Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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split back-gauge

A type of movable BACK GAUGE of a paper cutting machine made up of two or more sections. Split back-gauge machines are designed especially for trimming books and pamphlets (in edition and pamphlet binding), and are unlike machines designed for cutting piles of paper, which have solid back gauges. Each of the sections of the split gauge may be set at a different distance from the knife, so that the trimming gauge for two or three different margins of a book may be set simultaneously. This permits trimming a book or a pile of books or pamphlets without changing gauges or waiting for entire lots to go through the trimming of one edge. If the split gauge is in three sections, the middle section is generally set for trimming the fore edge, and the left and right hand sections for trimming the tail and head edges, respectively.

The split gauge trimmer was used extensively in edition binding until largely superseded by the THREE-KNIFE TRIMMER . When both types are used in one bindery, the three-knife machine is generally used for pamphlets (periodical issues) and the split gauge machine for books. (142 )

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