Gilding @ Varnishing Stand
Previously I had built a gilding stand that is meant to gild gold chloride onto silver plates once it has done its fix and wash.
It was a simple conversion which I had it done with a Engineering marking tool by Silverline, a contraption that was laying around the workshop unused and re-purposed. I had used this design which respectfully emulated Mike Robinson’s gilding stand which could be seen at his website here.
You could find it in various times on eBay, or something that could be picked-up at a local Sunday car boot sale. Though for to purchase new, to re-purpose would be expensive for this reason. Refer to the site that sells this here:
The lower part of this contraption is stainless steel bars which were welded and drilled holes (M6 sized screws) to manage the balance of the stand in small adjustments. At much later stage, I felt this part wasn’t needed as manual adjustments are faster and much more ease.
This material is made of mild steel, hence I noted the gold chloride solution had begun to attach (or attack?) to the surface of the base in just few sessions of gilding. Do note that I had this sprayed with black teflon spray, just to add more resistance to heat to the material from warping or brittle from consistent heat application. Though not necessary, unless if you are using propane torch like Jerry Spagnoli.
Since I had given this away, I needed a new stand to work with, a visit to a car boot sale had brought me to this:
Though this is such a dear looking thing, but it is a cheap mass produced item which I don’t mind converting this into a gilding stand. I had picked this up from local weekly car boot deal, and I noticed as well this may come up on eBay every now and then. Though I would not dare to convert anything of value such as real antique magnifying glass!
Taking these apart, most of the brass diameters are in the range of 6 mm down to 5 mm. The magnifying glass’ brass rod was at 5.2mm, which I easily find another brass rod at 5mm to do the job.
Looking out for brass rod scraps or one could find something like this in railway modelling stores, I took a piece and began to score a few cm at the end of it. This is to provide a firm area for the epoxy glue (which I will apply later) to have a grip onto the wooden bit it will be inserted into from spinning around.
Once the scores on the brass had been done, I prepared the wooden “U” shaped frame as a plate rest, the aperture or the spaces between are slightly larger by 2-3 mm on all side to make space for the plate to rest in.
The bottom part of the brass was pried opened and it was found to be almost hollow, only to have a few bits of cork discs which gives very little weight to the base. Though the base is made of brass, and it has a bit of a weight, this won’t be enough to stabilise the entire gild frame.
I had then used a cement filler (you can use plaster of paris, or any resin cast) to fill in that void.
The base was then coated, bottom and top surface, with Bonda Seal (which is a very tough plastic coating for marine boats), which I have to thank Mark Voce for recommending me with such fantastic material. This would be good coating which it claimed to be chemical resistant after 72 hours of drying time.
The frame were then sprayed with the same Black teflon oven spray to make it resist to heat. This is a great material as it will become more harden when heat is being applied to it.
It works as it should for gold chloride gilding for dag plate. Not a problem with that.
For wet plate collodion varnishing? I prefer to do it by hand as I could feel if too much heat being applied. Though it might be useful to those prefer to hold the alcohol lamp rather than the plate which is the receiving end of the flame?