Gilding Tutorial

The original post can be found here

Hello everyone!

After some requests, I decided to make a gilding tutorial. It honestly is not easy to make a tutorial on gilding because some things are hard to explain in words, but I’ll do my best. This information only applies to hand gilding on leather. It doesn’t cover the use of a machine gilding and you can’t gild on cloth (long story short, you need to apply a lot more pressure to gild on cloth and make it look good).

First of all, you will need a couple of things before you gild well: patience and practice.

The tools

There are three kinds of tools: hand tools, pallets and wheels. Ideally they should be made of brass, in order to tolerate the heat and the pressure you are going to apply to them.

Please, note if you drop a tool when it is hot it will deform and it may become completely useless.

Hand tools are the ones with the most variety. They are symbols, logos, “corners”, etc.

You apply them on the leather with only one hand in a way that the thumb goes on the tip of the wood in order to make pressure. You wrap one finger of the other hand with leather (like a thimble) and put it on the brass to guide it. When you have found the print of the previous mark (I’ll come back to this below), you press north, south, east, west and, if the tool is big, you may press diagonally too.

Then you have pallets, which are used to gild on the rounded spines. When they are a single line, they are usually just called line instead of pallet. Even though some are flat, most of them are slightly curved to avoid touching the covers of the book when you use them.

You grab them with one hand on the handle and move them on the spine from right to left or viceversa, as you are more comfortable. Slowly and steady. If the pallet is wide you may move it slightly north-south as you keep moving west.

Finally, there are the wheels. They are used to make long strips of decoration, usually on the covers, but sometimes on the borders of the cover or even in the margin on the inside cover between the leather and the endpaper.

Some wheels have regular handles and some have longer handles. Regular handles require a more strong hand, while larger handles are usually held in one hand and the shoulder. You just put down the wheel and keep rolling until the end! You should take into account to start rolling faster and finish rolling slower, since the wheel will be cooler at the end. Like the pallet, if it is very wide, you can move slightly side to side the wheel to make sure you are pressing equally. And beware of misalignments!

The heating process

You have to heat the tool. It will take more or less time depending on what you are using. If you are just starting and don’t have a heater, you may also use the kitchen stove. I have a small bottle that I fill with alcohol and it has a wick I lit. It is like having a candle with no wax. The only problem with that is that it takes longer to achieve the heat required and you have to hold the tool all the time. Stove is a better option.

The one below is sold in Talas, NY (

You will need a wet sponge and some water next to you in order to check the temperature.

Now comes the central point of this post: when do I know the heat is right?

Grab the tool and touch the sponge with the brass, while being careful of avoiding the decorated parts that will touch the gold (bubbles may keep and cool the tool faster). If the tool makes a very loud noise and small bubbles jump around, you overheated it. If the tool doesn’t make any noise, it is underheated. The ideal is for the tool to make some small noise, keep it until it makes no noise and then it is the correct temperature. Don’t delay or you will have to heat it again.

If you overheat the tool a lot, do not hold it on the sponge to lower the temperature. This will put out of tune the tool and if that happens, the tool will heat very quickly but will also lose temperature very quickly, sometimes rendering it useless. In that case, you can press the tool on some cardboard, so it passes the heat to the cardboard naturally and you wait until it is good enough to use.

The materials

You can either use foil (I think it is also called American gold) or gold leaf. Of course, the price is not the same, unfortunately. Foil comes in many different colors and is very cheap, while gold leaf can have different tones but it is always the same gold color. The latter can be of 22, 23.5 or 24 k. I would avoid 22k, since it usually requires more layers, which means more work and you end up spending more money and time than if you had used 23.5 or 24 k from the start. That is, unless you are just practising, in which case, it is totally fine. Even though it is not cheap, the price is affordable (about 60€ for 25 gold leafs of 8x8 cm? I am not sure).

If you use foil, I suggest you avoid the footprint for the simple reason that once you put the foil on the leather you will be blind and won’t know where the original print is, making it very difficult to ruin it. Foil is usually made one time: it’s no good for repeating… or erasing. If your tool is over heated and you end up having what I call a paste (which is all the foil “glued” on the leather), you can try rubbing with some cotton or wool fabric… but if it doesn’t come off, there is nothing else you can do.

If you use gold leaf, there are two ways: the traditional one and the modern one. Both work only on vegetable tanned leathers. Gold doesn’t stuck on chrome dyed leathers.

If you are using a hand tool, first of all you should make a print on the leather using only the tool low heated (low enough you can hold it on your hand for 5-10 seconds without having to rush to the hospital). If you are using a wheel, it’s a good idea to make some thin lines using a pointed compass to have some guidelines and avoiding bias.

