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Re: spokeshave



 What's spokeshaving?  A simple question, Mary, to which you may get
several answers ranging between
 1) an elegant way to make thick leather thin (English style binders)
 2) the most ridiculous idea anyone ever had (French, German, Swiss
                                               binders)
 Most people will fall somewhere between points 1 and 2

 A spokeshave, as the name implies, is orignially a wainwright's tool
for shaping the spokes of a wagon wheel.  Bookbinders trained in the
English style use it to remove layers of suade from leather to shape it
for bindings.  Most continental binders prefer to use knives, or various
mechanical devices to do the same thing. I use the national labels
purely as an historic marker of regional binding styles.  Most binders
today use whichever way they find works best, and never mind the origin
of the style or the binder.
 Dorothy


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