Bookbinding and The Care of Books
|A Handbook for Amateurs Bookbinders & Librarians by
Douglas Cockerell with Drawings by Noel Rooke and other
Illustrations New York 1902
Bookbinding Chapter III Part 1
| Guards are slips of thin paper or linen used for
strengthening the fold of leaves that are damaged, or for
attaching plates or single leaves.
Guards should be of good thin paper. That known as
Whatman’s Banknote paper answers very well. An easy way to
cut guards is shown in fig. 8. Two or three pieces of paper of
the height of the required guards are folded and pinned to the
|board by the right – hand corners. A series of points are marked
at the head and tail with dividers set to the width desired for the
guards, and with a knife guided by a straight – edge, cuts joining
the points are made right through the paper, but not extending
quite to either end. On a transverse cut being made near the
bottom, the guards are left attached by one end only (see fig. 9),
|and can be torn off as wanted. This method prevents the paper from slipping while it is being
A mount cutter’s knife (fig. 10) will be found to be a convenient form of knife to use for
In using a knife and straight-edge a good deal of pressure should be put on the straight-edge,
and comparatively little on the knife.
|To med the torn back of a pair of leaves, a guard should be selected a little longer than the
height of the pages and well passed with white paste (see page 288). If the pair of leaves are not
quite separated, the pasted guard held by the extremities may be simply laid along the weak place
and rubbed down through blotting-paper. If the leaves are quite apart, it is better to lay the
pasted guard on a piece of glass and put the edges of first one and then the other leaf on to it
and rub down.
On an outside pair of leaves the guard should be inside, so that the glue may catch any ragged
edges; while on the inside pair the guard should be outside, or it will be found to be
troublesome in sewing. In handling the pasted guards care is needed not to stretch them, or
they may cause the sheet to crinkle as they dry.
Plates must be guarded round the sections next them. When there are a great many plates the
back margin of each, to which a guard will be attached, must be pared (see fig. II, A),
|or the additional thickness caused by the guards will make the back swell unduly. In guarding
plates a number can be pasted at once if they are laid one on another, with about an eighth of an
inch of the back of each exposed, the top of the pile being protected by a folder piece of waste
paper (see fig. 12). To paste, the brush is brought from the top to the bottom of the pile only,
and not the other way, or paste will get between the plates and soil them. Guards should usually
be attached to the backs of plates, and should be wide enough to turn up round the adjoining
section, so that they may be sewn through. Should a plate come in the middle of the section, the
guard is best turned back and slightly pasted to the inside of the sheet and then sewn through in
the ordinary way.
|If plates are very thick, they must be hinged, as shown at fig. II, B. this is done by cutting a strip
of about a quarter of an inch off the black of the plate, and guarding with a wide guard of linen,
leaving a small space between the plate and the pieces cut off to form a hinge. It will save some
swelling if the plate is pared and a piece of thinner paper substituted for the piece cut off (see fig.
II, C). If the plates are of cardboard, they should be guarded on both sides with linen, and may
even need a second joint.
A book that consists entirely of plates or single leaves must be made up into sections with
guards, and sewn as usual. In books in which there are a great many plates, it is often found that
two plates either come together in the centre of a section, or come at opposite sides of the same
pair of leaves. Such plates should be guarded together and treated as folded sheets (see fig. 13).
|In order to be sure that the pages of a book to be guarded throughout will come in their proper
order, it is well to make a plan of the sections as follows, and to check each pair of leaves by it, as
they are guarded: -
Thus, if the book is to be made up into sections of eight leaves, the pairs of leaves to be
guarded together can be seen at once if the number of the pages are written out -
1, 3, 5, 7, - 9, 11, 13, 15.
First the inside pair, 7 and 9, are guarded together with the guard outside, then the next pair, 5
and 11, then 3 and 13, and then the outside pair, 1 and 15, which should have the guard outside.
A plan for the whole book would be more conveniently written thus –
1-15 17-31 33-47
3-13 19-29 35-45
5-11 21-27 37-43
7-9 23-25 39-41, and so on
To arrange a book of single leaves for guarding, it is convenient to take as many leaves as you
intend to go to a section, and opening them in the centre, take a pair at a time as they come.
The number of leaves it is advisable to put into a section will depend on the thickness of the
paper and the size and thickness of the book. If the paper is thick, and the backs of the leaves
have been pared, four leaves to a section will be found to answer. But if the paper is thin and
does not allow of much paring, it is better to have a larger section, in order to have as little
thread in the back as possible.
The sheets of any guarded book should be pressed before sewing, in order to reduce the swelling
of the back caused by the guards.
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