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Re: How-To Books on leather binding

There is a list on the Bibliographies page off the Book Arts Links page.
Click on the second listing for Bookbinding under "Suggested by:" You'll
definitely need a good, VERY SHARP, paring knife (Bookmakers sells the
Ascona/French/Swiss style and the English - there are differences), and a
good flat surface. A lithostone is nice, but a good thick piece of glass or
marble works too. Just needs to be polished and totally smooth. Then you'll
need leather. Plan on shredding a few skins. Don't bother with the Tandy
stuff as it's very difficult to pare. The reason is the tannage. Tandy...
is chrome tanned which makes for a stretchier skin, which also dulls the
blade faster. Go with vegetable tanned skins, goat is great for that. Also
pares very nicely. Avoid sheep/calf. Cost may be an issue as good leather
costs $$$. But practice, practice, practice.

In terms of texts, my preference would be be with the Arthur Johnson and
Laura Young Books. The Keith Smith book is interest, but also doesn't
require paring of leather compensating in other ways. While over-paring
leather has caused/causes real problems on bindings, looking at the few
photographs in the book, they appear clunky, especially at the corners.

Also, take a class with someone who knows. You'll learn more watching them
pare, work the material, maintaining their tools (esp. knife...) than you
would from a book. Also don't cheap out. It doesn't pay in the long run.


Here are a few titles:

Author: Cockerell, Douglas.
Title: Bookbinding, and the care of books : a handbook for amateurs,
bookbinders & librarians / by Douglas
Cockerell ; with drawings by Noel Rooke and other illustrations.
Published: New York : Lyons & Burford, [1991]
Notes: Originally published: New York : Appleton, 1902. With new foreword.
Includes index.
Subjects: Bookbinding -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. Books -- Conservation and

Author: Diehl, Edith.
Title: Bookbinding, its background and technique / by Edith Diehl.
Published: New York : Dover Publications, 1980.
Notes: "Unabridged and corrected republication ... of the work originally
published by Rinehart &
Company, Inc., [New York] in 1946."--T.p. verso. Bibliography: v. 1, p.
[203]-219. Includes indexes.
Subjects: Bookbinding.

Author: Johnson, Arthur W.
Title: The Thames and Hudson manual of bookbinding / Arthur W. Johnson.
Published: London : Thames & Hudson, 1978.
Notes: Bibliography: p. 219. Includes index.
Subjects: Bookbinding -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Author: Smith, Keith and Jordan, Fred
Title: Sewn and Pasted Cloth or Leather Bookbinding for Book Artists
Published: Rochester NY ; Keith Smith Books, 1998

Author: Young, Laura S.
Title: Bookbinding & conservation by hand : a working guide / Laura S.
Young ; with corrections and
editions by Jerilyn Glenn Davis ; illustrations by Sidonie Coryn ;
photographs by John Hurt Whitehead III.
Edition: [Rev. ed.].
Published: New Castle, Del. : Oak Knoll Press, 1995.
Notes: Originally published: New York : R.R. Bowker, 1981. Includes
bibliographical references (p. ) and
Subjects: Bookbinding. Books -- Conservation and restoration.

>Hi all,
>I did a search of the archives and couldn't find any reference to titles =
>of how-to books on leather binding. Is there such a beast?
>Replies appreciated.

Philobiblon: Book Arts, Different By Design
Hand Binding, Conservation, and Project Websites
Peter D. Verheyen
<Fax: 612.632.3718>

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