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How to Make Double Guarded Bindings

 

Double Guarded Album, 12 x 15
by Betty Storz storz@mcn.org of Mendocino, Calif.

Made as a presentation book for a furniture maker, the pages are acid-free black Arches Cover, matted prints and are quite heavy and stiff. Bound this way, the pages still lie quite flat. The hinge in the guard allows the page to bend nicely. The tops of the pages of framed prints were left open 1/8" on each side of the print, and 1/8" of the inside side and top of the bottom edges of the borders left unglued so that, when the owner has a new series of a furniture design, the prints can be changed.

 

Unsewn albums with single or double guards

From Bookbinding By Hand by Laurence Town, Pgs. 259-63
Pitman Pub. Corp., New York, (1950)

Simple case-binding begins with this exercise. Simple small albums can be made from cartridge paper in order to teach the method. The same procedure is used for better materials such as manilla and cards of various thicknesses. For thinner sheets single guards are used; card sheets require double guards.

Albums with single guards

Select about 12 to 16 pages of good cartridge paper or thin manilla a little larger than the intended finished size. Knock them square on one short edge and trim a little off in the plough. From the same material cut guards 1" wide and the same length as the edges just trimmed. The number of guards required is one fewer than the number of pages, and they must all be creased in the centre down the whole length.

Take a guard, flatten it on a sheet of waste paper and glue it evenly and thinly. Lay it on the bench, and place the straight edge of a page up to the crease in the guard. Turn it round and add another page to the remaining half of the guard. Rub it down thoroughly under a sheet of clean paper and fold back the pages, leaving the guard inside. Insert a slip of clean paper inside the guard to prevent the pages sticking together as there is always a slight squeezing out of the glue at the edges.


Click to enlarge

Glue another guard and place the whole of the completed pages half-way on it; add another page to the other half, rub down, and bend over again with the guard inside. Continue this prooess until all the pages have been added, keeping the back as square as possible throughout the whole operation. Two cloth joints as long as the back and 1-1/2" wide are cut out of the material intended for the outer cover, and these are creased, right side inside, a third of the way across the width. This 1/2" is glued and the joints fixed on the book, the crease lying flush with the back edge of the pages. Four single sheets of thin patterned endpaper are required, each the same size as the book, and a straight edge must be trimmed on each sheet. Two of these must be put away safely, as they are not required until the book is nearly finished. The other two are pasted and laid on the outer leaves of the book, the straight edges coming within 1/4" of the crease in the cloth joint. These are left to dry, the book standing on its edge, and when they begin to curl drying must be completed between boards under a light weight.

Before the edges are cut, the book must be packed with wastepaper. Sheets of newspaper are cut a little larger than the pages and inserted between them, up to, but not past, the edges of the guards. Sufficient sheets should be added to make the general thickness of the book throughout equal to that of the back to compensate for the presence of the guards.

Mark a point X to denote the width of the book after it has been cut. This should be only as far inside the edge as will trim all the pages. Transfer this measurement to X1, taking it from the back of the book, and join X and X1. Place a try-square on the back, and square a line at the head (as at A), allowing enough inside the edge to trim all the pages. Turn the book over and repeat this for the tail. The book is then ploughed along these lines, having a cutting board behind the line in each case. It is most essential that the book be square in the press before any cutting is done.


Click to enlarge.

Two boards are now cut out and squared, the book being used as a template. To do this the boards are roughly cut a little larger than the book, fastened together by two tiny spots of glue, and trimmed along the edge intended for the back of the book. Place the boards on the book so that the straight edge is within 1/4" of the back. In this position, run a pencil line round the head, tail, and fore-edge; add outside these lines three more lines 1/8" away, but parallel to the first lines; cut the boards along these outer lines. If the boards are thick, they should be bevelled slightly all round. This may be done by wrapping sandpaper round a bandstick or ruler and rubbing down the edges, keeping the angle as constant as possible.

Two small spots of glue are then put on the cloth joints, and the boards placed in position, being sighted all round to check the 'squares', i.e. the amount or board (1/8" in this case) which projects beyond the book at the head, tail, and fore-edge. A light weight is placed over the book until this glue has set. Very little glue must be used--just two small smears on each joint--for it must not be forgotten that this is only a temporary fixing of the boards.

The binding may be in full, half, or quarter cloth. Cut out a piece of cloth, allowing 3/4" for turning in, and the instructions for case-binding are followed in the covering. These are found at the beginning of Chapter 20.

When the case has been made the book must be placed on one side of it, and a piece of waste placed under the cloth joint, which is then glued. It is usual to mitre the ends of the joints before gluing, and if the book is a thick one and appears to need strengthening, it can be lined with thick brown paper. After gluing the joint, replace the waste piece of paper by a clean piece to prevent any possibility of soiling the endpapers. Bring over the case, keeping it tight over the joint, and rub well down when closed. When both sides have been done the back should be attended to down the edges of the boards, using a bone-folder until the glue has set.

Albums of thicker card having double guards

The two sheets of patterned endpaper which were put aside are now trimmed to fit the insides of the boards. If the straight edge of the paper is put down within 1/4" of the joint, and the paper held firmly whilst it is creased round the edges of the board, then 1/8" is marked inside these creases and trimmed off. They are then pasted and placed in position to form the 'board papers'. Leave the book standing open until the drying is nearly complete, and then leave in the press. Any lettering or decoration should be done before taking out the waste paper used as packing between the leaves.

Each card should have a strip cut off the back edge. The width of this strip varies with the size of the album. A small book would only need 1/8" whereas a large album would have strips up to 1" wide. Guards of white linen, or thin cloth, are prepared, and the width of these also varies with the width of the strips. Roughly speaking, they should be 1" plus twice the width of the card strips, e.g. if the strips are 1/2" wide then the guards will be 1" plus 1", i.e. 2" wide. These guards are folded down the middle as in the previous exercise.


Click to enlarge

When a guard has been glued, a strip is placed on each side of the centre crease, and a page added at each side, leaving a small gap of 1/16" between the strip and the page to form a hinged joint. They are folded with the guards inside, and strips and pages are added until the book is complete.

From this point the procedure is the same as that for albums with single guards. Heavier books of this nature must be strengthened down the spine with a liner of brown paper or thin linen, glued on and well rubbed down. A hollow back may be added to stiffen the covering cloth if it is thought necessary.


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