Book Repair for Hardcover Books

Instructions on how to repair hardcover books

spines

Repairing the Spine of a Book – Part 1

To make this repair a little less complex, I have broken it down into 6 stages. Each stage will have its own post : Measuring and Cutting the Repair Patch Preparing the Book Fitting the Repair Patch Gluing the Repair Patch Turning in Under Endpapers Endpapers and Hinges Often the head or tail area of a book cover spine wears out while the rest of the book is still in good condition. Damage at the head of the spine is often caused…

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rebacking a book

Complex Book Repairs

ADVANCED REPAIRS Serious repair problems take more time and skill to accomplish than any other level of repair. Often, books that need advanced repairs were poorly repaired in the past.Here is the list of complex repair instructions I will cover in the next few posts.   Repairing the Spine Head or Tail Rebacking A Case Bound Book Recasing A Text Block Into the Cover Repairing and Reattaching Damaged or Separated Leaves, Folios or Signatures Endpaper Treatment and Repair Resewing A Damaged Text Block…

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damaged book corners

Replacing Missing Corners

It is not uncommon for a corner of a hard cover book to be damaged or destroyed while the rest of the case is in reasonably good condition. These corners can be replaced, and the instructions for simple repairs are covered in the post on Repairing Damaged Corners. . These instructions are for more advanced repair work. Cut through the book cloth along the top and side of the book board, cutting from the undamaged cloth toward the damaged corner. Make sure to cut far…

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plates

Hinging In Plates or Illustration Pages

Plates (illustration pages) can be attached to a text block in several ways. Some plates are printed on folded sheets that are sewn into the text block as part of a signature. Other plates are printed on shiny, stiff paper, then tipped onto the page with glue. As the original glue dries up, the plate can separate from the text and fall out of the book. Plates can be replaced by re-tipping them to the page or reattached by creating a Japanese tissue hinge…

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book corners

Hinging In Multiple Pages

The exact number of pages that can be successfully hinged-in will vary from book to book. Remember, when pages are hinged-in, additional thickness (the Japanese repair tissue and paste) are being added. Do not attempt to replace more pages than the width of the book spine will allow. There are several options to use when hinging in multiple pages. One choice is to hinge the loose pages to one another as a unit and then hinge the unit into the text block. In another case…

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Hinging In A Single Text Page

Tear a strip of Japanese repair tissue approximately l/2” wide and as long as the height of the page. Japanese tissue tends to stretch a little lengthwise when wet so it can be trimmed a little shorter than the page. Lay the page to be hinged on a piece of wax paper or non-stick material. Lay a strip of Japanese repair tissue on a piece of waste paper and mask one half of the width of the tissue. Brush wheat paste on to the…

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Repairing Book Hinges

Hinging In Detached Pages

Hinging-in is generally used when the text block is sewn and the pages open flat, or when reattaching a plate that was originally tipped onto a page in the text block.There is a description of sewn text blocks and how they are constructed in a previous post. A detached page can be hinged to the page in front or in back of it. While each mend should be evaluated individually, the strongest mend is usually accomplished by hinging from the back of the detached…

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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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book corners

Book Cloth Corner Repairs

After the corner book board is repaired, cut a piece of new book cloth to cover the repair. The grain of the book cloth (see separate post) must run parallel with the spine of the book. Glue the book cloth patch in place on the outside of the book cover. Dry under weight. Fold the point of the new book cloth corner over the book board so it forms a 45 degree angle. Use a needle-in-a-stick to mark the position where the book cloth covers the corner. This…

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damaged book corners

Book Board/Corner Repairs

The book board used in book case construction consists of many layers of board. If the book cloth is damaged or torn open at a corner, the different layers of board are often visible. When damaged corners are repaired with plastic tape, the book board is not repaired, it is only covered up. To truly repair the book corner, the various layers of book board must be glued to one another and the book cloth repaired or replaced. In some…

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