book spine damage

Repairing the Spine of a Book – Part 2

book spine damage


  1. Support the book with another book or a stack of boards. Use an X-acto knife and ruler to cut through the book cloth turn-in along the edge of the endpapers at the head of the book. The cut should be 1 – 2” long.
  2. At the outer edge of the first cut (the end away from the spine), make a 90 degree cut across the book cloth from the edge of the endpaper to the top of the book board.
  3. Use a knife or microspatula to lift the book cloth away from the book board.
  4. If necessary, clip through the original book cloth turn-in at the hinge to allow the cloth to lift up. DO NOT clip through the endpaper or the crash.
  5. Repeat these two cuts on the opposite book board. If the original spine turn-in is completely loose, remove it.
  6. Using a microspatula, dull knife or the rounded end of a folder, lift the book cloth loose from the cover boards. Loosen only as much book cloth as necessary to slip in the repair patch. Work slowly and carefully as the book cloth can stretch or tear.
  7. Insert a dull knife or microspatula under the original turn-in (the part of the book cloth under the endpaper that was cut but not lifted up above) and the book board. The original book cloth will help support the endpaper as it is lifted.
  8. Carefully separate the endpaper away from the board with a gentle prying motion. Lift only as much of the end paper as needed to slip in the repair patch.

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