My paper-back service manual, about 20-25 years old, is starting to fall apart. Is there a good way to re-glue it back together?
not inexpensively! but you could put the pages in document protectors and then in a loose leaf binder other than that a new copy would probably be less expensive
I have done old books this way and they seem to last a good while.
Use a razor blade and cut down one side of the back cover binding. (This exposes the back of all the pages).
Carefully square up the book and apply Elmers glue or any good glue to the back of the pages.
Then reapply the back binding cover and let dry.
This method worked for me.
Mine is doing the same thing. One of these days I am going to punch holes and put in a small ring binder.
Take it to Office Depot, Kinko's, or any print shop. They will guillotine off the spine, then punch a row of holes, then install a spiral binding. It'll cost between 2 and 5 bucks, depending on where you take it.
The advantage is that it will now lay flat. No more having to put something on it to hold it open to the page you're referencing.
The only disadvantage I know of is that it now looks different and takes more space on a shelf of books. I can live with that.
Thanks john k, I was thinkin' along them lines, I'll give it a try.
I've been trying to find a hard cover copy for a reasonable price, but so far no luck.
There is a special "library Paste" to glue that kind of book spine. I do not know where to get it, however Google may be able to help. There is a different kind of "Library Paste" that is used to repair torn pages, so be sure you get the right one. My brother took a course in book restoration some years ago. Sadly, he passed away some time ago.
Personally, like John K, I sometimes use Elmer's white glue. (I have repaired several of my Walt Kelly "Pogo" books recently. You do have to be very careful not to use too much glue, or let it run to where you do NOT want it. It can wick up into the pages if you are not really careful. The "Pogo" books are more than 50 years old, and were cheaply made. The original glue in some of them is simply turning to dust. Where the pages begin separating, I run a SMALL amount of glue down into the loose back. I leave the book for awhile pages up, back down, to allow the glue to flow into the back. I then rotate the book whatever direction is best indicated to again allow the glue to flow where needed. Before the glue is finished drying, I place it between a bunch of other books to hold it closed tightly, again, back down. Again. easy on the glue! It would be far easier to re-glue the back another time than to try to separate a bunch of pages where the glue wicked in.
And some good advice? Just like restoring a car? It would be much better to get the right library or book binding paste, properly separate and clean all surfaces, then glue and clamp correctly. But if you are like me? That just may not be in the cards these days.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Try talking it to your local librarian or school librarian. There are companies that re-bind books. They could provide you with the contact information you need to get it back into shape.
Wayne- did you say Pogo? as in it doesn't matter what day it is if it's the 13th it is unlucky! that brought back a flood of memories of Sunday's after church all of us kids would gather around Dad's recliner for the reading of the newspaper comics he did great voices I miss those times. Thanks for helping me get rid of some cob webs!
I watched a Beetle Bailey cartoon on TV once, and I remember thinking that the voices were all wrong, they didn't match the ones I had created in my head from reading the comics.
GRC, Yes, big Pogo fan. Friday the 13th came on a Saturday this month. Walt Kelly was way ahead of his time in political and social awareness. Much of the strip was social commentary, and much of it is even more relevant today than it was 40 to 60 years ago.
Mark S, I have the same problem if I read a book (fairly rare actually, from overwork I tend to fall asleep if I read much). I have never really liked a comic strip turned into an animated cartoon. The funny thing is, Pogo was animated for TV a couple times. Walt Kelly didn't like the way they turned out either.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Took the book to Staples, they quoted me ~$30 to chop off the spine, punch holes and install plastic spiral binding.
Gonna try the reglue approach.
Don't you have an old binder where it'll fit?
You can do the chopping off the spine and punching holes yourself with if you have a large vice - by first putting the book in the vice with the spine about an inch above the jaws then drilling a few holes to fit the binder - then you can move it a bit lower in the vice and cut the spine off with a saw blade.
Books are made up one or more "signatures" Signatures are groups of folded papers creating pages. Depending on the thickness of the paper used, Perhaps 20 sheets of paper folded together to create forty sheets of pages which will make 80 pages. Loose pages, if the entire signature is loose, applying glue to the back of the book will help. Booklets are often made up of only one signature. If one page comes out, I put some white glue on a piece of scrap paper and then pull the edge of the loose page through the glue. I then carefully replace the page, I put a piece of wax paper on each side of the reapplied page and let the glue dry. If done correctly, it will appear as if the page was never loose.
I have restored a lot of old antique books using the following method. Even earned a Boy Scout Merit badge with it 50 years ago. Bookbinding is an age old craft that has developed time tested methods so that the books can last hundreds of years, so you should try and use these time tested methods whenever you undertake to restore a worn out book.
If you inspect old book bindings, you will see that on old books, the binding is covered with a cotton mesh imbedded with dried out and brittle hide glue. After clamping the book tightly together using two boards clamped together on each side of the book close to the binding, the brittle glue impregnated mesh should be carefully scraped off with the side of a razor knife blade, without cutting or damaging the paper edges of the binding. Remove only the dried, brittle, glue. I would not cut the pages, as suggested earlier, especially if the binding consists of many sewed together sections, held together with glue. If you cut the binding edges, you will cut the thread that is a big part of keeping the book together. After scraping off the old glue with a razor blade, enough to expose the paper edge of the binding, the first thing that is applied to the binding is a cotton mesh cloth tape, sort of like first aid gauze, but not the traditional, loose thread gauze. There is a gauze with firmer mesh that stays in place. After clamping the cotton mesh tightly around the binding edge and clamping the binding pages tightly together so that the glue does not seep between the pages, the glue is applied and spread into the mesh.
In the old days they would have used hide glue but Elmer's does just as good and is flexible and durable. The cotton mesh adds to the strength of the binding glue and will make it last much longer, especially if the book is used alot.
You may also want go to an office supply place to try to find a binding cover material the same color and consistency as the cover of the book which can be cut to size and glued over the binding so as to hide the bare edge of the binding. This will also allow you to print out the title of the book and affix it to the new binding cover.
Whenever restoring an antique book, always take your time and thoroughly inspect the book in order to determine how the book binder originally built the book, then undertake to try and duplicate his method as closely as possible. Jim Patrick
Cutting the binding on a guillotine and punching and installing a plastic binder is a ten minute operation. Your local print shop should be able to do it much cheaper than Staples.
Otherwise, ask your friends and relatives if they work for a company that has a copy center or an in-house print shop and see if they will do a small favor for you.
All the companies I worked for had a guillotine and punching/binding machine for installing plastic spines in their copy centers. Actually, the punching/binding machine is a common piece of equipment in many offices so even if you don't have access to a guillotine, you can still dismantle the book by removing the pages with a razor blade and then true up the pages on a paper cutter.
If you go the three hole punch route, that is very simple. Dismantle and true of the pages as described above. Your local church or school should have a paper cutter and three hole punch that you can borrow. You can also use the paper cutter and three hole punch at Kinkos for free. Small three ring binders are readily available from an office supply.
Photo of smaller three ring binder below for comparison with Ford Service Manual reprint: