architectural hardwood finish
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A Practical Treatise on ModernMethods of Finishing the \YoodWork of New Buildings
by George Wbigelt
XTHE PAINTERS MAGAZINE
100 WILLIAM ST., N. Y
Copyright, 1905,By The Painters Magazine,
100 William Street,New York
CHAPTER I,Woods Used.page eight.
CHAPTER 11.Sandpapering, Scraping and Preparing
the Wood.page eleven.
CHAPTER HI.Stains and Staining Woods.
CHAPTER IV.The Preparation of Stains.
CHAPTER V.Wood Fillers.
CHAPTER VI.Paste Fillers and Hoiv to Use Them.
CHAPTER VII.First Coaters.
CHAPTER IX.Rubbing and Polishing.
CHAPTER X.Wax Finishing,page sixty-eight.
CHAPTER XLFloor Finishing.
CHAPTER Xn.Finishing of Fireproofed Wood.
CHAPTER XIV.Piano Finishing.page ninety-seven.
CHAPTER XV.Best Methods of Using Water Stains.
page one hundred and three.
The series of articles which is hererepublished in book form was printed
in the twelve issues of The PaintersMagazine for 1905. They were writtenby a practical mechanic, who has hadmore than twenty years' experience
in all classes of hardwood finishing andwho has invented a number of valu-able materials and processes. Twoarticles on kindred subjects, PianoFinishing and Best Methods of UsingWater Stains, which also appeared inThe Painters Magazine, have beenadded to make the work more com-plete. The publishers trust that thisbook may prove an acceptable additionto the library of the practical painter,
the architect and every one interestedin architectural hardwood finishing.
New York, January, 1906.
ODERN methods of woodfinishing in new buildingswill be described in thisbook, the subject being
treated from the standpoint of thepractical wood finisher engaged in allgrades of work in modern buildings.At the risk of telling something al-ready known to the experienced woodfinisher, every branch of the work willbe thoroughly described in all its de-tails, in order to make the entire sub-ject of hardwood finishing perfectlyplain to even the most inexperiencedfinisher. We must also remember thenecessity of every one connected withthe painting business of knowing theproper treatment of hardwood. Thewants of even the most experiencedfinisher will not be forgotten, and manysuggestions will be given to practicalpainters for up-to-date work and allthe new methods will be describedwith which the writer has become ac-quainted in twenty years* experiencein that line.
^ "^HE woods most commonly usedV| r^ at present for the trim and
II floors of buildings which re-^^ quire a natural finish are oak,
ash, walnut, mahogany,, birch, cherry,maple, redwood, cypress, sycamore,pine, whitewood, rosewood, and anumber of others.They are divided again into hard
and soft woods,open pored and closegrained woods,and each of them re-quire a different preparation and finishto suit the taste and style and to con-form with the nature of the wood.Each kind of wood has its own naturalbeauty and the main object of the fin-isher should be not only to make a su-perb finish and to preserve the wood,but to improve and develop its naturalgrain and beauty. The most expensivewood will look cheap if not finishedproperly and a more common woodwill look beautiful if rightly treated.Oak is classified first by the manner
in which the boards are sawed intostraight and cross-cut, or quartered oakand again into white, red and darkoak.
Ash IS generally of but one gradeand is often used for framing oakpanels, as it is less expensive than theformer, except the Hungarian ash, abeautiful variety.Walnut has a number of grades and
nearly every climatic condition pro-duces its ow^n and peculiar species,some being of very great value. Wehave the straight American walnut, theFrench vvralnut, used for panels and cutfrom the root of the tree; also theSouth Russian or curly w^alnut, w^hichis a softer kind, but very rare and ex-pensive.Mahogany is obtained in endless va-
rieties, including prima vera or whitemahogany. Much of the wood sold asmahogany is cut in the United States,but the more valuable kinds come fromSan Domingo, Central and SouthAmerica.
Birch is divided into straight andcurly, and, like cherry, is an Americanwood.Maple is known for its whiteness
and hardness, and is generally used forfloors, with the exception of the bird's-eye maple, which is used for panelingand requires great care in finishing.Redwood, especially that coming
from California, is a wood resemblingmahogany in many of its characteris-tics.
Sycamore is exceptionally hard, andthe cross-cut or quartered produceswonderfully beautiful effects.
Cypress is in a class by itself. It isrelated to the cedar, very tough anddurable, and, on account of its longfibers, it is very troublesome for thefinisher.
Rosewood has been abandoned onaccount of its scarcity. Its oily naturehas made it difficult for the best fin-isher using the best material to pro-duce perfectl}'- satisfactory results.AVhitewood, or poplar, is not often
finished in natural, and curly poplarhas been very seldom used because itsvalue is overlooked.
Pine has received the greatest atten-tion and is used in endless varietiesand for almost all possible and impos-sible purposes. It is divided into hardand soft, white and yellow, straightand curly pine.White pine of good quality has be-
come very scarce and is now more ex-pensive than oak, but is largely usedfor doors.
Yellow pine serves for all purposesand the Georgia variety is largely usedfor floors. North Carolina pine is ofa curly nature and produces very goodresults in the hands of the experiencedfinisher.
Sandpapering, Scraping and Preparingthe Wood.
^ LTHOUGH the most essential/A\ point in producing a good fin-^^\ ish, sandpapering, scraping
and preparing the wood isgenerally overlooked, but it is of theutmost importance and cannot be toocarefully done. Only a perfectlysmooth surface can retain a good last-ing effect and such a surface will less-en the work more than a good manywill admit. An uneven surface show-ing plane marks must be scraped,which can be done with a number ofdififerent tools, of which the plain scrap-er is always the best. It consists of apiece of hardened steel about 2 by 5inches in size, the long edges of whichare evenly ground. Considerable ex-perience is required in sharpening,which is done by pressing a roundpiece of steel against the edges, slight-ly bending them over to form a cuttingangle. This round piece of steel isdrawn along the edge until the propereffect is produced. Resharpening isgenerally done with a good steel file,but is better done on a flat oil stone.Other scrapers in all different shapesare used to suit the needed require-
mcnts. Their quality may be deter-mined by the length of time they willlast without resharpening.
Common sense, skill and experiencewill tell the finisher what grade of fine-ness in sandpaper is required to do thework. Always be careful to rub withgentle pressure lengthwise, or with thegrain of the wood. A suitable block,made of cork or wood, should alwaysbe used, and in moldings the blockmust be cut to fit the hollows. Thesandpaper is wrapped around the blockand when worn off is turned aroundor' exchanged. Sandpaper should neverbe torn off the sheet, but cut into partsby placing the sandpaper, rough sidedown, on a table or board and cuttingor ripping the inside with a knife, afterwhich it is bent in a sharp angle andpulled apart. To test the quality ofsandpaper bend it sharply and see if itparts, that is, if the coarse part of itwill separate from the paper. Use willtell you the difference between goodand bad sandpaper surely and quickly.Care should be taken in sandpaperingnot to round the edges in panel work.
Steel Wool.The use of steel wool and steel shav-
ings for smoothing purposes in thiscountry is somewhat new and for
quickness and accurate work it cannotbe classed with sandpaper, although itis in itself more expensive than the lat-ter. Its discovery, as a material forrubbing down, was left to the father ofthe writer, who, about the year 1882,procured some steel shavings, a wastematerial at that time, from a tool fac-tory, and used it for rubbing downfloors, Since that time it has beenmanufactured in a number of differentgrades, from coarse to fine, arranged
the same as sandpaper and used forthe same purpose. It is advisable toprotect the hands with leat