In the method called " flexible not to show," the book is marked up in the same way as for flexible, and is slightly scratched on the band marks with the saw, but not deep enough to go through the sections. Then a thin cord is doubled for each band, and the book is sewn in the ordinary flexible way. The cord is knocked into the back in forwarding, and the leather may be stuck on a hollow back with bands, or to the back itself without bands.
In order to keep down the swelling of the book to the proper amount necessary to form a good backing groove and no more, the sheets must from time to time be gently tapped down with a heavy folding-stick, and great care must be observed to avoid drawing the fastening of the kettle-stitch too tight, or the "head" and "tail" of the book will be thinner than the middle, - a fault which, once committed, has no remedy.
Very thin sections, or half sheets, if the book is very thick, may be sewn "2 sheets on," i e. the needle is passed from the kettle-stitch to the first band of the first sheet and out, then another sheet is placed on the top, and the needle is inserted at No. .1 band and brought out at No. 2; the needle is again inserted in the first sheet and in at No. 2 band and out at No. 3, thus treating the two sections as one, in which way, obviously only half as much thread will be in the back. With books that have had the heads cut, it is necessary to open each sheet carefully up to the back before it is placed on the press, otherwise the centre may not be caught, and 2 or more leaves will fall out after the book is bound.
Books composed of single leaves are overcast, and each section is treated as a section of an ordinary book, the only difference being that a strong paper lining should be given to the back before covering, so that it cannot " throw up."
" Surface" paper has one side prepared with a layer of colour, laid on with a brush very evenly; some kinds are left dull, others are glazed. Darker colours are generally chosen for religious books, and lighter for cloth or case work. Many other kinds are put into " extra " bindings with good effect, e. g. a cream of fine colour and good quality in a morocco with cloth or morocco joints.
"Printed" and "fancy" papers may be bought in any variety. "Coloured paste" paper may be home - made. Some colour is mixed with paste and soap till it is a little thicker than cream, then spread upon 2 sheets of paper with a paste brush; the sheets are next laid with their coloured surfaces in contact, and when separated will bear a wavy pattern. The paper is hung up till dry, and glazed with a hot iron.
Having decided upon the kind of paper to use, cut and fold 2 pieces to the size of the book, or a trifle larger, especially if the book has been already cut; also prepare 2 pieces of white paper in the same way. This done, a white paper is laid down, folded, and very evenly brushed with moderately thin paste; the 2 fancy papers are laid on the top, level with the back or folded edge; the top fancy paper is pasted, and the other white is laid on that; next take them from the board, and after a squeeze in the press, hang them up separately to dry. Thus one half of the white will adhere to one half of the marbled or fancy paper. When dry, they are folded in the old folds, and pressed fur 1/4 hour. As many as 10-15 pairs may be done at once, by commencing with 1 white, then 2 fancy, 3 white, and so on, always pressing, to ensure the surfaces adhering properly, then hanging up to dry, and, when dry, pressing again, to make them quite flat.
In pasting, be sure to draw the brush well oyer the paper and away from the centre, towards the edges of the paper. Take just enough paste on the brush to make it slide well. See that the whole surface is pasted; remove all hairs and lumps from the paper, or they will mark the book; and never attempt to take up the brush from the paper before it is well drawn over the edge, or the paper will stick to the brush and turn over, with the risk of pasting the under.
In every book, the first and last sheet must be "pasted up"; and if the book has too much "swelling," it must be tapped down gently with a hammer, holding the book tightly at the foredge with the left hand, knuckles down, and resting the back on the press. A better plan is for the back to be knocked flat on the laying press, placed in it without boards, so that the back projects, screwed up tightly, so that the sheets cannot slip; a knocking-down iron is then placed against left side of the book, and the back is hammered against it. The "slips" or cords are pulled tight, each with the right hand, the left hand holding them against the book so that they shall not be drawn through. The process is illustrated in Fig. 184: a, press; b, knocking-down iron; c, book. If a slip is accidentally pulled out, it is necessary to re-sew the book.
When the slips have been pulled tight, the first and last section are pasted to those nest them, thus: - Lay the book on the edge of the press, throw the top section back, lay a piece of waste paper upon the next section 1/8-1/4 in. from the back, according to the size of the book, and paste the space between the back and the waste paper, using the second finger of right hand, and hulding the paper down with the left. After pasting, the waste paper is removed and the section is put even with the back of the book, which is turned over so that it may not shift, and the other end is treated in the same manner. Finally a weight is put on the top, or if a number of books, one may lie on the top of the other, back and foredge alternately, each J in. within the foredge of the next, with a few pressing boards on the top. After drying, the end papers are put on.