Letter Gilding.

Manufacturer and Builder 11, 1883

Letters written on vellum or paper are gilded in three ways.

In the first a little size is mixed with the ink, and the letters are written as usual. When they are dry, a slight degree of stickiness is produced by breathing on them, upon which the goldleaf is immediately applied, and by a little pressure may be made to adhere with sufficient firmness.

In the second method, some white lead or chalk is ground up with strong size, and the letters are made with this by means of a brush; when the mixture is almost dry, the gold-leaf may be laid on and afterward burnished. The best method is to mix up some gold powder with size and make the letters of this by means of a brush.

The edges of the leaves of books are gilded, while in the binder's press, by first applying a composition formed of four parts of Armenian bole and one of sugar-candy, ground together to a proper consistency, and laying it on by a brush with the white of an egg. This coating, when nearly dry, is smoothed by the burnisher; it is then slightly moistened with clear water, and the gold-leaf applied and afterward burnished. In order to impress the gilt figures on the leather covers of books, the leather is first dusted over with very fine powdered resin or mastic, then the iron tool by which the figure is made is moderately heated and pressed down upon a piece of gold-leaf, which slightly adheres to it, being then immediately applied to the surface of the leather with a certain force; the tool at the same time makes an impression, and melts the mastic which lies between the heated iron and the leather. In consequence of this, the gold with which the face of the tool is covered is made to adhere to the leather, so that on removing the tool a gilded impression of it remains behind.

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