damaged book corners

Replacing Missing Corners

damaged book cornersIt 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 enough back so that the ragged edge of the book board is fully exposed.

Fold the book cloth out of the way and make a diagonal cut, trimming off the ragged edge of the damaged corner. Trim only as much board as necessary.

Make a second diagonal cut, about 3/8 – l/2” inside the first cut. This cut should only go through half of the thickness of the book board. Use a knife or microspatula to remove half the thickness of the book board to create a step.

Cut a replacement corner out of binder’s book board or mat board. This replacement comer should be the same thickness as the original board and should have a reverse step that will fit into the cut out step on the book cover.

Two or more layers of binder’s board or mat board can be glued together to achieve the desired thickness. Board from a discarded book can also be saved and used. If the undamaged corners have become rounded with use, it might be better to round the replacement corner to blend in with the other corners.

Fit the replacement corner onto the book and make sure it is the proper fit. Apply glue to the “step” in the book board and the replacement corner and fit in place.

Dry the repair under weight using paper covered bricks (position corner so it is flat against the work surface) or bull dog clips.

Cut a piece of new book cloth to fit the corner repair. Remember the grain of the corner cloth must run parallel with the spine of the book. Use the instructions on Replacing Book Cloth Corners to finish the repair.