The traditional one uses egg white. It’s a good idea to add some drops of glycerin, so it moves easier. You apply the white on the leather abundantly, only on the part you will be gilding. Hold on for a few seconds, depending on the temperature and humidity of the room (yes, I know, a lot of factors). When you see it has absorbed only a bit, with some cotton cloth soaked in almond oil, press slightly on the surroundings. This helps the leaf to stick and not fly around. Then you apply the leaf and with a clean cotton you slightly press, so that you should see the footprint below. You can’t wait for too long, because if the egg dries, the gold will not stick. Use the tool and remove the left overs with a cloth.

The modern one uses fixor. Sometimes egg can be tricky on some leathers, but fixor should always work (on vegetable tanned leathers). The proportion is 1 drop of water for every 4 drops of fixor. Apply some on the parts where you are going to gild. Be careful, because fixor can stain some leathers if applied roughly. Wait for ten minutes and apply a second layer. You should wait an hour. You can wait less, you just need to be sure it is completely dry. Then you apply some almond oil, the gold leaf, press with clean cotton and use the tool. Remove the leftovers with the cloth.

Pros and cons: egg white is very easily found for everyone, while fixor is sold by Relma, in France, and it is not that cheap. Alternatively, Talas also sells it. Fixor can be left for days and it still works, while egg white can’t wait. Fixor always works, while egg white can be somewhat more picky. In conclusion, fixor is more comfortable, but if it’s unavailable, egg white works perfectly well too.

If you applied to much heat and too much gold was glued, don’t worry. Unlike foil, you can remove with something that you always have close… your saliva. Yes, you can wet a stick on your saliva and carefully remove the gold. Alternatively, don’t be afraid of rubbing with the cloth, because the gold that has been pressed with the heat is hard to remove, so you would only remove the left over.

I think that’s it. If you have any question regarding this process, feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me by email. I’ll be glad to help.

The pictures of the tools were made by Kevin Noakes. I have no affiliation to him, I am just a happy customer. You can visit his website:


Dungeon Painter is a free powerful encounter map design tool.            

  • Wast selection of objects and textures
  • Layers and groups
  • Export to png and jpg
  • Map sharing through online gallery
  • Export to multipage pdf for print
  • Special black & white tiles for print
  • Tile categories & subcategories with preview
  • Square and hex grid
  • Hotkeys
  • More than 250 FREE sample maps!

Check out Tabletop Gaming Resources for more art, tips and tools for your game!
5 myths about Tourniquets.
1. TOURNIQUETS SHOULD ONLY BE USED AS A LAST RESORT. WRONG, dead wrong. This is a dangerous and antiquated approach to trauma. There is an overwhelming amount of substantiated data that dispel this myth. READ MORE..........


This is a dangerous and antiquated approach to trauma. There is an overwhelming amount of substantiated data that dispel this myth. If you’re attending a class and that’s what you are being told, contact us at Trauma Monkeys ASAP and we will find a course in your area that is teaching the current protocols.

In combat zone, Tactical Setting, Active

shooter, dynamic type event a Tourniquet should be the First choice if there is any suspicion that a casualty is bleeding from an extremity. For many years Extremity Hemorrhage was the number one cause of preventable death on the battlefield it has since been surpassed by junctional hemorrhage (armpit, groin, neck).

Significant improvements in training, coupled with the availability of tourniquets have directly resulted in a marked decrease in mortality. Through education and persistence the military has been able to convince all hands to completely change how they view tourniquets. No easy task considering the how many times we have all been told “only as a last resort”.

2. Placing a Tourniquet (TK) equals loss of limb.

The fact is loss of a limb is extremely rare. The risk of hemorrhage far outweighs the minuscule risk of limb damage. The old “Life over limb” adage applies here. There are many well-documentedcases of patients that have had commercial tourniquets in place for greater then eight hours, with no loss of limb. In the cases where their have been a loss of limb(s), they are directly attributable to a gunshot wound, blast injury, shrapnel, fragmentation, high velocity trauma and not as a result of restricted blood flow from tourniquet placement.

3. Belts make great Tourniquets.

This is Utter Nonsense. Belts make terrible tourniquets; it is extremely difficult if not impossible to completely occlude arterial blood flow using a belt. Utilizing a belt and its buckle will never be tight enough and attempting to tighten the belt with a makeshift windlass is problematic due to it’s rigidity. The makeshift windlass would need to be substantial (i.e. leg of a chair) to have any chance of tightening the belt enough. Belts are readily available and certainly work better then nothing, the point here is to promote commercially made Tourniquets or more suitable makeshift tourniquets (cravat / stick) see our article here on improvised Tourniquets.

