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Re: gift wrap

Yes, binder's board does have a definite grain. It's hard to tell the grain
direction, but if you take a full sheet and bend it first in one direction
then in the other, you will be able to tell which way it bends easiest. The
grain will be in that direction. Full sheets are usually long-grain; half
sheets will be short grain. When I cut up a board, I will mark the leftover
pieces with an arrow in the grain direction.

With small pieces, it is still possible to do the bend test. Or test a
corner. Why is it important to observe the grain direction? I, myself, was
reminded,  recently when I found out that the boards I had lined were
warped in the wrong direction, not parallel to what would be the spine of
the book. Luckily, I found out before I went any further and recut the boards.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Boards with opposite
grain direction laminated together become very stiff and will not warp. And
I know that handmade and some mouldmade papers have no discernable grain; I
can't go into all of that here. I hesitated to post my original message
because it is very difficult to explain everything there is to know about
this property of paper. AND I DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING.

Roberta, we're talking about boards of any color.

Happy bookbinding,


At 02:43 PM 08/16/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>"for all papers with a definite grain, the covering paper or cloth must be
>used with the grain in the same direction as that in the board you are
>I searched the archives and wasn't able to find a reference to finding the
>grain of different boards. Obviously, some of the same tricks used to find
>the grain direction in paper doesn't work with stiffer board. I work with a
>lot of reclaimed scraps of rag mat board - any way to discern the grain
>direction without having to take a small slice off of each one? Does grey
>binders board have a grain direction as well?
>Thanks in advance for your time -
>Best wishes,
Betty Storz   storz@mcn.org
Mendocino, CA

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