rebacking a hardcover book

rebacking a book

Rebacking Method 2 – Mounting the Original Spine onto the New Book Cloth Spine

Peel as much of the original paper spine inlay from the original spine cloth as possible. If the paper is well adhered to the cloth, don’t force it off the spine cloth. Trim the frayed edges with a straight edge and X-acto knife, taking care not to remove any of the letters or design. Lay the original spine against the new book cloth spine to check for a proper fit. The original spine should not extend into the hinge area as it will add bulk that will inhibit the cover…

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rebacking a book

Rebacking Method 2 – Attaching The Second Side of the New Book Cloth Spine

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…

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spines

Rebacking Method 2 – Measuring the Width of the Joint

After the glue has set, use one of the following methods to mark the width of the joint. This gives the position of the spine inlay on the new spine cloth.     Method 1: Lay the book on the work surface with the new spine cloth against the table, wrong side up. Slip a rod into the joint against the table, press down gently on the joint area. Mark the position where the shoulder of the text block spine meets the new book cloth. Repeat this…

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rebacking a book

Rebacking Method 2 – Choosing and Attaching One Side of the New Book Cloth Spine

Choose a piece of book cloth that is a close color match to the original book cloth. If a close color match isn’t possible, select a color that has the least amount of contrast, i.e., black book cloth on a dark blue book would be less noticeable than light blue book cloth. Transfer measurements A and B to the book cloth. Be sure the grain of the book cloth is parallel to the spine of the book. Cut the new spine piece. Turn back the original book…

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spines

Rebacking Method 2 – Reinforcing the Spine

The spine area of the new spine cloth should be reinforced with an acid-free paper, or several layers of acid-free bond paper. The spine inlay should be the same width as the text block spine and the height of the book boards, not the text block. It is a common mistake to cut the spine inlay the same height as the text block, which is shorter than the book boards. Cut a spine inlay the width of the text block spine (original measurement A) and…

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spines

Rebacking Method 2 – Lifting and Trimming the Original Book Cloth

Gently lift the book cloth away from the board by sliding a folder or dull knife under the book cloth on the outer cover.  Lift the book cloth only as far as the cut at the top of the endpaper will allow, lifting a thin layer of book board with the cloth if necessary.   Try not to crease the book cloth as it is lifted or the crease line will show when the cloth is glued back in position. Insert a piece of thin cardboard between…

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book hinge repair

Rebacking Method 2 – Lifting the Endpapers

Support the book with another book or a stack of boards. Use an X-acto knife or scalpel and ruler to cut through the book cloth along the edge of the endpapers at the head and tail. The cut should be about 1 – 2” long.   At the outer edge of the first cut (away from the spine), make a second, 90-degree cut across the book cloth from the edge of the endpaper to the top of the book board. Use a knife or microspatula to lift…

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rebacking a book

Rebacking – Lining the Text Block Spine

Now that you have removed the original spine, we continue with Method 1 for rebacking a hardcover book. Lining the Text Block Spine When the book cloth spine is removed, examine the paper spine liner attached to the text block. This paper spine liner consolidates the signatures of the text block and helps evenly distribute the stress of opening the book. Many modern book manufacturers do use enough paper liners or a good quality of paper to line the spine. In many…

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