rebacking a book

  • Cover the spine inlay with wax paper and blotters. Apply weight and let dry.
  • When the spine inlay is dry, gently wrap it around the text block with the new book cloth on top of the original book cloth.
  • Use the long edge of a folder to work the cloth into the hinge area.
  • Lift the original book cloth and lay the new spine cloth in place. If the new spine cloth is too wide to fit, trim it down.
  • Lift up the new book cloth and apply PVA glue to the book board.
  • Work the glue all the way back into the area where the original book cloth and book board are still attached.

DO NOT put glue in the joint area or glue down the original book cloth.

 

  • Lay the new book cloth back in place. Work the cloth into the hinge area with the long edge of a folder.
  • Protect the cloth with wax paper if necessary.
  • Put the book under weight to dry for at least 10 minutes so the glue will set.
  • If the new spine cloth extends past the top or bottom of the book more than 5/8”, trim it down.
  • Clip the points off the corners for ease in turning-in.
  • Protect the bottom extension of spine book cloth by placing the book on another stack of boards or another book.
  • Carefully tuck in the right side of the turn-in, then the spine area, and finally the left side of the turn-in.
  • With the entire patch tucked in place, gently crease the top edge of the patch along the boards and in the spine area with your fingers.
  • Set the book on the work table to check the position of the turn-in area. The edge of the new spine book cloth should be level with the original boards so it rests flat and even against the table. If there is space between the table and the new spine book cloth or if the book cloth wrinkles against the table, the turn-in is not correct. Readjust the turn in. Check it again.
  • When the turn-in is positioned correctly, lay the book on its spine. Use a folder to crease the turn-in in position. This crease sets the turn-in position and makes it easy to reposition it once the glue is applied.
  • Unfold the turn-in, brush on PVA glue, and carefully refold.
  • Use a folder to crease the glued turn-in into its previously creased position.
  • Re-check to make sure the spine area sits flat against the edge of a work table. If there is a gap or wrinkles, reposition the turn-in before the glue dries.
  • Wipe away any excess glue. Work the new book cloth into the hinge area with a folder.
  • Put wax paper inside the book hinge area to protect the end sheet from excess glue. Insert rods or knitting needles in the joint and dry under weight.
  • Let dry for at least ten minutes and repeat the procedure on the other end of the book.
  • Apply glue to the raised flaps, and lay them into position, pressing them onto the new book cloth. There may be a slight gap between the flap and the edge of the endpaper.
  • Lay a strip of wax paper in the joint areas, insert rods or knitting needles and dry overnight under weight.