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Re: [BKARTS] Foil stamping cloth

After stamping several thousand books with hot foil stamping, I would have to
agree that it can seem to be  more (black?) art than science.  Still, with
effort, I can pretty much get every book properly stamped.

My keys to good stamping:

1) align the platen with the type.  Seems obvious, but if the type isn't
perferctly aligned with the piece being stamped, it's not going t work properly.
I always completely loosen the bolts holding the platen and (using a square
piece of brass in between) press the type down on the platen and work the
platen around until it aligns with the type.  After tightening down the platen
nuts, I again press the type against the square piece of brass and look all around
the type looking for gaps with a strong light behind.

2) Temperature:  I've found that each material has it's own temperature
requirement and the only thing to do is experiment.  In general, the heavier the
material, the higher the temperature needed.  I also found that the little temp
gauge on the Kwikprint is sticky so I have started using a digital gauge.
To find the right temperature, I crank up the temp to something over 300
degrees and do a trial stamp.  What I look for is indications that the temp is too
high (bleeding?)  That is, at the point where more foil goes on than the die
(filled in O's, etc)   The right temperature is just below this.    The point
where not all the foil sticks is just below this, so, the proper temp is in a
very narrow band.    Also, the lighter the material the narrower the temperature

You can't just follow the temp range indicated on the tape. To get it right,
it is really necessary to experiment with the material being stamped.  There's
no short cut.

3)  Securely clamp items to be stamped. A second stamping is often needed and
you don't want the item moved between stamping.

4) Pressure and dwell:   The best technique that I can suggest is to really
BANG it, holding it for just an instant.  (I'm a big guy and I've wondered if
folks of slight build might have a real problem.)  In anycase, it takes real
finesse.  And, the larger the area to be stamped, the harder it needs to be hit.

I've been using NAKAI  type NV  gold foil (they have 4 or 5 different gold
colors) with great success.

Hope this helps.

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