The boards having been squared, they are to be attached to the book by lacing the ends of the cord through holes made in the board. The boards are to be laid on the book with their backs in the groove and level with the head; they must then be marked either with a lead pencil or the point of a bodkin exactly in a line with the slips, about half an inch down the board. On a piece of the wood the mill board is placed, and holes are pierced by hammering a short bodkin through on the line made, at a distance from the edge in accordance with the size of the book. About half an inch away from the back is the right distance for an octavo. The board is then to be turned over, and a second hole made about half an inch away from the first ones. The boards having been holed, the slips must be scraped, pasted slightly, and tapered or pointed. Draw them tightly through the hold first made and back through the second. Tap them slightly when the board is down to prevent them from slipping and getting loose. When the cords are drawn through, cut the ends close to the board with a knife, and make the board close on the slips and hold them tight. The slips should be well and carefully hammered, as any projection will be seen with great distinctness when the book is covered. The hammer must be held perfectly even, for the slips will be cut by the edge of it used carelessly.
The word “rounding” applies to the back of the book, and is preliminary to backing. In rounding the back, the book is to be laid on the press before the workman with the foredge towards him; the book is then to be held with the left hand by placing the thumb on the foredge and finders on the top of the book pointing towards the back, so that by drawing the fingers towards the thumb, or by pressing fingers and thumb together, the back is drawn towards the workman at an angle. In this position the back is struck with the face of the hammer, beginning in the center, still drawing the back over with the left hand. The book is ten to be turned over, and e other side treated in the same way, and continually changed or turned from one side to the other until it has its proper form, which should be a part of a circle. When sufficiently rounded, it should be examined to see if one side be perfectly level with the other, by holding the book up and glancing down its back, and gently tapping the places where uneven, until it is perfectly true or uniform. Continue reading →