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Rare Metalsmithing Books - Latest Releases for October 2012


The Ganoksin Project
S i n c e 1 9 9 6
Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Techniques

Digital Antique Books - Jewelry History Brought Alive

Spend $5 to improve your craft - Exceptional eBooks at ridiculous

Update for October / 2012

Over the last three decades we have acquired over 40 rare historical
Metalsmithing books that we are making available to jewelers,
goldsmiths and the metalsmithing community.

These books cover special techniques in depth like chasing,
repousse, engraving, niello making, Japanese chiseling, soldering,
construction, patination and metal coloring, silversmithing and
more. There are many recipes for alloys and metal surface

For the first time in history, these ancient metal tricks and
recipes will be made available to the contemporary community of
curious artists and metalsmiths. This will allow the
reader to apply the simple and ingenious procedures used by the
jewelers of the past, long dead masters of the art of
metalsmithing.Many of the tricks and recipes described will save the
maker money, as older approaches can sometimes replace modern tools.

As with all the Ganoksin project books the text has been scanned
using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which means it is
searchable and useable in ways not seen in a standard pdf. Similarly
the images are separately scanned and then stitched into the text,
allowing you to zoom in for very high magnification views of the
detail in the images.

Each pdf is a full digital book of searchable text and images, with
an easy access through an interactive table of contents.

We invite you to own the entire collection of manuscripts, and
benefit from the ancient wisdom that we are presenting, while
supporting the Ganoksin Project.

Learn more

New Releases for October 2012

Handbook on Electroplating, Polishing, Lacquering, Burnishing,
Enamelling. By W. Canning 1907

This 1907 book is 155 pages jammed full of not found
anywhere else in the same way. This third edition seriously updates
previous editions of the book as discoveries were being made at the

The aim of the book was to provide practical rather than
high theoretical and chemical studies. Nickel plating is extensively
addressed as it was then the most common form of plating and was
heavily used in bicycle manufacture. The necessity of using pure
chemicals is stressed to avoid problems. The book was created to
help users get the most out of the chemicals, supplies and equipment
that the Canning company sold. This book is a kind of catalog, and
manual for use, for the various tools and machines the company
producted. Great illustrations and images.

There is an extensive discussion about setting up a plating shop and
the considerations for that. Back then a ‘dynamo’ was used to
generate power, these days we have nice constant current power
supplies which take care of many power issues then extant.

The descriptions of generators, controls, switches etc offer some
really Frankenstein-like photographs of control boards and machines.
There are excellent principles that are scattered in the text, notes
on burning plating, on what you can and can’t do with different
solutions and materials. The principles of plating are spelled out,
and through repetition - hammered home. Some of the safety
is rather suspect, for instance testing the lye vat for
effectiveness by dipping your fingers in it and feeling for the
sliminess of dissolving skin cells. Electro-cleaning is well
described. Recipes for plating solutions are given and there is a
lot of emphasis on cyanide based solutions, activating baths for
anodes etc. The use of a “#1 Twaddle hydrometer” is frequent to
measure specific gravity (yes that is really its name).

The chapter on silver plating is thorough. There is an interesting
technique for locally re-plating worn areas, using calico cloth
soaked in plating solution with a silver anode strapped to it to
build up the plated metal on a specific spot. Bright silver plating
solution recipes are addressed as is recovering silver from used
solution. Immersion (dipped) electro-less plating solutions are

There is a chapter on gold plating and gilding. Plating the insides
of cups, sugar bowls etc is explained. Resist plating (using
’stopping off’ materials) to get multi-colored plating, such as gold
flowers on a silver background, is described.

There is a chapter on tin plating objects which I have not seen
described elsewhere. One of the methods is to use cream of tartar
along with small tin pieces, heat and then stir your objects in it
to plate them with tin.

There is an excellent section on copper electroforming using
sulfuric acid based solutions (called electrotyping). This is used
for making copies of objects, creating printing plates, molds and
more. Iron electroforming on top of copper is addressed.

