…himself, or of the individual who has the pleasure of applying his strength to turning the handle. I never pass or hear a rolling machine revolving very rapidly without having vividly brought to my mind a very serious accident that happened to my father. He was feeling for a flaw on one of the rollers, and whilst his hands were at the edge of the rollers the man turned the handle, drawing the whole hand between the cylinders. The accident cost him many months in the hospital, and he never regained complete use of his right hand. Great care must be used not to pass too many sheets through the machine at one time; the same applies to the regulating screw. The amount of damage that can be done to the paper by too heavy a pressure is astonishing, as the paper becomes quite brittle, and many perhaps even be cut as with a knife.
The back may be damped with a sponge lightly charged with water, or perhaps a better method is to place the book or books in a press, screw up tightly, and soak the backs with thin paste, leaving them soaking for an hour or two; they will want repasting two or three times during the period; the whole of the paper, glue, and leather can then be easily scraped away with a blunt knife; a handful of shavings rubbed over the back will make it quite clean, and no difficulty will be met with if the sections are taken apart while damp. He sections must, as pulled, as pulled, be placed evenly one on the other, as the paper at back retains sufficient glue to cause them to stick together if laid across one another. The whole must then be left to dry. When dry the groove should be knocked down on a flat surface and for this the knocking-down iron screwed up in the lying press is perhaps the best thing to use. The groove is the projecting part of the book close to the back, caused by the backing, and is the groove for the back edge of the mill-board to work in by a hinge; this hinge is technically called the “joint.” Continue reading →