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Re: Working life of blocking foils

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

In our email to the List a few days ago, we mentioned that Whiley had
visited our workshop and advised us on a number of points concerning the
use of foils, including how to recognise old foils.

Some Listmembers asked for us to explain further.

In quite simple terms, hold up the foil to a light source, the gold side
outwards.  If you see lots of tiny holes of light coming through, then
the foil needs replacing.  (It looks like the night sky on a clear
night, with all the stars coming through!)

Whiley also discussed with us how to achieve a clear and well-defined
image on the cloth or leather.  The gist of the discussion was this:
Use a firm base under the work being blocked.  So, if you are blocking a
spine (prior to casing in), cut an appropriate rectangular shape of
board to fit into the spine gap between the case boards.  (Make it at
least as thick as the surrounding area of cloth plus board!!).  The
point is, that to achieve such a clear and well-defined image on your
medium, this rectangular piece of board should be firm and
well-compressed.  Ordinary box board "gives" too much - the letters will
sink in and create a fluffy image.  The support under the blocking area
has to "give" only very minimally.  Some of the more compressed boards
on the market are useful to have around just for this purpose.  They are
usually thinner than grey box board because they are compressed
considerably more, thus, two pieces are often needed in order to obtain
a suitable thickness.

Other matters were discussed with Whiley, but these, I think, were the
salient points. Of course, temperature, pressure and dwell time are also
important, but these you will have to determine for yourselves depending
on the foil being used, the machine you are using, and the medium being
blocked.  Use trial and error on spare pieces until you are satisfied
with pressure, dwell, etc.  Get in touch with your working surface.

I hope that this may assist some of you.

Peter Krantz

Book Restorations.

Established 1976

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