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Re: Question about Glues

Peter Verheyen wrote:

>  It's not just an adhesive issue, it's an overal
> structural issue.

Indeed it is. And one aspect which tends not to be addressed is that of the
characteristics of various adhesives which effect initial workability as well
as long term stability. Or: some adhesives perform some tasks better than
others.Here are my general guidelines for the adhesives that I use; I'm sure
they are open to criticism, but they work for me...

1) Pastes: wheat, cornstarch, rice starch, methylcellulose all have relatively
high moisture content (except for mc in alcohol, a special case), tack slowly
and dry slowly.

2) Hide glue: relatively low moisture content, tacks rapidly, dries relatively

3) PVA: relatively low moisture content, tacks rapidly, dries rapidly.

So, when I lay pastedowns, I want as much working time as possible; if the
paper needs to come up and be relocated it will be a lot easier if I use paste
rather than PVA. Also, the moisture in the paste will allow the pastedown to
fully expand, alleviating the possibility of bubbles. I use hot glue for
casemaking; the covering material stays where I put it, but, again, if I make
a mistake I can often lift and relay it. The difficulty in working with PVA
is that by the time it tacks up it's almost dry; working with a paste/PVA mix
helps, but in general PVA gets less use in my shop than the other adhesives
(unless I'm in a hurry...).

Here's a list of processes and appropriate adhesives IMHO:

Leaf mending: paste
Endsheet construction: paste or PVA
Gluing up spines: hot glue for conservation binding and design binding; hot
glue or PVA for editions
Spine lining: paste
Case making: hot glue
Full leather: paste and hot glue
Labels: paste or PVA
Boxes: PVA for assembly, hot glue or PVA for covering

Another process where PVA seems to be preferable is in vellum binding, but
Peter's the guy to address that.

Anyway, I hope this gives a little food for thought and discussion.

Don Rash

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