PDA

View Full Version : Japanning Formula



Richard Gillespie
10-17-2003, 10:47 PM
I'm in the process of restoring a group of CI hand planes. I was wondering what the formula was (is) for the black japanning used on them? If not the original, is there an acceptable substitute?

I looked up on the net without success. I found hints that some of the original ingredients are no longer available.

Thanks in advance
Richard Gillespie

John Wadsworth
10-18-2003, 9:02 AM
Richard,

Japanning has been discussed several times on the oldtools list. You can find the threads easily with the search engine in the archive--start at

http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/archive/index.phtml


I know Bill Gustafson sells a good, though a bit slow, version; unfortunately, I've misplaced his e-mail address.

Good luck,

John

harry strasil
10-18-2003, 9:03 PM
Richard, check out Mike Taylors site, Plane Wood, and scroll to the bottom of the page and check out his before and after pictures

Jr

Jerry Crawford
10-19-2003, 3:02 PM
I'm in the process of restoring a group of CI hand planes. I was wondering what the formula was (is) for the black japanning used on them? If not the original, is there an acceptable substitute?

I looked up on the net without success. I found hints that some of the original ingredients are no longer available.

Thanks in advance
Richard Gillespie

For what it's worth, here is a japanning formula as used in the 19th and 20th century. You are probably correct that some of the original ingredents may not be around....but it's fun to see how original craftsmen created stuff that we see today as original finishes. These guys were first class intellects and educated people.


ENAMEL HARD LACQUER

The following ingredients are place in a slightly sealer corked bottle which is put in the sun or a hearted place to speed dissolution:
2 pounds pure alcohol
10 grains crystallized boric acid
20 grains ammonium fluoride
8 oz white shellac
2 oz copal manilla
4 oz mastic
oz bleached linseed oil

After 4-5 days oz Venetian turpentine is added. After thorough shaking the mixture is filtered. It is unimportant whether much or little has dissolved. The colorless lacquer in now ready and is stored in a tightly closed vessel. For use it is mixed with permanent white, chrome-green, cobalt-blue, cadmium, antimony-yellow, sienna, etc. The proportions of the mix will be found by experience.

Enamel repairs can also be carried out with commercial nitrocellulose lacquers as used for lacquer (japanning) work

Page 46, Workshop methods for gold and silversmiths, Schwahn, Chemical publishing Co, 1960

Jim Stastny
10-21-2003, 7:56 PM
I, too, wanted to spruce-up the japanning on a couple of old planes. I did a little internet research and discovered that there is japanning and there is japanning.

Let me explain. One type of japanning is like a black laquer finish one might find on decorative boxes. You can get that recipe from Martha Stewart.

HOWEVER, that is not the same japanning found on metal planes. The japanning on planes is an entirely different combination of ingredients. It can be done by an novice, and the ingredients are supposed to be easy to find. The main one is something called Asphaltum. It's mixed with BLO and turpintine. When the mixture is ready you paint it on, then bake it in an oven. A regular kitchen oven will do.

I do have the intructions. Send me your e-mail and I will send them via an attachment.