Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recent Projects

These are two books I have treated recently in the lab. Unfortunately, I got ahead of myself with these books and did not take before images.
This book was a half leather reback. The text block was a group of pamphlets sewn together and one section was exceptionally brittle. Initially, I tried to tip in the loose pages of this section with paste, but it was unsuccessful. It had to be removed from the group, washed and deacidified,  then guarded and resewn into the text block.
After the text block was repaired, I repaired the case and reattached it as seen in my previous entries. This is the completed book.
This book originally had fake raised bands, so I decided to mimic that when I rebacked it. Before cleaning and lining the spine, I made a template of the band positions. To make the fake raised bands, I glued two pieces of leather together and cut them into strips of the appropriate size. Then, using the template, I positioned the strips on the new spine stiffener. This was good practice, but because the leather was rotting 19th century leather, nothing was gained by saving the spine pieces. This process should be reserved for either better quality leather or a more valuable book. This was the end result.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cook Book

A good friend of mine inherited this cook book from her aunt, in this condition. It is a little dated with some of the recipes, but she claims it also contains priceless ones. Looking for a new project to tackle, I offered to repair it for her. The covers were totally detached, the endpapers were falling off the boards, and the first section and the last two pages were in pieces. (The middle image shows the first section's pages and the bottom is the last page of the index. This is also the page missing the most information).
I began by flattening and repairing the damaged pages. I lined them with heat set tissue, and added additional tissue to the fraying edges. The first pages of the first sections were missing, so when the pages I had were repaired, I guarded them to pages of Dove Grey to complete the section. I also made new endpapers from Dove Grey. Next, I cleaned the spine, repositioned the sections, tipped on the last two pages with paste, and lined the spine with Japanese Tissue. Then I put the first section and end papers in place and put the book in the press. Then I lined the spine again with linen. Once that lining was dry, I sewed on the endpapers, the first section, and repaired the sewing for the sections in the middle which needed it. Then I slightly rounded the spine and lined it with a heavy weight paper to help hold the shape.
Then I made a new spine piece from linen lined Morike, complete with 10 pt board stiffener. I lifted the cloth on the covers, positioned them on the book and carefully moved it to the press. Next I attached the new spine piece to the covers, glued down the turn ins, and then cased in the text block via the linen and new endpapers.
Finally, I did some Japanese tissue repairs on the cover and toned the new spine piece to match with acrylics. (The middle image shows pages from the first section and the bottom is the last page of the index).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drop Spine Box

I have been looking for a way to protect and securely house my Sword and the Stone. I decided this would also be a good opportunity to practice with drop spine boxes. I followed the manual available from Syracuse University online. I found the most difficult part to be actually covering the boards. This book was also particularly difficult because the dimensions were so close. It was suggested to me to use a heavier weight paper for inside of the case. I initially used Dove Gray, but then covered it with Stonehenge. I recommend the Stonehenge, it makes the step from the turn-ins softer. Unfortunately, these are images of the box (pre-Stonehenge).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This doesn't really have anything to do with books, but look! An Oscar!

Half Leather Reback - Private Job

This is a repair I worked on during my weekly class. These are the before treatment images.

It follows the same basic guidelines as my previous entry, with a few additional steps. Because the leather extended further on to the boards, I had to infill the board with a thick paper (I used water color paper), to make the transition smoother. The paper used to infill was left one millimeter away from the lifted cover material. This gap allows the new spine material to fit flush underneath the cover materials.
I also did some gold tooling along the spine (using a template I made of the original lines) and reattached the original label, lined with Morike so it reached the shoulders. These are images of the finished book.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rebacking Half Bound Books

I have worked on several reback repairs, but not any on half bound books until recently. What I mean by half bound is that the spine material differed from the covers. For this particular book, the spine was book cloth and the boards were covered in paper. The text block had fallen out of the case and the spine was only attached to one cover.
I cleaned and lined the text block, then worked on the boards. The difference between this book and other reback repairs is that the excess book cloth on the covers is removed, flush with the paper. This creates a smoother transition between the new spine and cover materials.
Once the book cloth was removed I lifted the paper slightly, so the Morike will fit underneath it. Then I proceeded to attach the text block and repair the case as usual. This is the completed repair.
I worked on a similar repair in my class, which I will post when I have the pictures.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Previous Repair

I came across these two book on the end processing cart, which had previously been repaired in some way. Strike had a oxford hollow added to the spine which was keeping the spine piece attached.
With the Pictorial Family Encyclopedia, the spine was glued directly to the original lining to keep in in place. Also, the joints had been covered with strips of book cloth at some point which were delaminting.
My first step on both was to remove the spine piece. For Strike, I took a scalpel and cut the hollow at the joint, being careful not to damage the spine piece. For the encyclopedia, I was lucky because the original lining the spine piece was glued directly to was delaminating. I was able to totally remove the spine with a spatula. Next, I removed as much as I could of the old linings on both spine pieces with a spatula, and set the pieces aside.
From this point on, the encyclopedia became a standard rebacking job. The covers were already falling off, so I removed them, cleaning and lined the spine, repaired some sewing and then constructed a spine piece from linen lined Morike.
Strike was finished a little differently. This book had decorative endpapers that I did not want to disturb, and the covers were firmly attached. I still cleaned and lined the spine for support, and made a new Morike spine piece, but instead of breaking the joint, I lifted the cloth and brought the new material on to the boards.
Finally, I reattached the spine pieces and did some basic Japanese tissue repair to the covers on both. These are the finished books.

Wooden Boards Recase

I would typically not take the time to post about a recasing job, but this one was unique in the sense the original covers were wooden boards attached by a leather spine and covered with decorative paper. (This is the first time I have encountered wooden boards).
The book qualified for recasing because the sewing was broken and the text block was detached from the spine, in several small groups. I removed the loose signatures from the book, and removed the original endpapers (which were already delaminating) by spraying them with a 50/50 water/alcohol mix to loosen the remaining adhesive. Next, I pulled the text block and placed the folios between Reemay for washing and deacidification. While thumbing through the text block, I found a small ink drawing. I tested in the inks, and they were water soluble. So I set the image aside and later brushed the back with Wei T'O to deacidify it. This is the drawing.
 The text block required a full treatment because it was originally stab sewn. After washing and deacidifying, I went through and guarded all the sections with Japanese tissue. (The top image shows the text block being guarded and dried between Reemay lined boards. The bottom shows the text book after guarding and collating pages).
Next, I sewed the text block back together, adding new dove gray endpapers, cased it in, and made a label. Then I began to work with the original covers. I made a fake text block from corrugated board to support the covers, and wrapped it in polyester film (mylar) so it could be handled without further damage. Finally, I constructed a phase box to house these items together.