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Producing Casebound Books

Posted on 02-24-2014 by Admin

The sequence of steps in binding hardcover books is shown in Figure 6-1. These steps remain the same whether books are bound by hand or by machine.
The sequence of steps followed in binding hardcover books

FOLDING SIGNATURES AND ENDSHEETS. Large printed sheets are first folded to form signatures. A signature is a single sheet of paper folded to a certain number of pages. For example, one signature may yield 8, 16, or 32 individual pages when it is trimmed on three sides later in the binding process.

Tow endsheets must also be folded for each book. An endsheet is a strong piece of paper that has been folded in half to make four pages. The size of each folded endsheet is the same as the book's signatures.

Endsheets are glued to the front of the first signature and to the back of the last signature. This process is called tipping and should be done after the signatures have been gathered and sewn.

GATHERING SIGNATURES. Assembling signatures in proper sequence for binding is called gathering. Gathering signatures can be done by hand or with a gathering machine. The basic operation of a swing arm gathering machine is shown in Figure 6-2.
The basic operation of a swing arm gathering machine

SEWING. Fastening the assembled signatures together with thread is the next step in binding. Two basic sewing techniques are center (Smythe.) sewing and side-sewing. The center-sewing technique is used to saddle sew individual signatures and fasten these signatures together. Loose sheets of paper are generally bound together by side-sewing.

Center Sewing. Signatures can be center-sewn by hand or by machine. To center-sew by hand place a piece of plywood on each side of the gathered signatures. Jog the assembly so that the center folds of all signatures are at the same level and flush with the top edges of the plywood sheets. Insert the assembly into a vise. The center folds should protrude about one-half inch above the jaws of the vise.

Measure and mark lines for positioning three sewing tapes on the back of the signatures, Figure 6-3. Make each pair of lines the same width as the sewing tape to be used.
A square is used to mark the back of the signatures

With a backsaw or a dovetail saw, cut into the back of the book. Carefully follow along the marked lines until the saw just begins to enter the inner part of each signature. Do not cut too deeply.

Remove the signatures from the vise and positon them on a sewing frame. Then fasten three pieces of sewing tape to the frame with thumbtacks as shown in Figure 6-4.
Signatures are sewn in a sewing frame. Thumbtacks are used to hold the sewing tapes in position

Now remove all but the last signature from the frame and begin sewing the last signature. The movement of the needle in and out of the signature is shown in Figure 6-5. Pass the needle through the back of the signature and into the center fold at hole 1. Exit at hole 2 and enter again at hole3, Exit at hole 4and enter at hole 5. Repeat this again at holes 6 and 7. The needle and thread finally exit the signature hole 8.
The sewing needle enters the signature at hole 1 and exits at hole 8 after passing over the tapes that are positioned between holes 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and7

Place the next-to-last signature on top of the signature already on the frame. Reverse the sewing procedure to pass the needle and thread back to the right side of the frame. This time, however, when the needle exits alongside a tape, loop the thread around the thread of the previous signature before re-entering the signature being sewn. Looping fastens each signature to the previous one, Figure 6-6. Tie the two signatures together at the right end.
Loop the thread around the thread of the previous signature each time the needle passe over a tape. This is done to fasten all of the signatures together

Repeat the procedure until all signatures are fastened together. Additional thread may be tied to the original length of thread if required. Each time your thread exits at the right, be sure to tie the end of the thread securely to the previous signature.

Finally, remove the sewn signatures from the sewing frame. Cut both ends of each tape so that they extend approximately one inch on each side of the bound signatures.

Side-sewing. Loose sheets of paper may be bound together by side-sewing. Again, either hand or machine methods can be used.

For hand side-sewing, drill holes through the side of the assembled and jogged pages as shown in Figure 6-7. Use a 1/16" drill the holes as close to the back edge of the paper as possible and at least 1/2" from the top and bottom edge of the paper pile.
Holes are drilled along one edge of the assembled and jogged papers prior to side sewing

Once drilled, the paper pile can be sewn. Starting at one edge, pass the needle in and out through the drilled holes. Sew from one edge of the book to the other. Then return the needle and thread back through the holes to the starting point. Complete the process by tying the two ends of the thread together.

PORWARDING. The term forwarding describes a number of things to be done to a book before it can be enclosed in its cover. These operations include smashing, tipping, gluing, trimming, rounding and backing, and attaching super, headbands, and liner.

Smashing. Compressing the back edge of the book is called smashing. Smashing is done with a book press or vise.

Tipping. Endsheets are attached to the front of the first signature and to the back of the last signature by tipping, Figure 6-8. A narrow band of glue is applied along the folded edge of each endsheet. The endsheets are then adhered to the first and last signatures. Tight contact is requied.
 Endsheets are glued to the first and last signatures of the book by tipping

Gluing. Apply glue to the back of the book to help keep the individual signatures from shifting. Keep the signatures under pressure until the glue is completely dry.

