The ‘rare find’ repaired

After the last post, about finding an unusual ‘scabboard’ binding, a reader asked to see the finished article. So here is a series of pictures of the rest of the process, with suitable captions.

This is where we left the book three weeks ago – with the degraded leather at the joint edge removed exposing the thin wooden board.
Cloth hinge/lining glued directly on to the back of the sewn sections. All the old glue and degraded spine leather has been softened with paste and removed first. The slits over the raised bands make it easier to mould the cloth evenly on to the spine. Note the missing endband on the right. I always sew replacement endbands after lining the spine so the endband tie-down threads will come out through the cloth, avoiding the risk of tearing the backs of the paper sections. The cloth hinge will be glued directly on to the exposed board and under the cover leather.
Replacement endband sewn (at the left), card strips glued over the hinge cloth to compensate for the thickness of the damaged leather that was removed previously. Pieces of strong paper glued between the bands and over the top and bottom panels and sanded down to remove lumps
Detail of the replacement endband with the covering paper sanded smooth
Calf stained to match old sides and pared quite thin (about 0.2mm) ready to be applied. This is a ‘tight’ back so the head and tail turn-ins will go directly on to the spine. If the turn-ins are, say, 12mm then the paring should be done so that there is an even reduction in thickness from the 24mm points right down to a true ‘feather’ edge. Note the crease along the middle of the spine strip: this is where the leather has been pinched and stretched to make it easier to mould it over the bands.
Dampened and pasted leather moulded over the bands and worked under the lifted side leather. It is darker because damp.
Sides pressed firmly to create a flat surface where the new leather goes under the old. A quick wipe over the old leather with the same stain as was used on the new will even out any variations in colour.
Original title label replaced. No other decoration needed.

So there it is. Rare ‘scabboard’ material of the boards now invisible. But I will tell the client all about it.

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