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Chinese Gold Leaf

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by coyote, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    Has anyone had any problems with Chinese 23K patent gold leaf? We recently did 2 V-groove carved HDU signs and tried the Chinese gold leaf for the first time (we usually use Australian or German). Customer just called (I know, it's Saturday at 5pm) to say it is flaking off. We've been doing these signs for him for years without a problem, and the only new material is the gold- so, is it the gold or did we just really mess up this large job?
     
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  2. tbullo

    tbullo Superunknown

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    We have been using the Oriental 23k patent ( prob. Chinese) gold from Art Essentials with no problems. I use Rolco slow size( clear) over 1 shot imitation gold. Depending on the job, I will sometimes use German surface gold. I once ran out of Italian patent and had to mix with the Oriental on the same job and could not tell the difference. Here is a pic of a recent Oriental gold leaf job on signfoam with chiseled letters.
     

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  3. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    Is that an interior sign? Ours are exterior and we did the border with Australian gold leaf and the letters with Oriental gold leaf (both from Art Essentials). The border is perfect and the letters totally failed on both signs. Here's a closeup. We have NEVER had this happen in over 30 yrs of doing this kind of stuff.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I've been using Art Essentials Japanese gold for a long time with good results. I tried the Chinese gold and thought it was a little thin and inconsistant. Can't tell why you had the failure though. If you had posted the photo without the question I would have said the size was too dry when it was gilded.
     
  5. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Perhaps there's a high content of lead in chinese gold???
     
  6. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

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    Lead or tungsten
    Reports about gold with tungsten inside all over.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/26/the-drilled-gold-bars-filled-with-tungsten/

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/tungs...-bar-found-middle-manhattans-jewelry-district

    http://silverdoctors.blogspot.com/2012/03/tungsten-filled-1-kilo-gold-bar.html
    If gold bars get melted ,without checking,then processed.
    You end up with 12karat or less gold.
     
  7. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    If the failure had only been to one sign, and to parts of it instead of uniformly throughout both signs, I would've thought size was too dry-however, we sized and gilded the signs on different days just so we would not have that problem and they both took the gold perfectly and looked great when they were installed. The lower cost should have been a warning-we try to save our customers money and end up costing ourselves more in the long run. (Expensive) lesson learned.
     
  8. S'N'S

    S'N'S Active Member

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    I was going to say that the size may have been too dry or the substrate might have had something on it that wouldn't let it stick, do a test on some scrap to see if it does the same thing.
     
  9. tbullo

    tbullo Superunknown

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    Here is a gold leaf sign that has been there for 15 years. A new maintenance guy came through and sprayed bleech on them, went to lunch and then power washed these ( 4 signs in total). Don't know if something like this happen to yours. We also give a care for gold leaf signs instruction sheet, but sometimes over time they get forgot about.
     

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  10. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Do you guys put any kind of clear on top? I know the guy who does local fire trucks comes back a few days later and does something. Second hand knowledge from me.
     
  11. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

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    Gold on fire trucks do get a clear coat ... otherwise the constant washing and polishing will wear away the gold in a short time.

    Other than that, no top coat is recommended.
     
  12. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    The power washed sign looks just like what is happening with ours. Before I call Art Essentials, I will call customer to see if the sign was cleaned. I never considered that-I've just NEVER seen a sign fail like that-until I saw your photo! Thank you.
     
  13. tbullo

    tbullo Superunknown

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    Luckily for us we have been doing business with this homeowners group for over 30 years. They called about 3 weeks ago asking how much to redo their signs and explained what happened. I think they are trying to do an insurance claim on them some kind of way since 4 signs were damaged. It looked very similar to your photos, so I figured this was an option for you.
     
  14. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    Unfortunately, just talked with the homebuilder who swears nobody touched the faces of the signs. He's been a super customer for over 20 years, so even though I believe someone did do something to them, he doesn't know about it and we have no choice but to eat this one. This happened over the course of 2 weeks-when they put them up they were gorgeous, and now look like crap. Art Essentials offered to trade in any left over gold if we weren't satisfied with it, so we'll do that and replace it with Australian or German gold. We thought the Chinese gold seemed pretty thin, so it's possible it just failed. Makes me nervous that it will happen again-we'll buy new size as well-maybe it has "gone over" as they say. Sigh.
     
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