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Re: Fish glue

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Fair question.  Any adequate adhesive used along the spine of a paper
textblock will be stronger than the paper.

It becomes less a question of the strength of the adhesive, than a
question of the ability of the paper to resist the forces of contraction
as the adhesive dries (or later, in a very dry environment how much
more the adhesive may contract before the paper splits.)

Some thought about modifying the properties of the adhesive can be
useful, as Richard mentioned regarding the English glue maker.

Zaensdorf, in _Art of Bookbinding_ suggests a combination of glue
and starch paste.  He gives a recipe, but I don't use it exactly
as given.  Instead, I blend cooked wheat starch paste into the glue
pot according to my sense of what is likely to be least troublesome
for the paper at hand.

Sometimes I'm wrong, which aggravates me and amuses others.
But I learn.  Eventually.

Re: a weak adhesive.  Sometimes, for instance when I line a deteriorated
Japanese woodblock print, the starch paste will be thinned out to the
point where it resembles gray dishwater.  It all comes down to trying
to balance incompatables.


>This begs an interesting problem... how strong should bookbinding glue be?
>Woodworking magazines have often tested various sorts of glue by testing
>joints to destruction. When the wood is splintered, then the glue is
>stronger than the wood being joined.
>But in bookbinding, do we want the joint to fail at the glue joint or by
>tearing the paper? Are there places - tipping on an illustration, for
>example - where a weak adhesive is preferable?
>And what sort of joint strength can paper support? It seems to me that fish
>glue - in the form of stamps or gummed envelopes - can be easily be stronger
>than the paper it is joining.

Chris Palmer <cpalmer@ACCESSCABLE.NET>

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon USA

503/735-3942  (ph/fax)


"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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