Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipe: "Universal Cement" (1856)

To compound this, a quantity of mastic should be dissolved in highly rectified spirits of wine, only enough of the spirits being used to effect the solution of the mastic.

Then soak an equal quantity of isinglass or fish-glue until it is thoroughly softened.  Dissolve this in a quantity of rum or brandy sufficient to form a strong glue, to which add half the weight of gum ammoniac finely pulverized.

Thus for thirty penny-weights of the mastic, thirty penny-weights of isinglass and fifteen of gum ammoniac will be necessary.  The quantity of spirits and brandy depends on their quality; the stronger the liquors, the less of them is needed. and the better will be the mixture.

Warm these two mixtures together over a slow fire, and when they are well mixed, place them in bottles, which must be hermetically sealed.  This cement becomes perfectly dry in twelve or fifteen hours.

When the mastic is to be used, the bottle should be heated in a water bath to liquefy it; the fragments should also be heated before sizing them, and the surfaces well cleansed, as a matter of course.

Those who give this recipe, say that glass, crockery, etc., when thus restored, are as solid as before having been broken, and that the seams are hardly visible; but experience proves that these seams, although imperceptible at the time of the operation, soon soil for want of the perfect polish of the remainder of the article; this diminishes the advantage of the cementing.

From:  M.L. [Mary Louise] Booth, translator.  The Marble-Workers' Manual. Designed for the Use of Marble-Workers, Builders, and Owners of Houses.  Containing Practical Information Respecting Marbles in General; Their Cutting, Working, and Polishing; Veneering of Marble; Painting upon and Coloring of Marble; Mosaics; Composition and Use of Artificial Marble; Stuccos; Cements: Receipts, Secrets, Et., Etc., with an Appendix Concerning American Marbles.  New York: Sheldon, Blakeman & Co., 1856,   pp. 114-115. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

No comments: