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gold leaf

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hankabilly13, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. hankabilly13
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 26


    any tips on gold leaf? particularly "swirling" (for a lack of better term)... I am making progress, but still ripping the flake. I think I am not waiting long enough before I swirl it... plus I am using a pencil eraser... I am sure that is not the best way...

  2. Skate Fink
    Joined: Jul 31, 2001
    Posts: 3,472

    Skate Fink
    Member Emeritus

    I don't know much about it but a pencil eraser is too hard. Check out a few of the pinstriper/sign painters...
  3. Try a big Q-tip, if you have a friend that is a nurse ask her/him for a few OB Q-tips.:eek: they are big and work good.
  4. OshkoshRob
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 388

    from Oshkosh

    I believe you are referring to machine turning. There is actually a tool for doing this but I'm not sure wht it is called but whatever you use needs to be very soft as the gold leaf is extrememly easy to tear.
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  5. OshkoshRob
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 388

    from Oshkosh


    Is this the effect you are going for. I believe the tool is called a tamper.
  6. OshkoshRob
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 388

    from Oshkosh

    Google engine turned goldleaf
    Joined: Nov 3, 2006
    Posts: 537

    from LOMITA

    I'm not a pro but I bought this thing for detailing it looks like a little ball and I covered it with a crown royal bag works great
  8. hankabilly13
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 26


    Thanks for all the input! I have a crown royal bag in my garage...and some crown royal! maybe one or both will help!

  9. hankabilly13
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 26


    thanks! actually found a PDF with a bunch of good info!

  10. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,672

    from Tampa, FL

    Besides car painters, book binders, picture framers and some artitsts work in leaf. Google them... you never know what kinds of tricks and tips are out there outside the mainstream auto / paint fields. Gary
  11. mottsrods
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 742


    My dad is a sign painter by trade. Has been for over 50 years....I have learned alot from him, and my grandfather's "old" ways of doing things. Best tool you can use for turning gold leaf is a really soft cork from a wine bottle. But most of all, let the goldleaf adhere well before trying to turn it. I have wathed my father do almost all of the local firetrucks this way. I have done a few myself, and believe that they did it the right way, because it always looked perfect when done. Keep us posted!! and PM me if you have any questions, I'll try and help you along.

  12. fuzzy bunny
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 448

    fuzzy bunny

    The big round makeup brushes work good.
  13. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954


    there is a good how-to in the tech archives for doing golf leaf with the machine turning too

    I just searched and couldnt find it, anyone have that link handy?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  14. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor

    I remember this Gerber CRAP from the sign shop days. It's the anti-christ's by-product copy of REAL DEAL engine turned gold leaf by REAL sign craftsmen.

  15. KreaturesCCaustin
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,258

    from Austin, TX

    I haven't done it myself yet, although I plan to learn how. I've read a few different books and websites where they suggested a piece of felt wrapped around a big ball of cotton. Just twist the felt around the ball until it's pretty firm, then lightly push and turn.
  16. falfas55
    Joined: Apr 21, 2004
    Posts: 288


    Try using a make-up brush.Twirl it around in a circular motion.Be gentle.Hope this will help.
  17. troylee
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 683


    My sign guy uses different dia. brushes that are cut back and flat. And some talent that I wish I had.
  18. Von Dago
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 504

    Von Dago
    from New Jersey

    I made mine using a wooden thread bobbin, foam rubber, and velvet.
    Put a carriage bolt thru the hole in the wooden bobbin, with enough bolt sticking thru to put in an electric drill chuck,(variable speed).
    Cut a round piece of foam rubber and glue it to the head end of the bobbin/bolt.
    Wrap a piece of velvet over the foam rubber and hold in place with a rubber band.
    Make sure you let the size dry enough before you apply the gold or you'll "drown" it in the size.
    Put it in the drill and SLOWLY and GENTLY start turning the gold leaf. You'll figure out real quick when you've pressed to hard!
    Make a horizontal row of overlapping circles, on the next row down start a half of circle over and a half of circle down,+or-.
    Hope this makes sense.
    As with a lot of old sign painting techniques, practice, practice, practice.
    mottsrods idea of the cork sounds interesting too. Try it. I'm going to as soon as I finish the wine.
    That's the other thing about old sign painting techniques, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
    Have fun.
    JEEM, Amen, Brother.
  19. BigNick1959
    Joined: Oct 23, 2006
    Posts: 639


    I use engine valves to turn my gold and silver leaf. Take a large or small valve depending on what size spin your looking for, glue a couple of cotton balls to the valve face and then cover and secure some velvet around it. if your tearing the leaf the size hasent set up enough, wait till it's almost dry then lay down the the leaf. Grab the valve by the stem, press down with a little presser and give it a 1/4 spin. That's it, the longer you wait to apply the leaf the more shine it will have and the harder you can press. Experience is the only why to learn when to lay the leaf, you only have about a 5 min. window.
    Hope that helps.
  20. Redhouse
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 38

    from derby, ks

    if your gold is ripping, then you're:
    A) not letting the size dry enough (based on temp and humidity)
    B) using the wrong material to turn with
    C) using too much pressure

    depending on the brand and type of size, you should do a test panel of thinly brushed size and do the "knuckle test" by lightly draging your knucle across the size every 5 minutes. when dragging you should hear a squeek. every time you test, write down your time (5 mins, 10 mins, 15 etc)

    if the size smears or drags, keep waiting. once the size stops leaving an imprint but still has tack apply your gold. for me it's around 40-45 mins.

    with real cotton batting and velvetine (not real velvet), ball up the batting a little smaller than a golfball and tighten the velvetine around it. then lightly press and turn a 1/4 turn on the gold.

    should look a little like this

    Attached Files:

  21. Safariknut did at least one How To post on Gold Leaf here.
  22. hankabilly13
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 26


    thanks for the input. I found out this weekend that if I let is sit overnight it turns without ripping! I will try the cork tonight!

  23. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114


    That's the ticket right there, VELVETINE! Something about the velvetine works for me every time. Real velvet is trial and mostly error.
  24. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,845

    philly the greek
    from so . cal.

    Redhouse had some very good advice . That;s pretty much how I've been doing it for the past 30 plus years .Here's a few examples .

    Attached Files:

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