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removing tight-back spines

I am restoring a tight-back that was handed to me with detached covers. 
The tooling on the spine is intricate and complements the heavily gilt 
boards. I would like to remove the leather on the spine with a view to 
pasting it onto a new spine, so as to preserve the decoration. Of course 
this is easy to do with hollow backs, but how can I safely remove the 
leather on a tight-back? Heat it? Dampen it (I don't want to water-stain 
the pages)? Any suggestions?


Steven D. Hales
Assistant Professor           email: hales@planetx.bloomu.edu
Department of Philosophy      phone: (717) 389-4229
Bloomsburg University         fax: (717) 389-2094
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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