Wooden Board Infilling pt. 1

I’m currently working on a few large bindings, one of which has wooden boards that have become a feast for woodworm. All along the joint edge where I’ve uncovered the board by removing the previous deteriorated red rotten reback leather, there’s evidence of quite a lot of insect damage. The wood has become crumbly and needs to be strengthened, consolidated and filled before the boards can be reattached to the textblock and it has a new re-back.

Joint Edge of Back Board

Joint Edge of Back Board

After some research and consultation with PZ trainee Gwendoline (who has infilled wood in a previous project) I decided that the wood should be consolidated with Paraliod B72 before being filled. This will prevent seepage from the infill into the wood and reduce any damage from the infill material.

To make up the Paraloid solution you will need:
–  a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid, large enough to take 100ml solution
– an accurate measuring flask
– an accurate set of scales
– Paraloid B72 ‘beads’ (suppliers below).
– Acetone
– Ethanol
– cheesecloth
– string
– permanent marker
– extra jam jar.

To make up a 10% solution follow these instructions:

– Weigh out 10g of Paraloid and fasten into a bag using the cheesecloth and string.

10g Paraloid

10g Paraloid

Paraloid and cheesecloth

Paraloid and cheesecloth

Paraloid in cheesecloth 'bag'

Paraloid in cheesecloth ‘bag’

– pour 100ml water into your clean glass jar and mark off where the liquid comes to with a  marker. Then pour out the water and dry up the jar.

100ml marked off.

100ml marked off.

-Measure out 85ml of Acetone and pour into a seperate clean jar. The measure out 15ml of Ethanol and pour into the same jar.

– Place the bag of Paraloid into the clean jar and then carefully fill up with the Ethanol/Acetone mix to the marked line and discard the rest.

– Lift up the bag so it’s suspended in the sovent leaving the string dangling outside and then screw up the lid tightly.

Paraloid suspended in solution.

Paraloid suspended in solution.

– Leave to dissolve overnight, then discard the cheesecloth and string, squeezing out whilst wearing gloves.

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