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alex_holden

Gold Tooling On Bellows

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I'm looking for some tips on the best way to apply traditional-style gold tooling to bellows. I've got some modern hot stamping foil (not real gold), and I'm going to make my own tools.

 

Looking at a vintage instrument I have here, the large pattern in the middle of each side appears to have been applied after the leather was glued to the frames, because it crosses neatly over the seams (which are in the middle of a side). Is it practical to stamp it by eye with a handled stamp, or is it best to fit the stamp in an arbor press with some sort of fixture for alignment?

 

Does the leather need treating in any way prior to stamping to ensure the foil sticks well?

 

How critical is the stamp temperature? Is it better to err on the side of too hot or too cold? I'm guessing controlling the temperature of a wheel will be more difficult than a large stamp with more mass. The foil seller recommended 110-120C.

 

I'm assuming the lines were made with a heated brass wheel with a fence to control the distance from the edge, again after gluing the leather to the frames. Do you just temporarily tape a length of foil around the frames, then heat the wheel and run it all the way around the frame? I've noticed there's a potential problem with the inner corners, where the frames underneath are more rounded: the foil doesn't want to lay flat against the leather and wrinkles. Any tips on how to do those areas neatly?

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Greg Jowaisas and Bob Tedrow are the best guys to answer your questions. Bob did an excellent job on one of my concertinas.

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Alex, The old traditional bookbinders knew all the tricks of the trade. It was all part of my education many moons ago at the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts, which subsequently was renamed the London College of Printing ( at Elephant & Castle ). You could try picking their brains or pay a visit to their splendid library. Happy memories. Rod.

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The world moves on. Now called ‘London College of Communication’........I believe.

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Thanks Ben and Rod!

 

I made a wheel to do the lines and I'm getting some promising results with it. Now working on the main stamp.

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