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Re: BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 2 Aug 1999 to 3 Aug 1999

>>>From:    Claudia Stall <cstall@MAIL.SDSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Do it Yourself Standing press

We have 10 standing presses in the unit.  Sometimes all are full and we
must use flat weights.  In a high volume operation, they are essential.
... Stacking several books to dry in a standing press
allows for a high volume operation.<<<

    I believe the standing press is both unnecessary for high volume work =
and, given modern PVA adhesives, is a relic of the past.   Whereas starch =
pastes and traditional hide glues may have required a stay in the press of =
up to 24 hours, repairs made with modern PVAs can set in a matter of =
minutes.   I have both a standing press and 2 smaller, stacking glue =
presses.  These three presses have collected dust for the last ten years =
as they have been replaced by one smaller, benchtop press that does one =
book at at time.   The average dwell time for each book in the press is =
probably somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes and is determined by the time =
it takes to have the next book ready to put in the press.  I have done =
runs where we have glued and pressed a 100 books in a day with no =
problems.   The small benchtop press (I must admit a bias - this press is =
the Casing Press , a press I designed, manufactured and sell, both =
directly and through Gaylord) is more efficient to use and takes up =
considerably less shop space.  Once books are removed from the press I =
simply stack them and place an unweighted board on top of the stack.  I =
have had no problems with either adhesion or warping.

    Though not a historian of binding, I conjecture that  the standing =
press was important in times of yore for two reasons.  As stated earlier, =
traditional adhesives are relatively slow to set and simply needed more =
press time.  The other reason, and one that would still be valid today, is =
the need to press signatures prior to sewing.  Whereas, modern adhesives =
substantially shorten the dwell time needed for pressing a glued up book, =
pressing a group of signatures is not something that can be hurried.   In =
this case, where an overnight dwell time is necessary, the efficiencies of =
a standing press are obvious as a single-book press would limit ones =
sewing production to a single book a day.  It is also my guess, however, =
that the modern library repair operation is not handsewing books in volume =
and could probably get on quite well without a standing press.

Pete Jermann
Preservation Officer/Bookbinder
Friedsam Memorial Library
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
Tel. (716) 375-2324

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