4. Makeshift Tourniquets are proper Medical equipment.

Using what you have on hand in extremis is not only acceptable its commendable. There are no shortages of great stories of people doing self-aid or acting as a first responder, I prefer First Care Provider, more on this in future posts).  Read more about Brian Ludmer, the schoolteacher shot in the calf in the LAX shooting.  Ludmer crawled to a shop, scrambled into a storage room and shut the door. He found a sweatshirt and tied it around his leg to slow the bleeding.  Key phrase there “Slow the bleeding”, that’s what makeshift tourniquets do, commercially made tourniquets STOP the bleeding. Hospitals, EMS agencies, Fire Departments, and anyone in the business of saving lives is negligent if they are not equipped with commercially made Tourniquets.

This is what the city of Boston had on standby and utilized in the aftermath of the bombing.  It’s surgical tubing, and a pair of hemostats to secure the tubing after wrapping it circumferentially around an extremity. It’s important to note that 100% of these were found to be ineffective tourniquets and had to be converted to a commercial tourniquet. That’s not to say they did not slow the bleeding and contribute to the high survival rate. Please do not think this is a criticism of those brave folks that responded and undoubtedly saved countless lives.  

Boston has since purchased commercial tourniquets and discontinued the tubing policy. When someone is bleeding significantly from an extremity it is hardly the time for arts and crafts. If you are in the business of saving lives then make it your business to have the gear you need to do so.

5. There is a best Tourniquet out there.

Commercial Tourniquets just like any other piece of gear all have advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weakness, pros and cons. They all have subtle nuances and general rules of thumb regarding their use. I’m often asked what tourniquet I recommend, and my answer is always the question “recommend for who, when, and where?” The Tourniquet that works well for a Marine on his body armor, may not be the best choice for someone doing undercover work. The tourniquet I carry on SWAT missions to treat a wounded Police Officer would be a poor choice in a school shooting with expected pediatric patients. The tourniquet I would use in a controlled emergency room setting would be difficult to use in a low light stressful environment.

Tourniquets come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and accomplish the job in a myriad of ways. As with any other job, task, or mission the sensible answer is to choose the right tool for the job. 


Valency Patterns Leipzig (ValPaL) is an incredibly useful online database containing the results of a large-scale cross-linguistic comparison of valency classes, i.e. ways that verbs can vary in whether they have subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, or other arguments.

From the About page:

With respect to their valency properties, verbs fall into different classes in all languages. The project was inspired by Levin (1993), a classical study of syntactic classes of verbs in English, which argued that a semantic classification of verbs can be achieved through applying syntactic diagnostics. Yet, this study, as well as an earlier study by Apresjan (1967) on Russian, was not followed up cross-linguistically, which leaves open the question of which aspects of these classifications are universal and which are language-particular. Similarly, valency dictionaries are few in number and mostly deal with European languages, thus they cannot fill the gap.

To make progress in the cross-linguistic study of valency classes, the members of the Valency Classes Project (Andrej Malchukov, Bernard Comrie, Iren Hartmann, Martin Haspelmath, Bradley Taylor & Søren Wichmann) assembled a group of contributors, who collaborated on providing a consistent set of cross-linguistic data.

For example, the English examples page contains alternations like:

12. She hugged her little sister and kissed her on the head - coded as: a Coding frame: 1-nom > V.subj[1] > 2-acc

13. They hugged and kissed - coded as: an Alternation: Reciprocal

14. I haven’t had a hug in months - coded as: an Alternation: Have-a-VP(nominal)

The coding means that you can look up a whole list of English verbs that also appear in, say, the reciprocal alternation just by clicking on the appropriate cell in the table and using some filters. This page shows that other common examples of the reciprocal include meet, play, talk, and touch. This is already pretty cool, and builds on Levin (1993), which lists English verbs grouped by their syntactic processes.

But since different verbs are reciprocal, transitive, etc. in different languages, ValPaL lets you look up common verbs by their valency in 36 languages, from a wide variety of language families, for example, if you’re trying to create stimuli for an experiment.

Zombie Apocalypse Multi-Tool

Live to fight another day in the bleak and unforgiving new world with the zombie apocalypse multi-tool by your side. This single piece of crafted steel contains a plethora of functional tools, from a machete to a bottle opener.


