imprinting book titles by hand

I repair books for resale at our public library. Occasionally I need to replace an entire cover, either bookbinding vinyl or cloth. I have purchased a hand held type holder & lead type, which I heat & then attempt to imprint the title with imitation gold foil. For any number of reasons I rarely get a satisfactory result. Usually I cannot line it up perfectly by hand or I fail to apply equal pressure in all directions so that some letters are only partially formed. I’m heating on a hot plate & occasionally it overheats. Does anyone have experience in using a manual type holder or is there another better way to do this. We cannot justify nor afford a press. Thanks, Art Wilson

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To help you line up the imprint, you can put down a Post-it note with marks indicating the line length and position it just below where you want to imprint the line. You can sight along the line of type, keeping it just above the edge of the Post-it. The Post-it can also be used to hold the foil in place during stamping if inserted just under the adhesive edge.

Are you imprinting the spine flat or on the book? If already bound, you can “roll” the type, giving equal pressure along the roll action. Sometimes that is easier than trying to get equal pressure when stamping flat.

Mostly, it takes practice.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Usually on the book. I’ll give this a try. See what procedure works best for me. Thanks, Art Wilson