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Re: [BKARTS] question about re-making books

I think you are talking about making what is called a book safe. It is not
necessary to glue all the pages together in advance. Make two boards the size
of  the book pages; 2mm book board will work but 1mm plywood (check a hobby
shop)  works better. Mark these boards with cutting lines defining the area you
wish to  cut out.
Next open back the book covers and traditionally the first and last eight
pages or so. Place the cut to size boards against the text block, one at the
front and one at the back, markings out. Next take at least four C  clamps and
place one at each of the four corners of the text block and marked  boards as
close to the cutting lines as possible. More clamps are better on a  book of
any size, placing them in between the corner clamps.
Now you need a coping saw with a wire blade. This is a round blade covered
with abrasive; medium grit will work well. You also need a drill and bit the
diameter of your wire blade. Drill a hole at one corner of the cutting lines.
Use the drill at slow speed, backing out occasionally to clear the bit of
paper  shavings, and drill vertically. Ideally you will come out at the twin
marked  corner on the underside. If you are a little bit off, not to worry. If you
are  way off try to redrill the hole correcting your aim.
Next thread the wire blade through the hole and attach the saw blade.
Proceed to saw through the book block, working slowly and methodically,
periodically checking the underside to assure that you are hitting the  guide lines.
Unless the book is extremely thick you will find it quick going. At  corners you
simply change direction of sawing. Continue around the  marked cutting lines. I
have always found it helpful to move the  clamps to straddle both the inner
and outer areas as sawing progresses.  This will stabilize and hold in place
the increasingly unstable inner cut  away as sawing proceeds.
Soon you will have the inner area cut away. Move the clamps back to the
outer edges and remove the cut away. Check the inside edge. Major booboos can be
corrected with sand paper and a sanding block. Minor booboos will usually be
hidden by whatever lining you use in the cut away area.
With the boards and clamps still in place brush a modest coat of PVA on the
inner cut edges, rubbing in with a finger. Remove the clamps and cutting
boards, place a release paper over each opening, close the book and then weight
or press a couple of hours for the PVA to dry.
After drying the inner cut edges then glue the uncut pages at the back  of
the book together with PVA. This glued area should only be slightly larger  than
the cut out; do not glue out to the page edges. Again  press for a bit then
PVA the bulk of the text block to these last glued pages.  Again weight or
press several hours or overnight to dry.
This will yield a book safe that allows both covers to open, retains the
look of free leaves at the outer edges and provides several free leaves at  the
beginning; please alter the setup as you see fit.
Lastly apply one last modest coat of PVA to the inner cut out edges. If you
are adhering a lining to these inner edges the adhesive used then will suffice
 for this step.
I tried using an electric jig saw once but found the vibration and  base
plate both way more trouble than the "ease" of the saw was worth.
Best, James

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