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Re: basic repairs

>Rupert Evans wrote:
>Trying to sand off the adhesive typically used in perfect binding doesn't
>well, since the heat generated by sanding melts the adhesive so it sticks
>the abrasive paper. If you want to get rid of the adhesive, the easiest way
>to use a guillotine cutter to trim off a sixteenth of an inch from the

Guillotining the adhesive off also works very well (provided there is
sufficient inside margin so the text may still be read). Perfect bindings
are anything but, and even conscientious re-binds may not last forever in a
heavily used book.  Guillotining a book every time it needs to be re-bound
will soon make it difficult to read the words along the inner margin.

Rupert - Are you sanding with a machine or by hand, to generate enough heat
to melt the adhesive?  I sand by hand, and have never had trouble with
adhesives melting.

One of the reasons perfect bindings break so easily is due to the
inflexibility of the hot glue used as adhesive.  If you re-use the original
glue (by heating it with a griddle), it will still have the inflexibility
that caused it to break in the first place.  The methylcellullose mixed in
with the PVA adds flexibility to the adhesive, so that books may be opened
without the adhesive cracking.

Another reason perfect bindings don't hold together very well is when the
hot glue is applied to the text blocks, the pages are either not fanned at
all, or are only fanned one direction.  Fanning the pages in both directions
provides more holding power to the binding.  If the old glue is re-used, you
won't get fanning in both directions.

Dolly Blunt
Conservator and Preservation Officer
Florida State Archives

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