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Re: Foreedges

Unfortunately, the following reply was sent directly to the author and missed
the List.

In a message dated 4/4/00 11:29:22 PM, joycej@CI.PETERSBURG.AK.US writes:

<<I am wondering if any one on the list might have suggestions for making the
foredge of a multisignature book come out smooth..........
 ........Next I cut the very wide
sheets to a little over twice the desired width of the pages and fold them
in half to make the sections.  After pressing them for a few days I trim
them to height and width on the Kuttrimmer.  But no matter how careful I am,
I can never get the pages nestled in completely tight, so after they are
sewn each section has a slight V shape as the inmost pages get pulled in
tighter than they were when the sections were trimmed................. >>

Trimming signatures in a board shear will always give a slightly rough edge,
an affect that I find attractive on most books that are handbound. The
smoothness of a guillotined edge looks too commercial, whereas a slightly
rough edge could never be attained on mass produced books. The trimming of
each signature in a sharp board shear will give a nice finish.
To obtain a smooth edge for gilding and some types of marbling, a guillotine,
or even better, a plough is used. Of course, even that edge may not be smooth
enough and it will have to scraped and/or sanded.
However, I wonder about your statement "slight V shape as the inmost pages".
I may be wrong in my understanding, but the sheets of a signature SHOULD
ALWAYS be folded at the same time. If each sheet is folded separately and
then gathered (nested), you will get that "V shape". By folding as a
signature the sheets flow or nest within one another in a nice form. The
signatures can then be trimmed in a board shear for the rough affect, or sewn
and then guillotined or ploughed.
Although there are some excellent tools for ploughing an edge, the old method
was to clamp the book square in a lying press and use a sharp chisel laid on
the cheek. The chisel was slid along, trimming one or two sheets at a time.
The edge may still require scraping and/or sanding.

Good Luck,
Bill Minter
William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA   16695
fax 814-793-4045

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