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Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction

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Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction

Postby marktweedie on Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:06 am

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What equipment is need?

Postby Roger on Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:25 pm

How much would the equipment cost to rebind and restore rare books? I'm a collector, and I have
been thinking about learning the art in my ripe old age (now).
thanks, Roger
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Hello Roger

Postby edenworkshops on Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:20 am

Hello 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 £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.

Best Wishes

Richard

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.


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Postby alexissoyer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:20 am

Hello Roger. I have to admit Richard's advice is very good. I would suggest you seek a bookbinding course. I have done exactly that in Surrey. Suddenly all my friends have come out of the woodwork with old books needing repairing. I can understand why there is no money in bookbinding or restoration - unless the book you are working on is valuable- because of the time it takes
However back to question. I have spent about £400 pounds so far buying second-hand equipment and buying buckram, paste, glue and tools. However I am nowhere set up for leather work and gilding. Which to me seems it is going be horrendous money to set up for this.

hope this helps

Frank
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Re: Hello Roger

Postby Roger on Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:21 pm

Hi Richard,
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 £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.

Best Wishes

Richard

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]
Roger
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:21 pm

Roger's Bookbinding Adventure

Postby rob71 on Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:10 pm

Hi Roger,
Congratulations on your venture into bookbinding. No one wants the craft to die out.
You must take Richard's advice and obtain the correct advice and hands on training. If there is a local course you can attend the instructor will advise on which tools to obtain. I have been employed in a commercial Bindery and I miss the use of a guillotine, hand press, foil blocking machine, book-backing press and various other handy devices.
Good luck Roger. :D
Rob 71.
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Re: Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction

Postby Sherlock on Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:42 am

Hi Richard and other book binders. I am new to this forum, I am english and live in Surrey. I have been binding for some years or rather learning to bind. I was trained and a graphic designer in the 1960s and worked in book and magazine publishing, designing many book over the years. I always wanted to take up bookbinding, much more since I started collecting antiquarian books. It was one of the skills I only touched on in College.
I started doing evening classes with professional binders, but now I have been lucky enough to be working part time with a binder and finisher of nearly sixty years experience. He started finishing work at 14 years of age.
He is giving me Master-classes and helping me by overseeing my work, but often leaves me to it. He has masses of equipment for most work and I have been picking up tools and other equipment online, but as previously mentioned many finishing tools are much overpriced on line.
I recently re-backed and renovated a number of antiquarian books 200- 300 years old worth several thousand pounds successfully, some my own and others for clients. But I would be the first to admit I have a long way to go.
Bookbinding is a skill that requires much practice, it can be tedious, but the results are worth it.
I have to say my binder friend disagrees with some of the comments about the use of animal glue over PVA, probably because many commercial binders would overcook their glue and trying to remove it is a monstrous job.
Sherlock
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction

Postby andrew on Mon May 24, 2010 8:12 am

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