Category: Binding & repair techniques

Experimenting with Cambridge Panels

I was recently commissioned to bind an early eighteenth century book in a contemporary style and took the opportunity to explore Cambridge panels in a little more detail. I was inspired by conversations with Trevor Lloyd, and decided to follow his method of getting new rolls made from rubbings of books of the period.[1] I

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Fancy-four-flap box

Here is a little box I made based on a simple archival four-flap, or phase box. I wanted to create something more elegant than a standard box, and without the fuss of cotton fore-edge ties. It was made with just a few hand tools and requires minimal gluing; I am quite pleased with the results!

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Endband mechanics

Endbands are an aspect of bookbinding that has interested me from the outset. Like many, my first attempts were decorative endbands in colourful silks; but during my time working as a professional book conservator in Oxford I became much more interested in the laced-in structural endbands found on medieval bindings. More recently I have experimented

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Revisiting animal glue: gluing-up with gelatine  

Introduction For some time, I have been considering my choice of adhesive for gluing-up the spines of paper text-blocks. Traditionally protein-based animal glue was used but in the last few decades it is has fallen out of favour. Animal glue can be inconsistent, and can sometimes be brittle and stain the paper. Although still used

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Board corner repair

Condition prior to treatment A mid 17th century in-board binding bound in pulp boards and covered in brown calf leather. The book had been crudely repaired in the mid 20th century: it had been re-backed and the board corners were re-covered with new leather; however, no attempt was made to rebuild the missing tips of the worn

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A hybrid drop-back box

This blog describes a simple variant on a drop-back box.[1] By combining techniques already in use you can take the best of two well-established styles incorporating strength, elegance and simplicity; but before that a little background…[2] The type of boxes I am referring to are constructed from mill-board with two, three-wall trays that nest inside

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