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Re: [BKARTS] Blank stamping die to create well

On Sep 11, 2006, at 12:12 PM, Anastasia Weigle wrote:

I would be interested to know, too, a simpler solution for making wells. Can you share?
Don Drake just described a technique that I have also used for making wells --- that of cutting a window in a thin board and adhering it to a base board, as well as adhering a similar board to the opposite side to counteract the pull.

For the past few years, I have been creating wells by pressing a thick piece of plastic into the cover using a nipping press. Ideally, this is done shortly after the bookcloth has been adhered to the board so that moisture is still present. Note: if the cover is dry, and if the cloth will accept moisture, I have misted the cloth and allowed the moisture to penetrate while it is covered with a thin plastic sheet.
The "pressing die" is cut from a piece of PETG -- a clear, hard copolyester plastic that is easily cut in a board shear to whatever size is needed. One source is McMaster-Carr Supply (www.mcmaster.com); sheets are available as small as 12" x 12". Generally, I haver used the 3/32" (.090") thick PETG, although sometimes one needs to double them for more clearance in the press; other hard plastics will work as well.
The damp book cover is placed on a smooth, hard, dense press board, such as a formica covered MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and the pressing die is positioned -- I secure the corners of the pressing die with masking tape to insure against any movement. Another sheet of press board is laid on top, and the whole assembly is placed in a nipping press for a period of time --- from a few minutes, to 10 or 15 minutes or more.
The result, if properly done, is a beautiful recessed area that is slightly polished giving an ideal place for a label.
If the area needs to be a large rectangle where a nipping press does not provide sufficient pressure, it is possible to press smaller areas by putting a smaller block on top the main pressing die and repeating the process a number of times over the entire area.
An important part is that a hard surface is under the cover to prevent, or at least reduce, any impression from showing through to the inside of the board.
I feel that this method is much easier than cutting a window in thin board. Also, the edges of the well are clean and crisp, and this technique does not involve the expense of having metal cut to the exact dimensions. In fact, one could easily cut the plastic with a jig saw to any shape, as long as the edges were clean and smooth.
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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