Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Simplified Binding

This fine binding style was developed by Sun Evrard in France in 1984.  Despite its name, it can be quite complex and demanding.  It differs from a traditional case binding in that the bookblock is rounded but not backed, the hollow book spine is affixed to the bookblock before the boards which are bevelled to zero at the spine side and finished before they are attached.  It is a versatile binding and can be made with clean cut edges, thus suiting a variety of cover materials.

I first learned the binding from John Tonkin of Canberra in a four day workshop in 1996.  John had studied bookbinding in Europe and had learned the binding from Sun Evrard. This is the book we made with a leather spine and leather foredge and it  contains John's instructions on how to make the binding - mine has been well used!

A few years ago I did another 2 day workshop with John and Joy Tonkin in Brisbane and we made a Simplified binding with clean cut edges and exposed leather tapes.

Now to continue with the binding of the four books containing my father in law's story.  In my last post on bookbinding, I had sewn the signatures of four books onto ramieband tapes.  The next step was to glue the spine with PVA, trim the tapes and then fray them out and glue them down.  The back was gently rounded and readymade headbands were glued into place.

 The spine is then filled in between the tapes with tarlatan or muslin, and a layer of paper can be added too to get the spine smooth.

I cut the leather for the spine and pared the edges as thin as I could 

The spine pieces were glued at the sides to the bookblock and then the books were placed between working boards and clamped

The boards were then cut to measure and the spine edges sanded and bevelled to zero forming a curve to fit the book block.  The cover materials were prepared and glued onto the boards.  The leather spine edges on the bookblock were pared back and sanded to remove any glossy surface in the area to be glued.  The boards were glued along the spine edge to the bookblock and the partial first sheet of paper which had been torn back to approx 5 cm.  They were then put between boards and put in the press overnight.

As I had prepared the covers to have clean cut edges rather than turned in covers, the exposed edges were painted with black acrylic paint.  The inside of the boards were infilled with the torn off piece of the first sheet to create a smooth surface and the endpapers were tipped in and glued into place.  Finally the title was prepared and glued to the cover.

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