[Paint receipts]

To mates of decks the following receipts may be of use:—

For guns. — 4 oz. resin, 2 oz. lamp-black, 3 oz. bees-wax (2 oz. shellac), 1 quart linseed oil. Boiled 50 minutes, and, when taken off, half a pint turpentine added.

This is to be laid on as a first coat, and afterwards kept up with ordinary bees-wax and turpentine. For bronzed guns, omit the lamp-black, and previously apply a solution of sal-ammoniac, after scraping.

White varnish for range-tables, &c. — White resin and turpentine, dissolved in a closed bottle, placed in hot water on a stove.

Cement for cracks in woodwork, &c. — Four parts of beeswax to one of resin, melted together, and tinted with Indian red and yellow ochre.

Leather belts, &c., may be stained black with a solution of copperas.

For steamers' funnels, the same in whitewash turns it a buff colour.

Varnish for spars. — Bolied linseed oil and resin, warmed till the resin is dissolved.

Mast colour. — Dockyard-yellow, a little white, and warmed up with Venetian red.

Black stain. — Into a breaker put 2 lbs. copperas, 2 lbs. nut-gall, 8 lbs. alum, pounded up; 8 lbs. old iron, and 25 pints of vinegar. When wanted, boil as much as is required and lay on hot. It is better to make a large quantity at first, as the longer it is kept the better it becomes. Three or four coats are necessary.

French polish. — 5 oz. naphtha, 1 oz. shellac, 10 grains of isinglass, 1 dram of myrrh, and 6 drams of olive oil.

Whitewash. — The best is made from quicklime, for it will not rub off, and, if kept in a tank, there can be no danger from it. To keep whitewash in good order, all marks should be rubbed out, and the whole smoothed down with hard canvas rubbers on sticks, before going over it at any time.

Scraping masts and booms. — Instead of going through the scraping process every Saturday, and covering your deck with chips, send the booms down on deck when they want it, and scrub them with sand and canvas; both lowering them down, and swaying them across together. The dirt should merely be scraped off the top-gallant masts as an ordinary practice, and a light plane-over given to them at long intervals after a general refit, which is infinitely less injurious to them, at any time, than scraping with knives.

Alfred Henry Alston: Seamanship, and its associated duties in the Royal Navy. By Lieut A.H. Alston, R.N. Together with a treatise on Nautical Surveying, for the use in of the officers on general service. With two hundred illustration.
Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, London, 1860. pp 318-319.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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