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plates

Re-attaching Illustrations and Plates

Plates are illustrations that are printed separately from the text of a book. Many plates are smaller than the text block page and are attached to a page of a text block by tipping them in along one edge. This is common even in books with sewn text blocks because plates are often printed on coated paper that is heavier than the paper used to print the text block. When the original glue dries up, the plate separates from the text and falls out…

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loose pages

Reattaching a Single Text Page

Each book will accept a repaired or replaced page in a different way. Some pages will sit easily into the hinge area, others will slide in from the top or bottom of the text block. Practice putting the page into the book before gluing to see how the page goes in the best. Often a repaired page cannot be replaced as far back into the spine as when the book was new. If the edges of the repaired or replacement page extend beyond the text…

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loose pages

Re-attaching Pages

Tipping-in is one way to reattach a detached page or plate, errata sheet or replacement page. Tipping-in is not used to put a entire book back together. If too many pages are loose from the binding, the book should be resewn, or sent to a bindery. “Too many pages” can vary from book to book, but generally more than 3-5 pages is too many. Tipping-in is generally used on text blocks that are adhesive bound with tightly glued spines. The tight spine keeps the…

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Staples in book

Missing Page Corners

Choose two layers of Japanese tissue that together will be close in thickness to the page being repaired. Protect the pages behind the repair with wax paper. Use a piece of black mat board to highlight the edge of the repair. Fold a piece of Japanese tissue in half and place over the missing corner. The edges of the patch should extend past the edges of the page. Needle or water tear (tearing Japanese repair tissue post) the two :layers of tissue. The patch…

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Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Holes in Book Pages

It is not too common to find holes in the middle of the page, but it can happen. While the print can not be restored, the page should be mended to prevent further damage. Choose two layers of Japanese tissue that will be close in thickness to the repaired page. Tear two pieces of Japanese tissue to cover the hole using the techniques covered in the post on using Japanese repair tissue. Protect the text block with wax paper on either side of the…

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loose pages

Repairing Cut Paper or Pages

Paper cuts slice completely through the paper fibers so they do not have a top or bottom feathered edge as you would find in a paper tear. Paper cuts must be repaired with a Japanese repair tissue patch or document repair tape. Since the cut is unsupported, it might be better to put repair tissue on both sides of the cut or wrap a short amount of the Japanese repair tissue or document repair tape around to the back side of the repair to…

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Document Repair Tape

Repairs with Document Tape

Document repair tape is discussed in a previous post. In general, it should only be used on books that are not too valuable or part of a special collection. Make sure the edges of the tear are lined up correctly and apply the tape over the tear. Do not try to repair a long tear with only one piece of tape. If necessary, apply tape on both sides of the paper to attach loose edges but remember that this will add two extra layers of…

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Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Paper Tears with Japanese Tissue

Japanese repair tissue adds strength to a repair. It is used when the tear does not have wide, overlapping edges and needs reinforcement. Choose the best method for tearing and applying paste before beginning the repair. Apply paste on the Japanese repair tissue, then pick up the tissue using a needle, microspatula or fine tweezers. Carefully lay the tissue on the tear. If the tear is at the edge of the page, extend the Japanese tissue 3/8” past the edge of the paper. This extension can…

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Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Paper Tears with Wheat Paste

When the paper tear has a strong, obvious top and bottom edge, applying wheat paste to the edges of the tear can be enough to bond them together. Use a very fine paint brush, microspatula or needle to apply wheat paste to the top and bottom edges of the tear and press them together. Cover the repair with wax paper press the edges of the tear together with a folder. Remember to always best to work from the base of the repair toward the edge of the page. Wipe away…

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Finding the Grain

Simple or Complex Paper Tears

Paper tends to tear at an angle so most tears will have a top and a bottom. If the tear passes through the text or an illustration, it is easy to see which is the top or bottom because the bottom of the tear will show the white paper fibers. If the tear does not pass through text, look at the tear very carefully before pasting it together. Some tears will go with the grain of the paper while others go against the grain. Tears…

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