The fore-edges are now measured with screw compasses from the groove along the back (which is called the joint) to the outside edge of the first section, which measurement is then marked on the board in two places, and a line drawn across it with a steel rule and a knife (Fig. 18). The board is then fitted into its right place exactly, and a cross is pencilled in the top back corner. The slips are drawn down over the side and a pencil mark is made exactly through the middle of each. Make the second board to correspond, and place together. A line is then drawn with the compasses about three-eighths of an inch in from the back, and holes are punched through from the right side just where the lines cross. Then the board is turned over and return holes are made about a quarter of an inch lower and an eighth of an inch further out than each of the other holes.

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Fig. 19. - Position for hammering down slips.

If the holes are made too close together they are apt to break in to each other, and so weaken the board. The holes are punched with a binder's bodkin through the board into what is called a holing lead. Then, on the right side of the board, from the first row of holes to the edge of the board, little V-shaped grooves are cut with a sharp knife, not too deep, for the slips to lit into. Next, the slips are cleaned and all the short waste threads cut away, but they must not be reduced more than necessary, or they will break. They must be thoroughly pasted and pressed flat with the fingers for an inch up and the top part twisted into a point. These are threaded through to the inside of the board, back through the return holes and pulled just tight enough to allow the board to shut flat on the book {Fig. 20).

A " knocking-down " iron having been screwed into the end of the press, the board is laid on inside face downwards, and the strings are tapped along with the hammer to secure them, and the ends cut off just above tie board. The board must be supported with the left hand whilst hammering, or the strings will stretch. Continue to hammer on both sides of the board till the strings are quite flat (Fig. 10). Slips that are too thick will crack the boards. Care must be taken that the board is right on the knocking-down iron while hammering, or the edge of the iron will make dents on it.

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Fig. 20. - Board laced on.

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Fig. 21. - Boards marked and holed preparatory to lacing in.

When cutting the front edges, the border of the book must be opened and pushed back so that the slips are clear of the galleys, and then lowered the depth that is to be cut off the book and shut up. This serves as a guide to the cutting. Between the backboard and the book a waste-board is placed, which must tit right up to the joints (Fig. 22). This must be lowered into the press till the top edge of the front board is just on a level with the press. When shutting the waste-board into the book, care must be taken that the- book is not strained sideways, or the top edges will be cut crooked. Always put the book into the press with the back towards you when cutting top and bottom edges, and then cut away from you. lifting the plough up when returning, as the paper at the back is apt to tear. When the top edges have been cut, turn the book over and cut the bottom edges the same way. For the fore-edges, a line must be drawn on one protecting leaf, an eighth of an inch from the edge, Then the back has to be flattened by opening the boards and inserting a pair of "trindles" inside and across the back (Fig. 23), which is then laid down and banged till flat. A cutting-board is placed on one side up to the line, and a waste-board on the other, and the whole thing is lifted up, the trindles are taken out, and then it is dropped into the press, the cutting-board being just level with the surface. The back must be looked at to see if it is still flat, and care taken to see that nothing has slipped. It can now be Cut. If the plough-knife is turned forward too much at a time, or is not pressed evenly and firmly, the result will not be a success.

We must now clean the glue from the back. Nip the book in the press by the fore-edges, and cover the back with a fairly thick coat of paste. Leave it to soak lor a few minutes and then scrape it off, when the glue will come with it. It must not be-left too long, nor scraped too hard; otherwise the paper will be damaged. Now screw the book into the standing-press tor about twelve hours. The back must be left free, but a tin must be placed inside the covers right back to the joints, and tins outside also as far as the joints, then boards under-neath and on top, and the press screwed down tightly. If the edges are to be gilded or coloured, it must be done now. The gilding is a difficult process, and it is best to have it done by a professional bookbinder. The price for gilding the edges of a medium-sized book is about fourpence a side. The process of colouring is, however, simple. Water-colours or marqueterie stains are used. The book is placed in the press with the edges level with the surface. For the top and bottom edges the boards are lowered to the level of the paper, but for the fore-edges they must be dropped back, and a pair of backing or cutting-boards used instead. Put the paint on with a small sponge or a piece of cotton-wool. Screw the press up tightly. Do not put the colour on too freely or it will soak down into the book. Leave till quite dry, and then rub over thinly with white wax. Polish with a smooth folding-stick and a pad of cotton-wool. In the next lesson I shall deal with the covering of the book.

(To be continued.) E. de Rheims.

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Fig. 22. - Position for cutting top edges.