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[BKARTS] Casing in [was: tips to avoid getting glue on paper]

I use different techniques depending on the operation and the type of

Like several of those who have volunteered their tips, I use a foam brush
for PVA or PVA mix, but only up to a 2" brush. For thin stripes I sometimes
use a 1/2" or 1" "disposable" bristle brush that has been well used so the
bristles don't come out in the glue. For wider swaths I use rollers, either
foam or nap depending on the adhesive and what is being glued. I use 3",
4", 7" or 9" rollers depending on the size of the item.  The 9" rollers are
great if you are making things like large portfolios and have to glue up
30" x 40" or bigger papers.

For case bound books I use a variety of techniques. If it's being cased-in
closed, like a regular cloth case binding, I trim the book with the
endsheets on, or if  the block is not being trimmed the endsheets are cut
to the size of the book. I put a piece of stiff but flexible Mylar, a cut
piece from an offset litho plate, or something else impermeable and
slightly rigid, between the endsheet that will be glued and the following
page to keep moisture from migrating. A piece of newsprint of other waste
paper larger than that is placed between the mylar and the endsheet so
adhesive doesn't get on the barrier piece.

If I am familiar with the properties of the endpaper (its coefficient of
expansion parallel to the grain) I may trim the foredge with a razor knife
before pasting it so the square is even after pasting it down.

For fast edition work I use straight PVA, not thinned with anything, and a
roller. For work that involves covers that are expensive to replace
(leather, fancy stamping, pricey material...) I use flour paste applied
with a round bristle paste brush (size depending on the size of the book)
and I add a stripe of PVA where the crash (mull, super) will lay down. Then
I lay down the mull and add a stripe of PVA on top of it. I've found that
makes a stronger more durable hinge. If it's a dry day I go over the flour
paste again with the brush.  By this time the paper has had time to relax
and is nice and flat. The adhesive is tacky but not squishy. The waste
paper is removed carefully by lifting the pasted endsheet a bit and sliding
out the waste sheet in a straight line away from the spine, to make sure no
adhesive gets on the back of the endsheet.

The cover is then closed on the endpaper. I look to see if the square is
straight. That's the space between the endpaper and the edge of the board.
If it's not, I gently lift the cover, peel off the endsheet, lay it back
down, check that the paste and glue are still fresh, and replace the cover,
making whatever adjustment may be necessary.  This all takes a lot longer
to explain than to do!

The advantage of the flour paste is that it has more slip, less tack, and
is less likely to stain than PVA. It is easily removed in most cases with a
little spit.  Saliva has Ptyalin, an enzyme that converts starch to sugar,
which is very useful for this operation. Don't do this right after drinking
coffee or eating chocolate! A famous restorer showed my a vial he kept
clean spit in.

If all has gone smoothly I insert a piece of acid free blotter between the
barrier (Mylar or whatever) and the endsheet (to help the pastedown dry
faster), flip the book over, do the other side, and put the book in the
press.  If there were problems and it took too long, and I am afraid the
adhesive will lose it's tack, I press the first side with a quick nip and
then do the other side. After nipping the book I replace the blotters with
dry ones. The book can stay overnight in the press, or if it's fast edition
work, after a minute in the press the blotters are changed again and the
books stacked under the weight of a cobblestone. If you have enough
pressing boards and a big standing press with enough daylight, a lot of
books can be stacked in the press.

If I am casing-in open I may put in a cloth or leather hinge using straight
PVA and put down a separate pastedown (cover board liner) with flour
paste.  If there is no separate hinge, I do not trim the endpapers before
tipping them in (or sewing them in the case of certain bindings, like
English style made endpapers).  I paste up with flour paste, add PVA in the
hinge area, let it relax, work it into the hinge first with my finger and
then with a bone through waste paper, and then lay the rest flat on the
board, smoothing it as it goes down. The excess endpaper is trimmed to the
size of the square after it is all pasted down. If the paste dries that's
ok, as wetting the strip that will be removed with a Q-tip allows it to
come off cleanly. Usually only the foredge is trimmed to match the head and
tail squares, though sometimes all three edges are cut smaller to expose a
larger amount of the cover material, as when doing a tooled border around
the pastdown in a leather binding.


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