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Re: [BKARTS] Recent Fan and Perfect Bindings Discussions

When I first started binding my own books in 1996, I had absolutely no
references, and I had to work from memories of a book I'd read in 1976. As a
result, I invented what I thought was my own method.

I clamped the text block between two boards, leaving about 1/16-inch free
fanned out slightly as a result of the pressure. To make sure that the glue
-- a Mexican PVA called Resistol -- penetrated the paper, I dampened the
back and then applied the glue with a stiff paint brush, working it down
into the leaves a bit.

When the block dried, I cut cross-cuts with a small household saw. Then I
laid strings of coarse sewing thread into the cuts, glued them down, and
glued a backing of thin cotton cloth over them. I took apart a hardcover
book to see how the text block was glued to the end papers. I did the same
with my book, but I extended the strings across the the cover boards after
cutting channels so that they would lie flat.

The final result was a bit messy because I hadn't mastered the art of
working clean, but the book opened beautifully, and is in perfect condition
to this day, as are several others that I made over the next year or two.

Since then, my daughter brought me Manley Bannister's book, and I was amused
to see that my technique wasn't all that innovative.

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