A chapter on scratch brushing and one on burnishing cover
not found elsewhere. A pretty exhaustive chapter on
batteries describes how to make them, and maintain them, all
different kinds. The chapter on polishing claims to be the one of
the few works on polishing written to that date. It describes
antique approaches to making buffs which included gluing leather to
wooden discs, then coating them with hot glue and rolling the wheels
onto abrasives to make cutting and polishing wheels. Early exhaust
systems are shown. Buff materials (and abrasives) are dealt with in
depth, including felts, bullneck and seahorse leather (walrus). A
solid section on tumble burnishing is the earliest thorough
discussion of burnish tumbling I have come across.

A number of the chemical mixtures used are proprietary but there is
enough recipe to be of use, especially in the chapter on
patination and ‘bronzing’ (what we call patination today). There are
many recipes accurately described. The chapter on lacquering is
really good, and has hot and cold approaches well described. Low
temperature enamelling with baked on enamel paints is addressed as
it pertains to bicycles, transfers and enamel logos etc.

An interesting book with many unique illustrations and images. Well
worth a read.

File Size: 66.40MB, 155 Pages

Download the full eBook at the ridiculous price of $5.

Diamonds, Pearls and Precious Stones, by Marcell N. Smith, 1913

This 1913 book does a very good job of describing gem materials,
sources, rules, working methods and evaluation criteria. It is 117
readable, interesting pages. The author’s goal was not for it to be
the authoritative book but rather to have the most useful and
interesting to provide stories for his employees to use
in selling jewelry. He was synthesizing from the books and the field
out there at his time to make it understandable and interesting. A
good book.

The author refers to most of the books in the field as sources for
his It is a great distillation of the information
available at that time, almost all of it is still accurate.

The chapters reflect the needs of the trade, the jewelry store. They

Diamonds, The cutting and polishing of Diamonds, Diamond mountings,
Pearls, The tariff on diamonds, Pearls and precious stones, Precious
and semiprecious stones, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Aquamarine,
Tourmaline, Alexandrite, Opals, Amethyst, Moonstone, Turquoise,
Chrysolite, Spinel, Topaz, Garnet, Zircon, Hiddenite and kunzite,
Tables of precious and semiprecious stones. There are many
illustrations and photographs, really evocative of the era.

It begins with a detailed and intriguing history of diamond mining,
and the (at the time) recent and gigantic diamond rush in South
Africa. The working conditions of the miners is described, and read
between the lines, some of it was pretty horrible. As the world’s
diamond mines are discussed the day to day descriptions are unique
and give a real insight into the business, the sorting categories,
how things were done and the era. The details and history of diamond
cutting is extensively addressed, and for the gemologist or jeweler
interesting in why things are the way they are, or the steps by
which techniques and cuts became established. America proves
especially important in the development of modern cutting
techniques. It is all extremely thorough. Wages, comparative
training and more are discussed. An excellent book.

Very interesting.

As he goes through the other gems there are really wonderful
details, like the displacement of pearl divers by dredges, which
took the young oysters too, thus destroying the future of the
pearling grounds, the quote is “if you pluck the peach blossom there
will be no peach”. This is a last snapshot of a world before 98% of
pearls were cultured. Lots of good historical stories for a jeweler
or counter staff to know.

Each section on the individual gems after diamond is a readable 1-3
pages. There are a number of things which are still mysteries at
this time, such as the chemical compositions of tourmaline, and
others, and the cause of asterism in star ruby. In fact, this book
is more about stories and history than the scientific side of
things, though there are tables, hardness and some chemistry,
origins etc.

The stories however, about meanings and uses of gems in treating
disease, bringing luck etc are really very good and cover more than
almost any other book.


Download the full eBook at the ridiculous price of $5.

An Introduction To Metalworking, By J. C. Pearson, 1904

This 1904 book is 141 pages packed with serious for
metal workers. It covers basics like chiseling metals, filing,
scraping and construction with thoroughness not seen in contemporary
books and sources. It has a section on basic lathe use and screw
cutting which is really clear and instructive and finally excellent,
deep, superb chapters on blacksmithing tools and principles. A book
not to be missed.

There are 88 really great illustrations in the form of clear,
strong, line drawings and a number of photographs.

