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Re: [BKARTS] K-118



from James Tapley to Bruce Levy:

Hello Bruce and thank you for the link and your work. I was 
> wondering  if you had pursued text block support in the K-118 
> structure beyond  the virtual shoulder offered by the sewing 
> structure and vellum wings  and of course the virtues of clasps 
> where used. Best, James

my reply:

Hey James,

Actually, since I wrote the article, I've probably completed 50 or 60 
K-118's.  When properly done no further text support is needed other 
than the structure itself.  I've used it on minature books through 
elephant folio sized books with no problem with text support, even 
over time and use- the clasps are mostly for compression on vellum 
manuscripts, or as a design element.
      One of the few variables is the thickness/ stiffness of the 
vellum or parchment used for the spine lining/ wings.  Also, over the 
years I've made quite a few refinements, which I'll eventually 
publish either as a book or a video, possibly both, tentatively 
titled "The Definitive K-118".  I've photo-documented many of the 
treatments in all their permutations (wood board style, reference 
style, conservation binding, photo albums and binding restorations)with this in mind.  I 
feel this is needed as many of the examples I've seen from other 
binders (though not all)leaves me the impression that a complete 
understanding of the structure, as derived from my articles and 
presentations, is a bit lacking.  For example, one binder described 
the "clamp-like effect" of the structure.  Some of my earlier 
examples gave this clamping effect- which is NOT desirable- due to 
the boards edge at the spine not being set off a bit to take into 
consideration both the shrinking of the vellum wings, and the varying 
thickness of the covering material at the spine.  I'll eventually get 
the info out there.
      In relation to the above, while I'm happy that there are people 
campaigning the structure (whether under their own name or not- by 
ommision or commision), I would take any such workshops with a grain 
of salt, as I doubt that any of the instructors have ever seen or 
handled a proper example of the refined structure, other than what 
they produced themselves. It is a subtle structure.  When discussing 
the structure with Dr. Szirmai over the years (who developed his own 
"square-less" semi-shouldered structure) he indicated that they 
experimented with the K-118 in Germany.  Again, this was a version 
they gleaned from my early articles.  His objection was that it did 
not sustain well when put through machine "opening and closing" 
tests.  As I explained to him, the structure was not designed to 
replace "library binding".  On the other hand, I have examples, large 
and small,  that I've opened and closed and bent back on itself 
somewhere between 500 and 1000 times (who counts) without any 
discernable breakdown of the structure.  Like anything else, ten 
binders will produce ten different results using the same 
instructions.  Also of note is Jan Sabota's two and three board 
structure which I've handled.  It's very nice, and makes good use of 
the shoulderless superstructure which is built around , of course, 
two or three boards per side.
      On that note, anyone who has the interest in experimenting with 
it, and runs into problems, I'm always here to answer any question 
that may arise.

Bruce

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