Hand Tools Archive

More old finishing fun *LINK*

Simon St.Laurent - Dryden, NY
Inspired by Don Williams' Traditional Japanning Techniques video, I went in search of Stalker and Parker's 1688 Treatise of Japaning and Varnishing. It's easy to find as a scan, but what text I could find was badly broken OCR.

I'm typing it in over time. I just finished the section on shellac work, so decided to post the first 25 pages. You can find it at:


I suspect the phrasing will be fun, even if you don't feel like grinding White-Lead and Vermilion to make a beautiful but toxic pigment. This bit on sanding (with coarse rushes) is the furthest over the top I've seen so far, but I'm sure there's more:

"2. Lay all your Colours and Blacks exquisitely even and smooth; and where ever mole-hills and knobs, asperities and roughness in colours or varnish offer to appear, with your Rush sweep them off, and tell them their room is more acceptable to you than their company. If this ill usage will not terrifie them, or make them avoid your work, given them no better entertainment than you did before, but maintain your former severity, and with your Rush whip them off, as often as they molest you."

This is just text, and a first pass at that. I'll be cooking up a more complete HTML version over time, with formatting, links, and so on.


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