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[BKARTS] your text on edge gilding

Dear Jet,
The severity's of your problems with the Harcourt edge gilder totally
mystify me. But let's attack them one at a time and see what we can do.
First the foil; did you try only Harcourt's foil? I've not had  problems with
it in the past but a bad lot is conceivable. If you have not done  so try the
foil in your hotstamper just to be sure that it is working  ok.
Assuming that the foil is OK then I'd next wonder about temperature setting
on the gilder. It needs to be quite high, significantly hotter than your
hotstamper setting with the same foil. Begin by cranking the temperature
adjustment to maximum and give it 10 minutes to get to temperature. If the  gilder
should start smoking a bit, don't fear, its the grease between the shaft  and
wheel cooking. Try the gilder as soon as any smoking  starts. Practice on smooth
paper, with no polysize, which you tape to a  piece of scrap binder board and
if the foil still won't transfer at maximum  temperature then ask Sam to
exchange the gilder. If the machine is working  then at max temperature the pigment
will transfer (too well!) but it  will be hot enough to overstretch and
distort the mylar carrier so start turning  down the temperature, giving it five
minutes or so to cool a bit, and retry. You  want to get to a point where the
foil transfers with minimal distortion of the  mylar. Using the gilder you make
one or two back and forth  passes (remember that you roll forward an inch or
so, roll back, then a  further inch or so, repeating this until you reach the
full length you wish to  gild) and this with firm and somewhat heavy pressure.
As in using a gilding  wheel you pull the gilder into your shoulder while
pressing down, legs spread  enough to give you a firm and steady foundation. Move
your upper body forward  over the work as you progress down a long edge.
I should have asked, the wheel is turning smoothly, yes?
If the wheel is sticking (making it want to slide not roll on the foil)  then
you need to remove it, clean off any hardened grease (I use 0000 steel  wool)
and regrease lightly using white lithium grease. The black grease supplied
by Harcourt (at least they used too) is not very satisfactory. It too quickly
cooks and hardens at the necessary temperature.
As to the polysize, it acts as a filler in the paper edge. I prefer to use
methyl cellulose or starch paste. But lets get the foil transferring first then
 refine the niceties.
If it is convenient please feel free to telephone me this afternoon Jet. We
might do better speaking in person. All best,
James  Tapley
Hand Bookbinder
2077 Thirteenth Street
Sarasota, FL  34237
Tel 941 366 8248


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