Society Of Blues, the beginning.

So I’ve finally started on the final project, beginning with (hopefully) the most straightforward one – the Society of Blues minute book. A spring-back binding bound in full reversed calf, with marbled endpapers, but without the spring-back tube or any of the spine mechanics at all.

S.O.B. LH Board.

S.O.B. Spine.

First point of action was to remove the severely rotten leather from both the boards, this was done mechanically with a lifting knife and came away easily. The leather was then encapsulated in melinex and is being kept with the binding.

Leather from LH board removed.

Whilst removing the leather turn-in underneath the endpapers I came across evidence of a spring-back sructure (before this point, I was not sure what the original structure was). At the head and tail of the spine under both endpapers was a tab from the the stiffener which had gone into the split boards. The tabs were removed to reduce bulk.

Evidence of tabs from stiffener.

The next step was to remove the leather clothings (panel spine linings) which had broken down completely and were red-rotten. This was a straight-forward task, as the boards were easily split, and the leather so degraded they slipped easily.

Leather clothings removed from the split boards.

The spine was then cleaned as it had a thick layer of adhesive as well as the leather clothings – this was done in stages using a very thick 6% MC poultice, left under cling film for 30mins. It was scraped away carefully, avioding damage to the spinefolds underneath.

Spine before cleaning.

Spine after cleaning with 6% MC poultice.

The spine between the supports was then lined with a single layer of Kozo (23gsm), once dry, the spine was set into a reformed round, and 2 layers of EVA were applied.

Spine lined with a layer of Kozo (23gsm)

The next step was to consolidate the corners. I split the board once and inserted a triangle of manilla using WSP, which was clamped between blotter and bondina and left to dry.

Board corner consolidation.

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