Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Double-Fan Adhesive Binding

The Double-Fan Adhesive Binding is a treatment we use in Preservation Services for new single sheet items with a good gutter margin such as theses or to repair worn out adhesive bound books.  Good margins are important as the process will trim 1/16" all around when finished.


2 endsheets: cut to Height (H)
2 20-point boards: cut to Width (W) x Height of book
        (Can stack endsheets and boards to cut on guillotine)
Cloth lining: cut to H x [spine thickness + 2"]
Covering cloth: cut to H x [(W x 2) + spine thickness]
Double-sided tape
PVA glue
Tyvek optional 


Trim out of old case, leaving case intact, if possible.
Mark upper foredge of text with pencil mark (gets trimmed off later). 

Put rough-cut boards and endsheets into position with endsheet folds at foreedge to remain intact when cut.
Cut spine off.


Clamp into press screwing in the pressure equally.  Three loose bars are in the press (one has an L-shaped piece attached) with usual sized books.  Can remove one or more for bigger (wide and tall) book.

 Tip up the book to work on it.  Glue the spine once as it is straight up.  Fan it left and glue.  The fan it right and glue.  Squeeze the glued spine into shape.



Glue up lining and set on evenly, pinching and pulling and smoothing.  Set onto spine and let dry about one hour.


With a pair of dividers run a score line 1/4" from the spine edge head to tail on each board.  Run a strip of 1/2" double-stick tape down the inside edge of the score line.  Flip the board over and glue the board up.  Now place glued side of board down onto text block lining up the spine with the double stick tape edge along the spine edge.  Nip for 30 seconds in press.                                                                                                                      


With new cloth:

Cut cloth to H x [(W x 2) + spine thickness].
Crease at the first spine fold.  Then make another fold 1/4" from this line (toward the foredge).  Make the other spine fold, and then the 1/4" fold from that line (toward the foredge).

Test fit the cover if cloth.  Clip off excess before gluing.  Put tattle tape onto spine cloth.  Glue up the boards, peel off the double-stick tape backing.  Press board going from spine to foredge.  Nip 30 seconds in press.  Let dry one hour under weight.

Prepare old case materials to reattach:

Trim out spine, old plate from old cover and reattach.  If the spine is porous, line the back with Japanese tissue.  If barcode is on board make sure to save and reattach.  If old cover is not usable in one piece, trim front and back covers to size and glue onto new cloth.

Once textblock is dry, trim no more than 1/16" from the head, tail and foredge on the guillotine.  Do a visual double check of margins to make sure where cutting is safe.


Paperback cover:

Take a piece of Tyvek cut to H x [spine thickness + 2"] and glue over spine area of cover covering the 1/4" folds by 1/2" or so.

Clean the joint area.  Put tattle tape onto the spine of case.  Recase the book.  Trim if needed.


Kerfs (do before put on cloth liner)
On a very thick book, could put on a second liner and then make kerfs (saw marks) cut into the spine at an angle.  Could glue in some thick sewing thread, leaving them longer and then glue them down to the sides.

Written by Brian Markee.


  1. wow, your instructions and illustrations are so clear - thank you!

  2. What is the name of that press? Is it made in-house?

    1. It is a Fan-gluing Press made by TeMPeR Productions in Olean, NY. We've had this press at least 10 years and it is in very good condition.

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