Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

 Previous item  Up One Level Next item

plow ( plough )

See illustration

A device used for trimming the leaves of a book, usually one bound by hand. It consists of two parallel blocks of wood about 4 inches wide and 8 inches long connected by two guide rods and one threaded rod, with a cutting blade attached to the lower edge of one of the blocks. The left hand part of the plow fits into a runner on the left cheek of the LYING PRESS , while the other block is fitted with the adjustable knife. The knife is generally moved inward by the turn of a screw, cutting into the leaves as the plow is moved back and forth.

When, where, or by whom the plow was invented is unknown, but in all likelihood it was not used to any great extent before the early part of the 16th century. Its use thereafter, however, was widespread in all classes of binding until sometime around 1840, when the GUILLOTINE cutter was introduced. The plow is now used very little except in the hest of fine leather binding. (236 , 237 , 339 )

[Search all CoOL documents]