Appliances and Apparatus used in Japanning and Enamelling.

Besides the various enamels or japans and varnishes of various colourings and the stove, which will be found described and illustrated, together with the trough, in other pages, the worker will need some iron pots or cauldrons in which to boil the potash "lye" for the cleansing, more particularly, of old work, some iron ladles both for this work and for pouring the japan on the articles to be covered therewith, a few badger tools and brushes for small fine work, some hooks for the stove, a pair of pliers, a few bits of broom handle cut into short lengths and made taper, so as to fit into the tubes, etc., of bicycles and other work, so as to keep the hands as free from the japan as possible, some emery powder, pumice-stone powder, tripoli, putty powder, whiting, and a piece of felt or cloth. If he is also doing any common work, a stumpy brush of bristles and a soft leather will also be requisite, together with a file or two. These will about comprise the whole of the articles required, not very expensive, all of which will really not be required by a beginner.

Owing largely to the strides made in the cycle trade enamelling is stoved by means of gas, and of this a plentiful supply is necessary. Enamelling stoves may really be described as hot-air cupboards or ovens, and for a stove which will answer most requirements—say one of 6 feet by 6 feet by 31/2 feet—six rows of atmospheric burners will be necessary to heat it, while it will be also advisable to fix pipes of 11/4 inch internal diameter from the gas meter to the stove. The atmospheric burners can be made from the requisite number of pieces of 11/4-inch gas tube 31/2 feet in length, one end of each being stopped, and having 1/3-inch holes drilled therein at intervals of about 1 inch, the other end being left open for the insertion of ordinary 3/8-inch brass gas taps. Another plan preferred by some japanners is to have three rows of burners the full length of the stove, which, under some circumstances, due to structural conditions, will be found more suitable. Anyway, whatever the position of the stove, allowance must be made for a temperature up to 400° F. to be raised. In old-fashioned ovens the heat is applied by means of external flues, in which hot air or steam is circulated, but this system is generally unsatisfactory, the supply of heat having to be controlled by dampers or stop-cocks, and this has given place to the gas apparatus. Another simple form of oven, though not one which I shall recommend, is a species of sheet-iron box, which is encased by another and larger box of the same shape, so placed that from 2 to 3 inches of interspace exists between the two boxes. To this interspace heat is applied, and a flue will have to be affixed to this apparatus to carry off the vapours which arise from the enamel or japan. For amateur or intermittent jobbing work the oven illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3 is about as good as any, though to guard against fire it would be as well to have a course of brickwork beneath the oven, while if this is not possible on account of want of height, a sheet or so of zinc or iron will help to mitigate the danger. It is also advisable, if the apartment is a low-pitched one, to have a sheet of iron or zinc suspended by four corner chains from the ceiling in order to protect this from firing through the heat from the enamelling oven. Of course, it will be understood that every portion of the stove must be put together with rivets, no soldered work being permissible.

Fig. 2.—Door of Oven when Shut.
Fig. 2.—Door of Oven when Shut.

To those who wish to construct their own stove, it will be found that the framework can be shaped out of 1-inch angle iron, the panels or walls being constructed of sheet-iron of about 18 gauge, the whole being riveted together. The front will be occupied in its entire space by a door, which will require to be hung on strong iron hinges, and the framework of this door should be constructed of 1 inch by 1/4 inch iron—a rather stouter material will really be no disadvantage—to which the sheet-iron plates must be riveted. In the centre of the door must be cut a slit, say 11/2 inches by 9 inches, which will require to be covered with mica or talc behind which must be placed the thermometer, so as it can be seen during the process of stoving, without the necessity of opening the door, which, of course, more or less cools the oven. And, by the way, this thermometer must register higher than the highest temperature the oven is capable of reaching. Above is shown a sketch of the stove, interior and exterior, which will give an idea of what a japanner's stove is like.