A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 8.—Other Workers

238.—Glazers, Polishers, Buffers and Moppers

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barrel smoother
polishes and huffs surfaces of barrels of rifles, pistols and sporting guns to produce dead smooth finishes, entirely by hand; fixes barrel, etc., in bench vice and works over surface with a smoothing iron, a block of steel with file cut faces.
belter (forks and spades) ; edge tool hander
finishes and polishes sockets or straps of edge tools, e.g., forks and spades, by holding them against mechanically-driven belt dressed with emery powder and paste.
bobber ; buffer, buffing machinist, buffing machine worker, snagger (slang)
removes surface irregularities and polishes metal articles by holding them against power-driven revolving wheel, the edge of which is covered with cloth or leather and sprinkled with abrasive powder or polishing compound; sometimes further designated by the article polished, e.g., buckle bobber, hame bobber, spur bobber, bobber and polisher, spur; a bobber q.v. who removes surface irregularities from finished spurs on leather hob, dressed with fine emery powder, and gives them final polish on rag mop or dolly, dressed with very fine abrasive powder.
brusher (needles)
cleans eyes and grooves of sewing machine needles by holding them against revolving brush, dressed with oil and. emery powder.
brusher (scissors)
polishes scissor blades after they have been ground, by holding them singly to a revolving brush, dressed with oil and emery.
brusher, scratch ; polisher, scratcher
removes scale, cleans and generally brightens surface of metal articles by holding them against circular wire brush revolving on special form of lathe.
see bobber ; sometimes specifically designated, according to article, e.g., bowl buffer, brass buffer, comb buffer, cutlery buffer; or according to abrasive used, e.g., lime buffer, sand buffer.
buffer, blacksmith's
a buffer q.v. polishing blacksmith's work after it has been ground by grinder (237) q.v. on emery wheel.
buffer, blade
(i) a bobber q.v. who glazes, i.e., smooths and rough polishes blades, and gives first buffing, after blade has been ground, and before parts are assembled into complete articles, using buff, bob, dolly or mop; sometimes also grinds blades;
(ii) puts final polish on blade shaft, after article has been assembled.
buffing machinist, buffing machine worker
see bobber ; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., brass buffing machinist.
burnisher, hand
gives close grain to surface of metal by rubbing with steel or agate tool of flat oval section; fixes work in vice and rubs tool, using both hands, backwards and forwards on surface of article.
burnisher, lathe
fixes article in chuck of lathe and burnishes it by pressing rubbing tool against article as it revolves.
burnisher (needles)
sets up a row of needles in a clamp or frame; threads them with cotton, and cleans burrs from eyes, by band, by drawing cotton covered with oil and emery, to and fro.
card wire cleaner ; card wire dresser
a wire polisher q.v. who dresses and polishes, in bulk, wire to be made into needles or into card clothing for carding engines.
cleaner (needles)
holds a number of needles between finger and thumb and rolls them against power-driven polishing bob to clean them.
dresser, card wire
see card wire cleaner.
dresser, harness furniture
a burnisher q.v. who finishes buckles of brass, etc., with burnishing tool.
dresser, scissors
a bobber q.v. who buffs neck and bows of scissors to make them smooth before passing to burnisher q.v.
edge tool bander
see belter.
finisher (cutlery)
a bobber q.v. who finishes buffing and polishing of cutlery on soft rag dollies dressed with fine, rouge or crocus powder (oxide of iron).
finisher (needles)
(i) a bobber q.v. who polishes needles by holding several in fingers against revolving leather bob; sometimes polishes by hand rubbing;
(ii) feeds needles into hopper of automatic polishing machine.
finisher (pocket knives)
a bobber q.v. who puts final polish on pocket knife (ends, hafts and blades), after knife has passed through hands of cutler (228) q.v., first on emery wheels of varying fineness, then on leather wheel and then on buff edged with felt, or other soft material, dressed with a polishing composition.
glazer ; glazing machine worker
removes grinding marks on articles after rough grinding and prepares them for final polishing; holds article against revolving wheel, the edge of which is coated with fine emery or other fine abrasive, or at a glazing belt to which abrasive is glued; sometimes specifically designated by the article glazed, e.g., spade glazer, tool glazer; cf. grinder (237).
glazer (cutlery)
glazes and polishes, with or without grease, ground blades, by holding them against emery wheels or on wooden wheels faced with leather and dressed with glue and fine emery powder.
glazer, edge tool raw
a grinder q.v. who performs first, or "roughing out" glazing on edge tool forgings at a dry rough emery wheel.
glazing machine worker
see glazer.
