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Basic Book Repair Techniques: Tipping-In Loose Pages

From Three Basic Book Repair Procedures by Carole Dyal and Pete Merrill-Oldham

This publication is not copyrighted. Printed copies are available for the cost of handling and mailing: single copy: $2.50; additional copies: $1.50 each. Please make checks payable to "Book Repair," Acme Bookbinding.". (Mailing address: "Book Repair"; c/o Acme Bookbinding; P.O. Box 699; Charlestown, MA 02129-0004).

Tipping-in is a method for incorporating loose pages -- a detached leaf, replacement page, errata sheet, or other insert -- into a bound volume.

Materials required:

Assemble the following: polyvinyl acetate adhesive (PVA) in a low container, wide strips of scrap paper, waxed paper, a bone folder, a glue brush, a pressing board or glass plate, and a weight.

Step 1: Trimming the page and applying adhesive

If the page to be tipped in is larger than the pages of the volume, carefully trim the page to size using a paper cutter. (For replacement pages, try to preserve original margin widths.) Sandwich the page, reverse side up, between two pieces of scrap paper, leaving 1/8-inch visible along the binding edge of the page. The top strip of scrap paper will protect the area that should not be glued. Apply a thin, even layer of PVA to the exposed 1/8-inch edge of the sheet.

Step 2: Positioning the page

Carefully position the insert in place, setting it as far into the gutter as possible while ensuring that the edges are even with the rest of the text block.

Step 3: Securing the page

With the tipped-in sheet squarely in place, and starting in the middle of the page and working out to the top and bottom, slide the tip of a bone folder along the front (unglued) side of the sheet to press it tight.

Step 4: Protecting the text block

Place a sheet of waxed paper into the gutter between the insert and the page before it to protect the text block from excess adhesive.

Step 5: Pressing the volume

Close the book. Place a pressing board or glass plate along the spine edge and set a weight on top. Let stand for several hours.

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