Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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beamhouse operations

The processes in leather manufacture that take place following curing and preceding the actual tannage of the skin. These processes include some or all of the following: SOAKING (1) ,LIMING , UNHAIRING ,SCUDDING , FLESHING ,DELIMING , BATING (or PUERING ),DRENCHING , and PICKLING , not necessarily always in the order given. The skin may also be split before tanning. The principal objectives of beamhouse operations are to rid the stock of substances not wanted in the finished leather, notably the class of proteins known as keratin, and to put the skins into the proper chemical and physical condition for subsequent processing. To produce satisfactory leather, beamhouse operations must be carried out in such a manner that no damage is done to the fibrous (collagen) part of the skin that is converted into leather, nor to its internal structure.

The term derives from the "beam," a convex wooden slab sloping upward from the floor, over which the raw stock is placed for trimming, fleshing, unhairing, or scudding by hand. (248 , 363 )

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