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Re: [BKARTS] Glue trouble



Dear Jamie Angus or R. Temp, whichever is your correct name,

PVA can't stick broadcloth?  I am incredulous.  This sounds like a matter
of poor technique rather than the choice of materials.

So down to basics.  Rubber cement, UHU and any kind of spray adhesive are
not generally acceptable for any purpose in fine bookbinding.  They are
neither permanent nor free of undesirable side effects, such as staining,
degradation of paper and cloth, non-reversibility, etc.  Hot melt glue is
similarly anathema for a fine binding, even though most trade books use it
extensively.  PVA is generally permanent and archival, provided a suitable
bookbinding grade is used.  However, it is not easily removed, and is
therefore not recommended in forwarding and backing, where the glue may
have to be removed in a future restoration or repair.  This may not be a
concern for you.  The traditional adhesives for pasting down end papers are
stiff starch paste, or the modern version, CMC.  A CMC-PVA mixture is
sometimes recommended for pasting down the cover material.  One reason for
using straight paste (starch or CMC) is that it is more readily cleaned
from book-cloth without staining than PVA or PVA mixtures.

Now the cloth:  Book cloth is not simply cut from a bolt of broadcloth.  It
is normally backed with a relatively impervious layer of tissue paper,
which has two functions: first, to prevent the cloth from distorting along
the bias, and second to prevent paste or glue from soaking through the
cloth during mounting.  This tissue layer is applied with a thin layer of
paste or glue under suitable pressure or on a drying board, in such a way
as to prevent the glue from soaking through.  An expensive but possible
expedient is to use a heat melt sheet adhesive such as dry mounting tissue
or interfacing to adhere the tissue, or to glue the fabric to the boards,
or both.

In addition to the tissue, book cloth is usually heavily sized with starch,
gelatin or other sizing to enhance its wearing properties, to better accept
lettering, and other desirable properties.  Trade book coverings are
generally made of some composition material (more like a paper or felt than
a cloth), and may be laminated, embossed, printed, etc.  Both sized cloth
and trade coverings are relatively impervious to glue soaking.

The difficulty you are experiencing may be from using your PVA too
sparingly so that it wicks into untreated cloth, or allowing it to dry
before the paper is pressed down, etc. The problem is that sufficient glue
for the cloth will be too much for the board.  So the solution might be as
simple as applying extra glue to the cloth.  However, you may see
undesirable side effects such as miss-register of your extra glue and the
end paper, or soaking marks beyond the paper border, etc.

I'm not clear on how you are applying the cloth to the boards.  You say you
use hot glue to tack something: cloth or end papers?  If you are using the
endpapers to secure the cloth to the boards, this is a poor technique, as
the cloth will tend to separate the glue no matter what you do.  If the
cloth is securely glued on its face as well as under the turn-downs, then
you will simply have to experiment with gluing technique to adhere your end
papers.  It is generally not necessary to tack the end papers to the
boards.  The glue, or commonly a thick paste, is applied to the end paper
while the book block lies flat on the bench with the cover folded back, and
the cover is then carefully closed onto the pasted end-paper in correct
register, so that the exposed margins are equal all around.  A tin or
plastic sheet is inserted between the end papers so that the paste moisture
cannot penetrate the book.  This additionally keeps the pages flat, and
tends to flatten the paste down, rather than impressing the book block with
the irregularities of the inside of the cover.  The book is then flipped
over carefully, and the other cover treated in a like manner, and the whole
is then pressed under weight until bone dry.  Weights are preferred to a
press because the pressure is moderate and consistent throughout the drying.

If necessary, you can use a hot melt adhesive in sheets, or using a
commercial gluing system (expensive).  This is the sort of system used in
trade binding, because the waterless glue does not require drying time, so
the process can be mechanized and rapid.  In hand binding, hot melt can
work well, but the materials are expensive.  A hot melt binding can in
principle be separated for repair, but I don't know that professional
binders appreciate working on them.

The simple way to use a hot melt adhesive is to lay in the sheet adhesive,
tack and fold in the book, then lay into a hot press, or iron the cover
from the outside while making sure the book does not shift.  Clearly, all
materials in the cover must be able to accept this treatment.

This is as much as I can say from your description of your problem.  I hope
others will contribute their insights.

Gavin

At 11:05 PM 09/05/2004 -0700, you wrote:
My wife and I are printing and binding a series of books, and are having
a bit of a problem with the materials. We are using a broadcloth to
cover the boards, and do not know what kind of glue to use to paste the
end papers to the cover. The endpaper sticks well enough with PVA to the
board, but not to the broadcloth (We used hot glue to tack it to the
board in the first place).

Gavin Stairs Gavin Stairs Fine Editions 525 Canterbury Road London, Ontario Canada N6G 2N5

telephone: (519) 434-8555.
email: stairs@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Gavin Stairs Fine Editions is a small, computer press specializing in book
design and fine, hand-made books.

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