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Re: "Perfect" replacements for "perfect" bindings.

As long as you aren't worried about production, you don't need any special
machines for adhesive binding, double-fan or otherwise.  Two lying presses
are necessary, but with a little ingenuity, you can fashion your own from
clamps and wood.

I use the first lying press (and these are small ones, long enough to hold
a book up to 12" or 13" tall) to clamp the pages, jogged to the spine and
the head (this might leave the foredge a little jagged, unless you have a
guillotine, but I never complained until I got my guillotine).  I jog the
textblock on the table surface between the two clamps of the lying press
and then tighten it up.

Then I flip the book over and put it in the second lying press.  I usually
prop this up off the table with some bricks or blocks of wood so that the
first lying press (clamped down with the textblock) is resting on the
second.  I tighten down the second so that it is holding the textblock now
and remove the first.  My lying presses are about 3" tall, so I have the 3"
from the spine available to fan.  I find this is sufficient for fanning the
pages, unless the pages are heavy stock or the grain is running the wrong
direction, both conditions which would make me hesitate to fan bind the book.

So now the book is clamped down with press #2 about 3" from the spine and
the press is resting on blocks so the textblock is not touching the table.
I then apply the adhesive while fanning (this is no different than what has
been described).  I do this by hand, though, with a brush and use my
fingers to wipe off any excess adhesive which might have gotten on the
surface of the front and back page.  I also push the pages together with my
fingers to make sure they are sticking together so that I can complete the
next step.

I then take the first lying press and place it over the spine to clamp down
the spine while the adhesive is drying.  First I take a couple pieces of
binders board to set on the second press so that the first press will clamp
down a little over the spine of the book.  I also take a piece of wax paper
and loosely fold it over the spine so that any excess glue will not adhere
the book to lying press #1. I make sure that the wax paper is not touching
the spine proper so that the adhesive will dry.  Tighten down lying press
#1, loosen lying press #2 and set somewhere (spine down near a wall for the
pages of the textblock to lean against) and let dry several hours (however
long it takes your PVA to dry).

Now the pages are double-fan adhesive bound, ready for endsheets -- I just
tip on a single folded sheet -- lining with flannel or super (or whatever)
and then ready to recased-in or have it's original cover reattached.  The
problem with using the original cover is that it will be slightly to big at
the foredge, but if you are careful, it isn't too bad.  You can also trim
the foredge, head and tail before lining.

This is not something I would do to an older or rare volume.  But for the
circulating collection at my library, especially for reserve books or rush
requests (where we don't have the luxury to send it out to the commercial
bindery) it works wonderfully and only takes about 1 full day to complete
-- including drying time.  There is no production here, but for the few
items that fall into our criteria for fan binding, we suffer through with
no mechanization.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions.


 *  Eric C. Alstrom
 *  Collections Conservator
 *  Preservation Department
 *  Ohio Univeristy
 *  Athens, Ohio  45701
 *  740-593-0648
 * alstrom@xxxxxxxxx
 * http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~alstrom

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