Categories  books repairs

Dictionary Repair – Part 1

For a very patient friend. 🙂

Front title page of the Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (1945) - thin paper edition (so true!)
Front title page of the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1945) – thin paper edition (so true!)

Part 1 – Repairing the individual pages

This was my first book repair project.

I read a lot of books about fixing books.
I watched a whole bunch of videos, too.

Then, I boldly went where I had never gone before!

First step – separate the binding and the cover from the text block pages. This was the hardest step for me, emotionally, and I had to work up the nerve to go for it, but I knew it had to be done.

In the press to keep the pages together while the glue is damp and coming off
Got the parts apart from each other, ready to work on repairing individual pages

Repairing individual pages . . . . there were many pages that could be helped by a piece of special page-repair tape for small problems (not regular tape!!) (Do you hear some ominous foreshadowing type of music in your head? You should!)

Quite a few pages needed some special attention, though, and for those bigger areas, I used Super Secret Extra Special Book Glue and Super Secret Extra Special Book Repair Tissue. (Not really. You can buy it, too.)

Special moment here . . . these printers weights are from my dad’s collection, leftover from when he was a newspaper editor, wayyyyyy back in the day before computers, when they had actual paper in the newroom and had to hold it down. He told me he saved a few when they were throwing them away, but most were just tossed out for scrap.
paintbrush seen in close up while adding glue to two pages in the middle of them
I learned to glue with Special Book Glue!
Pages on the drying rack, version 1
(it’s just my regular shelf)

Below is version 2 . . .

I soon outgrew the shelf and just spread out all the pages on my spare bed.

About halfway through Part 1 at this point.

Figuring out how the sections go together and the page numbers match up. I only had to go back and re-do just a few, not too many.
Only a few.
Staying organized!

Dramatic photo of artsily arranged pile o’ pages, because I was in the zone.

Very fun project!
This was a great day!

Almost finished with Part 1 of this project . . . 1270 is not the last page . . .

All the pages in order and repaired the best I can so far, although I may run across a spot for another little piece of tape and then, perhaps.
Stack of book signatures
Book at end of part 1

(pay no attention to the little tear on the right….I fixed it later)

Part 2 – coming soon – Sewing the signatures back together into the whole text block.

Part 3 – Cover repair (coming later)

Part 4 – Put it all back together (coming later)

Stay tuned!

Here is my little workshop!

Continue with Part 2 – Sewing it back together


[…] Part 2 is about sewing the signatures back together, after the individual pages were repaired (see Part 1). […]

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