The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 3
Jul 1982

Supplies & Equipment

Supplies From Ascona

In the April issue, Silvia Rennie offered to translate the list of supplies she had just received from the Centro del Bel Libro, if people were interested. Well, it turns out that people were very interested. So many of them wrote her for photographs, more information, and so on, that she does not have time to answer them individually. They should write directly to

Centro del Bel Libro
Passaggio San Pietro
CH-6612 Ascona

If they want to order supplies or equipment, they should probably send a foreign draft in Swiss Francs. The U.S. equivalent is furnished in the translated list below just as a convenience for pricing out these items.

Many thanks to Ms. Rennie for this translation for this translation, and for alerting us to this source.

Supplies and Equipment Swiss Francs U.S. Dollars
July 7
Ascofix (improved version of the Benteli paring machine); 12 blades included 240.00 $112.80
Ascosprit (compact liquid-fuel tool heater) 85.00 39.95
Ascona handpress with "quick" screws: you push them as far as they will go and only tighten them at the end 140.00 65.80
Ascona handpress with normal screws 130.00 61.10
Stainless steel "tins" 16 x 24 cm 16.00 7.50
" 20 x 28 cm 20.00 9.40
" 23 x 32 cm 26.50 12.45
Tins 16 x 24 cm 3.80 1.80
" 20 x 28 cm 4.60 2.15
23 x 32 cm 6.40 3.00
Sharpening stone 170.00 79.90
Polisher 32.00 15.05
Cutting mat (Japanese, like Brookstone's)


24.00 11.30


60.00 28.20
Paring knife (French type) 16.00 7.50
Pointe (V-shaped narrow knife with two blades) 7.00 3.30
Ascona ruler 30 cm 6.00 2.80
Ascona ruler 50 cm 7.00 3.30
Ascofix blades, 1 package of 10 2.50 1.20
Ascona tool-brass, with a rounded point about 3/4 mm wide for blind tooling any shape along a template 28.00 13.15
Ascocolor (oil-based marbling colors) 68.00 31.95
Hemp cord-made, not of several strands, but of one mass of fibers, easy to thin 9.50 4.45
Beeswax 4.00 1.90
Dividers 16.00 7.50


Handmade Papers for Conservation and Book Arts

Timothy Barrett has a new selection of handmade papers available, including Japanese sheets of kozo, mitsumata, and gampi, and western sheets of unbleached cotton, raw flax and linen rag. All fibers for Barrett's papers are processed in-house, using documented procedures based closely on traditional methods. Finished sheets are intended for conservation and book arts applications, and range from thin kozo tissues for repair and backing to thick linen/cotton sheets for paper case binding.

Send $5 for further details, samples, prices, and ongoing notification of future special makings. Kalamazoo Handmade Papers, 5947 North 25th St., Kalamazoo, Ml 49004.

Heavy Binding Equipment Offered in Washington, Dc

Esteleta Rogie Hughes is offering a board shear and two hot presses for sale (pictured below). They are not available for viewing, but purchase can be arranged by telephone, at (202/544-1900); ask for Nancy Garruba.

Ms. Hughes writes that the board shear has a 54" blade. She is asking $600 for it. "The two hot presses pictured," she says, "seem to have a piece or two missing, and haven't been used while in my possession. I will sell them as is." Since no price is suggested, anyone who is interested should make an offer.


Xerox Uses ASTM Paper Standards

The Spring 1982 Xerox catalog, which lists everything but Xerox machines, lists paper for photocopying on p. 59-64. Of 14 listings, six are identified as "ASTM Type III Permanence"--that is, they can be expected, on the average, to last at least 50 years (average life of present-day paper has been estimated at 50 years, so this means it is a little better than average, maybe twice as good as the average paper in terms of permanence).

The ASTM standard referred to is a comparatively new one, D 34S8-75, "Standard Specification for Copies from Office Copying Machines for Permanent Records." Part 1 covers the paper and Part 2 the image. The paper standard is unusual in that it specifies three levels of permanence (medium, high and maximum), with three sets of specifications, so that even the papermakers who were willing to make only a small change in their usual way of making paper could produce at an acknowledged level of quality. This catalog is an early indication that the standard has been used for this purpose.

Naturally, the wording in the sales catalog is not so precise, and even overstates it a bit: "Guaranteed sheet life of 50 to 100 years."

Goudy Typeface Revived

The Out of Sorts Letter Foundry, 641 Center Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543, has been working with the Smithsonian Institution to revive certain deserving but "out-of-print" typefaces. The third in this series of revivals is Collier Old Style, available in 14 and 18 point for $20 and $35 a font, respectively. This is what it looks like:

Binder's Equipment

The April/July 1982 issue of Fine Print advertised some equipment being sold by Alan Dietch Equipment, Foster City, CA (415) 349-1681 (no zip code given).

40" Jacques Heavy Duty Board Shears $2243
17" Sheridan job backer $495
16 x 20" Nipping press, 4½" opening $395
Small book/copy presses used and new
New Kutrimmers
Premier trimmers
Jacques board shears
Challenge etc. guillotine paper cutters

Basic Crafts Sale

Basic Crafts (1201 Broadway, New York NY 10001) is selling 28 brass hand stamps at 25% off, five sets of sans serif handle letters at 50% off, and their utility bench for $100, down from $143. The tools are mainly geometric shapes. The bench, all wood, folds for storage and is 32½" high with a 23½" x 47¼" top.

Ingres, Fabriano Surplus Offered for Sale

Murray Lebwohl, a paper conservator at 121 Eye Street, Alexandria, VA 22307 (703/768-1768), has the following surplus papers for sale:

  1. Approx. 500 sheets Ingres "Antique" laid papers,
    19" x 25" - 32 lbs./rm. Colors 17�/sht, black
    20� /sht.
  2. Approx. 250 shts Fabriano laid paper, 26" x 40" -about 65 lbs./rm. Colors 50�/sht, black 604 per sht.

    Minimum purchase 10 sheets. 10% reduction for 25 or mere.

  3. Some marbled papers @ 50�/sht.
  4. Other miscellaneous papers, including Japanese Moriki, from 10�/sht to 75�/sht.

For information or a map showing how to get to his house, send self-addressed envelope or call him. The map has little pictures scattered over it. The part that shows his house is reproduced here: [map omitted from electronic version]

Bennett Book Studio Up for Sale

Mr. R. Sal Fria, in response to a letter of inquiry from the Newsletter, wrote: "The truth is that after 45 years I would like to retire and let the young people take [over].

"Since I have no one to pass it on to I have no other way out but to sell the bindery as a whole or in pieces. The truth is that the Bennett Book Studio has a good reputation and is a well known bindery both here and abroad.

"I started in this business in 1937 for Whitman Bennett and have stayed on all this time, except for my service in the armed forces during World War II. My partner and I have spent 30 of those years together and it's unfortunate that he is not yet of age for retirement.

"We have a small hand bindery and it's been a living all these years. Everything and everybody comes to an end and this is our situation today. We gross $50,000 yearly (more and not less) and I know for a two-man operation this is good.

"I shall list the basic machinery, which I know is necessary for operating this type of a fine hand bindery.

  1. Sanborn stamping press with polishing plate
  2. Board shear, metal platform, 42" cut
  3. Paper cutter (guillotine), 33" platform metal
  4. Job backer, 30"
  5. Book press, 45" opening (with platform)
  6. Book press, 34" opening (with platform)
  7. Hand sewing bench

and an assortment of other materials pertaining to the operation of any bindery."

The Bennett Book Studio is at 920 Broadway, Em. 1703, New York, NY 10010 (212/OR4-8520).

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