Repairing a Book on Exotic Fish

Before Christmas, I repaired this book on exotic fish!

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The cover boards had fallen off the block (which was loose with snapped sewing in places). The spine was tearing away from the cover boards as well. I started by removing the block completely and examining the end pages. The client was anxious to preserve them, so I wanted to see what had to be done.

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Although the paper was brittle, I was able to lift the end pages off the cover boards, clean off the old super and reinforce them.

 

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I turned my attention to the block. The old glue and thread had to come off. I carefully snipped out the sewing from the signatures. The glue was very brittle and fell off with very little pressure.

 

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Once the signatures were clean, I began resewing them.

 

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I wanted to make sure the block could be taken apart to repair some pages I found which had cellophane tape on them. Unfortunately I’m not confident enough to remove the tape. So I backed the block with water reversible PVA to ensure a quick removal if the client wanted it repaired further in the future.

 

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I used linen instead of super to strengthen the spine a bit. The client had told me they wanted their grandson to use the book, so I tried to give it some extra reinforcement. Then I turned my attention to the cover.

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The spine piece was tearing away and needed to be replaced. I wanted to preserve the original look of the book, so I removed the old paper and designed a new spine piece to sit under the old one.

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I wanted to match the color of the fabric to disguise the new spine as seamlessly as possible. The old spine piece was separated pretty badly from the back cover. I removed it completely to thread the new spine piece under the fabric of the back cover.

 

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I first put the covers onto the block, pushing the new linen under the repaired end pages.

 

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Here is the new spine piece under the old.

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Then I threaded the new spine piece under the fabric of the back cover, and pressed! I think it turned out very nicely!

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