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With numerous engravings and diagrams
by Paul N. Hasluck 1903

Heating Lettering Tools


Suppose a volume to be screwed up in the finishing press (Fig. 73), which is lying on the bench in front of the worker, the head of the book being towards the right hand; the heated fillet is taken from the stove, and the edge of the fillet, which must be perfectly clean and bright, is drawn quickly over the palm of the left hand to aid the adhesion of the gold. The fillet is then rolled carefully over the slips of gold leaf, which will adhere to the fillet till its periphery is covered. Then turning to the book, hold the bottom of the handle of the fillet with the right hand, allow the upper part of the handle to rest against the right shoulder, and roll the fillet over the back of the book at the places marked for the bands. Having thus filleted the back seven times (if an octavo), the finisher shifts the press so that the tail of the book is towards him, raises the head of the book somewhat higher than the tail, so that the back is rather inclined, and then proceeds to apply the lettering upon the lettering piece, previously covered with a piece of gold leaf as described.
If lettering is done with the separate handled letters, great care will be required to keep the line straight and the letters equidistant. It is best to stamp first the central letter of the title, and then to add the others on each side. Thus, in lettering HOMER, the M would be first applied, then O and E, and lastly H and R. The full title screwed up in a typeholder is more easily applied, but even by this method considerable care is required. Centre ornaments, corners, pallets, and, in fact, all other tools necessary for the production of half gilt or full gilt backs, are worked in a similar manner. In placing the smaller tools the binder holds the upper part of the handle in the right hand and guides the end with the thumb, as shown at Fig. 104.

Method of Holding Lettering Tool

The pallets are worked carefully across the backs. Sometimes the finisher works a light blind impression of the tool first to guide him, then lays on the gold leaf, and applies the heated tool again (see Fig. 105).

Method of Applying Pallet

The following instruction on lettering is specially applicable to the amateur who possesses but very few appliances. As in working with single letters it is very difficult to keep them even, both as regards the straightness of the lines and the distance of one letter from another, the amateur may find very useful a small and inexpensive apparatus which he can make easily for himself.



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