The Art of Bookbinding/Chapter 7

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The Art of Bookbinding by Joseph William Zaehnsdorf
Chapter VII.


Pasting Up.

The first and last sheet of every book must be pasted up or down,—it is called by both terms; and if the book has too much swelling, it must be tapped down gently with a hammer. Hold the book tightly at the foredge with the left hand, knuckles down; rest the back on the press, and hit the back with the hammer to the required thickness. If the book is not held tightly, a portion of the back will slip in and the hollow will always be visible; so I advise that the back be knocked flat on the "lying press" and placed in it without boards, so that the back projects. Screw the press up tightly, so that the sheets cannot slip. A knocking-down iron should then be placed against the book on its left side, and the back hammered against it; the "slips" or cords must be pulled tight, each one being pulled with the right hand, the left holding the slips tightly against the book so that they cannot be pulled through. Should it happen that a slip is pulled out, nothing remains but to re-sew the book, unless it is a thin one, when it may possibly be re-inserted with a large needle. But this will not do the book any good.

The slips being pulled tight, the first and last section should be pasted to those next them. To do this, lay the book on the edge of the press and throw the top section back; lay a piece of waste paper upon the next section about ⅛ or ¼ inch from the back, according to the size of the book, and paste the space between the back and the waste paper, using generally the second finger of the right hand, holding the paper down with the left. When pasted, the waste paper is removed, and the back of the section put evenly with the back of the book, which is now turned over carefully that it may not shift; the other end is treated in the same manner. A weight should then be put on the top, or if more than a single book, one should lie on the top of the other, back and foredge alternately, each book to be half an inch within the foredge of the book next to it, with a few pressing boards on the top one. When dry the end papers are to be pasted on.

decorative pattern