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Re: [BKARTS] Warped Book


        It is difficult to decide on the best treatment, sight unseen.  The first
thing is to check the grain direction of the page.  Normally the grain is
vertical, but it is not all that unusual to find that a horizontal grain is
used as a cost cutting measure, such as the 9" horizontal measurement would
allow.  It is a simple matter to test for grain direction.  Lightly bend one
of the pages halfway over; bounce your fingers along the back of the sheet;
if the bend is against the grain, you will feel more resistance or spring
coming from the sheet.  Since the sheets are bound into the book, it would
not be possible to bend the sheet toward the vertical direction, although
the grain direction can be tested by running the edge of the sheet between
the nails of the thumb and forefinger.  If the grain is vertical, there will
be no noticeable change.  If the grain is horizontal, however, there will be
a pronounced rippling along the edge.  A good reason for using the former
test to determine the grain direction.  If the grain direction is
horizontal, then it's probably best that you get used to seeing that "1/16
inch in the middle."

        Creating a humidification chamber is relatively simple.  The most difficult
part is deciding on the best way to proceed with a particular case.  The
objective is to thoroughly humidify the pages of the book in a closed
chamber, the opened book safely placed on an open grid support, such as, the
plastic diffuser paneling for fluorescent lighting, periodically leafing
through the book and opening to a different section of the book.  The closed
chamber can be made by simply placing a cardboard box over the whole thing,
perhaps even covering the box with plastic sheeting.  The main thing is to
keep the book surrounded by moist air.   Mother Nature will take care of the

        Once the book is thoroughly humidified, I recommend interleafing each of
the 375 pages with a piece of waxed paper that has been cut to the same size
as the page itself.  I know it's a lot of cutting, but the waxed paper will
keep the unavoidable swell in the thickness of the book to a minimum.  [I
recommend Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper.]  Once that is done, place a
nonabsorbent panel over the book and apply enough weight to assure contact
pressure only.  Then wait until the book and its pages are thorough dry!

        It's a slow drying process, but an effective one.  Once the pages are
thoroughly humidified, they will return to their original condition.  With
the wax paper in place, only the edges of the page will dry.  As the edges
dry, however, the remaining moisture will steadily migrate to the edges of
the sheet, where it will evaporate, only to be replaced by the next in line.

        Once the process is complete and the book is dry, remove the wax paper.  I
recommend keeping the book under contact pressure for a couple of days, just
to allow time for the book to mature in the surrounding environment.

        It's a simple procedure.  And like most things, it takes time.  Good luck!

                Paul Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com
[mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of rj
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 5:26 PM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Warped Book

Thanks you for replying!
I do not have a humidification chamber but I suppose I could rig something
Do you have a feel for what the humidity should be and how long to subject
to the humidity?  Should it be room temperature or something more.

Anyway the part I really do not understand is how to use the blotters. Would
blotter between each sheet be required? If so that would seem to be a bit
as there are 375 sheets in the book and even if the blotter paper were .001"
that would add a third of an inch to the thickness of the book. Putting that
a press would have to damage the spine or so it seems to me? What am I not
understanding or missing?
--- William Minter <WMNTR@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> In a message dated 3/14/03 15:34:36, h9022@xxxxxxxxx writes:
> << I have just received a hard covered book that is is bowed
.............. I
> put it
> in an old screw down type book press for two days, to no good. >>
> It most likely needs some moisture to relax the fibers, and then to remove
> that moisture with blotters while the book is under a weight. A simple
> humidification chamber may do the trick.
> Bill Minter

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