book binding, hand-finishing



book binding, hand-finishing defined in 1909 year

book binding, hand-finishing - book binding, Hand-finishing;
book binding, hand-finishing - Hand-finishing is really an art. The finisher should be able to draw, or at least have some knowledge of composition, and also know something about the harmony of colours. Taste has no small influence. It is better to finish books plainly, rather than put on more gold than is necessary. Let the tools be always in keeping with the book, both in size and character. Large ones should be used only on a large book, and those of less size for smaller works. A book on Natural History should have a bird, insect, shell or other tool indicative of the contents. A flower should be used on works on Botany, and all other works should be treated in the same emblematical manner. In lettering, see that the letters are of a size proportionate to the book - legible but not too bold. They should neither be so large as to prevent the whole of the title being read at one view, nor so small as to present a difficulty in ascertaining the subject of a book when on the shelf. Amongst a large number of books, there should be an agreeable variety of styles, so that the effect may be in harmony with the colours around, and produce as pleasing a contrast as possible.

Tools and Materials. - These embrace rolls, fillets, pallets, centre and corner tools of every possible class and character; type of various sizes for lettering books or labels. The type may be either of brass or printers' metal; if the latter, care must be taken that it be not left at the fire too long, or it will melt. Type-holders are made to fit the respective sizes, but one or two with a spring side, adjusted by screw, will be found convenient for any type. In England it is the custom to letter books with hand letters, each letter being separate and fixed in a handle. Doubtless these will in time be laid aside, and the type and type-case will be adopted.

Of polishing-irons 2 are necessary - one for the sides and one for the backs. Often a third is kept for polishing the board end-papers when pasted down.

The gold-rag, to wipe off the surplus gold from the back or side of a book, should have a little oil well worked j into it, so that the gold may adhere to and remain in it. This rag when full of gold will be of a dirty yellow, and may then be melted down by a gold-refiner, and the waste gold recovered.

Rubber, cut up very small - the smaller the better - and steeped in turpentine so as to make it as soft as possible, is used for clearing away any gold not taken off by the gold-rag. This should also be melted down when full.

Sponges are wanted - large ones for paste-washing, smaller for glairing and sizing.

Glaire may be purchased already prepared, or it may be made from white of egg very carefully beaten up to a froth with a whisk. In breaking the egg, care must be taken not to let any of the yolk get amongst the white. A little vinegar should be mixed with the white before beating up, and a drop of ammonia, or a grain or two of common table salt, or a small piece, of camphor, will in some measure prevent it from turning putrid, as it is liable to do. Some workmen keep a stock of "good old glaire," as they term it, by them, fancying that it produces better work; but this is a mistaken notion. When well beaten, allow the glaire to stand for some hours, and then pour the clear liquid into a bottle for use.

Cotton wool is used for taking the gold leaf up and pressing it firmly on the leather.

Varnish should be used only on that part where glaire has been applied and has afterwards been polished, the object being to restore brilliancy and preserve the leather from the ravages of insects attracted by the glaire. These pests do great damage to the covers of books prepared with glaire, taking away the surface of the leather and spoiling the appearence. Varnish may be purchased at all prices; use only the best, and be very sparing with it.

A small pair of spring dividers, some lard, sweet oil, and a finishing stove, are also required. Before gas was introduced, use was made of the now almost extinct charcoal fire. A bookbinders' gas stove can now be purchased at prices varying with the size, which can be used to warm glue, make paste, and heat tools for finishing, besides a hundred other purposes. Where cost is an object, or where gas is not obtainable, charcoal may still be used. Any old tin may be utilised: make a number of large holes through the sides; fill it with some live charcoal, and place a perforated tin plate on the top. It will keep alight for hours, and impart quite enough heat for any purpose required. This primitive stove, however, must be placed on a stand or on a piece of thick iron, lest it become dangerous.

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