Beating and Rolling.
The object of beating or rolling is to make the book as solid as possible. For beating, a stone or iron slab, used as a bed, and a heavy hammer, are necessary. The stone or iron must be perfectly smooth, and should be bedded with great solidity. I have in use an iron bed about two feet square, fitted into a strongly-made box, filled with sand, with a wooden cover to the iron when not in use.
Beating Hammer. The hammer should be somewhat bell-shaped, and weigh about ten pounds, with a short handle, made to fit the hand. The face of the hammer and stone (it is called a beating-stone whether it be stone or iron), must be kept perfectly clean, and it is advisable always to have a piece of paper at the top and bottom of the sections when beating, or the repeated concussion will glaze them.
The book should be divided into lots or sections of about half an inch thick, that will be about fifteen to twenty sheets, according to the thickness of paper. A section is now to be held on the stone between the fingers and thumb of the left hand; then the hammer, grasped firmly in the right hand, is raised, and brought down with rather more than its own weight on the sheets, which must be continually moved round, turned over and changed about, in order that they may be equally beaten all over.