Tag Archives: Repair

Repairing a loose binding

31 Aug

So here is a long overdue post. Sadly, this was the last repair I was able to do in the UCF Special Collections department. At least it was a fun last project.

Warning! This is a picture heavy post!

This is the front of the book “Essays of Elia” prior to doing any work. What do you see? Oh yeah, all that tape.

Book Spine, more tape!

And guess what, more tape and adhesive!

A close up of me slowly lifting the clear adhesive off of the inlaid gold ink.

Another closeup.

Tape is gone, but now the book is super sticky. So to fix that I bring in my secret weapon!

Magic Rub! A great non-abrasive way to rub off the sticky mess left by stickers/tape/etc.

Good as new! You would never know there was a sticker there! I wish all adhesive jobs were this simple.

Stickers are gone and the book is back to its original look.

Here is a torn page that has been repaired with Japanese tissue paper and wheat paste. You can barely tell that there was a tear! Fortunately this is all reversible in case better methods come along later. 🙂

This happens to a lot of older books. So we are going to go ahead and put that back together with some reversible PVA.

First I went ahead and found a small piece of Japanese tissue paper that would just cover the opening. This reinforces the repair.

Now I evenly cover the tissue paper with wheat paste.

And of course place it in the void. I used a stiff paint brush and a bone folder to ease the paper into the crack.

I have the previously repaired torn page between two sheets of acid free paper with just about 2mm of the left edge showing. I then use this as a guide for painting on the PVA because it makes a nice straight line. This is called ‘tipping in’.

Now I lay the paper in place and close the book. I then slide in a sheet of mylar on either side of the repaired paper just in case a bit of PVA seeps out. It is easier to pull glue off of plastic than it is paper. Even if it is reversible glue.

This was probably one of my favorite repairs. I love that there were multiple things that needed doing and I really enjoyed bringing the book back to life. Sadly, it was my last repair job at UCF as of now, but maybe I will be allowed to come repair items as a volunteer here when I get more free time!


Using Methyl-Cellulose to Clean (UCF Special Collections)

14 Aug

So today I decided to take some pictures of the work Whitney and I are doing this week. Being new to conservation I was unaware of Methyl-cellulose’s ability to clean gunk from old bindings…. It works quite well I must say.

One of my personal books I decided to test on.

I know, I know, this is definitely an awesome book. Very tempting alas I must do a little damage to it! So the cover paper isn’t attached to the board at all and the spine is held together with, yup you are seeing it correctly, MASKING TAPE! Well, I guess it is better than duct tape, but not by much.

Tape, the bane of my existence...

So the first step we took was to remove the masking tape and add the methyl-cellulose to the spine to clean it. We used the Talas directions of 1 quart water to 5 tablespoons of methyl-cellulose mix.

Painting on the poultice! Please excuse the lack of make-up 🙂

So now we wait about 10 minutes and then remove  the goop from the spine.

Here comes the netting that was stuck.

After 10 minutes it was surprisingly easy to remove the netting and old crusty glue that was left behind.

Removing old glue and Methyl-Cellulose with a spatula.

Thank you Whitney for modeling 🙂 (It is very difficult to clean books and take pictures at the same time. We ended up repeating the adding and scrapping of the mix until the spine was a clean as we thought it could get.

As a cleaning agent I give Methyl-cellulose an A for cleaning! My only caution would be to be careful when removing the poultice. I did notice that with our micro-spatulas the signatures seemed to tear at the stitches due to the dampness. But other than that. I was great and we shall be using it again.

I would love to hear some of your questions/comments/retorts/etc. I would love to read them so leave a comment!

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