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Lacing in boards

FORWARDING: putting in Boards& Trimming

Lacing in:

The boards now being cut to size, each edge of each board should be filed off somewhat, either with a coarse file or with a piece of fine sandpaper fastened to a small, flat piece of wood. This takes off the "burr" left from the cutting and also the sharp edge of the lining paper. Each board is now fitted in the groove where it is finally to be lacedthe head of the board being flush with the sections (cutting the head later will make the square). Place a weight on the board, take the first cord, hold it upright and at its center mark the edge of the board with knife or folder. Repeat this with each cord (mark the boards, if not already done, so each one will he returned to its proper side).

The marks for the cords should extend at right angles, say three-quarters of an inch toward the center of the board. Lay the board on a thick stone, marked side up and away from the operator, and flush with the further edge of the stone. With a rather large coarse file (12inch), file each mark made above, to a depth which will allow the cords to lie in it and be flush with the surface of the board. These grooves are necessarily deepest at the edge of the board, and gradually become shallower until they disappear.

bookbinding boards prepared for lacing in

Now lay the board, grooves up, on a piece of wood or lead and with a pointed steel bodkin and hammer punch a hole in each groove at points shown at A. Reverse the board and make another set which come out at points marked B. Care should be taken not to smooth down the board around these holes where it has been pushed up by the passage of the bodkin. The cords being already frayed out, those on one side should be well pasted (to within one-half inch of the back). Holding each one near the loose end (only) is to be twisted to a point so it will easily pass through the holes just made. Place the book on the bench, back away from the operator. Raise the board at right angles to book, pass each cord through the holes A in the grooves, draw through and pass back again through the holes Beach one being drawn as snugly as possible. Now raise cover slightly and slip a heavy pressing tin on the sections under the cover, the edge, however, not quite reaching to the bottom of the groove or joint. Again raise the cover nearly to a right angle, push it into or against the joint; steady it with the chest. Each cord is again pulled as snugly as possible -especially the first and last- pressing the end (after it is pulled up snug) with one finger. When all are pulled tight, still pressing on the cord ends (to hold them taut), push the cover down flat. Still holding at least two of the ends with the left hand, tap the cords smartly with small hammer or end of knife handle, where they enter and emerge from the holes. This packs the board about the cords tightly enough to hold them in situ temporarily. Raise the end of each cord gently and cut off by running a sharp knife flat along the board, edge away from the back, so the real cords will not be cut accidentally.

Take the book in the left hand with one cover open at right angles to book, rest it on the beating stone or other solid bed (see illustration). With the backing hammer beat the cover over the holes until the surface is smooth to the touch and no raised spots are apparent. Care must be taken not to mar the board with the hammer edge. Turn the board over and hammer the holes on the inside until they also are smooth.

bookbinding boards laced in and hammered chords

The cords are now anchored so strongly that they will break before pulling out. [lacing2.jpg] Cleaning off the back: After the lacing in is completed, the superfluous glue on the back may be removed by moistening it slightly with water, then rubbing it off with a sponge; care should be taken not to wet the edges of the boards. When well cleaned, glue should only be visible between the sections; the back should he quite clean and firm. Cutting the head: Slip a thin millboard between the head of the last section and the cover, flush with the cover. With the book lying head away from the operator, raise the front cover (to loosen the tension on the cords), slip it down, exposing enough of the sections to allow for the "square" at the head and close it again.

bookbinding book pressed and trimmed with plough

Now place the book in the cutting press, back toward the operator, the head of the front cover being flush with the cheek of the press. Be sure before screwing up the press that the two covers are quite parallel at the head, though not at the same level. [plough.jpg] With the plough cut the head, a few sheets only at each stroke, until the knife touches the slip of mill board which was inserted to protect the back cover. Cutting fore edge (in boards): The boards having been laced on, a mark is to be made (near head and tail of fore edge), with knife or folder, at edge of each board as a guide. After knocking the back as flat as possible, drop both boards away from the sections and slip a pair of trindles (see illustrations) between the back and the boards.

bookbinding trindles for cutting plough

These trindles will keep the back flat until the sections can be snugly held by winding a tape around them.  Now remove the trindles and place a cutting hoard on each side of the fore edge and place in the cutting press. The board on the side the cutting begins on must not come up to the marks; but allowance is to he made for the "square," and when in the press this board must be flush with the cutting edge. Great care must be taken that the book is square in the press, else the operation will result in damaging it beyond repair. Errors may be avoided by comparing the side to be cut (amount of paper showing) with the other one, where a corresponding width of the cutting board should show. After the press has been screwed up tight, it is well to look at the back to see whether it may not have slipped back to a curve; also cast the eye along the edge to be cut, and note whether the width shown is equal to the amount of the other cutting board exposed above the edge of the press. If it is well adjusted the cutting may be done, cutting but two or three leaves at each cut. The knife used for this purpose should he kept in extra-good condition and never used for cutting mill-board. If a book is found to be unevenly adjusted, it is best to take it out and begin anew.

bookbinding cutting fore edge

bookbinding plough with book in lying press

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