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Re: Alum Tawed Goatskin

You didn't mention a couple of things which can affect how well your binding
will turn out (turn-in...).  Is the skin stiff or soft/stretchy; are you
using oak boards?

If the skin is stiff, you'll want to do as Peter recommends: cover the
spine first and a little way down the board, working the skin until it is
sticking well, or tie it up (if the text block is sewn on cord/thongs), or
wrap it with cloth tape/elastic bandage to keep the back in place.  On the
following day damp out the unattached leather, paste it out and continue

If the skin is stretchy, be careful and don't over stretch it over the
spine/joints, just pat it down, lay a sheet of paper over the spine and
bone it down gently every now and then.

If you are covering oak boards keep your damp hands OFF the oak or you'll
likely end up with *pepper* spots on your clean, white leather.  Tannic
acid from the oak plus moisture/sweat from your hands will make ink.

Dorothy was correct as far as she went.  Keep the bench and tools clean,
yes.  And also wash your hands well and dry them well before going to work
on the skin.  And if your hands get a little dirty while working covering
the book take a break and wash them again.  I keep a spray bottle of water
by the bench and sometimes just spray my hands and tools, wipe them on a
clean towel, and continue covering.

Depending on what you're used to covering with, you may want to experiment
a little with how thick/thin the paste should be for this skin.


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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