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[BKARTS] Copying/Nipping Presses

Aaron is correct that almost all of what passes for nipping presses are in fact copying presses.
What he didn't say but I will is that a good copying press is perfectly well suited to at least 98% of the work being produced in small binderies and by book artists today.

Bill rightly points out the virtues of a square versus acme profile thread: the square thread is stronger, able to transmit greater force, and because of greater surface friction is not prone to backing off under heavy pressure, at least until real wear sets in (once they do begin to wear then acme threads come into their own). And Jan rightly points out that binders' nipping presses are usually larger, heavier, and more solid than copying presses; they can take a licking and, well...

But so what?
Those are the virtues of 19th century bindery equipment when the sine qua non of fine binding was the look and feel of a brick made possible by beating and heavy pressing, the latter in turn made possible by large, heavy, all steel, square threaded nipping and standing presses, the required engineering precision made possible by the industrial revolution and engine lathes.
Today I think that we much more admire the lighter and more woobly pressing of earlier bindings.

All these coptic (or the more fashionably named Nag Hamadi) and Secret Belgians, etc., need at most a moderate pressing of sections before sewing and sometimes after casing in. Some mild lamination and lining of boards perhaps; light nipping of mends and hinges.
If you can get enough daylight in that copying press then no reason not to go for it. Any tendency to back off can usually be greatly ameliorated by filling the slop where the screw meets platen with fitted leather discs and making sure that the attachment screws are sound.

And as a PS: I own two Hoe copy presses each with square cut threads and each twice as heavy as my 22" tall English nipping press which by the way has acme threads. Go figure, right?
Best to all, James

The Bonefolder, Vol 2, No 2, Spring 2006 Now Online at
Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
Entry Deadline, September 15, 2006
For all your subscription questions, go to the
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