Trimming. Use a paper cutter to trim a book to size. Trim the front edge of the book first. Then trim the top and bottom edges. Do not trim the back of the book.

Rounding and backing. Rounding is done to give the back of the book a slightly convex shape, Figure-9.

Place the book on a workbench and hold it as shown. Push on the front edge of the book with your thumb while pulling the outside pages in the opposite direction with your other four fingers. Gently tap the back edge into shape with a bookbinder's hammer. Tun the book over and repeat this process. Be sure to round the back of the book evenly. Only a slight curve is needed.

Backing forms a hinge along the front and back sides of the book about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in from the bound edge, Figure 6-10. Place the book between backing boards, The rounded edge of the book extending above the top edge of the boards. The actual distance will depend upon the size of the book and on the thickness of its cover. Gently tap the back edge of the book with a bookbinder's hammer, form the two hinges gradually by striking from the center of the back toward the outer edges of the book.
Backing a book width a bookbinder's hammer

Attaching Super, Headbands and Liner. A bound book with super, headbands, and liner attached is shown in Figure 6-11. Super is a gauze-like material glued to the back of the book. It provides added strength to the finished book. The super should be cut approximately 1/2 inch shorter than the book and about 3 inches wider than its back.
The parts of a book minus its cover

Headbands may also be glued to the back of the book. They are used to decorate rather than add strength to the bound material. Each piece of headband should equal the thickness of the back. Position the headbands so that the decorative portion faces the front edge of the book.

Kraft paper is glued over the super and headbands to finish off the back of the book. This piece of paper is called a liner.

Casemaking. The case is the cover of a hardbound book. It consists of two pieces of binder's board and strip of heavy paper that have been glued to a piece of binding cloth.

Casemaking, making the case, can be done by machine or by hand. Casemaking by hand involves cutting the materials to size, gluing the binder's board and paper to the binding cloth, and folding the cloth to cover the edges of the binder's board.

Cutting Materials to Size. Two pieces of binder's board are required. The length of each should equal the height of the book plus the desired cover overhand. Generally, the cover will overhang each edge of the book by 1/8 inch.

The width of the binder's board is measured from the hinge that was formed along the back edge of the book, by backing, to its front edge. Be sure to add 1/8 inch to this measurement to provide the needed overhang.

The size of the heavy paper used to line the back of the case is equal to the measurements across the back of the book. Book cloth dimensions are determined by measuring. The height of the cloth should equal the height of the binder's board plus two inches. The with of the cloth is equal to the combined withs of the two pieces of binder's board, plus two inches, plus the width around the back of the book from hinge to hinge.

Gluing Materials in Position. Place the binder's boards and paper liner on the back of the binding cloth as shown in Figure 6-12. Outline the binder's boards and paper liner with a pencil to mark their exact locations. Then remove the binder's boards and paper liner from the book cloth.
Positioning the binder's board and paper liner on the back of the binding cloth

With a brush and bookbinding paste, coat the back of the book cloth. Cover the entire surface evenly. Do not leave any lumps of paste. Now carefully position the boards and paper liner on the book cloth. Then turn the book cloth over and squeeze out any excess paste from between the cloth and binder's boards. With a bone folder, press from the center to the outer edges of the boards.

Folding the Book Cloth. Fold the binding cloth up over the edges of th binder's board to complete the case. First fold a corner of the book cloth up over one corner of the binder's board. Then fold the two adjacent sides of th cloth over the board. Use a bone folder to stretch the cloth tightly over the edge of the binder's board. Repeat this procedure at each of the other corners to complete the case.

The corners you have just made are called library corners. Although capable of withstanding considerable abuse, library corners are bulky. Nicked corners are less bulky than library corners. They are formed by cutting away the corners of the book cloth before folding, Figure 6-13. Leave approximately 3/8" of cloth opposite each corner of the binder's board. Continue folding as for library corners.
Trim each corner of the binding cloth at a 45 degree angle when making a nicked corner

Hanging the book in the case is called casing-in. Casing-in can be done by hand or by machine.

To hang a book by hand, insert a piece of waxed paper between each of the endsheets. The waxed paper should extend beyond the edges of the book. Waxed paper prevents the endsheets from sticking together when the book is pasted into its case.

Apply paste to the super, tapes, and endsheet located at the front of the book. Position the book within the case, pasted side up, and close the front cover. Then turn the book over, open the back cover and apply paste to the super, tapes, and back endsheet. Now close the back cover. Be sure the book is pressed up against the back of the case and in its proper position. Readjust the position of the book if necessary.

After hanging the book, place it between two pressing boards. The metal strip on each board should be fitted into the book's hinge.

Place the pressing boards and book assembly into a book press until the paste is completely dry. The pressing operation is shown in Figure 6-14. When dry, the book can be removed from between the pressing boards. Clean off the excess glue as required. The book is now complete.
Pressing a book between pressing boards in a book press

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