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Re: [BKARTS] request for suggestions on book making books or journals
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: [BKARTS] request for suggestions on book making books or journals
- From: Ben Wiens <ben@BENWIENS.COM>
- Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 15:04:45 -0800
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Ed's message voting against adhesive binding is just the kind of
non-scientific comparisons we all need. Sure let's keep comparing apples to
oranges and digging out the worst case examples and then lumping everything
into one boat. Here is some evidence below:
1. Not all adhesive bound books are perfect bound.
2. Not all perfect bound books are bound with hard brittle adhesive.
3. Early hot-melt adhesives for binding books were hard and brittle. Some
4. Perfect bound telephone books are bound with animal adhesive and the
binding is quite flexible and durable considering the cheap and thin
newsprint type paper that is used and the thin paper cover.
5. Modern high volume perfect bound paperback books are bound with super
strong polyurethane adhesive and are surprisingly durable as far as the
adhesive goes. It is the paper cover stock which now delaminates because
paper is lousy in delamination strength. Also the paper is generally
newsprint type and often bound with the grain running the wrong way.
6. I have several sewn books on my shelf which have come apart because
the strings holding them together have cut through the tiny holes in the
7. Strength tests show that adhesive binding can be up to 2 or 3 times
stronger than sewing if one considers the most common form of pages tearing
out by tugging on one corner.
8. I have talked to some publishers and binders who do production
double-fan binding of both soft cover and hard cover books and they have
extremely few of their books coming apart in use.
9. Modern polyurethane adhesive binds most types of paper quite securely.
If the binding is made of strong materials such as a cloth backing strip and
durable covers it is surprisingly tough according to what I hear and tests I
If 98% of all adhesive bound books are made with poor quality and cheap
materials, that doesn't mean that adhesive binding is not durable (100-200
yr time frame). Adhesive binding is cheaper than sewing and so it is used on
the cheapest of books which also use cheap materials. So what do all you
adhesive haters have to say about that?
Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC V3K1G3 Canada
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
Read my popular web-booklet "Energy Science Made Simple"
In my experience, no "perfect bound" book is as durable as a sewn book.
Even Smythe sewing is more durable. The best adhesive binding is the
"fanned" adhesive binding. Commercial adhesive bindings (the most
too often suffer from adhesive failure, where the adhesive is overcooked and
brittle or has cooled before application and will not adhere.
The ones not affected by adhesive failure, fail from paper failure, where
paper fiber become detached from the rest of the sheet. In those cases, the
adhesive goes one way and the pages another. To my way of thinking,
bindings should be limited to paperbacks, which are by their nature
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