We're looking to do some additional lettering on one of our rigs and, if we're lucky, re-letter the one piece in the fleet that doesn't match the others. Currently, we have gold-leaf lettering & trim pieces on the rigs. We'd like to find an alternative (i.e. more affordable) to gold leaf... perhaps something that is reflective.
Who out there uses something like this? Do you have any information (pro or con) about it? Links to brands, companies, etc. would be greatly appreciated as I'm working on a bit of a deadline.
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Thread: Alternative to Gold Leaf
05-02-2004, 08:51 PM #1
Alternative to Gold Leaf
05-02-2004, 10:04 PM #2
just an idea
I've seen some places use gold-colored scotchlite. Shows up pretty well at night. Could make it look like gold leaf a little if you have some die-cut pieces made to replicate what you have, won't be an exact match though. Not sure on the cost of that either.
Just an idea. Stay safe.Jonathan Martin
WPI Mechanical Engineering
"Be safe, use smoke detectors...be safer, sleep with a firefighter..."
05-03-2004, 11:40 AM #3
Check with the local sign maker. We have a company here and they are several that makes all types of refective signs and even the department's logo. They made some very good gold looking applications that can look so good that they will fool your eyes.
Most of the apparatus makers now use this type of markings since it isn't a high cost item as pure gold leaf.
05-03-2004, 11:42 AM #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
One of our captains dad pounded gold leaf. It is pounded between pieces of lamb skins. One ounce of pounded gold leaf could cover a large portion of an apparatus floor.
If you have ever seen gold leaf applied, it's more than the gold that makes it look great. It's the shading, burnish, a twist with a piece of velvet and the ivory and black highlighting that bring it to life. So what every you decide on, the same effects will need to be added.
05-03-2004, 11:45 AM #5
You are right Bob.
It is an art to apply gold leaf and finish it. I think the bluish trim on it looks good. Pirsch use it for years on their apparatus.
I have seen it applied at several apparatus makers plants.
05-03-2004, 11:54 AM #6
We recently switched to an all vinyl - CNC cut graphics & lettering scheme.
Go to this page - scroll down to "Med 3" and click on the thumbnails (sorry - best I have for now) http://n2dfire.tripod.com/stationbio.html
The large stripe is paint, the pin stripes are gold scotch lite tape, and all the graphics are green & gold leaf vinyl.
FYI - the flag on the front of the box was also custom cut vinyl
Also - check out
http://www.beacongraphics.com/avery-leaf.html (This is very similar to what we used)
These are all vinyl based material and any sign shop in your area should be able to get / cut this for you.Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
05-03-2004, 02:21 PM #7
Leo's Gold Lion Products, Inc.
When I re-lettered my '58 F.W.D. I wanted a high-quality gold leaf, with a vinyl overlay, for more durability. I searched the internet, and found Leo's Gold Lion Products, Inc. in Kerrville, Texas. I had two 9"-diameter maltese crosses CUSTOM made, plus 3" high gold leaf letters, with black shading.....Total number of letters (plus the truck number.....) 40 total letters and numbers, plus the maltese, all cost me a grand total of just under $1000. You work with their artists on the layout, by providing photos and measurements, and they will layout what you need on removable film (For example, the name on my truck is 4 words..."xyz pdq fire dept"....they lay out all 4 words on one piece of film). You simply lay the letters up on the truck, with a soapy water solution (to move it around, and to help eliminate air bubbles) then press down with a plastic spatula-thingy. Leo's provides a complete set of easy to follow instructions....My first attempt at applying was easy enough, and the more I did it, the easier it got. Leo's also has a simulation gold leaf, as well as scotchliting materials. Their website is http://www.lionet.com/
No, I am not a salesman for them, just an antique owner who was extremely impressed with the product!"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
05-03-2004, 05:04 PM #8
There is a company in...
...Wantagh, NY- Michael T. Norris Lettering -that does great work. I've seen it in person at the NYSAFC show in Syracuse. You can find them on the web at http://www.goldleaflettering.com/ My FD uses Gold Scotchlite with red shading on our apparatus. Just my opinion, but real goldleaf is pretty pricey stuff. I can understand investing in it for a parade vehicle, but not an in service truck. The upkeep on goldleaf is labor intensive and I don't think any one has the time to take care of that stuff on a truck with the doors getting hammered on a daily basis.Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.
You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.
05-03-2004, 06:42 PM #9
Re: There is a company in...Originally posted by tripperff
I can understand investing in it for a parade vehicle, but not an in service truck. The upkeep on goldleaf is labor intensive and I don't think any one has the time to take care of that stuff on a truck with the doors getting hammered on a daily basis.
05-03-2004, 08:46 PM #10
Actually, caring for gold leaf isn't labor intensive at all.....It's like anything else- a little preventive maintenance goes a long way. All gold leaf should be re-laquered every few years, depending on how much the truck is used.....How much fire, smoke, heat, road salt, etc etc etc.....How much is the truck exposed to the elements???
-Never use "abrasive" materials on gold leaf, such as scrub brushes, wash brooms, etc etc. Use lambs wool "mitts" to wash gold leaf areas.
-Use only approved automotive detergents or car wash. Nothing harsh!
-And finally, every few years (again, adjusted for use & abuse) have someone go over the leaf & reseal with a good quality clear laquer!"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
05-03-2004, 10:52 PM #11
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
When we restored our 1923 Seagrave we thought we were lost in trying to put back the original gold leaf pattern because the engine was too close to a funiture store fire that had bubbled the paint and most of the gold leaf. Roy Supernat, a master gold leaf artist, laughed when he first saw the engine. In the rear corner of the hose bed was a portion of the original gold leaf. Roy was quick to point out the the master to the entire gold leaf on the engine was included in this corner. He was right! He was able to recreate the entire gold leaf of the engine including the the gold leaf surrounding the mural on the hood from just that one section that remained. It was a treat to watch this master do his magic. Even in his late seventies, Roy could draw a straight line free hand better than most could with a ruller.
Every gold leaf artist has their own individaul signature that they sign on their work when they finish. It's not in letters but a special art work logo. Once I knew Roy's, I found literally hundreds of new and antique engines that Roy had put his midus touch on.
The cost? Roy wouldn't let us pay him. We were blessed.
05-04-2004, 10:53 AM #12
Our 2 newest engines are done in SignGold. Our Tower was done in Leo's SmartGold. Both are vinyl based and much more durable than actual gold leaf.
Here's a couple close ups of the SignGold.
The nice thing about the SignGold, is that most local sign shops have it or can easily get it in the event one section needs to be replaced."The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
-Henry David Thoreau
Visit my dept. at www.TCFD.com
05-05-2004, 09:15 PM #13
Our Pierce apparatus has what I think they call "Gold Star". Its actual gold leaf lettering with black shading between two layers of lamenent. It holds up great! The lettering on our '93 looks just as good as whats on our 2002's.
We had our '84 re-lettered by a local graphics guy. He used black vinyl for the shading, put a layer of red-reflective over the black, and applied gold leaf to the red reflective. He put clear lamenent over the whole thing. Except for the thin stip of red between the gold and black, it looks the same as the original lettering. What's cool is the red rflective outline at night.
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