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Re: Standing Presses

>>Date:    Wed, 4 Aug 1999 13:24:56 -0700
From:    Claudia Stall <cstall@MAIL.SDSU.EDU>

I am unclear if we are talking about repaired books or newly made ones. =

    Both.  Probably 80% of the output from my bindery are books newly made =
(primarily periodical bindings and rebound paperbacks)  The remaining 20% =
are repairs.  I use a short press time whether it's a hinge repair or a =
full casing in. =20
     On the good chance that I overstated my case in my initial message =
let me state the details of my experience.     The books I bind are basic, =
non-rare library materials.  The materials I use for binding are standard =
library grade covering materials (F grade buckram and C-cloth), standard =
LBS endsheets made with an 80# paper stock, and LBS cotton specification =
backlining material.  I have used two glues for casing in, Widsom R172 DT =
and Widsom R896A.  The R172DT has become my current glue of choice because =
it is more flexible and adheres better than the R896A in the situations I =
demand of it.  I slightly thin (maybe 10%) the R172DT with methyl =
cellulose solely for the purpose of making it more spreadable with a =
brush.  With these materials I find our average press time of 3 to 5 =
minutes has been adequate.
     Generally speaking, a press is  a press. It needs to apply pressure =
adequate for a given job.  If it does this it matters little to the end =
product whether it is a bench top, single book press or a large standing =
press.  I object to the large standing press because, >>>IF you don't need =
a long pressing time<<<, I think a standing press is inherently inefficient=
. =20
    First I think the process of stacking is tedious particularly if you =
are setting the grooves with  edged boards (cords, dowels, whatever).  You =
need to keep the pile even, centered and properly shapped (pyramid like if =
the books are of different sizes).  You also need a set of boards for each =
book in the stack.  =20
   Secondly, stacking requires a press of greater strength and pressing =
capability than a press that only presses one book.   A book resists a =
press to a degree that requires we apply a certain amount of counter =
resistance to get the book flat and our materials glued tight.  Hypothetica=
lly, let's say it takes 50 lbs. of pressure to do the job.  If we stack =
ten books, each providing its own resistance, then we would need 500 lbs. =
of pressure to do the job (caveat: I'm sure there are many variables and =
this is an oversimplification -the point is that more books require more =
pressure).  Because of this the standing press needs to be built to apply =
the maximum required pressure for a stack of books (lots of steel, big =
screw, big heavy platens, large handwheel that can be leveraged, etc.)   =
On the other hand, a press designed for one book at a time can be produced =
more economically as a lighter frame, simpler platens, smaller screw and a =
smaller handwheel or crank are more than adequate for the required job.   =
Both the standing press and the single book press will do the same job to =
a single book provided adequate pressure is applied where it is needed.
    Thirdly, because a standing press is so massive, the work generally =
goes to the standing press rather than the standing press coming to the =
work.  A small, lightweight, benchtop press can locate wherever the work =
is being done.  Rather than taking the work to the press the press comes =
to the work.    This cuts "travel" time and improves efficiency.  =20
   The press I use, the Casing Press,  is lightweight, mobile and designed =
for a single book.  Since it is designed for a single book, the boards =
with raised edges (polycarbonate rather than brass) are built right into =
the platens.  I don't have to keep a stack of boards near by as the only =
two I need are already integral to the press.  The screw is offset toward =
the front of the platens putting maximum pressure near the joint.  This =
design allows me to press  books that range from 3"  to  9" wide without =
having to worry about centering the book under the screw.  My experience =
over the last 8 or so years (my best guess) I have been using this press =
is that it is far more efficient than the stacking presses I previously =
used.    Of course, for this to work in a high volume operation, the dwell =
time in the press must be short.  With the materials and techniques I have =
used I have found this to be no problem.  As soon as the next book is =
ready to be pressed, the previous book is pulled from the press and placed =
in a freestanding stack to continue drying until the next day.
    Having rambled on (when I really should be binding books), let me say =
that  these are my opinions and my experiences rather than universal =
truths,  and are offered simply for the sake of consideration and =

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

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