Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Beneath The Skin - One Technique Of Binding Part 2

Part 2.

For those of us who are late joining the demo please start at the previous blog entry.

We begin with board attachment. The trad way of doing this involves the making of holes or slits, much fraying out of tapes, de-lamination of boards and much hammering.
It must also be noted that in the trad context the end bands are worked after the boards have been laced-on, this involves a lot of extra work and in my opinion, can be a waste of time.

Back to the plot.

Boards are cut to the correct size, squares and the like. Tabs of water colour paper, about 0.5mm thick, 2-3cm long and the same depth of the boards are glued to the spine edge of the boards ( 2 per board equally spaced)

The boards are put in to position, equal squares at the head and tail - the fore edge will look after itself. I use a number of different methods of ensuring that the boards are in the correct place, you could find your own !

To ensure a good bond, the Fray not and board is covered with a sheet of water colour paper 200gsm -240gsm using PVA. To counter the pull I always use archival kraft paper to the inner board. Tins are inserted, the whole is then press till dry.

Detail of how the tabs help keep the fore edge square and the all important space between the spine edge of the board and the shoulder.

We now turn our attention to the spine area. A leather skirt is glued to the head and tail of the spine. the skirt goes over the end bands and down the spine for some 3cm, the ears are trimmed in line with the end bands. the leather thickness is determined by the size and weight of the book. the bigger the book the thicker the leather has to be. This is due to the number of folds in the hollow. the larger the book, the more folds are required to offer the correct support eg; 2 on 1 off or 3 on 1 off. I make the hollow off the book and trim to fit between the skirting.

Please excuse the fluff. Detail of the skirting and the hollow, in this case 2 on 1 off. Please note, I have not had to load the spine with layers of paper and then sand it smooth to cover the problems of sewing on tapes or flat cords. This method ensures that the book ... wait for it .... OPENS.

The final spine lining is a laminate of manila and 200gsm water colour paper. this is cut to fit the spine width ways and a few centimeters longer that the full height of the spine.

This spine piece is adhered to the hollow only and worked over with the bone folder. I then secure the book in a finishing press and wrap the whole lot in an elasticated support bandage until dry.

Once dry, the boards can then be sanded to the desired finish. Remember to wear a good face mask for this.

The spine is then sanded. This is important as there may be one or two very small lumps and bumps that may not be required. Please note that the height of the spine piece has been marked up. It is easier to cut the spine piece to the correct height through the sanded spine thickness than the manila - water colour laminate.

The last thing to do before the covering is back cornering. Just cut through the fray not for 3cm at head and tail, insert ruler and make a beveled cut using a straight bladed knife.

Simple stuff eh ?

Experience is a wonderful thing and can only be gained through practise. As I am sure you can realise, I have missed out a lot of the small details and numerous tips and tricks.

This is only one way and it works for me and the Studio 5 members. It may not work for you. If you would like to now more...join one of our work shops.

Failing that, I am to give a class for the Designer Bookbinders/Society of Bookbinders early next year... Check out the S O B web site (see links) for details.

1 comment:

claive said...

Thanks for clear information, given with a sprightly writing manner.
I was looking for rounding and backing (in general, as I am getting both old and a bit forgetful) and stumbled on your site.
So, you`ve both refreshed my memory and given a new way of looking at and of doing things.
And, it was such good fun to read your material. Many thanks.