to me by my friend Sir William from the East coast as an ingredient for an old recipe for cutler’s cement that calls for brick dust.
It is a very hard brick and if you look closely you can see the shells from the lime making process in the matrix of the brick. The brick weighs 5 pounds. Seems a shame to grind it up, but it will give me a chance to test out my new cast iron mortar and pestle, and there apprently are more available.
I will report the results of the cutler’s cement recipe trials as they happen.
Based on an old recipe (c 1804) this is real soap [not a detergent bar] and contains NO modern ingredients, phosphates, or petroleum distillates. After trying a couple of recipes, the lard and castor oil example was excellent and did not dry out my hands using it over the winter. After getting my hands on some rosin, I had a batch of soap made to the old recipe and the stuff is great.
Not only does it not dry out your hands, it lathers well and is long lasting. The rosin gives the soap a delightful fragrance, adds hardness to the soap and it is derived from trees, what could be better? It lubricates sticky drawer parts and other wooden moving parts [such as the tension block of spinning wheels].
It can also be used to practice carving and you can clean up with the shavings.
Made of lard, castor oil, rosin, distilled water and lye, all from renewable natural resources.
Available in the Full Chisel Store and ready for immediate shipment you can buy it here.
Thanks to Mark Schramm, master blacksmith and soap maker for making this soap for me to use and sell.
Traditional Craftsman’s Lye Soap with Rosin.
A foolproof [if that concept is possible] method of testing the freshness of liquid hide glue, that works every time.
Simply put a bead of liquid hide glue on a piece of porous paper and place the paper in a warm oven [150 to 200 degrees [F]] for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
When you bend the paper the bead of glue will break if the glue is fresh. If the liquid hide glue is not fresh it will bend without breaking.
The samples are from left to right liquid Fish Glue, fresh Franklin/Titebond liquid hide glue and finally Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue that is over 5 years old [two years spent outdoors year round] and the results show the cracking in the two fresh samples and wrinkles and flexibility in the old sample.
An excellent test, the two fresh glues also passed the legging, cottoning, or stringing test, the old glue did not.
This stuff use to be available when tools and mills were powered by flat leather belts, jack shafts, and flywheels. It keeps the belt tracking properly [providing the wheels are coplanar] and prevents the belt from slipping.
Works great on Foot Powered Treadle Lathes, sewing machine belts and drive bands on Spinning Wheels. Based on an old formula this stuff is very sticky, it sticks to silicone, teflon and high molecular plastic, etc. etc.
The perforated paper tube keeps it from sticking to your fingers and can be peeled back as the belt dressing is used up.
And it is for sale at The Full Chisel Store.
*that should read ‘Do you have rosin?’
According to the 1930 edition of Merck’s Index:
Colophony; Abietic Anhydride; Yellow Rosin; Resina, B.P.-Res. left on distil. volat. oil fr. oleoresin obt. fr. Pinus palustris & o. spec. of Pinus, Pinaceæ. – Occur.:Rosin is chiefly supplied by the U.S. – Sol.: Freely in A., B., E., glac.acet. acid, oils, & soluts. of fixed alkali hydroxides. U.S.P. also in CS2. – Sp. Gr.: 1.07 – 1.09 at 25°C., U.S.P. – Constit.: Chiefly (80%-90%) abietic acid, or its anhydride resene (5%-6%, B.P.C.).; also pinic & sylvic acids – Uses: Pharm., as ingred. in oints, plasters, cerates, &c. – Techn., manuf. varnishes, varnish & paint driers, printing inks, cements, soap, sealing wax, wood polish, floor coverings, paper, plastics, fireworks, tree wax, sizes; f. waterproofing cardboard, walls, etc., & as source of rosin spirit & rosin oil, & pitch.
It is available by the pound at the Full Chisel Store, here.
“With the sineyews of Deare, and the tops of Deares horns boiled to a jelley, they make a glew that will not dissolve in cold water.” John Smith Virginia 1608
I use an alcohol lamp all the time and while I was adding some ethanol to my lamp with a pipette I accidentally sucked some straight grain alcohol into my mouth, twice. Can’t do that with denatured nor would I dare.
I learned this trick from ‘Conversations on Chemistry’, 1822, an interesting book written by a woman who first apologized for knowing so much and saying her knowledge was just recently acquired.
This is your alcohol lamp on alcohol, and is combusting.
This is your alcohol lamp on alcohol with platinum wire, and is incandescent.
This makes it difficult to blow out and the glowing wire reignites the wick. The wire is also hotter than the open flame, although I had no instrument for measuring that amount of heat.
When I first made the platinum wire ‘spring’ I dropped it on the floor, being platinum and being a spring, it took me 20 minutes on my hands and knees to find it; I now keep it in a small corked glass test tube.
I have wanted one of this type of magnifying glass stand for a long time. I recently acquired this on a large trade for many other tools, etc. I had my apprentice cut out the round pine disk with a coping saw then using a rip saw cut it in half leaving two pieces 5/16″ in thickness and 1 7/8″ in diameter.
I made a paper pattern for the leather for the case as well as 3 pieces of round leather, the lower pine disk has leather on both sides and the upper disk has leather on the inside and walnut burl veneer on the top surface. The leather and veneer were glued on with Lee Valley Fish Glue, I really like that stuff. I put a French polish on the walnut burl, then a thin coat of Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish. I punched my mark in the bottom before assembly.
Using a bone folder I put some decorative line work around the leather including the tongue that secures the case shut when pushed through the retaining strap. The strap also had decoration on the front, it passes through slits in the leather I made with a sharp chisel. Using a Hudson Bay pattern stitching awl, I punched square shaped holes for the waxed [beeswax and tallow] linen thread, in line so the points of the square holes line up. This allows the thread to lay flat along the seam. I also pounded the thread flat into the leather to reduce wear.
Using #2 copper tacks I affixed the leather to the sides of the disk after having applied fish glue to the leather and edges of the top and bottom pieces. Tiny little tacks, but just right for this small project.
I then cut thin strips of leather to cover the exposed pine edge; I scarfed the ends of the leather to lay flat where the leather flap opening is not attached to the top and bottom. Using even smaller #1 1/2 copper tacks to attach the exposed pine edges finishing off the case.
It was a fun project and took my mind off a truely challenging project that I will post soon.