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Re: Loose guards

Several years ago, after repairing many books with the first text page torn
off with the flyleaf, I began using a guard strip between that first page
and the endpaper in cases where I was not replacing old endpapers or
resewing the text.

For new books, or old ones that had been disbound, I use a three-quarter
inch guard, folded two-thirds, with the narrow edge between the the first
and second text sections and the wider part folded around the endsection.
No gluing is done at this stage, except some dots of paste along the back
to hold the guard in place while punching and sewing. Later, the
quarter-inch guard will be pasted to the back of the first section (or left
loose) and the wide part under the pastedown. Of course, if the endpaper is
not being replaced, that edge can be trimmed and the strip pasted to the
flyleaf. It's very difficult to describe this technique; I hope it's
understandable. It's essentially the same as that described by Dorothy
Africa, except that, at the time I started using it, I was unfamiliar with
concertina bindings.

You will find a better explanation of "loose guards" (inner hinges) in
Laura Smith's BOOKBINDING & CONSERVATION BY HAND, page 69. The technique I
use is a little variation of hers. I'm grateful to Dorothy and Peter for
bring up the subject, publicizing a way to end the drag on the first page,
caused by tipping in endpapers.


At 08:32 AM 10/16/98 -0400, you wrote:
> To add to Peter's comment about loose guards, I offer a variation which
>is my usual choice when rebinding rare books.  I make my guards a bit
>wide because I use one flap as a concertina between the text gathering
>and the endsheets. The loose end in the text block can be trimmed back
>and the part used as a concertina gets pasted down under the endsheet
>paste down.  If I am worried about the strength of the text bock paper,
>I sometimes start the guard concertina several sections back into the
>text block.  I regard tipping down as the invention of Satan, but I will
>admit to being slightly deranged about this having seen hundreds of sad
>examples of what cheap, bad paper endsheets tipped on with large amounts
>of glue can do to fine sixteenth century title pages.  The concertina
>can be very small, and usually disappears into the shoulder.
> Dorothy Africa
Betty Storz   storz@xxxxxxx

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