This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
To secure a good job of gilding depends largely for its beauty upon the sizing. Take tube chrome yellow ground in oil, thin with wearing body varnish, and temper it ready for use with turpentine. Apply in the evening with an ox-tail striper, and let it stand until the next morning, when, under ordinary circumstances, it will be ready for the gold leaf, etc. After the gilding is done, let the job stand 24 ours before varnishing.
Following are the three compositions mostly in use: I.—Nitric acid, 30 parts; hydrochloric acid, 3 parts; distilled water, 20 parts.
Nitric acid, 980 parts by weight; hydrochloric acid, 20 parts by weight.
Nitric acid, 123 parts by weight; hydrochloric acid, 2 parts by weight.
Place the work in spirits of salts (hydrochloric acid) or remove as much as possible with the scraper, using a gentle heat to remove the solder more easily.
Gold pens are usually tipped with iridium. This is done by soldering very small pieces to the points and filing to the proper shape.
Simply touch the object with a glass rod previously dipped into a solution of. bichloride of copper. If the article has been gilt the spot touched should remain intact, while it presents a brown stain if no gold has been deposited on its surface.
Ale has proved a very good substitute for soap and water in burnishing gilt as it increases the ease and smoothness with which it is accomplished. Vinegar is a somewhat poorer substitute for ale.