Friday, June 8, 2012

Fix-it Friday : Tip-In Tips

This week's Fix-it Friday presents one of the simplest and quickest book repairs -- tipping in loose pages -- with some tricks for making it even simpler!

First of all, a small, soft weight like a bean bag or a snake weight can be very helpful in operating as your "third hand" to hold a book gently open to the place you need to operate.

This book required replacements of pages that had been omitted in error by its publisher.  Erroneous pages (containing duplicates) needed to be removed and preservation copies of the correct pages tipped-in.

To remove excess pages, insert a piece of stiff board underneath the pages you wish to remove, to protect the pages you wish to keep; then slice out the excess at the spine edge, close to the gutter, with a straightedge and x-acto knife.
Before inserting new (or fallen-out) pages, trim them to the height and width of the text block.  Remember that even original pages may not fit well into an especially tight binding and may fit better if they're trimmed just a little (1/16") before re-insertion.  Use a sharp blade.  Trimming small quantities is harder than taking off a larger strip, and some aging papers are soft or brittle, making them easy to tear.

Check the fit of the pages before you apply adhesive.
If more than one consecutive page needs to be tipped-in, attach each page together first and then place the entire group in the book.  It's not advised to reattach more than six pages in one place -- it's hard to get them to fit, and it introduces a lot of new adhesive into a possibly already weak binding -- but if there is no other option (i.e., rebinding the whole book) there is often nothing for it but to try!

Here, PVA is applied to the spine edges of two leaves at once..
.. and then they are jogged together..
.. before being tipped-in to the book.  Of course, make sure they are in correct page order before they're glued in for good!
Some weight (a brick, another book) will help with adherence while the glue dries.  If you are very generous with the glue, please insert a strip of wax paper against the glue line at the spine edge to make sure the glue doesn't ooze out too far.

Sometimes tipped-in pages still don't fit all the way into the book even if you've trimmed them to size in advance.  If this happens, you can shave off any excess hanging out of the text block by using a stiff piece of board as a guide under the pages.  Line up a straightedge along the edge of the text block and use a very sharp blade to remove the excess.
Got any other tip-in tips?  Please let us know in the comments! 

Thanks for reading, and I apologize for the kind of dark, blurry quality of these images -- next time I will be using a better camera.  The next Fix-it Friday will need to be delayed by two weeks and will publish on July 27, one week after our book repair session in Eugene at the OLA-SSD conference on July 20!

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