lapper ; rubber
gives highly finished surface to work which has been accurately ground; holds article, e.g., steel bearing, against revolving disc or lap, in which is embedded abrasive; applies oil and emery flour to surface of disc as required.
lapper, axle bush; axle box lapper ; letter-on
polishes and trues up axle box preparatory to fitting on axle; "laps'' or grinds, inside of box on a lathe with rotating lead lap, oil and emery, to fit turned portion of axle, before axle is hardened; is usually also a wearer-up q.v.
lapper, barrel lapper (small arms)
polishes bore of barrel, after it has been rifled; fixes in lathe with lapping rod of lead cased steel, which as it rotates is drawn to and fro through bore; supplies rod with emery powder and oil; finishes bore by lapping, by hand.
lapper-up, flyer
a lapper q.v. who operates a lapping machine to grind, polish and make true circular running section of boss and spindle of flyers, leatherer (ball bearings); grinds true and polishes ball bearings by rubbing them with fine emery paste between two leather covered discs, letter-on, see lapper, axle hush.
mopper, grease mopper
a polisher q.v. who uses a mop of calico or other fabric, dressed with abrasive or polishing composition or grease.
(i) general term covering bobbers, glazers, polishers, buffers and moppers q.v.; sometimes specifically designated according to article polished, e.g., cup polisher (bearings), cutlery polisher, frame polisher (cycles), roller polisher (textile printing); according to abrasive used, e.g., crocus (oxide of iron) polisher, lime polisher; or otherwise, e.g., engraver's polisher (textile printing);
(ii) see brusher, scratch.
polisher, axle
see wearer-down.
polisher, brass (foundry)
grinds off the fraze and file marks on brass castings and rough polishes them on an emery wheel, finishing off on leather and rag dollies with crocus powder or other material as abrasive.
polisher (brass musical instruments)
trims finished brass instruments; rubs off excess of solder; puts in corks and springs, and finishes instruments, generally polishing them with a hard brush or with a buffing machine.
polisher, lathe
polishes metal articles on lathe, by holding against them, while rapidly revolving, a leather buff or rag dolly or mop to which sand, pumice, lime, rouge, emery or other polishing material has been applied, usually with admixture of grease.
polisher (saws)
(i) places blade of hand saw or long saw between two power-driven wooden rollers faced with leather, with bees-wax dressing for holding emery powder, in order to brighten or polish them;
(ii) glazes circular saw by mounting it against face plate on horizontal axis and making plate rotate at high speed, while emery powder is applied to saw and block of wood pressed against it to bring its face in contact with plate.
polisher, wire
polishes dull-drawn wire by drawing it through a roughing pad, polishing block or other polishing material and slaked lime; mounts drum of wire on spindle, passes wire through pad and -fastens to winding drum, which is power-driven.
see lapper.
rubber, emery belt
a grinder q.v. >who grinds or polishes castings or machine parts on an emery covered belt usually passing over two revolving pulleys.
a polisher q.v. using fine sand as abrasive.
sanding machine operator (sewing machines)
holds parts of sewing machine against abrasive surface of sanding machine, which grinds down metal to reduce them to exact size required, and to polish them.
satin finisher (metal polishing)
a bobber q.v. who polishes a metal surface by holding it against revolving bob in such a way that a satin-like effect is obtained.
scourer (needles)
lays long rows of tempered needles on sacking with abrasive paste; rolls up sacking and binds with hemp cord; places bundles on bed of rolling mill under heavy slabs of wood or stone which work them backwards and forwards by power for several hours; takes them out and washes them to remove scale.
see brusher, scratch.
scratcher (files) ; scrubber
rubs fine files with cocoa nut husk and cinder dust to clean teeth and even up their cutting power.
scrubber (files)
see scratcher (files).
sider, hard (needles)
burnishes sides of sewing machine needles in the hard, i.e., after hardening on revolving bob with oil and emery; clamps needles in holder and holds against hob.
sider, soft (needles)
as for sider, hard, but before hardening.
snagger (slang)
see bobber.
wearer-down, wearer-up (axles)
(pocket knives) q.v. giving final polish to spring knives (pen and pocket) on rag dolly, with rouge or crocus powder.
wearer-down, wearer-up (axles) ; axle polisher
receives forged axle after it has been turned to size, and case-hardened; polishes it, by hand, with an emery cloth, in a lathe and fits axle bush on it; usually laps axle bush, before fitting it on axle, hut sometimes receives it ready lapped from lapper q.v.
wire patenter
operates machine in which steel wire is tempered, polished and finished; mounts drum of wire on spindle; passes wire through coal, gas or electric furnace and polishing pads and fastens to winding drum; controls heat of furnace according to temper of wire.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.