book hinge repair

Examine both hinges very carefully to be sure only one hinge needs repair.

If more than l/4 if the crash on either hinge is damaged, that hinge must be replaced. Recasing the text block – two damaged hinges is the next post in this series.

  1. Cut through any crash that is still intact in the damaged hinge area so the cover falls away from the text block.
  2. Check the original spine liners. It they are not glued down, carefully feed PVA or PVA/mixture between the spine liner and the spine of the text block.
  3. Use a folder or 1” stencil brush to work the liner in place.
  4. If the spine liners are damaged or if they are not heavy enough, reline the spine using the directions in Lining the Text Block Spine after the new crash is mounted on the spine.
  5. Examine the endpapers. If either is missing or damaged, replace or repair it before going further.
  6. Support the loose cover with a book or stack of boards; then slide a dull knife or a folder between the pastedown and the book board. Work carefully so as not tear the pastedown and lift only enough of the pastedown to slip in the new crash. The pastedown can tear easily so try to work the folder or knife under the old crash to support the pastedown as it is lifted up.
  7.  Cut a new piece of crash l/2” shorter than the height of the text block and the width of the text block plus about 2”.
  8.  Put a weight on top of the test block then apply PVA or PVA/mixture to the spine of the text block.
  9.  Place the new crash onto the spine. The crash should cover the entire width of the spine and extend at least 1 l/2” past the shoulder of the text block.
  10.  Use a folder or stencil brush to work the crash onto the spine. Let dry thoroughly.
  11.  When the crash is dry, check the spine lining paper. If the spine liners are damaged or if they are not heavy enough, reline the spine using the directions in Lining the Text Block Spine. The number and kind of spine liners depend on the volume. Even if the spine does not need lining, it is still a good idea to put one thin layer of paper or Japanese repair tissue over the crash to anchor it to the text block. Let it dry before proceeding.
  12.  Slide the loose edge of the crash under the lifted pastedown to check for fit. If the loose flap of the crash is too wide, trim it to fit.
  13.  Lift the crash out from under the pastedown and diagonally clip the ends of the corners. They tend to fold under as the crash is inserted under the lifted pastedown.
  14.  Apply glue to the book board. Do not glue the lifted pastedown.
  15.  Slide the loose flap of crash back under the lifted pastedown. Work it into place, making sure there are no lumps or folds in the crash.
  16.  Place a piece of wax paper in the hinge area and close the cover. Use the long edge of a folder to work the joint into place.
  17.  Open the book and support the cover on another book or a stack of boards.
  18.  Lift the pastedown and apply glue between the pastedown and the crash/board.
  19.  Use the flat edge of a folder to press the pastedown into position, working from the fore edge toward the hinge area. Wipe away any excess glue.
  20.  Put a piece of wax paper in the hinge area and close the cover.
  21.  Use the long edge of a folder to work the joint into place. Insert rods in both joints, and dry under pressure.
  22.  Open the cover. Inspect the repair. Use the techniques in Repairing Torn Endpapers and Tightening Case Hinges to finish or camouflage the repair.