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Re: [BKARTS] Lay flat Binding-grammar police

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>While you all argue semantics, I'll go bind some books that lie flat.

I trust that many here will join me in condemning anti-semanticism.  And Michael
was clearly in error when he wrote (though maybe it was a typo)

>You're foredging in the underbrush of sly meanings

Since he was responding to Dorothy's post, I expect he meant the "underbush,"
and was referring to

>a guy named Ridge,  I believe, who works [...] under a Bush.

In any event, I would say he works under a son of a Bush.

But to get to the substance of the matter, all this talk of lay flat or lie flat
or stay flat has been about adhesives and structures. What about the paper? I
just did an adhesive binding that stays open all by itself, and has a flat rigid
spine. The paper is thin and the grain runs parallel to the spine. No motion
(concaving) of the spine is necessary for it to stay open to a spread.

On the other hand, I've seen French bindings (cf. a recent thread) that are
hand-sewn in signatures that not only do not open flat, they do not open at
all.  It would be necessary to pry them open, because the pages stick straight
up in the air when both covers are opened flat. You can't pry them open,
however, because they are fine art books (livres d'art) and neither the owner
nor the binder would let you even try to read them.  "They are made to be looked
at, not read," one binder said.  And they do open perfectly to display the
binding in a vitrine, standing on the tail edge with the covers spread out to
see the design and tooling, with a perfect smooth round spine.

In the sense that a binding exists to protect the "book block," these might be
pinnacle. But let's leave cards out of this.

To get that smooth spine there are five layers of card or paper glued on and
sanded to perfction. The combination of thick paper and an overlined spine will
prevent a flexible structure from lying flat, and that's no lie!

If you want a smooth spine and a binding that opens nicely for reading, a hollow
back enables you to have a single thickness of paper on the spine and as many
layers as you need to build up and sand under the leather.

I often use hollow backs when doing raised-cord bindings. My preference,
particularly for big books, is to sew on double raised linen cords. That
provides a lot of support, and a beautiful concave opening. With single cords
the spine often opens like a "V" rather than an arch. I put small hollow tubes
between each of the cords, and between the last cord and the top of the endband.

When I want a smooth spine (for design purposes) I build up layes of paper on
top of the tubes to the height of the cords, and sand the paper, particularly
over the lumps from the endband sewing. Then I paste a piece of paper over the
whole spine, connecting all the tubes above the cords. If necessary more layers
can be added to this and sanded.  That way the cords lie in channels inside the
spine, and are free to move when the book opens.

In the event that the leather wears out in the hinge in a few hundred years, the
spine leather is easily removed and rehinged without damaging the tooling,
onlay, or whatever the design includes.


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