Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/40

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By passing the section between the finger and thumb, it can be felt at once, if it has been beaten properly and evenly. Great care must be taken that in each blow of the hammer it shall have the face fairly on the body of the section, for if the hammer is so used that the greatest portion of the weight should fall outside the edge of the sheets the concussion will break away the paper as if cut with a knife. It is perhaps better for a beginner to practise on some waste paper before attempting to beat a book; and he should always rest when the wrist becomes tired. When each section has been beaten, supposing a book has been divided into four sections, the whole four should be beaten again, but together.

I do not profess a preference to beating over rolling because I have placed it first. The rolling machine is one of the greatest improvements in the trade, but all books should not be rolled, and a bookbinder, I mean a practical bookbinder, not one who has been nearly the whole of his lifetime upon a cutting machine, or at a blocking press, and who calls himself one, but a competent bookbinder, should know how and when to use the beating hammer and when the rolling machine.

There are some books, old ones for instance, that should on no account be rolled. The clumsy presses used in printing at an early date gave such an amount of pressure on the type that the paper round their margins has sometimes two or three times the thickness of the printed portion. At the present time each sheet after having been printed is pressed, and thus the leaf is made flat or nearly so, and for such work the rolling machine is certainly better than the hammer.

To roll a book, it is divided into sections as in beating, only not so many sheets are taken—from six upwards, according to the quality of the work to be executed. The sheets are then placed between tins, and the whole passed