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Re: [BKARTS] freeing the pastedowns

I have used gentle steaming to enable me to lift a paste-down, but usually 
place the board in a shallow water bath dish to soak it off.   Both of these 
procedures could damage the board/leather/paper,  but the books have been 
from the 1600-1700s and in such poor condition that the board requires 
replacement (perhaps subsequently inlaying part of the original leather with 
any blind tooling visible, if possible).   I find that any ink inscriptions of these 
dates have reacted with the paper to such an extent that they are acceptably 
fast and do not easily wash out - naturally it is wise to check on a very small 
part of the inscription to test this approach!

I have a number of restored books with the original leaves sewn back in with 
their inscriptions.   Admittedly some of these I have also lightly bleached with 
calcium hypochlorite solution, etc.   This does tend to lighten the ink, but the 
paper was badly stained and foxed so it was acceptable to me.  (One can also 
make a photocopy onto age compatible hand-made paper and include this in 
the repair perhaps.)   If the paper is in reasonable state then one doesn't need 
to bleach.

Perhaps after wetting adequately it may be possible to mechanically lift the 
paper by attempting to slide a very thin bone folder (I have filed a folder down 
to ca 1/16in with a sharp, rounded, blunt knife edge), or scalpel, under the 
edge to release the board fibres and adhesive.   Normally books of this age 
come off fairly readily as far as my experience goes - a relatively modern 
book perhaps would not be so easy?

The leaves can then be strengthened/repaired as necessary with acid free 
tissue, etc, dried and re-attached.

Rodney Fry
[Like Michael Faraday,1791-1867, a bookbinder's apprentice who became an 
electrical engineer, I'm an electrical engineer who does bookbinding 
as a hobby!]

On 9 Dec 2005 at 18:03, J. J. Foncannon wrote:

>  Occasionally, people want me to recase a book, but want the old
>  flyleaf and the old pastedown saved, because there may
> be important graphics or signatures on them.  I have always had to
> decline these jobs, since I have no idea of how to save the old
> pastedowns.  Ideally, I would like to create a new cover, with new
> boards and leather, but save the old endpapers and attach them to the
> new cover.
>  I have tried various techniques--- steaming, solvents, ironing--- to
>  free the old pastedowns from the boards on
> practice books, but nothing seems to work.  Is there anyway to do
> this?  It seems the older the book, the more fragile the pastedowns,
> and the more avidly they adhere to the boards. Thanks, Jet -- 

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