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On Feb 12, 2006, at 5:31 AM, Meliva Koch wrote:

I am attempting to get some books produced that have a tight gutter, so that when the book is open -- it opens to the hinges and not all the way to the gutter lying flat. I realize that this may seem a little unusual, but I prefer a rounded drape of the pages instead of the book being wide open or flat so that the reader can see right into the thread holes.
There are many things to consider.
One initial comment is: what's wrong with seeing the thread and sewing holes? The sewing can be done neatly and that work can show nicely!
However, if the book is sewn-through-the-fold book and has the proper type and size of paper, it can be made to open with a "rounded drape" the way you want.
We had a similar experience during my apprenticeship in the 1970's when we were restoring Audubon's Birds of America. Bill Anthony felt that the paper (Watman paper, size 26" x 40") had sufficient drape to allow the spine to be perfectly rigid to insure that there would be no strain on the sewing. Therefore, we lined the spine with multiple-layers of paper, HOWEVER, each layer was split. To explain: as most of us know, paper can easily de-laminate if stressed in the right way. So, Bill had us line the spine between the sewing-thongs with paper and hot, hide glue. After the glue had set, the paper was wetted, and the top layer of the paper was easily split away. Another layer of paper was added with glue, and it too was split. This glue and split layer of paper was done 16 times (to my recollection). The resulting spine was as hard and as rigid as any solid could be -- it was "hard as a rock" or more like a bonefolder because of the layers of hide glue.
The result was, and still is (now 30 years later), a very rigid spine with a beautiful drape to the pages. However, again, the paper type and size must be able to handle such a structure.
Good Luck,
Bill Minter

William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA  16695
Fax:   814-793-4045
Email:    wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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