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Jigs for aligning spine stamping

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Jig for Stamping Spine of Round Back Case:

1. Cut a piece of binders board the size of the spine strip + 2 joint spaces (=
distance between the cover boards) and mark off the spine in pencil (= draw 2
lines in from the sides the width of the joint spaces).
2. Tape it to the platen of the press (Kensol, Kwikprint, etc.) with double
sided tape in the correct position (so the title appears where you want it on
the spine).
3. Snap the case onto the spine strip and stamp.

Jig for Stamping Spine of Flat Back Case:

1. Cut 2 strips of binders board the width of the joint space, and one the size
of the spine strip.
2. Place the  spine strip on the platen in the correct position and tape the
joint space strips to the platen on either side of it. Remove the spine strip,
leaving just the two joint size strips.
3. Snap the case onto the jig so the joints are over the joint strips and stamp.


A. The turn-ins are done after the stamping. It avoids the extra thickness of
the turn-in affecting the impression if you are stamping near the edges.  Also,
if the impression is bad the case can be tossed with less loss of embodied
labor. If the turn-ins are already done, the jigs will need to be shorter than
the height of the book so the jig falls between the turn-ins. Then a head or
tail guide is required.

B. If you are doing an edition, it will save a bit of production time lining up
the head or tail edge of the case with the spine strip if you set the guide (the
metal bar that you use to align the work on the platen) at the far edge of the
strip. If your press is missing the guide, tape down a piece of board or
anything straight.

C. Some people don't use spacers to set the joint space. Doing so saves a lot of
time. I have a collection of spacers from all the cases I've made the last 30
years or so. They are simply strips of binders board, marked with what the
product was (flat back case, round back case, drop-back box, ring binder, etc.),
the board thickness, the covering material, and how to cut the board (e.g.:
round back case, .082 board, Oasis goat, board cut shoulder to foredge - 1/8").
That way similar projects go very quickly and accurately, and I can make the
stamping guides by copying the spacer.

D. An alternate version has just one joint spacer for the flat back book, and,
if only the spine and front cover will be stamped, the back board is applied
after the stamping. A similar action can be taken with a round back cse.



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