Volume 8 - Autumn 1999


Letters & Feedback

Workshop Gadgets

As we have dreamed up several gadgets in our small bindery, we thought that they might be considered for inclusion in your newsletter.

The Steam Jet - The removal of old spine material from books that need refurbishing can be a tedious and often unsatisfactory business. Dry pulling does not always remove debris strongly glued to the sections. Wet pulling with coatings of glue scraped off is laborious and can easily damage the sections.

We have fitted up the spout of a electric kettle with a length of thick rubber tubing and substituted for the kettle lid a carpet tile weighted down to act as a breather for excessive steam. The resulting steam jet removes even the oldest and most resistant spine debris fast and cleanly. The steam does not penetrate the sections and softens the glue round the sewing threads so that the book can then be molded easily into its original rounded shape.

Titling Machine - Hot foil presses are very expensive and using a letter stick for titling seldom seems to do a good job, while using individual hand letters can cause such misery. A foil press can cost upwards of 1000 but there is a fairly inexpensive way out. Small 2nd hand Adana printing presses can normally be picked up quite cheaply. If titles are set up for printing and the typeface heated in the press with a hot air gun very creditable gold block titles can be achieved. It helps if a digital and fast reading thermometer can be used to check exact temperatures. This printing press method is especially useful for serial titles of several lines of print.

Over the years we have titled literally hundreds of books using this type of gadget.

Friar Farmer, Mount Saint Bernard Abbey

Editor's note: We applaud the ingenuity that has obviously been applied in devising these gadgets. However, due to the high temperatures required with both of these gadgets, we do advise extreme caution to any one wishing to experiment with the methods described.


Skin Deep - Volume 8 - Autumn 1999

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