Le Franc 3hr tac time

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Roderick Treece
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Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Roderick Treece » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:23 pm

Anyone out there have experience with using Le Franc 3hr size? New formula. I so what would you guess is the tack time for it.

Thanks in advance

Roderick

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Rich Hawthorne
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:33 pm

I have a pretty fresh (less than 1 yr) can of LaFranc 3-hr. It looks beautiful and flows nice and smooth. And almost never dries to tac in anything under 12 hours. It appears to be really sensitive to humidity, and to some extent temperature. When I put a dehumidifier near it I can get it to tac in much less time (5-6 hrs). I recently blended this 3hr and some 12hr LF and used it to screen size onto a piece I was working on. I was hoping it would be ready in 12hr but it took more like 16 hr. It eventually set hard but developed a bit of a haze to it. Regardless, it turned out pretty well.

I know of others who have had consistently good results with this size. I have not been that successful with it so hopefully they will speak up and tell us their experience.

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Lee Littlewood » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:01 pm

Rick, there was a thread mentioning the new LeFranc sizes sometime in 2014, I think. My contribution was
DON'T MIX 3 AND 12 HOUR SIZE.

I have happily mixed LeFranc slowsize and Rolco quick for many years, but when I had a problem mixing the new formula (sort of ropy looking, dried way too fast) I called Sepp Leaf. They said the new LeFranc slow size can NOT be mixed with anything, not even the bit of 1Shot for visibility, not even the LeFranc quick(!).
Maybe the 3 hour is mixable, but I haven't tried it yet.

On the other hand, my tests of the new 12hour were very encouraging - a brighter gild than the old formula. Next time I use it I'll try a bit of UniversalTintingColor for visibility and see how that goes.
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Rich Hawthorne
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:37 am

I understand Lee. I have read your wonderful post on the tests with LeFranc. I mixed them after talking with Noel Weber who I knew had done some of this kind of application. I screened it on reverse glass and used my dehydrator to reduce humidity. It did not dry clear, but had more of a milky cast to it. I waited until my test patch was tacky to my liking and then brushed various mica powders for effect. I just finished framing the piece and will take a picture of it soon to share.

After my experience mixing it, I would probably not do it again because of the cast impacting clearity. It would be very helpful to find a way to thicken it for screening applications where it remained clear. Perhaps a hardener in the 12-hr?

Doug Bernhardt
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:05 pm

Great read on all these posts. If it's of any help Noel Weber gave me some of a quick size he had been using from Letterhead Sign Supplies which I'll give a big thumbs up on. Although I didn't do any "Scientific" experiments I like how it tacks up evenly on the little bit of glass work I've used it on.

Andrew Lawrence
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:18 am

Hey Rich - I recently had a job where the only option was to screen size because the logo was way too detailed. I screened the LSS quick size with some Rolco in it. The Rolco didn't slow down the quick size by any means, but it worked really well. Oh and it was a vertically screened job too. Made things a bit tricky, a little messy but everything went textbook and I was really happy that I pulled it off. Made a little video of another job I did which you can see here. Same screen and client, just a different window.

http://youtu.be/c_2v-TvotII

Had to clean the screens at night and outside the place, which was right next to the Hustler club. I got the screen mostly all clean but some size had dried in it. Turns out goof off will get the stuff out as an FYI.

Andrew Lawrence
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:05 pm

Been doing some tests over here -

Turns out Rolco Slow doesn't slow down the LSS Quick much even at a 50/50 mix. Gilding was reading at 30 minutes to about an hour and a half or so for the Quick on it's own. However a 50/50 mix with LSS quick and Lefranc 12 hr gave it a nice 1-3.5 hour window for gilding. At hour 4 it was dried so it looks like I've found the sweet spot. Brightness was all similar in all cases.

Lefranc 12 on it's own could be gilded at 18 hours, but looked best at around 20-22 hrs in. It was notably brighter around hour 20 and at 24 hours right now it's still open.

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:06 am

Okay, now I'm confused. Andrew Lawrence wrote: "However a 50/50 mix with LSS quick and Lefranc 12 hr gave it a nice 1-3.5 hour window for gilding. At hour 4 it was dried so it looks like I've found the sweet spot. Brightness was all similar in all cases."

Is this a 50/50 mix of LSS quick and LeFranc slow size? If so, that is very useful, since it seems that LeFranc slow does not like to be intermixed.
....................................................

It sounds as if the LSS quick size has powerful drying properties:
"Gilding was ready at 30 minutes to about an hour and a half or so for the Quick on it's own."
"Rolco Slow doesn't slow down the LSS Quick much even at a 50/50 mix"
"50/50 mix with LSS quick and Lefranc 12 hr gave it a nice 1-3.5 hour window for gilding"
Considering that the old LeFranc slow size would stay open for days, pulling it down to 3 hours is impressive. Of course I can't find it now, but I think that my test of 'old' LeFranc slow vs 'new' LeFranc slow showed that they both took loose leaf for two to three days.
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Rich Hawthorne
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:43 am

My experience with Lefranc 12-hr size is that it seldom sets in anything less than 24 hours I have found that my 12-hr Luna size set reliably in 12 hrs. It also goes on very smooth and drys clear. I like it much better than the Lefranc. I do note that the only way I can get Lefranc slow size to set is to hook up the dehumidifier and bring humidity down to at least 40%.

