The 6th part of our book-binding series on how to craft a book from scratch.
Following on from the previous chapter on folding the sheets, collating is the process of inspecting and ensuring that all the parts of a book are complete and arranged in their proper order. Once this has been verified, the signatures can be sewn together. For blank books, collating plays no role. However, in all other cases, this step is very important. If you mark your signatures properly you can easily get this done. Continue reading →
Sewing Flexible Work
The “sewing press” consists of a bed, two screws, and a beam or cross bar, round which are fastened five or more cords, called lay cords. Five pieces of cord cut from the ball, in length, about four times the thickness of the book, are fastened to the lay cords by slip knots; the other ends being fastened to small pieces of metal called keys, by twisting the ends round twice and then a half hitch. The keys are then pressed through the slot in the bed of the “press,” and the beam screwed up rather tightly; but loose enough to allow the lay cords to move freely backwards or forwards. Having the book on the bed of the press with the back towards the sewer, a few sheets (better than only one) are laid against the cords, and they are arranged exactly to the marks made on the back of the sections. When quite true and perpendicular, they should be made tight by screwing the beam up. It will be better if the cords are a little to the right of the press, so that the sewer may get her or his left arm to rest better on the press. If when the press is tightened on of the cords is loose, as will sometimes happen, a pencil, folding-stick or other object slipped under the lay cord on the top of the beam will tighten the band sufficiently. Continue reading →