Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/183
soft surface, such as a board covered with baize, and kept for the purpose. Use the large and heavy polishing iron, hot and clean. Rub or work the iron quickly and firmly over the sides, first from the groove towards the foredge, and then in a contrary direction, from the tail to the head, by turning the volume. The oil or grease applied to the cover previous to laying on the gold will be sufficient to allow the polisher to glide easily over the surface. Polishing has also the effect of smoothing down the burr formed on the leather by the gilding tools, and bringing the impressions slightly to the surface. The iron must be held very evenly, so that the centre of the iron may be the working portion. If held sideways the edge of the iron will indent the leather. The heat must be sufficient to give a polish. It must be remembered that if the iron is too hot it will cause the glaire to turn white. The temperature must be well tested before it be applied to the cover. A practised finisher can generally tell the proper heat on holding the iron at some little distance from his face, by the heat radiated from the iron. Calf books should be pressed, whether polished or not.
Pressing.—Plates of japanned tin or polished horn are proper for this purpose. Put pressing tins between the book and the mill-boards: the tins must be up to the joint. Now place one of the japanned plates on the side level with the groove; turn book and japanned plate over carefully together, so that neither shifts; place another of the polished plates on the top of the book, thus placing the book between two polished surfaces. Put the book into the standing press, and screw down tightly. Leave in for some hours. "When pressed sufficiently, take the book out, and if the sides be polished, varnish them.
Make a little pad of cotton wool, saturate the lower portion with varnish; rub it on a piece of waste paper to equalize the varnish, then work the pad over the side as