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Re: [BKARTS] burning bushes and oversewing

I believe the technique Ed is describing is the same one Bernard
Middleton shows in his book, "The Restoration of Leather Bindings",
pages 104 and 105.

Frank Lehmann
Lehmann Bindery

Edward Stansell wrote:


Hand oversewing isn't dirty and it is anything but quick. I can section sew a
book in half the time it takes to hand oversew.

From what I can tell, you are somewhat right in your description. I'm not

The proceedure require a very fine, sharp needle and wax or soap to make the
needle pass through the paper easily. The needle should be waxed with every
pass or more often if required. Set-up the sewing frame (sewing bench) in the
usual manner for sewing on cords. Place a thin bunch pages onto the bench
with a weight on them. with nylon, silk or #35 linen thread, (I prefer nylon
because of its small diameter) whip-stitch the section wrapping the cords
when you come to them,with stitches being about 3/4" - 1" apart and about
1/8" - 3/16" in. Pull the thread "TO", but not tight. It is important that
the thread NOT BE TIGHT. Lay on the next section and sew back the other
direction, catching the first section as you go. Repeat this until your book
is sewn. If your thread is too tight, the edges of your book will not be
smooth but will be separated into section. Another problem with tight thread
is the behavior of the book after it's glued-up.  Over the years, (44 of
them) I have found this to be a viable method for sewing single sheets and
for book where the folds are worn away or burned away. Books sewn this way
open well. It seems to me that if this method were not good, at some point or
other I would have gotten a complaint from a customer. I have sewn ancient
deed records, that are used daily, by this method. They are holding up just
fine after thirty years.


Ed Stansell

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