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Re: Fwd: Putting Titles on Books

><< I am attempting to put titles on some of the books that I have made.  I
>have a brass hand typeholder set with several different size typefaces.  I am
>also using foil rolls to emboss the lettering.  I am heating the typeholder
>until it just sizzles on a wet rag and then immediately putting the type on
>the foil over the cover.  Here is where I need your help.  I seem to be
>blurring all the letters togather (I do try to rub off the excess with what
>I'm supposed to (can't remember the name but it looks like cloth steel
>wool)).  If I don't push down hard enough all the letters don't seem to look
>good.  I've experimented dozens of times and ruined many covers, which is a
>shame because I've spent a long time making some of them.
> Do you have any suggestions?

Using hand typeholders is always a tricky matter. The questioner is using
the tool at the right temperature (just over 200 degrees F). What kind of
foil is being used? Is it real gold foil or fake gold? The real stuff tools
better. Is he stamping leather or buckram? Some buckrams (and improperly
treated leathers) just don't take tooling well. Also, the problem could be
dwell time. That is, perhaps he is holding the tool down on the material
too long.

Yet another problem could be that the typeface is too large. Really big
pieces of type need more pressure for a clean impression than can easily be
gotten with a hand typeholder. The same problem arises if the line of type
is too long.

I'm not sure what is being used to remove the excess gold (the "cloth steel
wool"). Try dabbing the tooling lightly with a piece of masking or scotch
tape. That works well for me. Other techniques are to rub it with the flesh
side of a piece of leather or a rubber eraser. Don't rub too hard, though.

Also, foil is just generally not as clean as tooling loose gold leaf. He
may want to step up to glaire and loose gold. A pain to work with, but
beautiful results. My first attempts with loose gold were as good as my
best efforts with a hand typeholder and foil.

If the questioner has a spare $1000 or so, get a Kwikprint. I just got one
and love it. You get all the pressure you need for large pieces of type,
you can restamp bad impressions without fear, and the type hits the
material at the perfect angle. The impressions will be as good as possible
with foil.


P.S. Has anyone on the list used a Kwikprint for loose gold? I'm thinking
of trying it...

Steven D. Hales
Assistant Professor                     email: hales@xxxxxxxxxx
Department of Philosophy                phone: (717) 389-4229
Bloomsburg University                   fax: (717) 389-2094
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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