Book Repair for Hardcover Books

Instructions on how to repair hardcover books

endpapers

Constructing a Double Spread Endpaper

When the front and back endpapers show the same information or picture, the fly leaf of each endpaper can be used to construct one complete  endpaper. The constructed endpaper is usually attached to the front of the text block.   Separate the fly leaf from the pastedown. If the hinge area is weak, the fly leaf can be separated by gently pulling it away from the pastedown; if the paper in the hinge is in good condition, cut it away. Check the alignment of…

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endpapers

Endpaper Repairs

The first pages at the front and back of the text block are called the endpapers. The main function of the endpapers is to protect the text block from dirt and damage, but endpapers can also be decorative or informative. Most endsheets consist of two to four leaves – the pastedown which is glued to the cover board and the leaves that turn freely called the fly leaves. Most commercially bound volumes use two page endpapers that are sewn or glued to the text block.…

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Damaged Book Hinges

Re-Attaching Detached Signatures – Method 2

Repairing Fully or Partially Detached Signatures Method 2: If the spine of the text block is accessible, such as when the text block is being recased, the repaired signature can be sewn back into the text block.   Punch sewing holes in the detached signature, as well as one signature before it in the text block and one signature after it. Use link stitch (separate post) to sew through the center of these three signatures and through the spine lining papers. If the resewn signature…

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Damaged Book Hinges

Re-attaching Detached Signatures – Method 1

REATTACHING PARTIALLY OR FULLY DETACHED SIGNATURES Method 1: Find the center of the signature and cut the sewing threads to release the pages. If any of the leaves have separated, hinge them together with Japanese tissue to restore the complete signature. Make sure the pages are in the correct order. Tear a piece of Japanese repair tissue the height of the signature and about 3/4 – 1” wide. Fold the Japanese repair tissue strip around the outside of the signature (there is no paste involved here).…

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loose pages

Re-attaching Single Leaves

Detached single leaves can be reattached to the text block by hinging or tipping depending on the structure of the text block. Since each leaf of a sewn text block is one half of a complete folio, always make sure the other half of the folio is well attached to the text block. If the second leaf is loose, both leaves must be repaired. Two detached halves of a folio can be re-attached by hinging or tipping, or as a partially detached signature (separate…

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loose pages

Repairing Folios

Repairing Additional Folios Or The Last Folio of a Signature If additional folios need to be repaired, place the folio to be repaired in the correct position around the center folio page(s). Make sure all the pages are in the correct order. If a folio has separated into two halves, place both leaves in the correct position, and clip them together at the fore edge. Tear a strip of Japanese repair tissue the height of the folio and as wide as necessary to cover any…

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loose pages

Repairing the Center Folio of a Signature

The damaged fold of a center folio should be repaired on the inside. All the other folios are repaired on the outside. Using the techniques in earlier posts tear a piece of Japanese tissue and apply paste to the Japanese tissue. The width of the Japanese tissue will vary depending on how much of the signature page is damaged. Lay the center folio of the signature on a piece of non-stick material with center facing up. Lay the pasted repair tissue down the center of…

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loose pages

Repairing Signatures

All paper tears should be mended before re-attaching a signature to the text block. Various techniques for repairing damaged paper are discussed in earlier posts within the Book Repair Basics category. Examine the sewing holes on the fold of each folio. If the sewing holes are enlarged or the paper between the holes is damaged, the fold should be repaired before the folio is re-attached to the text block. If the damage is limited to one or two sewing holes or to only part…

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Parts-of-a-Book

Damaged Folios and Signatures

Over the next few posts, I will cover a variety of techniques for repairing or re-attaching damaged, separated leaves, folios and signatures. Leaves – one single 2 sided sheet or page Folios – a single folded sheet comprised of 2 leaves Signatures  – gatherings of usually 4 folios     All of these can separate from the text block. Each can be repaired in several ways. Read through each of the options and select the one that will work best for your specific book.

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Damaged Book Hinges

Recasing a Hardcover Book – Method 2

METHOD 2: Original Pastedown Lifted Off Board or Endpaper Replaced Double check to see that the text block is correctly positioned in the case. The text block and cover need to be right side up to one another. The text block should be positioned correctly at the edge of the case. Slip a large piece of wax paper into the fold of the endpaper to act as a moisture barrier. The wax paper should be larger than the endpaper. Cover the wax paper with a sheet…

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