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Re: Keith Smith sewings

I have made a lot of Long Stitch bindings.  I don't know if what I do are
new tricks, because I have never worked with anyone else on them, but I
have refined my process.  I use binders board for the covers which are
covered with either paper or bookcloth.  But before applying the cover
material I remove a strip on the inside, usually one and a quarter inches
which I peel down.  That makes a place for the flaps of the spine to set
into and less bump.

For the spine I use a piece of acidfree cardboard that is a little
heavier than a cornflakes box.  The width is equal to the slightly
compressed text block, the height exactly the same as the cover boards.
That is glued with PVA to bookcloth, which is what shows for the spine.
The sides are trimmed to one and a quarter inches parallel to the spine
lining.  I leave about a half inch at the top and the bottom for the turn
Before turning that up I make two cuts at each corner (this is hard to
describe without drawing!)  One cut is straight and an angle cutfrom
about an eighth of an inch comes in.  WHen complete you have a little vee
with one straight leg continuing the line of the spine lining.  The
central square folds over the bottom of the spine lining and is glued
down.  The sides are folded up, creased, then I open and make a cut
parallelto that crease.  (Iguess that's not really structural, it just
feels tidier to me.)  Those are glued and then pressed and dried for a

Before gluing the spine to the boards I punch the holes for the sewing.
I have been much happier with punched holes than a slit, which always
looked ragged and also allowed the side threads to slip into the corner.
I make the template for unching the sections at the same time.

Now I'm ready to glue the spine in.  It's much easier with the peeled
down section to get it just right.  I use a generous amount of PVA on the
spine flap and also a dab on the very edge of the book cover, which is
the most critical part for holding it together.  That gets put in the
nipping press, then dried for a bit.

I used to use an endpaper that went all the way across both sides of the
bookand covers the back of the spine, but I decided paper wasn't up to
the job of all that opening and closing, so now I line it with cloth,
again glued down and dried a bit before gluing on the endsheets.

One trick I learned from my friend Artemis is the gluing process.  I have
a plastic food saver with a snap on lid, maybe 6x10 inches.  Small holes
are drilled into the sides of that a few inches back and a bamboo skewer
inserted through them.  Fill the thing up with PVA and use a paint (as in
house paint) applicator--it's red and has a handle and a removable sponge
thing.  That just sits in the glue and is scraped off on the skewer.
Gluing is way faster.

This is probably old hat to some of the people on this list, but there
seems to be a broad spectrum of readers on here.

Petersburg Public Library

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