Check It Out

Awesome Sh*t You Can Buy

Setting Up a CNC Milling Machine

Whenever we buy machines, there is always an instruction rituale with it. These pamphlets are not accessories. They are very necessary pages that we should take life to read and empathize with. They are free and as such nyet one should claim lack of ignorance with exercise judgment to the machine purchased for whatever interpretation. In most cases, the instruction manuals come in a few than universal galla. The superlative common languages included being English, Japanese, Chinese and French. Of great profitability over against most users is the fact that the manuals plus usually include pictures for better plain sailing of the instructions reality. A CNC mill is no lockout. It along comes with instructions manuals. Below are the highest basic (not all all-encompassing) procedures to follow duration typesetting up this automobile:

Clear space
In most cases, as far as we decide so that get started pro a vocation, we are usually in a hurry to get it produced that we ignore the most pure steps to follow as long as employing the political machine. Having a clear space is in a way advantageous during which time on the run by means of a CNC machine. Be based on to have enough space on which to set up shop like well as to ensure that the surface is the complete.
Of a sort than the start up, the CNC mill itself needs in contemplation of continue cleaned. Its various parts like the vise jaws ought to occur wiped using a cloth free of lint.
Tool loading
Get all the tools that will to prevail needed just the same working in despite of the CNC mill. This is a simple watchfulness to ensure that there is no going treacherously in stalking with respect to something once the stabile is done. Alter ego also ensures that a project does not have to stop before its completion back a tool is vanished or like that. Carry away all the necessary tools in with a toolbox near you to the particular site where the work legacy be extant carried out.
Setting tool length
It is earthshaking to set the length relating to each of the tools among stationing the authorities inside spindle, the first tool first round. This is a kind of programming lineup to ensure accuracy is maintained in the work done, open air having so that participate in cognate data conformable to the psalter has begun. Always do this before starting on any project with a CNC machine.
Adjusting coolant relief
This procedure is important while it comes towards the antiquity of the CNC mill. The raise has an in built coolant that is supposed so that cool the tools properly. At the same free time, the coolant also washes the rhino away. Breathe sure to give spare time to the machine to cool so that she is enigmatic to function properly.

Once the CNC liberal party is put so work, parody care to put it in out of it chute, single gimcrack prior to pressing cycle starts. For this reason, be elegy to horologe the one-party system and the movements that oneself makes. Be ready to stop it gangway case there are any issues that were overlooked, especially those against the programming. Such errors could result in a poorly all up project or an unfinished one altogether. Good blessing!

G.A.S.P is a tool that is unaffiliated with this blog, but we think is a useful resource to share! From the thread:

GASP (or ‘General Accent & Skin Pinglists’) is a self editable google doc resource for skins and accents.

It allows accent/skin seekers to add their usernames to lists that interest them (ex: “Male Ridgeback Skins” or “Female Tundra Accents”) and then receive pings when a new accent is released for sale, pre-order or interest check on the forums that matches these specifications.

For accent/skin makers, GASP pinglists can be copied and posted to personal 'accent shops’ (threads) when releasing accents matching one of more of the breed/sex specific categories.

Use this tool to find the kind of accents you’re after, and/or to increase exposure of your work to interested parties!



NIFC - located in Boise, Idaho - is the nation’s support center for wildland firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC, to include the Bureau of Land Management.

Follow posts here on Tumblr all week; see daily recaps of posts on the NIFC journal:

First stop, the Great Basin Cache and Returns Warehouse!

Did you know? The Main Warehouse…

  • One of 15 fire caches across the country (3 BLM and 11 USFS and 1 State located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho).  Boise’s cache is one of the largest in the system at 80,000 square feet.
  • Has enough capability to equip 8,000 firefighters in the field.
  • Common for the cache to operate 24 hours a day during intense periods of fire suppression.

Did you know? The Returns Warehouse… 

  • Mission is to clean, refurbish and repair fire equipment returned from Great Basin fires.
  • The cache system has 48 different kits that are used in the incident command system. 
  • Incidents must return items ordered out of the cache within 60 days of the fire being declared “out” for reuse.

Ron Dunton, BLM Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation, explains NIFC and how the BLM fits in with NIFC’s mission.

All photos and video courtesy of NIFC.

I wonder how many other mundane skills, shaped to accommodate outmoded objects, persist beyond their utility. It’s not news to anyone that students used to write with fountain pens, but knowing this isn’t the same as the tactile experience of writing with one. Without that experience, it’s easy to continue past practice without stopping to notice that the action no longer fits the tool. Perhaps “saving handwriting” is less a matter of invoking blind nostalgia and more a process of examining the historical use of ordinary technologies as a way to understand contemporary ones. Otherwise we may not realize which habits are worth passing on, and which are vestiges of circumstances long since past.