FINISHING: Tools & Supplies, continued Gouges:

An indefinite number of these may be had of various curves, lengths and widths of line. I advise the beginner to secure them only as they are needed in the development of his skill. The diagram herewith gives an idea as to curves and lengths to be selected from time to time.


This may be done by separate hand letters or by means of a pallet and type. Both methods have their votaries and both have advantages. Both also produce good results in the hands of experts, and both may produce poor results in other hands. So one may select the one he prefers. In the United States, type is used in most professional work. Hand letters are used by English binders, and in this country they are employed by those habituated to their use by study abroad. Type is less expensive, and one may have a greater variety for the same outlay. The respective cost is about as follows: A first-class pallet of good size.. $6 to $8 Four fonts of type (brass) $20 to $25 Lead type, coppered, may be used, and costs from $1.50 to $2 per font. Type, both lead and brass, are put up for binders in fonts of 100 letters. Brass type is by far the best, and if possible the foreign article should be bought. Handle letters cost from $1o to $12 per set of 24, plus figures. As good a binder as Cockerell says one may get along with four sizes of type. I know, however, that some binders doing all kinds of work have a dozen different sizes and styles. Assuming, however, that four sizes are a happy medium, the comparative cost will be about as follows: Pallet, $8; four sets type (brass), $24…………… $32 Pallet, $8; four sets type (lead), $6………………$14 Four sets handle letters ……………………………….$45 The matter of expense usually settles the question, in the case of most beginners. Both type and handle letters made in Europe are about one-half the price and better made, so the opportunity of getting suck things abroad should not he neglected. Brass type may be found in Europe cut specially deep for binders’ use. Recent comparison of such type with the commercial brass type made here, shows the depth of cut of the latter to be not more than one-half that of the foreign make.

Arrangement of tools:

The various fillets should be held on the wall by means of a rack like this: the cuts being about one inch in depth and just wide enough for the shanks of the fillets. It has been customary to keep finishing tools on shelves or in cases provided with a special space for each tool. This is a very good method, but is costly and takes up much space. After considerable thought and experiment I finally settled on the following expedient: As the average tool is less than 10 inches long, I took a box say 9 by 14 inches by so inches deep, open on one side. This I filled with brown paper mailing tubes s inch in diameter and 6 or 8 inches long, tightly packed. Each tube holds one tool securely, preventing abrasion with its neighbors and presenting its face for inspection. A box, 9 by 14 inches, holds about 140 one-inch tubes, consequently 140 tools. The entire expense is one and one-half dollars. The usual racks for the same number of tools cost many times that and take up many times the space. This method is also most useful when need arises to transport a lot of tools for the summer or for demonstration in another place, etc.

Gold leaf:

There are many qualities of gold leaf in the market -only the best should be used. While it is well to be economical in the use of all supplies, never hesitate to use plenty of gold, for on this, to a large extent, depends the brightness of the tooling. The most brilliant gold of domestic manufacture is known as French No. r. A box, containing each 25 books, costs at this date between seven and eight dollars, and lasts a longtime. Single books of twenty-four leaves retail at from thirty-five to forty cents each. The very best quality of gold is the French color “citron”. French gold costs almost double the price of domestic. The sheets are a bit larger, however, and thicker, and it is of a higher fineness, so that the real cost is about the same, and it should be used in all high-grade finishing. Finishing blocks: These are most useful in tooling, and I call them by this name, though they are in daily use for many other purposes, as, for instance, cutting and pasting down end-papers, etc. The upper surface should also be covered with skiver.