Bookbinding, and the Care of Books, by Douglas Cockerell


Arming press, a small blocking press used for striking arms-blocks on the sides of books.

Backing boards, wedge-shaped bevelled boards used in backing (see Fig. 40).

Backing machine, used for backing cheap work in large quantities; it often crushes and damages the backs of the sections.

Bands, (1) the cords on which a book is sewn. (2) The ridges on the back caused by the bands showing through the leather.

Band nippers, pincers with flat jaws, used for straightening the bands (see Fig. 61). For nipping up the leather after covering, they should be nickelled to prevent the iron staining the leather.

Beating stone, the “stone” on which books were formerly beaten; now generally superseded by the rolling machine and standing press.

Blind tooling, the impression of finishing tools without gold.

Blocking press, a press used for impressing blocks such as those used in decorating cloth cases.

Board papers, the part of the end papers pasted on to the boards.

Bodkin, an awl used for making the holes in the boards for the slips.

Bolt, folded edge of the sheets in an unopened book.

Cancels, leaves containing errors, which have to be discarded and replaced by corrected sheets. Such leaves are marked by the printer with a star.

Catch-word, a word printed at the foot of one page indicating the first word of the page following, as a guide in collating.

Cutting boards, wedge-shaped boards somewhat like backing boards, but with the top edge square; used in cutting the edge of a book and in edge-gilding.

Cutting in boards, cutting the edges of a book after the boards are laced on.

Cutting press, when the lying press is turned, so that the side with the runners is uppermost, it is called a cutting press (see Fig. 46).

Diaper, a term applied to a small repeating all-over pattern. From woven material decorated in this way.

Doublure, the inside face of the boards, especially applied to them when lined with leather and decorated.

End papers, papers added at the beginning and end of a book by the binder.

Extra binding, a trade term for the best work.

Finishing, comprises lettering, tooling, and polishing, &c.

Finishing press, a small press used for holding books when they are being tooled (see Fig. 84).

Finishing stove, used for heating finishing tools.

Folder, a flat piece of ivory or bone, like a paper knife, used in folding sheets and in various other operations.

Foredge (fore edge), the front edge of the leaves. Pronounced “forrege.”

Forwarding, comprises all the operations between sewing and finishing, excepting headbanding.

Gathering, collecting one sheet from each pile in a printer’s warehouse to make up a volume.

Glaire, white of eggs beaten up, and used in finishing and edge gilding.

Half binding, when the leather covers the back and only part of the sides, a book is said to be half bound.

Head band, a fillet of silk or thread, worked at the head and tail of the back.

Head cap, the fold of leather over the head band (see Fig. 67).

Head and tail, the top and bottom of a book.

Imperfections, sheets rejected by the binder and returned to the printer to be replaced.

India proofs, strictly first proofs only of an illustration pulled on “India paper,” but used indiscriminately for all illustrations printed on India paper.

Inset, the portion of a sheet cut off and inserted in folding certain sizes, such as duodecimo, &c. (see Fig. 4).

Inside margins, the border made by the turn in of the leather on the inside face of the boards (see Fig. 116).

Joints, (1) the groove formed in backing to receive the ends of the mill-boards. (2) The part of the binding that bends when the boards are opened. (3) Strips of leather or cloth used to strengthen the end papers.

Kettle stitch,” catch stitch formed in sewing at the head and tail.

Lacing in, lacing the slips through holes in the boards to attach them.

Lying press, the term applied to the under side of the cutting press used for backing, usually ungrammatically called “laying press.”

Marbling, colouring the edges and end papers in various patterns, obtained by floating colours on a gum solution.

Millboard machine, machine used for squaring boards; should only be used for cheap work, as an edge cut by it will not be as square as if cut by the plough.

Mitring, (1) lines meeting at a right angle without overrunning are said to be mitred. (2) A join at 45° as in the leather on the inside of the boards.

Overcasting, over-sewing the back edges of single leaves or weak sections.

Peel, a thin board on a handle used for hanging up sheets for drying.

Plate, an illustration printed from a plate. Term often incorrectly applied to illustrations printed from woodcuts. Any full-page illustration printed on different paper to the book is usually called a “plate.”

Pressing plates, plates of metal japanned or nickelled, used for giving finish to the leather on a book.

Press pin, an iron bar used for turning the screws of presses.

Proof, edges left uncut as “proof” that the book has not been unduly cut down.

Register, (i.) when the print on one side of a leaf falls exactly over that on the other it is said to register. (ii.) Ribbon placed in a book as a marker.

Rolling machine, a machine in which the sheets of a book are subject to heavy pressure by being passed between rollers.

Sawing in, when grooves are made in the back with a saw to receive the bands.

Section, the folded sheet.

Semée or Semis, an heraldic term signifying sprinkled.

Set off, print is said to “set off” when part of the ink from a page comes off on an opposite page. This will happen if a book is pressed too soon after printing.

Sheet, the full size of the paper as printed, forming a section when folded.

Signature, the letter or figure placed on the first page of each sheet.

Slips, the ends of the sewing cord or tape that are attached to the boards.

Squares, the portion of the boards projecting beyond the edges of the book.

Start, when, after cutting, one or more sections of the book come forward, making the fore edge irregular, they are said to have started.

Straight edge, a flat ruler.

Tacky, sticky.

T. E. G., top-edge gilt.

Trimmed. The edges of a book are said to be trimmed when the edges of the larger (or projecting) leaves only have been cut.

Tub, the stand which supports the lying press. Originally an actual tub to catch the shavings.

Uncut, a book is said to be uncut when the edges of the paper have not been cut with the plough or guillotine.

Unopened, the book is said to be unopened if the bolts of the sheets have not been cut.

Waterproof sheets, sheets of celluloid, such as are used by photographers.

Whole binding, when the leather covers the back and sides of a volume.

Wire staples are used by certain machines in the place of thread for securing the sections.

Groove, that part of the sections which is turned over in backing to receive the board.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52