Thank you very much for the excellent advise. I'm going to contract the book restoration department at the University of Utah. I think I'll start by making book boxes. I looked at your site. Very impressive. You are obviously a master.
Thanks again, Roger
I am going to split up antiquarian book restoration, which is what you are talking about, into two groups.
To restore cloth bound books, be they rare or otherwise, you can make do with a minimum of equipment, you would need all the small tools which are relatively inexpensive, but with regard expensive equipment, you don't need it....well, almost don't need it.
There is one piece of equipment, a finishing press, that you might consider purchasing, but there are those, more ardent in their desire to improvise, who would say why not use a black & decker workmate instead?
A finishing press would cost about Â£100 new ($200) I am not sure about the current price of a black & decker workmate?
To restore cloth bound books does take skill but the process, once learned completely and in detail, is fairly straightforward.
On the other hand, restoring leather bound books is a different kettle of fish in terms of skill needed. To venture into this area without proper training is to court disaster. I think those who practice this craft will agree with me, to restore rare, leather bound antique books you need a proper training.
I feel it is open to debate as to what equipment is needed to restore leather bound books, a finishing press, a lying press, and decorative hand tools, what more I wonder?
I can and do help people with cloth case restoration via email and with good pictures, but please Roger promise me you won't just jump in and start swimming when it comes to leather restoration, a proper training can be obtained through full time or evening class's, residential courses etc.
Also when it comes to some forms of leather restoration you will find that you need decorative hand tools, these are quite costly and you may find you can never get enough of them.
So, there we have it.
Cloth case restoration, yes with a good book and or a teacher of some kind.
Leather restoration? If you have the money I would suggest you purchased the book by Bernard Middleton titled "The Restoration of Leather Bindings" ISBN 158456119X.
This wonderful book will give you considerable insight into what leather restoration is all about.
I hope this has helped you a little.
Still shivering by the pool in France
P.S. For the past year I have been offering myself as a mentor to those thinking of taking up the craft. If you would like to know more just visit my website.[/quote]