In the past I've found the Lefranc 3-hr size to have similar properties. Andrew, your experiment with blending LSS quick size with Lefranc 12-hr may be really useful, thanks for reporting that. I like the LSS quick size but have never gotten through a can before it gels and become useless. I don't believe I have any at the moment.

Andrew Lawrence
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:06 pm

So I did some more work with a 50/50 mix of LeFranc and Letterhead Sign Supply Quick - Ready to gild around hour 3 or 4 this time. I'm not sure but I am guessing the humidity had something to do with it. It held the leaf really well and came out to a really bright shine. This was reverse glass work too FYI but I'm sure it would work with surface gilding.

I didn't check humidity, but it's around 80% right now - that might likely be the culprit

I also did part of this job using LSS Quick in a separate portion with a few drops of LeFranc - didn't slow the tack time at all. Tacked up and was ready around the half hour, 1 hour mark. The 50/50 mix was a lot brighter shine than the quick size alone, not noticeable to the client, but this gilder noticed it.

"Is this a 50/50 mix of LSS quick and LeFranc slow size? If so, that is very useful, since it seems that LeFranc slow does not like to be intermixed."
Answer is yes. Flow is pretty good out of a brown quill but you really need to watch it. Too light of a stroke or not enough size in your brush and it will separate or streak out. Too much and it will sag. Paint a letter, paint the next letter, then go back to see how the first is looking. A little sag or separation in the first letter and go back to brush back over it.

I would encourage others to try this out and report back their findings - these were my experiences and not altogether consistent in regards to tack time, but the gold liked it, the client liked it and the gild was somewhat brighter than LSS Quick Size on it's own.

Rich Hawthorne
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:11 pm

I finally got around to taking a picture of the piece I did the experiment with screen printing a 50-50 blend of 3-hr and 12-hr Lefranc gold size (mentioned way back at the start of this thread). Below is a close up of that effort. I screened the gold size, waited for it to tack and then used a couple of colors of mica powder to paint the drop shadow.

I found that the size cleaned up easily from the screen with mineral spirits.

Rich
drop-shadow-lithographing.jpg
drop-shadow-lithographing.jpg (72.15 KiB) Viewed 5366 times

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:16 am

Rich, how long did you wait before putting in the mica?
The caveats here being:
1) screening is not brushing
2) putting mica on is not the same tack as applying gold leaf
Still, do you have any feel for how the 50/50 LeFrancs mix was setting up?
...........
Separate question: why bother with size at all in this example, instead of using a clear silkscreen ink (like Overprint Clear)?

... nice looking piece. How big are we seeing?
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Rich Hawthorne
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Re: Le Franc 3hr tac time

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi Lee,

When I screened the 50-50 mix of 3/12 hr Lefranc I also brushed a test strip on the clean glass next to the drop shadow. I waited approximately 8 hr and examined the test strip. I observed a smooth layer yet it had a sort of off-white cast to it. I didn't care for that at all and almost cleaned the size off at that point but I pushed on. At nine hours the tack on the test strip set up well enough that I could have gilded with it. My experience with brushing on mica is to wait until it is nearly cured. By that I mean, comfortably past where I would gild with it. The reason is that if I brush mica on before the size is set all the way through I inevitably get dark spots in the mica - sort of like drowned leaf. I recognize there is some open time involved which could extend to days in the right conditions. But to your point, I started painting with mica powders around ten hours after screening. I screened in the morning, set the glass upside down in the shop with the dehumidifier going and came back eight hours later as reported above. Humidity was holding at 40% and temp was 68F.

After applying the mica powder I let the piece dry over night and the next morning I backed up with a blend of 1-hr size and bronze mica powder to fill in any holidays. When that dried (I waited overnight) I backed up again with LSS spar varnish.

The design for this piece showed up two years ago at the Deadman meet. It was one of several worked on at that meet. We acid etched the text, scalloped the edges of the glass, gilded and painted it. I needed to leave early and did not discover until months later that there was a drop shadow. I decided to do it again only this time with a drop shadow (nuts, I know). So I made up some screens, cut glass, acid etched the text and all that just to get to the point where I could put the drop shadow on. Now, to your question Lee - why bother with screening gold size vs clear screen ink? To be honest, I envisioned this as mica powder drop shadow from the beginning. I did not have clear screen ink but I did have two flavors of Lefranc size, I've always used gold size when painting with mica powder, the thought never came to me to go buy some clear screen ink and try that. But, I like that idea and may try it. That said, I knew from talking with Noel Weber that he had screened size for some intricate oil gilding so I called him and talked with him about this process.

Sorry to take up so much of your time. I should just bring em over to you to look at up close. The pic below is certainly not very good (sorry) but you can see the two pieces framed together. I would say it is 9"x16" or there about.
drop-shadow-lithographing-both.jpg
drop-shadow-lithographing-both.jpg (96.05 KiB) Viewed 5280 times
Rich

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