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Subject: Book with wooden boards

Book with wooden boards

From: Ian Fraser <ian.fraser<-at->
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Robert Pearce <robert.pearce [at] nottingham__ac__uk> writes

>I have recently been working on a 15th Century English binding. The
>book has Beech(?) boards that are approximately 9mm thick and one of
>the boards is broken along the grain. Although this must have
>happened quite a while ago, the boards fit together quite nicely
>with good sharp clean joins. ...

I think I can help. As for adhesive I would recommend fish glue. It
is a protein glue, very strong once set, and fully soluble and
reversible with water. It tacks and grabs quite quickly, but takes a
long to to gel and set, which is an enormous help when aligning

The stuff I use is from Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa, Canada, and a
glued assembly needs a minimum of 12 hours left alone before the
joint can be considered as fully set. I think Conservation Resources
(UK) can now supply Lee Valley fish glue.

The joint needs to be clean, any build up or accretions that
interfere with fit will need to be removed. This is better done dry,
with for example a scalpel. Alignment and holding together of
components is absolutely vital.

There is a very good book from the Canadian Conservation Institute,
"The Gentle Art of Applied Pressure" which through both theory and
case studies, gives a very good introduction to the methodology and
ways of thinking that are needed to hold components in alignment
whilst an adhesive sets.

Without seeing the actual item (what is its size?) it is a little
hard to advise further, but I have glued thin panels before. It can
be done successfully, you just need to experiment (sans adhesif,
bien sur!) with a variety of cramps, and battens until a cramping
system has been devised. Components can behave a little differently
with adhesive on them. An adhesive can act a little like a
lubricant, so that something that went together dry, you might find
slips a little during cramping with adhesive, and a counter-measure
then needs devising, an extra wedge, or bit of packing,

Might be worth browsing Lee Valley's website, there is some clever
tools there, the link below is for their panel clamp


Fish glue:


    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

Ian Fraser
Conservator (furniture; historic interiors; preventive)
Leeds Museums and Galleries
Temple Newsam House
Leeds LS15 0AE

                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:1
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 27, 2009
                        Message Id: cdl-23-1-002
Received on Tuesday, 19 May, 2009

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