Sunday, January 23, 2011

Covering Leonardo Part IV

          Oh so long ago, last year in fact, I promised to show fitting the ribbon ties and lining the flap extension of the binding of Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine. I had forgotten to take photos, dear reader, and so this post has had to wait until I got to that stage again with more bindings. So here goes.

          After the edges are turned in, corners made, flap blind-tooled and title blocked, the ribbon ties are fitted. On the left (top) board I had previously removed a thin layer of the board 8mm x 8mm to allow the ribbon to sit in. (The ribbon is 8mm wide, as is the turn-in. Adjust the size to whatever ribbon or tie you use.) When turning in this edge, this part of the turn-in is left free. A slit the width of the ribbon is made vertically in the leather of the turn-in and the ribbon threaded through. One end of the ribbon sits in the 8mm square well, and is glued in place with PVA, with the turn-in glued on top of it, being careful that the PVA does not ooze out and stain the ribbon or the leather. The ribbon for the back board, shown on the right above, is threaded through a similar slit in the flap, before the flap is lined. Note the guide lines, and measure the position of both slits carefully so that when the boards come together the ribbons are positioned exactly opposite each other and the ribbon is in the vertical centre of the flap. I position the flap slit about 1 mm from the edge of the board, which seems to work well. The ribbon is glued down onto the inside edge of the book board and will be covered by the lining leather.

         Before applying the lining, the edge of the back board that would normally be covered by the turn-in, where the ribbon is glued, must be built up with a thin piece of card or Bristol board each side of the end of ribbon to bring it up so that when the lining is in place the lining plus card is the same thickness as the rest of the turn-ins, and the end of the ribbon sits roughly level with the strip of card.
          The leather for lining the flap should be pared thin and I use a Brockman parer for this, as shown above. The Brockman parer is very useful for paring small strips of leather for this sort of application, or for title labels etc. You could also use a knife or a spokeshave to do the same job. The lining leather needs to be thin because otherwise the flap would be stiff and a bit clumsy. The function of the lining is to tidy up and finish off the appearance of the flap and secure the ribbon tie, it does not need to have tensile strength.
          For the lining I apply adhesive to the flap, and position the lining on top of it with enough leather to cover the strip of card, so that when it is trimmed to size, that edge is the same width as the turn-ins and the lining completely covers the end of the ribbon and the card. After boning lightly in place I trim the superfluous lining material with a sharp blade so it fits neatly and all the edges are flush.
          The inside covers are now ready to be filled with card flush with the turn-ins, so that all is level, and the end-papers go down onto a flat surface. In my next post I'll show how this should look and how the text-block is fitted with the vellum slips. Incidentally, you can also see that when I turned in the top and lower edges at the spine, I left a little puff of air at the edge, to serve as a little headcap. 

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