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passed between the leaves and out at the back of the book, below the kettle stitch, and the thread gradually
drawn tight, and from under the left-hand finger. The loop so made will hold the band firmly, and the silk can
then be brought up and over the slip and crossed in the usual way. The band should be worked as far as the
end papers, and should be finished with a double "tie down," after which the front thread is drawn under the
slip to the back. Both the ends of silk are then cut off to about half an inch, frayed out, and pasted down as
flatly as possible on the back of the book.
The band should be tied down frequently. It is not too much to tie down every third time the needle end of the
silk comes to the back. To make good headbands the pull on the silk must be even throughout.
When the ends of the silk are pasted down, the ends of the vellum slip are cut off as near the silk as possible.
The correct length of the headband is best judged by pressing the boards together with thumb and finger at the
opposite ends of the band, so as to compress the sections into their final compass. If the band then buckles in
the least, it is too long and must be shortened.
The medival headbands were sewn with the other bands (see fig. 32), and were very strong, as they were tied
down at every section. Modern worked headbands, although not so strong, are, if frequently tied down, strong
enough to resist any reasonable strain. There are many other ways of headbanding, but if the one described is
mastered, the various other patterns will suggest themselves if variety is needed. For very large books a
double headband may be worked on two pieces of gut or string--a thick piece with a thin piece in front. The
string should first be soaked in thin glue and left to dry. Such a band is worked with a figure of eight stitch.
Headbands may also be worked with two or three shades of silk. As vellum is apt to get hard and to break
when it is used for headbanding, it is well to paste two pieces together with linen in between, and to cut into
CHAPTER XI 63
strips as required.
Machine-made headbands can be bought by the yard. Such bands are merely glued on, but as they have but
little strength, should not be used.
Where leather joints are used, the headbands may be worked on pieces of soft leather sized and screwed up. If
the ends are left long and tied in front while the book is being covered, they may be conveniently let into
grooves in the boards before the leather joint is pasted down. This method, I think, has little constructive
value, but it certainly avoids the rather unfinished look of the cut-off headband.
CHAPTER XII 64
CHAPTER XII
Preparing for Covering--Paring Leather--Covering--Mitring Corners--Filling-in Boards
PREPARING FOR COVERING
After the headband is worked, a piece of brown or other stout paper should be well glued on at the head and
tail, care being taken that it is firmly attached to the back and the headband. When dry, the part projecting
above the headband is neatly cut off, and the part on the back well sand-papered, to remove any irregularity
caused by the tie-downs attaching the headband. For most books this will be quite sufficient lining up, but
very heavy books are best further lined up between the bands with linen, or thin leather. This can be put on by
pasting the linen or leather and giving the back a very thin coat of glue.
The only thing now left to do before covering will be to set the squares and to cut off a small piece of the back
corner of each board at the head and tail, to make it possible for the boards to open and shut without dragging
the head-cap out of place. The form of the little piece to be cut off varies with each individual binder, but I
have found for an octavo book that a cut slightly sloping from the inside cutting off the corner about an eighth
of an inch each way, gives the best result (see fig. 58). When the corner has been cut off, the boards should be
thrown back, and the slips between the book and the board well pasted. When these have soaked a little, the
squares of the boards are set; that is, the boards are fixed so that exactly the same square shows on each board
above head and tail. A little larger square is sometimes an advantage at the tail to keep the head-cap well off
the shelf, the essential thing being that both head and both tail squares should be the same. In the case of an
old book that has not been recut, the edges will often be found to be uneven. In such cases the boards must be
made square, and so set that the book stands up straight.
[Illustration: FIG. 58.]
When the slips have been pasted and the squares set, tins can be put inside and outside the boards, and the
book given a slight nip in the press to flatten the slips. Only a comparatively light pressure should be given, or
the lining up of the headbands or back will become cockled and detached.
PARING LEATHER
While the slips are being set in the press the cover can be got out. Judgment is necessary in cutting out covers.
One workman will be able, by careful cutting, to get six covers out of a skin where another will only get four.
The firm part of the skin is the back and sides, and this only should be used for the best books. The fleshy
parts on the flanks and belly will not wear sufficiently well to be suitable for good bookbinding.
The skin should be cut out leaving about an inch all round for turning in when the book is covered, and when
cut out it must be pared. If the leather is of European manufacture most of the paring will have been done
before it is sold, and the leather manufacturer will have shaved it to any thickness required. This is a
convenience that is partly responsible for the unduly thin leather that is commonly used. The better plan is to
get the leather rather thick, and for the binder to pare it down where necessary. For small books it is essential,
in order that the covers may open freely, and the boards not look clumsy, that the leather should be very thin
at the joint and round the edges of the boards. For such books it is very important that a small, naturally thin
skin should be used that will not have to be unduly pared down, and that the large and thicker skins should be
kept for large books.
Binders like using large skins because there is much less waste, but if these skins are used for small books, so
much of the leather substance has to be pared away, that only the comparatively brittle grained surface
remains. By the modern process of dyeing this surface is often to some extent injured, and its strength
sometimes totally destroyed.
CHAPTER XII 65
When the cover has been cut to size the book is laid on it with the boards open, and a pencil line drawn round
them, a mark being made to show where the back comes. The skin is then pared, making it thin where the
edge of the boards will come. Great care must be taken that the thinning does not commence too abruptly, or a
ridge will be apparent when the leather is on the book.
The paring must be done quite smoothly and evenly. Every unevenness shows when the cover is polished and
pressed. Care is needed in estimating the amount that will have to be pared off that part of the leather that
covers the back and joints. The object of the binder should be to leave these portions as thick as he can [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]