Chapters with in-depth detail include: Chiseling, Filing, Scraping,
Vices, vice-Clamps and Filing boards, Soldering, Riveting, Drilling,
Screw Cutting (what we would call Tap and Die work), The Simple
Lathe, Turning, Screw Chasing (Lathe threading work), The Screw
Cutting Lathe, Forging (and Blacksmithing). Annealing, Hardening and

This is an excellent book. Definitely worth reading and spending
time with as a serious metalsmith. Lots of hard to find details of
techniques neglected today. Very clear writing and solid, solid

And now for a few notes on those details, concentrating on what is
new, or forgotten, original, unique and special.

Chiseling is dealt with in ways not seen in any contemporary book or
even the internet. Extremely good drawings and on
carving solid metal, even steel, using chisels is given. Types of
chisels, cutting angles, everything one wants to know is addressed
in depth. Really good

Filing too is thoroughly dealt with. Great and clearly
stated, one of the best discussions of filing I have run across. The
antique process of scraping to smooth surfaces is addressed, now a
forgotten technique but worthy of reviving for certain effects, and
sometimes even speed of finishing a surface. There are really great
drawings, photographs, engravings and illustrations all through this

Vises are well described and explained, as are the reasons one uses
them, and particular versions’ advantages. Caliper use, dividers,
scribing blocks, measuring blocks, try squares and more are dealt

A great chapter on soldering follows, both hard and soft, with flux
recipes, solder recepies and more. Then riveting is dealt with as
are all kinds of hand operated drills. The section on tap and dies
is very good and holds up well today.

There are a number of chapters on lathe use. A foot operated lathe
is properly investigated, with details not seen elsewhere. The
on operating the lathe works just as well for powered
lathes, and in fact illuminate lathe work done for hundreds of
years. Screw cutting by hand is shown.

A solid chapter on forging, blacksmithing steel and using the forge
is offered. It covers all the basic tooling, photos of tools,
equipment and techniques. It is in fact a pretty good overview
introduction to blacksmithing.

A very interesting book worth having in your collection.

Download the full eBook at the ridiculous price of $5.

Previous Releases

On The Theory and Practice of Art Enamelling Upon Metals, By Henry
Cunynghame M.A, 1899

Modern Letter Engraving in Theory and Practice,
by Fred Holmes Rees, 1898

Enamels and Enamelling, 

By Paul Randeau (translated from German by Charles Salter), 1912

Hall-Marking of Jewellery, Practically Considered,
By George E. Gee, 1882

Designs for Silversmiths, South Kensington Museum, 1871

Manual of Instruction in Hard Soldering, By Harvey Rowell, 1884

Mixed Metals or Metallic Alloys by Arthur H. Hiorns, 1912

The Jewellers Guide and Handy Reference Book by: William Redman, 1883

Gilding, Silvering and Bronzing, edited by Bernard E. Jones, 1918

Silversmiths Handbook by George E. Gee, 1885

The Art of Enamelling Upon Metal by Alexander Fisher, 1905

The Jewelry Repairer’s Handbook by John Keplinger, 1902

Educational Metalcraft by P. Wylie Davidson, 1913

Metal-Work, Chasing and Repousse for Home Art Workers by Frank G
Jackson, 1903

Decoration of Metals - Chasing, Repousse and Saw Piercing by ohn
Harrison, 1894

Watchmakers’ and Jewelers’ Practical Receipt Book, 1892

The Private Book of Useful Alloys and Memoranda for Goldsmiths,
Jewellers by James Collins, 1871

Repousse Work for Amateurs by L. L. Haslope

Art Metal Work and Jewelry by Louis J. Haas, 1916

How to Enamel: Practical Enameling of Jewelry with Hard Enamels
by Howard M. Chapin, 1911

Electro-Plating (with numerous engravings and diagrams), Paul
Hasluck, Editor, 1905

Lost Wax Jewelry Making: The Build-up Technique - Complete
Edition by Minori Azama, 1999

General Letter Engraving for Watchmakers, Jewelers and Kindred
Trades, by G. F. Whelpley, 1892

Precious Stones: Considered in their Scientific and Artistic
Relations by A. H. Church, 1899

Soldering, Brazing and Welding edited by Bernard E. Jones, 1916