Milk Paint

The following recipes for milk paint appeared in Pick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes, first printed in 1870, and re-issued by Funk and Wagnalls. We reprint here solely as an historical record and do not endorse these recipes or make any claims about their performance.

Painting in Milk. In consequence of the injury which has often resulted to sick and weakly persons from the smell of common paint, the following method of painting with milk has been adopted by some workmen, which, for the interior of buildings, besides being free as distemper from any offensive odor, is said to be nearly equal to oil painting in body and durability.

Take gallon skimmed milk [see note below], 6 ounces of lime, newly slacked [slaked], 4 ounces poppy, linseed or nut oil, and 3 pounds Spanish White. Put the lime into an earthen vessel or clean bucket and having poured on it a sufficient quantity of milk to make it about the thickness of cream, add the oil in small quantities at a time, stirring the mixture with a wooden spatula. Then put in the rest of the milk, and afterwards the Spanish White. It is. in general, indifferent which of the oils above mentioned you use; but for pure white, oil of poppy is the best. The oil in this composition, being dissolved by the lime, wholly disappears; and uniting with the whole of the other ingredients, forms a kind of calcareous soap. In putting in the Spanish White, be careful that it is finely powdered and strewed gently over the sur face of the mixture. It then, by degrees, imbibes the liquid and sinks to the bottom. Milk skimmed in summer is often found to be curdled; but this is of no consequence in the present preparation, as its combining with the lime soon restores it to its fluid state. But it must on no account be sour; because in that case it would by uniting with the lime, form an earthy salt, which could not resist any degree of dampness in the air.

to Make Paint without Oil or Lead. [Take] Whiting 5 pounds, skimmed milk 2 quarts, fresh slacked [slaked] lime 2 ounces. Put the lime into a stone-ware vessel, pour upon it a sufficient quantity of milk to make a mixture resembling cream; the balance of the milk is then to be added; and lastly the whiting is to be crumbled upon the surface of the fluid in which it gradually sinks. At this period it must be well stirred in. or ground, as you would other paint, and it is fit for use. There may be added any coloring matter that suits the fancy, to be applied in the same manner as other paints, and in a few hours it will become perfectly dry. Another coat may then be added, and so on until the work is done. This paint is of great tenacity, bears rubbing with a coarse cloth, has little smell, even when wet, and when dry is inodorous. It also possesses the merit of cheapness, the above quantity being sufficient for 57 yards.

Editor's note: "Skimmed milk" is not the same as today's skim milk. It refers to unhomogetiized whole milk from which the top layer of cream has been re-menvd lyy skimming. "Spanish White" is white clay.

Reprinted from Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes or How They Did It in the 1870s bv William B. Dick. (Funk and Wagnalls, 666 Fifth Aw., New York. NY 10019)

Make a Plane That Sings in Your Hands

II you aren't quite satisfied with your common, hardware store metal plane perhaps the time has come to make your own. A wooden plane is very simple to make and can perform as well, if not better, than the factory-made varictv.

There are many good reasons for making your ow n planes. Very few planes work flawlessly right out of the box. Since you must treat any plane you buy as a kit, spending hours tuning it up, why not invest this time in making your own instead? The high cost of good factory-made planes is yet another reason to make your own. A collection of store-bought metal planes can drive the woodworker on a tight budget right out of business. Versatility, too. is a point to consider. Once you know how simple it is to make a plane, you won't hesitate to make a special plane that's just the right size and shape lor a particular task.

But finally, the main reason I value my wooden planes so much more than their store-bought counterparts is because they transform my relationship with my work. And. having made them myself, I understand my planes fully. This understanding makes for a dialogue between me and the wood —which is what I most want from my work. What could make work more of a delight than whisking shavings away with a plane that has sprouted forth from your own hands?

In this articlc I'll explain how to make a wooden smoothing plane, but the same procedure applies to larger flat-bottomed planes as well. Other types of planes—block planes, coopering planes, and rabbet planes to name a few—can also be made by hand. But, because of their differing shapes and/or blade angles the steps are somewhat different from the ones outlined in this article. continued

Saw the cheeks from the plane blank so the midsection is '/w in. widerthan the iron (right) then saw out the ramps on the bandsaw (below).

How Make Wood Plane


Saw the cheeks from the plane blank so the midsection is '/w in. widerthan the iron (right) then saw out the ramps on the bandsaw (below).

Gathering the Materials

The first step in making a wooden plane is gathering the neccssary supplies. You'll need the following: wood for the plane blank and sole, an iron, a chip breaker, a cap screw, wood for the pin, and ten '/«-in. dowels.

The plane blank may be either a solid piece of wood or one glued up from several thinner pieces. The type of wood you choose is important. Dense but not brittle is the rule. Some good choices are: hornbeam, cherry, hard maple, beech, white or Japanese oak and birch. Choose one of the denser woods if you decide against gluing a sole on the bottom of the plane. Adding a sole allows you to select one of the less-dense woods for the body of the plane, making it lighter in weight. F>ick a very dense wood for the sole. The two most often used woods for plane soles are lignum vitae and ironbark. These woods are naturally waxy, so they reduce much of the friction. The sole should be about '/*-in. thick.

The main size constraint of the plane is the size of the iron you choose. Your plane blank must be at least Iin. wider than the width of vour iron. Wider is bet-ter than narrower because between sawing out the checks of the plane and jointing the midsection much of the excess width will be removed. I chose to make my smoothing plane with a 2-in. iron, so I started with a 3x4x 10 in. blank with the 4-in. dimension being the width of the plane.

If possible, it's best to orient the end grain of the plane blank vertically to increase the plane's dimensional stability. If vou're gluing up a blank from thinner stock instead of starting with a solid block, you have


Square sides and bottom on jointer.


^ Make cheeks


Start with blank at least 17* in. wider than plane iron.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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