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[BKARTS] Heated Forming Iron for Re-Shaping Spines?

Thanks, Bill, for your helpful thoughts on this common problem.

Another little trick for reshaping 'cocked' spines: If you are not taking the cover off the book, it is possible to tape a strip of blotter paper onto a strip of mylar, saturate the blotter then slip it down the spine between cover and bookspine (blotter against book). Shut the book and let it humidify the spine linings while under a weight. I will usually cock the spine in the opposite direction during this process (if cocked forward, push it backward while under weight). Check it every hour and re-saturate the blotter if necessary until it wants to cooperate, then allow to dry completely in its proper shape... or for insurance maybe while left a little in the opposite direction.

Scott Kellar


Date:    Sun, 27 Apr 2008 15:10:19 -0400
From:    William Minter <wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Heated Forming Iron for Re-Shaping Spines?

If my recollection is correct, you ask some very interesting and  
challenging questions, which is very good.

I have not worked with the plates that you describe, and I can only  
guess how and why they were used. But rather than speculate, I will  
offer two comments regarding the question of re-rounding spines:
1)  If you have removed the old spine linings, and thus have cleaned  
the spine, you should be able to reshape the spine while it is still  
damp and ready for relining.
2)  The spines of some bound books may have taken on a cocked shape  
since the book was most likely used only from front to back. A trick  
that I have used quite successfully, and probably used by many  
others, but may not be written anywhere:  To open the book from the  
Back to the Front, carefully running one's hand down the gutter. If  
this is done a few times, and the book is reshaped when the covers  
are closed, this seems to correct many of the troubles. Then the  
reshaped book can be stored under a weight for a period of time to  
help refresh its memory. Of course, this same trick could be tried on  
a newly relined book, just as opening from the front to the back, and  
then from the back to the front  should be done on any new book.
Bill Minter

On Apr 26, 2008, at 1:08 PM, roroberts@xxxxxxxx wrote:

> Have any of you experimented with heated forms for re-rounding  
> spines? I've often wondered if a curved heating plate would help  
> some old spines resume their shape and have been fiddling while  
> wondering if I'm re-inventing something already common.
> Bob Roberts

Scott K. Kellar 
Bookbinding & Conservation 

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