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        Don't worry about it.  Fortunately, I've learned not to delete
things too quickly.  Guess why!



        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 rest.

        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

        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

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

                Paul Martin

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